Assignment of Responsibility in Ethical Judgments
When a judge determines a sentence for a criminal case, he must sift through a great deal of information. Quite likely, he has been bombarded with facts about the crime, reports and testimony about the criminal, reactions from victims, and he has considered the relevant sentencing statutes. One of the more important abilities he uses to interpret and organize all of this data stems from his sense of ethics. A judge knows, for instance, why an offender's intentions and actions were wrong. A person, or a program, that is to assess the bad and the good in criminal cases as a judge does must have some basic sense of ethics to direct the reactions to the intentions and actions of the people involved in the case (Delin, 1978; Kempe & Kempe, 1978).