People suspected of serious fraud and other white collar crimes are often given reduced sentences because of the media attention their cases generate, according to research by the NRC at the weekend.
The paper assessed 500 court cases which generated media attention and found in 75% of cases involving white-collar crime, sentences were reduced because of the publicity. The opposite was true for people convicted of violence crimes.
The research showed judges tend to say media attention on fraud and similar cases generates so much damage that once the sentence has been completed, the criminal’s career will continue to be affected. This is the main reason given for reducing sentences, the paper’s researcher found.
But in 40% of cases involving violent crime, the sentence is increased because of the impact of the crime on society generated by the ensuing publicity, the paper said.
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