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

***** 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 ***** arrest, prosecutions and failures to 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 ***** sentence imposed upon the defendant. The primary data systems in most states for collection ***** information on offenders are Department of Corrections offender-tracking information systems and the court ***** case management systems database.

INDEPENDENT AND DEPENDENT VARIABLES

1. Dependent variable

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

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

Independent variables in this study include those as follows:

Sentence Length;

The crime committed;

The race of the victim (if any)

***** gender of the offender

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

The age of the *****

The age ***** the victim

The injury to the victim

Prior convictions

Seriousness of disposition

***** current *****

On probation

Rele*****ed on bond

Private at*****rney

***** plea

State/County/City ***** conviction

Offense type

Homicide

Rape

Robbery

Assault

Classification of Habitual Offender Assigned

DATA COLLECTION METHOD

1. Analysis of Data

The work of Mueller, Connelly, and Pingel entitled: "Starting Points: The State and National Landscape" states: "In theory there ***** 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 ***** processes." (2004) According to Mueller, Connelly and Pingel (2004) Differential ***** "describes whether, ***** how different demographic groups differ in terms of the percent***** f their members who commit crimes." On the ***** hand, differential treatment describes "bias-whether intentional or overt, or circumstantial - reflected in the ways ***** actors in the ***** justice system (police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges) treat subjects of different ***** groups." (*****, Connelley, and P*****gel, *****) Some *****ers have attempted to quantify the difference between differential involvement and differential treatment. Blumstein (*****982) states calculations "that 80 percent ***** racial disproportionality in imprisonment is explained ***** differential participation by minority groups in criminal activity." (Mueller, Connelley, ***** Pingel, 2004) Yet Crutchfield, Bridges and Pitchford report that other researchers "have since refined the data ***** methods employed to yield estimates of 66%." (*****, Connelley, and Pingel, 2004) However, it is held by Mueller, ***** and Pingel that in order for research ***** be valid, that both of these factors must be taken into account. The ***** 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 ***** 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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