Why do some offenders get more jail time than for the same offense? The effects of the offender/victim relationship, offender remorse, and use of weapons

  • Sarah Suchotzky MacEwan University


This study aims to examine sentencing decisions for homicide cases made by judges in Canada from 1995 to 2015. Specifically, the association between the length of incarceration assigned to homicide offenders and each of three factors, namely, the victim-offender relationship, the presence of remorse (as noted by the judges), and the offender’s choice of weapon, will be analyzed. Data was identified and coded from the Canadian Legal Information Institute website. Based on previous research it is predicted that there would not be any statistically significant difference in the length of jail time for offenders who murder intimate partners/family and strangers but for homicides committed against acquaintances/friends the jail sentencing will be slightly longer. It is also expected that jail sentencing would be shorter if judges noted remorse from the offender. Lastly, it is predicted that offenders who used edged weapons would receive the longest sentencing.

Discipline: Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sandy  Jung