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 to 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 the charges levied against the defendant and the length ***** the sentence imposed upon the *****. The primary data systems in most states for collection of information on offenders are Department of Corrections ********** information ***** and the court systems case management systems database.

INDEPENDENT AND DEPENDENT VARIABLES

1. Dependent variable

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

2. Independent V*****riables

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

***** Length;

The crime committed;

The race of the victim (if any)

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

The gender of the victim (if any)

The age of the offender

The age of the victim

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

Prior convictions

Seriousness of disposition

***** current *****

On probation

Released on b*****d

Private attorney

***** plea

State/County/City ***** conviction

Offense type

Homicide

Rape

Robbery

*****

Class*****ication of Habitual Offender Assigned

***** 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, ***** treatment describes "bias-***** intentional or overt, or circumstantial - re*****lected in the ways ***** actors in the crim*****al justice system (police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges) treat subjects of *****ent demographic groups." (Mueller, Connelley, and Pingel, *****) Some *****ers have attempted to quantify the difference between differential ***** ***** differential treatment. Blumstein (1982) states calculations "that 80 percent ***** ***** disproportionality in imprisonment is explained ***** differential participation 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, *****) 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 ***** of Oliver (2004) is related in which compar*****ons of incarceration rates and sentence lengths were used ***** subdivided ***** race and type of crime to describe how observed racial disparity stems from 'factors' that include a combin*****tion of bias, real *****s in serious *****, social and political conditions.' Whether attributed

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