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Do jurors and professional judges differ in their treatment of crime?: Evidence from French reform

Arnaud Philippe

No 17-763, TSE Working Papers from Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Abstract: Do citizens and professional judges agree on the accuracy of sentences? While surveys regularly point out a demand by citizens for harsher punishment, the differences between surveys’ and real decisions’ conditions are large enough to cast a doubt on the results. The introduction of two jurors into a court composed of three professional judges in two French regions and for a subsample of crimes in 2012 offers a good natural experiment for documenting the question of the differences between professional judges and citizens. Difference-in-differences or tripledifference methods do not permit me to identify any change in the probability of being convicted or in sentences given by a court including jurors. If some characteristics of the reform could partly explain those null results, they clearly go against the hypothesis of a major disagreement between professional judges and citizens when they have to make real decisions in criminal cases.

Keywords: courts; sentencing; crime; judicial decision; jury members (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 K14 K4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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