Monday, September 17, 2007

Depravity

Think about what you did last Saturday night. How depraved were your actions? You may soon be able to measure precisely how heinous your crimes were, using the Depravity Scale under development by forensic psychiatrist Michael Weiner, MD.

According to his website, the research has important implications for sentencing in criminal cases: "The Depravity Scale research is an international research effort that aims to scientifically standardize the definition of legal terms such as "heinous," "atrocious," "evil," and "depraved," which are currently used in the justice system to impact the severity of sentences," he writes. "This research will establish a consistent and fair distinction for the worst of crimes - incorporating input from the general public. Ultimately, the research will develop an operational Depravity Standard, which will assist judges and juries at the sentencing phase of trials."

No word on whether the Depravity Scale will be available to administer on a first date.

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