Matching Items (6)

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Exploring Disparities in Women, Gender, and the Death Penalty

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This paper explores the issues regarding disparities in sentencing of men and women to death. Research conducted includes both primary and secondary. A variety of sources were used to gain

This paper explores the issues regarding disparities in sentencing of men and women to death. Research conducted includes both primary and secondary. A variety of sources were used to gain insight into societal gender differences and stereotypes. Theories were investigated for causes in gender discrepancies. Specific standards and factors were found to be relevant for men and others for women. The methods used to implement the death penalty, the constitutionality of the death penalty, and other various death penalty issues were studied to see if they had implications for the minimal number of women sentenced to death. Research indicated that the media had a significant influence in these cases, particularly in the cases where a female committed brutal murder. This paper examines these different elements, using Arizona as a test case, with four separate female case examples in order to determine what causes disparities in sentencing men and women to death. The case facts and analysis are given in each example. The conclusion is that the discrepancies found in sentencing men and women to death are ultimately based on cultural gender stereotypes that have been in place for some time, and are often exploited in the media.

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  • 2014-12

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Socio-Political Sentencing Reform Movements in 21st Century California: An analysis of gender injustice within the sentencing code

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Sentencing reform has been the subject of much debate in the 21st century and has resulted in a great deal of consternation in state and federal systems of government (Chesney-Lind,

Sentencing reform has been the subject of much debate in the 21st century and has resulted in a great deal of consternation in state and federal systems of government (Chesney-Lind, 2012). The public does not view incarceration as an important topic needing attention or requiring change, which makes invisible the needs and histories of prisoners as a consequence of not addressing them (Connor, 2001). Through an analysis of the spectrum of women’s crime, ranging from non-violent drug trafficking to homicide, I conclude within this paper that the criminal justice system was written as a male-oriented code of addressing crime, which has contributed to women being made into easier targets for arrest and female imprisonment at increasing rates for longer lengths of time.
In the last decade, California’s imprisoned population of women has increased by nearly 400% (Chesney-Lind, 2012). The focus of this thesis is to discuss the treatment—or lack thereof—of women within California’s criminal justice system and sentencing laws. By exploring its historical approach to two criminal actions related to women, the Three Strikes law (including non-violent drug crimes) and the absence of laws accounting for experiences of female victims of domestic violence who killed their abusers, I explore how California’s criminal code has marginalized women, and present a summary of the adverse effects brought about by the gender invisibility that is endemic within sentencing policies and practice. I also discuss recent attempted and successful reforms related to these issues, which evidence a shift toward social dialogue on sentencing aiming to address gender inequity in the sentencing code. These reforms were the result of activism; organizations, academics and individuals successfully raised awareness regarding excessive and undue sentencing of women and compelled action by the legislature.
By method of a feminist analysis of these histories, I explore these two pertinent issues in California; both are related to women who, under harsh sentencing laws, were incarcerated under the state’s male-focused legislation. Responses to the inequalities found in these laws included attempts toward both visibility for women and reform related to sentencing. I analyze the ontology of sentencing reform as it relates to activism in order to discuss the implications of further criminal code legislation, as well as the implications of the 2012 reforms in practice. Through the paper, I focus upon how women have become a target of arrest and long sentences not because they are strategically arrested to equalize their representation behind bars, but because the “tough on crime” framework in the criminal code cast a wide and fixed net that incarcerated increasingly more women following the codification of both mandatory minimums and a male-oriented approach to sentencing (Chesney-Lind et. al, 2012).

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Created

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  • 2013-05

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Sentencing disparities between male and female teacher sexual offenders: do male offenders receive harsher penalties in Arizona?

Description

The purpose of this preliminary study is to determine if sentencing disparities exist between male and female teachers who have been convicted of sexual misconduct with a student in Maricopa

The purpose of this preliminary study is to determine if sentencing disparities exist between male and female teachers who have been convicted of sexual misconduct with a student in Maricopa County, Arizona over a ten-year period. The hypothesis is that male teachers convicted of sexual misconduct with a student will receive harsher punishment than their female counterparts. In addition, this research will analyze the sentencing decisions of Arizona judges and prosecutors through plea-bargaining when compared with the presumptive sentence set by the Arizona Legislature. Issues that will be addressed include: a brief review of gender disparities in sentencing, sex offender sentencing, Arizona's rules of criminal procedure, and a review of the Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to sexual crimes as well as the Arizona Supreme Court sentencing guidelines. The data set consists of fifteen different Maricopa County teachers who committed a sexual offense against a student and were convicted of that offense from February 2000 through September 2009. According to the results of this study, male teachers do receive harsher penalties than their female counterparts within Maricopa County.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Prosecutorial discretion across federal sentencing reforms: immediate and enduring effects of unwarranted disparity

