Essay - Disparities in the Court System: Sentencing of African Americans and...


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DISPARITIES IN THE COURT SYSTEM: SENTENCING OF AFRICAN AMERICANS AND HISPANICS

***** DESIGN

SETTING WHERE RESEARCH IS TO BE CONDUCTED

The research proposed in this document is to take place ***** several selected jurisdictions on calls for "service, arrests, and failure ***** arrest, prosecutions and failures to prosecute and other data relevant to determining disparity prior to sentencing toward the objective of a statistical determination of factors that affect the decision to incarcerate, including ***** charges levied against the defendant and the length of ***** sentence imposed upon the defendant. The primary data systems in most states for collection ***** in*****mation on offenders are Department of Corrections offender-tracking information ***** and the court systems case management ***** database.

INDEPENDENT ***** DEPENDENT VARIABLES

1. Dependent variable

The dependent variable in this study will be the race/ethnicity of the ********** ***** has been *****d for a crime.

*****. Independent V*****riables

Independent *****s in ***** study include those as follows:

***** Length;

The crime committed;

The race of the victim (if any)

The gender of the *****fender

The gender of the victim (if any)

***** age of ***** **********

The age of the victim

***** injury ***** ***** victim

Prior convictions

Seriousness of disposition

***** current *****

On probation

Rele*****ed on bond

***** attorney

***** plea

State/County/City of conviction

Offense type

Homicide

*****

Robbery

*****

Class*****ication of Habitual Offender Assigned

DATA COLLECTION METHOD

1. Analysis of Data

The work of Mueller, Connelly, and Pingel entitled: "Starting Points: The State ***** National Landscape" states: "In theory there are two types of factors that contribute to racial disparity: (1) differential participation (or involvement) in criminal activity; and (2) differential treatment by the criminal justice systems and processes." (2004) According to Mueller, Connelly and Pingel (2004) Differential ***** "describes whether, and how different demographic groups differ in terms of the percent***** f their members who commit crimes." On the other hand, differential treatment describes "bias-***** intentional or overt, or circumstantial - reflected in the ways the actors in the criminal justice system (police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges) treat subjects of different demographic groups." (Mueller, Connelley, and Pingel, *****) Some ********** have attempted to quantify the difference between ***** ***** and differential *****ment. Blumstein (1982) states calculations "that 80 percent of ***** disproportionality in imprisonment is explained by differential participation by minority groups in ***** activity." (Mueller, Connelley, ***** Pingel, 2004) Yet Crutchfield, Bridges and Pitchford report that other researchers "have since refined the data and methods employed to yield estimates of 66%." (Mueller, Connelley, and Pingel, 2004) However, it is held by Mueller, Connelley and Pingel that in order for research ***** be valid, that both of these factors must be taken *****to account. The work of Oliver (2004) ***** related in which comparisons of incarceration rates and sentence lengths were used ***** subdivided ***** race and type of crime to describe ***** observed racial disparity stems from 'factors' that ***** a combin*****tion of bias, real *****s in serious *****, social and political conditions.' Whether attributed

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