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

INDEPENDENT ***** DEPENDENT VARIABLES

1. Dependent variable

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

2. Independent Variables

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

***** Length;

***** crime committed;

The race of the victim (if any)

The gender of ***** *****

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

***** age of ***** *****fender

The age of the victim

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

Prior convictions

Seriousness of disposition

Total current *****

On probation

Rele*****ed on b*****d

Private attorney

Guilty plea

State/County/City ***** conviction

Offense type

Homicide

*****

Robbery

*****

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

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