Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=253712
 
 

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Racial, Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the US Federal Courts


David B. Mustard


University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); University of Georgia Law School

Undated


Abstract:     
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 education and low 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% of the black-white difference and 70% 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, more likely to receive upward adjustments, and conditioned on having a downward departure, receive smaller reductions than whites and females.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: Sentencing, federal courts, Sentencing Reform Act, Race, Gender, Disparities, US Sentencing Commission, sentencing guidelines

JEL Classification: K4

working papers series





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Date posted: December 11, 2000  

Suggested Citation

Mustard, David B., Racial, Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the US Federal Courts (Undated). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=253712 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.253712

Contact Information

David B. Mustard (Contact Author)
University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States
706-542-3624 (Phone)
706-542-3376 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.terry.uga.edu/~dmustard/
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
University of Georgia Law School
Athens, GA 30602
United States
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