Racial and Sex Disparities in Prison Sentences: The Effect of District-Level Judicial Demographics
This paper estimates the effect of judicial characteristics (political affiliation, race, and sex) on federal criminal sentencing using variation in judicial characteristics at the district level. The results suggest that judgesâ€™ race and sex have little influence on prison sentences in general but do affect racial and sex disparities. For serious offenses, increasing the proportion of female judges in a district decreases the sex disparity. I interpret this as evidence of a paternalistic bias among male judges that favors female offenders. The racial composition of the bench has mixed effects that are open to different interpretations. Finally, there is little evidence that the political composition of the district affects sentencing disparities.
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- Smith, Joseph L & Tiller, Emerson H, 2002. "The Strategy of Judging: Evidence from Administrative Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 61-82, January.
- LaCasse, Chantale & Payne, A Abigail, 1999. "Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Do Defendants Bargain in the Shadow of the Judge?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 245-69, April.
- 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.
- Richard T. Boylan, 2004. "Do the Sentencing Guidelines Influence the Retirement Decisions of Federal Judges?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 231-253, 01.
- Anderson, James M & Kling, Jeffrey R & Stith, Kate, 1999.
"Measuring Interjedge Sentencing Disparity: Before and After the Federal Sentencing Guidelines,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 271-307, April.
- Anderson, J.M. & Kling, J.R. & Stith, K., 1999. "Measuring Inter-Judge Sentencing Disparity Before and After the Federal Sentencing Guidelines," Papers 207, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Ashenfelter, Orley & Eisenberg, Theodore & Schwab, Stewart J, 1995. "Politics and the Judiciary: The Influence of Judicial Background on Case Outcomes," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 257-81, June.
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