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University of Michigan Law School

Empirical studies

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Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

Mandatory Sentencing And Racial Disparity, Assessing The Role Of Prosecutors And The Effects Of Booker, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

This Article presents new empirical evidence concerning the effects of United States v. Booker, which loosened the formerly mandatory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, on racial disparities in federal criminal cases. Two serious limitations pervade existing empirical literature on sentencing disparities. First, studies focus on sentencing in isolation, controlling for the “presumptive sentence” or similar measures that themselves result from discretionary charging, plea-bargaining, and fact-finding processes. Any disparities in these earlier processes are excluded from the resulting sentence-disparity estimates. Our research has shown that this exclusion matters: pre-sentencing decision-making can have substantial sentence-disparity consequences. Second, existing studies have used loose causal ...


On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Jan 2013

On Estimating Disparity And Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply To The U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

In this Essay, Professors Starr and Rehavi respond to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s empirical staff’s criticisms of their recent article, which found, contrary to the Commission’s prior work, no evidence that racial disparity in sentences increased in response to United States v. Booker. As Starr and Rehavi suggest, their differences with the Commission perhaps relate to differing objectives. The Commission staff’s reply expresses a lack of interest in identifying Booker’s causal effects; in contrast, that is Starr and Rehavi’s central objective. In addition, Starr and Rehavi’s approach also accounts for disparities arising ...


Toward An Understanding Of Judicial Diversity In American Courts, Barbara L. Graham Jan 2004

Toward An Understanding Of Judicial Diversity In American Courts, Barbara L. Graham

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Part I of this Article explores the utility of descriptive representation as an important concept in understanding why judicial diversity matters from a political perspective. Part II begins an empirical examination of judicial diversity at the federal level while Part III presents an analysis of state court diversity. The data presented in Parts II and III indicate that judges of color are underrepresented at all levels of the federal and state court systems and that particular racial and ethnic groups are virtually excluded from federal and state benches. The conclusion argues that the data presented in this Article support a ...


Aftermath Of Apprehension: Juvenile Court Judge's Response, John P. Steketee Dec 1969

Aftermath Of Apprehension: Juvenile Court Judge's Response, John P. Steketee

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

It would appear that juveniles find apprehension to be a reinforcement of their delinquent behavior. Being apprehended and questioned by the police, referred to juvenile court, meeting a probation officer, and going before a judge, not to mention the status one gains in one's group from police and/or court contact, can be a very significant chain of events for many adolescents who have never known the excitement of personal recognition by parents, school officials or even friends. For the first time, they are recognized and listened to, albeit for the wrong reasons. The attention need not be positive ...