April 3, 2017
"Race, Plea, and Charge Reduction: An Assessment of Racial Disparities in the Plea Process"
With the growing recognition of the salience of prosecutorial discretion, attention to biases in the earlier phases of case processing is increasing. Still, few studies have considered the influence of defendant race and race/sex within the plea process. The present study uses a sample of felony cases to assess the influence of race and race/sex on the mode of disposition, similarities and differences in the factors that predict the likelihood of a plea across race, and potential racial disparities in the plea value received pertaining to a charge reduction.
The findings suggest that blacks, and black males in particular, are less likely to plea, and are expected to receive a lower value for their plea. Also, the factors that predict the likelihood of a plea are substantively different across race. Conditioning effects of race and sex are found in the likelihood of a plea and probabilities of a charge reduction.
April 3, 2017 at 09:42 PM | Permalink