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

RESEARCH 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 and failures ***** prosecute and other data relevant to determining disparity prior to sentencing toward the objective of a statistical determination ***** factors that affect ***** decision to incarcerate, including the charges levied against the defendant and the length of the sentence imposed upon the *****. The primary data systems in most states for collection of information on *****fenders are Department of Corrections ********** information ***** and the court systems case management ***** database.

INDEPENDENT ***** DEPENDENT VARIABLES

1. Dependent variable

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

2. Independent Variables

Independent variables in this study include those as follows:

***** Length;

***** crime committed;

The race of the victim (if any)

***** gender of the *****

The gender of the victim (if any)

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

The age of the victim

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

Prior convictions

Seriousness of disposition

Total current convictions

On probation

Rele*****ed on bond

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 and 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 participation "describes whether, ***** how different demographic groups differ in terms of the percentage f *****ir members who commit crimes." On the ***** hand, *****ential treatment describes "bias-whether intentional or overt, or circumstantial - re*****lected in the ways the actors in the crim*****al justice system (police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges) treat subjects of different ***** groups." (*****, Connelley, and Pingel, *****) Some *****ers have attempted to quantify the difference between differential involvement ***** differential **********. Blumstein (1982) states calculations "that 80 percent ***** ***** disproportionality in imprisonment is explained ***** differential ***** by minority groups in criminal activity." (Mueller, Connelley, and 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 ***** Mueller, Connelley and ***** that in order for research to be valid, that both of these ***** must be taken in***** account. The work of Oliver (2004) ***** related in which comparisons of ********** rates and sentence lengths were used and subdivided by race and type of crime to describe ***** observed racial disparity stems from 'factors' that ***** a combination of bias, real differences in serious *****, social and political conditions.' Whether attributed

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