Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
I came across your article on lifelong sex-offenders’ registration a few weeks ago in The Recorder (“Lifelong registration ruled not cruel,” June 29). This court ruling prompted me to write to acquaint you with ongoing research being conducted by a New York University medical school forensic psychiatrist into what distinguishes depraved crimes. Today, 39 states allow juries to assign harsher sentences for crimes deemed “heinous,” “depraved” or other words that mean “evil”; yet, at this time, there is no standardized definition for these legal terms — leaving jurors to decide based on their easily manipulated emotions. To address this issue, forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner, an associate professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, has pioneered research to standardize the specific intents, actions and attitudes (the “what” of a crime, as opposed to the “who” or the “why”) that distinguish certain crimes as beyond the pale, as dictated by societal consensus. Ultimately, the scale will be used as an objective, evidence-based guideline for juries at the sentencing phase of trials. There are 26 items under study in the Depravity Scale via a public, Internet-based confidential survey. Our research is ongoing — and The Recorder readers have a major role to play. As a result of your unique proximity to sometimes unthinkable crimes, you are encouraged to share your insights and complete this survey at http://www.depravityscale.org. In less than 15 minutes, you will make a lasting impact on the way justice is served across the nation for decades to come. Annie Huang New York

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.