Fault Overrides Emotion-Driven Punishment

in legal on (#3S8)
story imageResearchers have found (Abstract) that the more gruesome a description of a crime is, the more the person hearing the description thinks the perpetrator should be punished. However, if the act was unintentional, the description did not change the severity judged as fair.
When the responses were analyzed, the researchers found that the manner in which the harmful consequences of an action are described significantly influences the level of punishment that people consider appropriate: When the harm was described in a graphic or lurid fashion then people set the punishment level higher than when it was described matter-of-factly. However, this higher punishment level only applied when the participants considered the resulting harm to be intentional. When they considered it to be unintentional, the way it was described didn't have any effect.

How much does this actually apply in the real world? (Score: 1)

by kerrany@pipedot.org on 2014-08-06 19:33 (#2S0)

As in, during the sentencing phase of a trial, do prosecutors reiterate the crime in the most gruesome possible way they can, trying to influence the jury to react with horror to something they already know the most intimate details of? If so, does it work? Or is this more applicable to the first time the subject hears the story?

I'd like to see followup. This is interesting stuff.

...And then I realize the story was posted two days ago. Oh well, can't hurt to ask.
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Seventy three, seventy seven, eighty nine or 84: which of these is the highest?