Chapter

‘Wrongful’ Acquittals and ‘Unduly Lenient’ Sentences—Misconceived Problems that Provoke Unjust Solutions

Michael Tonry

in Principles and Values in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696796
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742293 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696796.003.0018
‘Wrongful’ Acquittals and ‘Unduly Lenient’ Sentences—Misconceived Problems that Provoke Unjust Solutions

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter addresses an oddly neglected but equally important question in sentencing theory, namely why the wealth of attention rightly given to wrongful convictions has not also been awarded to wrongful acquittals and unduly lenient sentences? The first section provides a recitative of recent developments in England and Wales and the United States concerning ‘wrongful acquittals’ and ‘unduly lenient sentences’. The second section dips shallowly into the literature on moral luck to see whether it offers insight. The third section presents a series of arguments concerning why wrongful acquittals and unduly lenient sentences should be allowed to rest where they fall, why policies should not be adopted to remedy them, and why conventional arguments in favour of remedies are unpersuasive.

Keywords: sentencing theory; wrongful acquittals; unduly lenient sentences; moral luck

Chapter.  8235 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.