Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts
David Mustard ()
Journal of Law and Economics, 2001, vol. 44, issue 1, 285-314
This paper examines 77,236 federal offenders sentenced under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 and concludes the following. First, after controlling for extensive criminological, demographic, and socioeconomic variables, I found that blacks, males, and offenders with low levels of education and income receive substantially longer sentences. Second, disparities are primarily generated by departures from the guidelines, rather than differential sentencing within the guidelines. Departures produce about 55 percent of the black-white difference and 70 percent of the male-female difference. Third, although black-white disparities occur across offenses, the largest differences are for drug trafficking. The Hispanic-white disparity is generated primarily by those convicted of drug trafficking and firearm possession/trafficking. Last, blacks and males are also less likely to get no prison term when that option is available; less likely to receive downward departures; and more likely to receive upward adjustments and, conditioned on having a downward departure, receive smaller reductions than whites and females. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (86) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:44:y:2001:i:1:p:285-314
Access Statistics for this article
More articles in Journal of Law and Economics from University of Chicago Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Journals Division ().