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University of Michigan Law School

1982

Law and Society

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The Sentencing Of White-Collar Criminals In Federal Courts: A Socio-Legal Exploration Of Disparity, Ilene H. Nagel, John L. Hagan Jun 1982

The Sentencing Of White-Collar Criminals In Federal Courts: A Socio-Legal Exploration Of Disparity, Ilene H. Nagel, John L. Hagan

Michigan Law Review

This Article addresses that question by examining judicial sentencing philosophy as applied to white-collar criminality and reporting data that illuminate the operation of that philosophy. Part I of the Article argues that the traditional purposes and limits of criminal sentencing may plausibly justify either disparate or comparable sentences in cases of white-collar and common criminality. Part II describes the obstacles to an accurate empirical inquiry into how judges resolve these uncertainties in the theory of punishment. Part III presents a study designed to overcome as many of these obstacles as possible. What is most dramatic is that the resulting data …