Men receive longer sentences for equivalent crimes.
This paper assesses gender disparities in federal criminal cases. It finds large gender gaps favoring women throughout the sentence length distribution (averaging over 60%), conditional on arrest offense, criminal history, and other pre-charge observables. Female arrestees are also significantly likelier to avoid charges and convictions entirely, and twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted. Prior studies have reported much smaller sentence gaps because they have ignored the role of charging, plea-bargaining, and sentencing fact-finding in producing sentences. Most studies control for endogenous severity measures that result from these earlier discretionary processes and use samples that have been winnowed by them. I avoid these problems by using a linked dataset tracing cases from arrest through sentencing. Using decomposition methods, I show that most sentence disparity arises from decisions at the earlier stages, and use the rich data to investigate causal theories for these gender gaps. [more inside]
posted by vapidave
on Dec 9, 2013 -
The Brain on Trial.
Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania." [more inside]
posted by Eideteker
on Jul 15, 2011 -
Former University of Pennsylvania professor and head of Penn's Head Injury Research Center Tracy McIntosh, a Fulbright scholar, and renowned researcher plead no contest in December to possession of a controlled substance and the sexual assault of a 25 year-old Penn student. Judge Rayford Means sentenced him to a year of house arrest and 12 years' probation
, as the Judge had "factored in McIntosh's important work with stroke victims and brain injuries."
Tracy McIntosh is too important for prison.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood
on Mar 5, 2005 -
The State of Virginia
(nyt) has provided judges with a checklist to determine whether or not nonviolent offenders should go to jail. 40 year old woman with a job and husband = no jail. 21 YO man without job or wife = see you in 3-5. Here are the official guidelines
(pdf) for sex offenders with a detailed explanation of the process.
posted by jmgorman
on Jan 2, 2005 -
this mefi story here
where a set of extremely abusive parents who abused their children into their teens were sentenced to only 9 months prison. A judge now deems that sentence "demonstrably unfit" and resentences the mother and father to 5 and 4 years in jail, respectively. Thanks to t r a c y for the update.
posted by shepd
on Nov 5, 2004 -
and equal treatment "under the law." (pun anyone?)
Outraged prosecutors said Thursday that they will appeal the sentence given to Edwin "Ed" Mann, a former Orlando Police Department sex-crimes detective, for having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old girl who had earlier dated his son.
Mann, a former leader in Cops for Christ, pleaded guilty last week to four felony charges resulting from an ongoing sexual relationship he had with the girl two years ago when he was a sex-crimes detective.
Do you think being "religious" and policeman merits special treatment from a judge?
posted by nofundy
on Nov 26, 2002 -
This is some scary stuff
Life in prison for malicious hacking? We can't keep rapists and murderers away from society for very long but now hackers & crackers could be jailed for life? And on top of that the FBI can monitor internet packets without a warrant?
If you enjoy your freedom from gov't surveillance, it looks like it's time to start using PGP
posted by mathowie
on Jul 16, 2002 -
Should punishments be "creative"?
Judge Michael Cicconett has sentenced a kid with a loud radio to sit quietly
in the woods, a man to
with a pig, at least one guy to run a race
to diminish his jail
sentence. Now Judge Michael Cicconetti is back in the news for sentencing a couple to print
in the local newspaper for their tryst on a public beach. These are rather inconsequential sentences for very minor crimes, but one might still ask: Does
creative sentencing seems intuitively more fair and/or effective, or does
it seem to leave justice up to the capriciousness of the judge
posted by sj
on Jul 1, 2002 -
Libyan gets minimum of 20 years for Lockerbie Bombing by Scottish Court.
Why are British courts handing out such tiny sentences? After all, in America it's not uncommon for people to receive 99 years for a single murder. Some people are doing over 10 years for rape alone. This Libyan could have easily received the death sentence if he were in the US, as it was similar in scale to the Oklahoma City bombing.
Yet, in the UK, it's possible to kill people through negligence, and get away with it. Just last month an uninsured driver was speeding, killed a pedestrian, fled the scene, and although found guilty, only received a driving ban!
Is the UK overly soft in its sentencing? Or is the USA overly draconian?
posted by wackybrit
on Jan 31, 2001 -
when headlines go bad, yet again.
this will be rotated off the site soon, i'm sure, but it was good for a chuckle:
American guilty of spying in Russia: Pope sentenced to 20 years in prison
posted by o2b
on Dec 6, 2000 -