Criminal Sentencing in Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania
AbstractHow law is interpreted and enforced at a particular historical moment reflects contemporary social concerns and prejudices. This paper investigates the nature of criminal sentencing in mid-nineteenth-century Pennsylvania. It finds that extralegal factors, namely place of conviction and several personal characteristics, were important determinants of sentence length. The observed disparities in the mid-nineteenth century, however, are different than modern disparities. Instead of longer sentences, African Americans and recent immigrants tended to receive shorter sentences, whereas more affluent offenders received longer sentences. The results are consistent with other interpretations of the period as the "era of the common man."
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14283.
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Note: DAE LE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2008-09-05 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAW-2008-09-05 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2008-09-05 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Griswold, David B., 1987. "Deviation from sentencing guidelines: The issue of unwarranted disparity," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 317-329.
- Carolyn Moehling & Anne Morrison Piehl, 2007.
"Immigration and Crime in Early 20th Century America,"
NBER Working Papers
13576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carolyn Moehling & Anne Morrison Piehl, 2007. "Immigration and Crime in Early 20th Century America," Departmental Working Papers 200704, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher Ruebeck, 2007.
"Colourism and African–american wealth: evidence from the nineteenth-century south,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 599-620, July.
- Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher S. Ruebeck, 2005. "Colorism and African American Wealth: Evidence from the Nineteenth-Century South," NBER Working Papers 11732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995.
"Crime and Social Interactions,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996.
"Why Is There More Crime in Cities?,"
NBER Working Papers
5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why is There More Crime in Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1746, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Scott A. Carson, 2007. "Health during Industrialization: Evidence from the 19th Century Pennsylvania State Prison System," CESifo Working Paper Series 1975, CESifo Group Munich.
- Mustard, David B, 2001. "Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 285-314, April.
- Farmer, Amy & Terrell, Dek, 2001. "Crime versus Justice: Is There a Trade-Off?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 345-66, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.