Federal Study: Race Gap in Sentencing Persists

African-American male offenders receive sentences averaging 19.1 percent longer than white males—a gap that has largely remained unchanged since the U.S. Sentencing Commission began studying the issue in 2010. In its third report on the demographic factors affecting sentencing outcomes, the USSC also said females received shorter prison sentences than males.

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The ‘Double-Edged Sword’ of the Insanity Defense

A Vanderbilt Law School professor says evidence of mental impairment could be a useful tool in a reformed justice system that focused on rehabilitation rather than blame. But, he argues in a recent study, under the current system, neuroscience can be used by both prosecutors and defense, and has only limited value in assessing guilt.


Double Blind: Preventing Eyewitness Error

About 70 percent of the roughly 350 inmates exonerated by DNA evidence were convicted based in part, or in whole, on eyewitness testimony. A Philadelphia conference explores why witnesses get it wrong so often—and how to fix it.

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'Baby Steps' Toward Open Courtrooms?

The public wants more access to the judicial system. In the past few years, states have responded by allowing more cameras into more courtroom proceedings. But federal courts have been slower to make change. Following our story last week, “Cameras and 'Making a Murderer”, The Crime Report asked readers: “Should cameras be given unrestricted access to all phases of a courtroom trial . . . Want to read more? Please subscribe to The Crime Report!


High Court Juvenile Life Sentence Ruling Could Affect 1,500 Inmates

Attorneys who specialize in juvenile justice called yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on life sentences for those who committed crimes as teens “potentially sweeping” but warned that resentencing hearings were far from a sure path to freedom, reports the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. The court ruled, 6 to 3, in Montgomery v. Louisiana that prisoners serving mandatory life sentences without parole for murders they committed as juveniles should have a chance at release via a resentencing hearing. Though parole boards will […]