The interaction of race, gender, and age in criminal sentencing: The punishment cost of being young, black, and male

  title={The interaction of race, gender, and age in criminal sentencing: The punishment cost of being young, black, and male},
  author={Darrell Steffensmeier and Jeffery T. Ulmer and John H. Kramer},
Prior theory and research on sentencing oversimplify the role of race, gender and age in judicial decision making. In this article we present a “focal concerns” theory of judicial decision making to frame hypotheses regarding the effects on sentencing of these social statuses, both singly and in combination. Analyzing statewide sentencing outcomes in Pennsylvania for 1989–1992, we find that, net of controls: (1) young black males are sentenced more harshly than any other group, (2) race is most… 

Tables from this paper

The Independent and Joint Effects of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age on Sentencing Outcomes in U.S. Federal Courts

Using data compiled by the United States Sentencing Commission, we examine the independent and joint effects of race/ethnicity, gender, and age on sentencing decisions in U.S. federal courts. We find

The Joint Effects of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Age on the Incarceration and Sentence Length Decisions

The current study adds to the literature examining the effects of race, ethnicity, gender, and age on sentencing decisions. The results indicate that Black and male defendants were more likely to be

Who is Punished More Harshly in Federal Court? The Interaction of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Age, and Employment Status in the Sentencing of Drug Offenders

Recent studies of sentencing under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines suggest that unwarranted disparity has been reduced, but not eliminated. A number of studies conclude that legally irrelevant

The Effects of the Offender's Race, Ethnicity, and Sex on Federal Sentencing Outcomes in the Guidelines Era

I INTRODUCTION Social scientists have conducted dozens of studies designed to untangle the relationship between race and sentence severity. (1) In fact, this issue "may well have been the major

The Joint Effects of Gender and Race/Ethnicity on Sentencing Outcomes in Federal Courts

Using data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the present study examines the interaction effects of gender and race/ethnicity on sentencing outcomes of male and female offenders in federal courts.

Citizenship, Legal Status, and Federal Sentencing Outcomes: Examining the Moderating Effects of Age, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity

ABSTRACT Research has yet to fully investigate whether the effects of citizenship and legal status are moderated by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. This is a significant oversight because negative

Does Gender Modify the Effects of Race–ethnicity on Criminal Sanctioning? Sentences for Male and Female White, Black, and Hispanic Defendants

Using data from large urban courts for the years 1990–1996 and drawing from the “focal concerns” framework on case-process decision making, we examine the main and interactive effects of gender and

Intersectionality of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Age on Criminal Punishment

Race, ethnicity, gender, and age are core foci within sociology and law/criminology. Also prominent is how these statuses intersect to affect behavioral outcomes, but statistical studies of

Sentencing other people’s children: the intersection of race, gender, and juvenility in the adult criminal court

ABSTRACT In light of the punitive transformation of the juvenile justice system in recent years, several scholars have explored disparities in criminal punishments between adult offenders and

The Impact of Race, Gender, and Age on the Pretrial Decision

The results indicate that females and younger defendants were less likely to be detained and race was significant for females, with Black females being the least likely to being detained.



Sex effects and sentencing: An analysis of the statistical literature

We analyze the statistical literature on gender and sentencing to determine whether findings of “sex effects” favoring women are related to the statistical procedures used, to court contexts and

The Impact of Gender-Based Family Roles on Criminal Sentencing

Recent perspectives on gender differences in sanctioning link differential outcomes to variation in gender based family roles via informal control, familial paternalism, and functional type-scripts.

Discrimination in the Criminal Courts: Family, Gender, and the Problem of Equal Treatment

"Sex effects"-favoring women-typically found in criminal court pretrial release and sentencing outcomes have not been satisfactorily explained. Drawing on ob- servational studies and interviews

Assessing the Impact of the Women's Movement on Sex-Based Differences in the Handling of Adult Criminal Defendants

The purpose of this report is to evaluate the argument that, with changes in sex roles and the contemporary women's movement, sex differences in the handling of criminal defendants are diminishing.

Gender, crime, and punishment

Are men and women who are prosecuted for similar crimes punished differently? If it is true, as is commonly assumed, that women are sentenced more leniently than men, does this tendency vary by class

Racial Discrimination in Criminal Sentencing: A Critical Evaluation of the Evidence with Additional Evidence on the Death Penalty.

Reevaluation of published research on racial bias in criminal sentencing and of data on execution rates by race from 1930 to 1967 and on death-sentencing rates from 1967 to 1978 indicates that,

Extra-Legal Factors in Chicago's Criminal Courts: Testing The Conflict Model of Criminal Justice

Recently several researchers using empirical evidence have tested the conflict model of criminal sanctioning. In this paper we develop a theoretical model which embodies propositions derived from the

Changing Conceptions of Race: Toward an Account of Anomalous Findings of Sentencing Research

Theories based on static and simplistic conceptions of the social significance of race fail to account for anomalous research findings and confuse our understanding of race-related outcomes. To

The Sentencing Decisions of Black and White Judges: Expected and Unexpected Similarities

Those who champion the representation of blacks on the bench argue that black judges may make a difference. Indeed, some suggest that increasing the proportion of black judges might result in more

Variables Affecting Guilty Pleas and Convictions in Rape Cases: Toward a Social Theory of Rape Processing

Previous research on reactions to rape has been flawed by methodological and theoretical problems that have prevented a reliable assessment of detenninants. I argue that the likelihood of convictions