Predictions of dangerousness: An argument for limited use

Marc L Miller, N. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intense debate has focused on the use of statistical predictions of dangerousness in the criminal justice system. Two conflicting positions maintain wide support: that such predictions are never appropriate in criminal justice decision-making, and that they should be used far more often. Recognizing the fact that implicit and intuitive predictions are made every day in police, prosecutorial, sentencing, and other decisions, and explicit but unscientific predictions are common, this article suggests a theoretical framework justifying limited use of statistical predictions. Statistical predictions may present, in some instances, a morally preferable alternative to biased nonscientific and implicit judgments. Development of a sound jurisprudence of predictions faces major hurdles given the trend toward unscientific predictions in the law and the enormous judicial confusion in dealing with predictions. The concept has contributed to a string of notably poor Supreme Court decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-283
Number of pages21
JournalViolence and Victims
Volume3
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

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Dangerous Behavior
Criminal Law
Supreme Court Decisions
Confusion
Police
Jurisprudence
Decision Making
justice
court decision
jurisprudence
Supreme Court
police
decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Predictions of dangerousness : An argument for limited use. / Miller, Marc L; Morris, N.

In: Violence and Victims, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1988, p. 263-283.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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