2 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2011 Last revised: 16 Jan 2014
Date Written: July 12, 2011
Many scholars over the years have claimed that there is race discrimination in the detention decision because more blacks are detained pretrial than whites charged with the same crimes. Studies suggest that judges‘ perceptions using stereotypes of minorities determine whether they deem a defendant dangerous, reliable, or blameworthy. Other studies explain that in pretrial decisions, blacks have been deemed more dangerous, more likely to recidivate and more violence prone, and have thus received less lenient decisions due in part to their race. However, few of these studies account for the inquiry imposed on judges in making decisions on defendants of various races. This paper examines the dangerousness inquiry that judges are tasked with to determine whether this is a source of bias. It considers whether racial bias enters into variations within counties, between specific judges, or with bail amounts set for defendants.
Keywords: Race, Pretrial Release
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