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

INDEPENDENT ***** DEPENDENT VARIABLES

1. Dependent variable

***** dependent variable in this study will be the race/ethnicity of the offender that has been sentenced for a crime.

*****. Independent Variables

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

Sentence Length;

***** crime committed;

The race of the victim (if any)

***** gender of ***** offender

The gender of the victim (***** any)

***** age of ***** offender

The age of the victim

***** injury ***** the victim

Prior convictions

Seriousness of disposition

Total current convictions

On probation

Released on b*****d

Private attorney

Guilty plea

State/County/City ***** conviction

Offense type

Homicide

*****

Robbery

Assault

Classification of Habitual Offender Assigned

DATA COLLECTION METHOD

1. Analysis ***** Data

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

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