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 ***** arrest, prosecutions ***** failures to 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 of the sentence imposed upon the defendant. The primary data systems in most states for collection of 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

The dependent variable in this study will be ***** race/ethnicity of the *****fender that has been sentenced 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 (if any)

***** age of the offender

The age of the victim

The injury to ***** victim

Prior convictions

Seriousness of disposition

Total current convictions

On probation

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

Private attorney

Guilty 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 and National Landscape" states: "In theory there ***** two types of factors that contribute to racial disparity: (1) differential participation (or involvement) in criminal activity; and (2) differential treatment by the ***** 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 percentage f *****ir members who commit crimes." On the ***** hand, ***** treatment describes "bias-whether intentional or overt, or circumstantial - re*****lected in the ways ***** actors in the criminal justice system (police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges) treat subjects of *****ent ***** groups." (Mueller, Connelley, and Pingel, 2004) Some researchers have attempted to quantify the difference between differential involvement and differential **********. Blumstein (**********) states calculations "that 80 percent ***** racial disproportionality in imprisonment is explained ***** differential ***** by minority groups in ***** activity." (*****, Connelley, ***** Pingel, *****) Yet Crutchfield, Bridges and Pitchford report that other ***** "have since refined the data ***** methods employed to yield estimates of 66%." (Mueller, Connelley, and Pingel, 2004) However, it is held ***** Mueller, ***** and ***** that in order for research ***** be valid, that both of these factors must be taken into account. The work of Oliver (2004) is related in which compar*****ons of incarceration rates and sentence lengths were used and subdivided by ***** 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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