The question of whether granting the judiciary discretion over assignment of penalties at conviction engender retributive justice in practice or not has received very limited attention in the literature. It has been argued that limiting the discretionary powers could lead to unjust punishment regarding especially cases that require imposition of fines which do not consider the financial position of an offender. In contrast, however, unlimited discretionary powers could result in judicial corruption. In Ghana where judges have overwhelming discretionary powers, the judicial system is generally perceived as corrupt favoring elites who have access to more money to steal. This hypothesis has been tested using data on theft cases convicted in Ghana.
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