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The Race Sentencing Effect


the Race Sentencing Effect

surely hides heterogeneity. Other studies have criticized various other aspects of the Sentencing Commissions Booker study and have reached different conclusions. We conduct tests to evaluate these problems, but we cannot erase the noise in the data or the complexity of the history. We think this is unlikely. Many released prisoners have difficulty transitioning back into societies and communities from state and federal prisons because the social environment of peers, family, community, and state level policies all impact prison reentry; the process of leaving prison or jail and returning to society. Plea agreements usually include factual stipulations, and, even though DOJ has long directed prosecutors not to bargain over these facts, many studies have documented the persistence of fact-bargaining. Here, the divergence from the trend in that one month far exceeds the noise found in the rest of the data, so we suspect that it is connected to Booker, but, nonetheless, it did not seem to last. The factors that could explain by far the largest components of the black-white gap were arrest offense and criminal history. The problem with the presumptive sentence control is compounded by a distinct source of potential bias that the existing literature has overwhelmingly failed to acknowledge: sample selection shaping the pool of sentenced cases. They concluded that officers were about 20 percent less likely to shoot black suspects.

It started when an African American man by the name of Marquette Fry was pulled over by the police for suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol, after which tension grew between onlookers and police officers fusing the resulting violence. Even with our approach, identifying Booker s effects is hard. Gender disparity need not be seen as being about special treatment of womenrather, one could ask why the criminal justice system appears to treat males so much more harshly. But these studies too have taken the sentencing-stage-only approach, controlling either for the presumptive sentence or for something closely related (the Guidelines base offense level and thus are subject to the same concern. These changes would only bias estimates of post- Booker changes to racialdisparity if they had a racially disparate impact on the presumptive sentence or on the composition of the sentenced sample.


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