The US Sentencing Commission found that black offenders constituted the majority (51.2 percent) of federal offenders who received a seldom-used penalty enhancement for drug offenses, followed by white offenders (24.3 percent), and Hispanic offenders (22.5 percent).
A forthcoming study argues that putting sentencing authority in the hands of impartial judges will curb prosecutors’ “unfettered” power to force poor defendants to plead guilty or face trial. The study authors propose a more transparent system, similar to Australia’s, which automatically reduces a sentence by fixed percentages if the accused elects to go to trial.
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.
The disgraced former congressman from New York City will serve prison time for sending sexual messages to a 15-year-old girl. He had pleaded guilty to transmitting obscene material to a minor and was hoping for probation to deal with a self-described “sickness.”
An examination of 10,000 San Francisco criminal cases by the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice found that race and ethnicity influence how long an individual is held in custody before trial, as well as the severity of the charges.
The US Sentencing Commission’s quarterly report shows a decrease in the total number of criminal cases since 2016, despite a slight uptick in the last quarter which appears to be driven by immigration offenses. Immigration and drug crimes made up over 62% of federal criminal cases in the U.S. between October 2016 and March 2017, with firearms offenses a distant second at 11.8%.
Retired Federal Judge Schira Scheindlin has said mandatory-minimum requirements made her feel “dirty.” Other judges have joined the chorus of justice reformers who complain rigorous sentencing guidelines are unfair. But are they addressing the wrong problem?
Munir Abdulkader will be sentenced this week for plotting to attack a Cincinnati police station. His parents thought he was on track for a career as a chemist. But he secretly grew obsessed with martyrdom by murder.
The effectiveness of the state’s “smart on crime approach” is questioned by Real Clear Policy’s Sean Kennedy as violent crime rises in Texas’ largest cities. Spending cuts are seen as affecting ability to keep deserving individuals behind bars and to monitor those who are released.