Disparities between Jews and Arabs in the Israeli Criminal Law System
14 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2016
Date Written: December 1, 2015
English Abstract: The initial goal of the study was to examine the disparities between Jews and Arabs in the Israeli criminal law system over the period of 1996-2005. The study has produced several meaningful findings. First, Arab defendants are more likely to receive harsher penalties than their Jewish counterparts. The difference between Arabs and Jews is greater for prison than for suspended prison terms and greater for suspended prison terms than for fines. Second, the difference between the groups begins at the early pre-trial stage when a decision is taken as to whether to prosecute or to cancel the case. And third, once we distinguish between the type of penalty and its severity, it seems that the source of the difference lies in the decision concerning the type of penalty rather than its severity. Finally, there is no period effect: the year of the trial does not have any significant impact. Thus, the Intifada and its aftermath has not left any visible trace on the processes that we have examined. Generally speaking, these findings are consistent with former studies concerning the difference between the disposition of Arab and Jewish offenders in Israel.
Keywords: Equality in Punishment
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