A System for Fairness in Sentencing
We often hear of cases that offend our sense of fairness – excessive sentences, minor crimes that are punished more severely than serious crimes, or two equivalent crimes that are punished very differently. Rather than attempt to solve a politically and legally intractable problem, we ask a more theoretical question: whether an individual can assign sentences in a way that seems reasonable and consistent to him. Our system is a means of doing so. We offer a simple algorithmic method that could be used by an individual or review board to ensure that sentences meet a common-sense standard of consistency and proportionality.
We intend to offer a less mathematical and more legally-oriented version of this article in the near future.