Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=890738
 
 

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How Elected Judges Respond to the Racial Composition of their Constituencies


Rey Hernández-Julián


Metropolitan State College of Denver

Aleksandar Tomic


Macon State College - Division of Business and Economics

March 2006


Abstract:     
We take advantage of the variation in the judicial selection system - some judges are appointed, while others are elected - to address how the racial composition of a district affects sentencing. We find that appointed and elected judges act differently, suggesting that bias in the way that the laws are written cannot explain the entire difference in sentencing between blacks and whites. We find that blacks are more likely to be incarcerated, and receive longer sentences, but this effect diminishes as the percentage of the population that is black rises for a black defendant facing an elected judge. A one standard deviation increase in blacks' share of county population is enough to obliterate the difference in sentence length.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: discrimination, judicial selection, sentencing

JEL Classification: J15, J7, K14, K41

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Date posted: March 20, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Hernández-Julián, Rey and Tomic, Aleksandar, How Elected Judges Respond to the Racial Composition of their Constituencies (March 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=890738 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.890738

Contact Information

Rey Hernandez-Julian (Contact Author)
Metropolitan State College of Denver ( email )
Denver, CO 80217
United States
Aleksandar Tomic
Macon State College - Division of Business and Economics ( email )
100 College Station Drive
Macon, GA 31206
United States
478-757-2675 (Phone)
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