What are different theories of judicial decision-making? How complementary are they? How mutually exclusive are they?

L09 Discussion – Discussion Forum Group 1
From [20FA] CJPA 501
To help you approach your readings for this week, you were given several reading questions. In this discussion, you’ll choose one of those questions, and address how it is answered throughout the readings for the lesson. As you answer, be sure to cite the readings and authors as you address the question.
To complete this discussion:
Address one of the following questions in a post to the discussion forum. You are encouraged to answer from an academic point of view (lecture and readings) as well as your own personal or professional experience. There is no length requirement, but the writing should be enough to fully explain your thoughts.
1. What are different theories of judicial decision-making? How complementary are they? How mutually exclusive are they?
2. How have policies tried to constrain judicial sentencing discretion in the 1970s and 80s, and why did they try to do this?
3. What are unwanted consequences of too little constraint or structure of judicial sentencing discretion? What are some unwanted consequences of too tightly constraining judicial sentencing discretion?
4. What are the principles behind sentencing guidelines, in general? What are sentencing guidelines’ typical characteristics?
5. Have sentencing guidelines been a “success?” What would “success” mean, and how would you evaluate it?

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