‘Black people get longer sentences [US] than white people’

Custody Cellall credits: The Voice
published: 9th February 2012

African-American’s receive up to 60 percent longer prison sentences than their white counter parts, a new academic study has revealed. 

The research by M. Marit Rehavi of the University of British Columbia and Sonja B. Starr of the University of Michigan Law School, looked at 58,000 federal criminal cases and reportedly found ‘significant disparities’ in sentencing for black people and white people arrested for the same crimes.

It was also concluded that black defendants were given average sentences of 60 months, while the average for white defendants was only 38 months.

Speaking on their findings the researchers told allgov.com: “Black men were on average more than twice as likely to face a mandatory minimum charge as white men were, holding arrest offense as well as age and location constant.”

They added: “[The sentences] can be almost completely explained by three factors: the original arrest offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and the prosecutor’s initial choice of charges.”

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