Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sentencing Disparities, African Americans
There is a voluminous literature that seeks to address the impact of defendant race on sentencing outcomes. Although the manner and extent to which defendant race impacts sentencing outcomes has changed over time, current empirical evidence confirms the persistence of racial disparities in certain sentencing contexts. Whereas the earliest research in this area revealed direct effects of defendant race on sentencing, more recent analyses highlight the complex relationships that exist among defendant race and other legally relevant predictors of sentencing. The entry examines disparities in sentencing outcomes that exist for African American defendants, with special consideration given to contemporary research in this area. Scholars have examined the effect of defendant race on sentencing for approximately 8 decades. A number of comprehensive reviews exist that summarize the important trends and findings in this vast literature. Several reviews confirm that the effect of defendant race has changed over this time period. Similarly, ...