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Contemporary research has examined the relationship between determinate sentencing reforms and unwarranted punishment disparities in states and the federal criminal justice system. Recent investigations suggest that legal developments in federal

Contemporary research has examined the relationship between determinate sentencing reforms and unwarranted punishment disparities in states and the federal criminal justice system. Recent investigations suggest that legal developments in federal sentencing—namely, the High Court’s rulings in U.S. v. Booker (2005) and Gall/Kimbrough v. U.S. (2007) which rendered and subsequently reaffirmed the federal guidelines as advisory—have not altered disparities associated with imprisonment outcomes. Punishment disparities following Booker and Gall, particularly racial and ethnic disparities, have been linked to Assistant U.S. Attorneys’ (AUSAs) use of substantial assistance departures. What remains unanswered in the literature is whether the changes in AUSAs’ decision making following the landmark cases has enduring effects and whether the effects are conditioned by defendants’ race/ethnicity and the type of case (guidelines cases or mandatory minimum cases), and whether the use of substantial assistance varies across U.S. District Courts.

Accordingly, these questions are examined using sentencing data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, coupled with data from the National Judicial Center, U.S. Census Bureau, Uniform Crime Reports, and Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. This study looks at 465,476 defendants convicted from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2010 across 89 federal districts. A series of multilevel discontinuity regression models are estimated to assess the short-term and long-term effects of the Booker and Gall/Kimbrough decisions on AUSAs’ use of substantial assistance departures, accounting for contextual differences between federal district courts.

The results show that AUSAs are less likely to seek motions for substantial assistance immediately and in the long term in the post-Booker period but are more likely to seek substantial assistance in the long term in the post-Gall/Kimbrough period. These effects, however, are restricted to the models that include all cases and guidelines cases. The interaction models show that Hispanic defendants facing a mandatory minimum sentence are less likely to receive a substantial assistance departure immediately and in the long term following the Court’s Booker decision. Moreover, the use of substantial assistance varies across federal districts. The results are discussed in relation to their implications for theory, courts and sentencing policy, and future research on punishment outcomes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Assessing Cumulative Disadvantage against Minority Female Defendants in State Courts

Description

Prior sentencing research, especially research on cumulative disadvantage, has mainly focused on the treatment of male defendants, and little attention has been paid to female defendants, especially minority female defendants.

Prior sentencing research, especially research on cumulative disadvantage, has mainly focused on the treatment of male defendants, and little attention has been paid to female defendants, especially minority female defendants. Drawing on the intersectional vulnerability and focal concerns perspectives, the current study emphasizes the need to examine disparity in sentencing through an intersectional lens and across multiple decision-making points. Using the State Court Processing Statistics dataset (SCPS) from 1990-2009, this paper investigates the impact that race/ethnicity has for female defendants across individual and successive stages in the sentencing process. The results suggest that race operates through direct and indirect pathways to cause lengthier sentences for Black female defendants compared to White female defendants, thus providing evidence of cumulative disadvantage against Black female defendants. Theoretical, research, and policy implications will be discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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We have got enough criminals in the United States without importing any: an examination of the influence of citizenship status, legal status, and national origin among Latino subgroups in federal sentencing outcomes

Description

The study of non-U.S. citizens in criminal justice system outcomes has often been neglected in the sentencing literature. When citizenship is considered, there are generally no distinctions made within this

The study of non-U.S. citizens in criminal justice system outcomes has often been neglected in the sentencing literature. When citizenship is considered, there are generally no distinctions made within this group. The research fails to consider differences according to legal status, race/ethnicity, nationality and other distinctive markers that might play a role in sentencing outcomes. Using federal sentencing data collected by the United States Sentencing Commission for fiscal year 2006 through fiscal year 2008, this study examines the effect of offender citizenship status, legal status, and national origin on the likelihood of imprisonment and length of imprisonment for offenders convicted of drug offenses. The current study considers differences among foreign-born and Latino immigrant subgroups (e.g., Colombian, Cuban, Dominican, and Mexican nationals). The key findings in this dissertation include: (1) non-U.S. citizens have greater odds of imprisonment than U.S. citizens. However, non-U.S. citizen offenders receive significantly shorter prison terms relative to U.S. citizen offenders; (2) undocumented immigrants are more likely to be incarcerated compared to similarly situated authorized immigrants and U.S. citizens. However, legal status does not have an effect on sentence length; and (3) with respect to national origin, Mexican nationals are significantly more likely than Colombians to be incarcerated and are given significantly longer prison sentences than Dominican nationals. The implications of these findings and future research are addressed in the concluding chapter.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013