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
Homicide Seriousness Dyad
Monica B. Pinalez
Homicide seriousness dyad refers to the way in which courts have historically evaluated the seriousness of homicides committed by Blacks against Whites versus those committed by Whites against Blacks. This entry describes Guy Johnson's analysis of the impact of cultural and social factors, such as slavery and racial discrimination, on the seriousness with which homicides are perceived in the slave era and discrimination based on offender-victim characteristics. Next, the entry summarizes research by sociologist Darnell Hawkins on explanations for disproportionately high rates of homicide among African Americans. Hawkins points to situational, structural, and institutional factors that should be considered in understanding the causes of Black homicide. Slavery dehumanized African Americans in such a way that they were seen as subordinate individuals per the degradation of slavery. Blacks were unable to establish a stable family, stable economic organization, or a stable community life. Sociologist Guy Johnson, in 1941, argued that slavery ...