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The Role of Perceived Injustice in Defendants' Evaluations of Their Courtroom Experience

Tom R. Tyler
Law & Society Review
Vol. 18, No. 1 (1984), pp. 51-74
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Law and Society Association
DOI: 10.2307/3053480
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3053480
Page Count: 24
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The Role of Perceived Injustice in Defendants' Evaluations of Their Courtroom Experience
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of perceived injustice in generating dissatisfaction with legal authorities. Using data collected in interviews with a sample of defendants in traffic and misdemeanor court, I compare the influence of case outcomes upon attitudes toward judges and courts to that of distributive and procedural justice. The results suggest that among the defendants studied the major determinant of satisfaction with legal authorities is perceived fairness. Once the influence of perceived fairness is considered, case outcomes explain no additional variation in attitudes toward courts and judges. In the conclusion, possible implications of this finding are discussed.

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