Race, Prediction, and Pretrial Detention

30 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2013

See all articles by Frank McIntyre

Frank McIntyre

Amazon.com

Shima Baradaran Baughman

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2013

Abstract

This article uses the nationally representative State Court Processing Statistics on felony defendants to analyze how judges decide if defendants should be held pretrial. We find a large (11 percentage points) racial gap in hold rates within a county. Judicial decisions are significantly influenced by the probability that the defendant will be rearrested pretrial for a violent felony. Controlling for this probability causes the racial gap in hold rates to disappear. Bail amounts follow the same pattern. The most plausible sources of bias - mismeasurement of the control probabilities or selection bias - likely either do not matter or cause an upward bias.

Suggested Citation

McIntyre, Frank and Baughman, Shima Baradaran, Race, Prediction, and Pretrial Detention (December 2013). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 10, Issue 4, pp. 741-770, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2344526 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12026

Frank McIntyre (Contact Author)

Amazon.com ( email )

Seattle, WA 98144
United States

Shima Baradaran Baughman

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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