Transparency About The Costs Of Incarceration Mitigates Sentencing Attitudes
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About The Author

Dr. Aharoni's* current research investigates the application of neuroscience to the law and the impact of emotion and cognitive bias on criminal, moral, legal, and political decision making. Aharoni served as a Research Associate for the RAND Corporation. Aharoni completed a postdoctoral fellowship with appointments at The MIND Research Network for Neurodiagnostic Discovery and the University of New Mexico Psychology. Aharoni earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

He earned a Ph.D. in psychology at UCSB where he also served as a research fellow for the MacArthur Foundation’s Law and Neuroscience Project.
*Corresponding author: eaharoni@gsu.edu

                       

Transparency About The Costs Of Incarceration Mitigates Sentencing Attitudes

In a study published in Behavioral Sciences & the Law, researchers at Georgia State University sought to understand whether attention to the costs of incarceration decreases support for criminal sentences. “Many people don’t know that it typically costs upwards of $30,000 to incarcerate someone for just one year in the United States. So, we wondered whether people will change their punishment attitudes when the costs are made explicit,” said Dr. Aharoni, the study’s lead investigator. In their experiments, several hundred...

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Neurobiological Evidence In Sentencing Decisions: A Double-Edged Sword

Brain evidence is playing an increasing role in criminal trials, and new research by Allen and colleagues (2019) suggests that such evidence may have both aggravating and mitigating effects on criminal sentencing. Indeed, legal theorists have previously portrayed physical evidence of brain dysfunction as a double-edged sword: on the one hand, capable of decreasing punitive motivations by minimizing the offender’s perceived responsibility for his transgressions, while, on the other hand, capable of increasing punitive motivations towards the offender by virtue...

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