Two studies involving participants from metropolitan Adelaide. South Australia (Study 1: N = 220, Study 2: N = 181) examined variables that were assumed to influence cognitive and affective reactions to penalties imposed for offenses relating to domestic violence, plagiarism, and shoplifting (in Study 1), and resisting a police order in a protest against logging (in Study 2). Results of path analyses supported a model that assumed paths linking perceived responsibility to the perceived seriousness of an offense; responsibility and seriousness to deservingness of the penalty; deservingness to the perceived harshness of the penalty, to reported positive affect about the penalty, and to reported sympathy for the offender; and perceived harshness of the penalty to reported positive affect and sympathy. Right-wing authoritarianism and relevant values had direct effects on perceived seriousness consistent with the assumption that values affect the way an offense is construed in relation to its negative valence or aversiveness. Deservingness had a central role as a mediator of reactions.