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December 6, 2004

Fascinating and sobering evidence of sentencing discrimination

Colorado Law Professor William Pizzi has been kind enough to pass along and arrange for my posting a fascinating article he has co-written concerning the influence of Afro-centric features on sentences.  The article, which is due to be published in the Michigan Journal of Race and Law in the spring, details "a type of discrimination related to race that is taking place within racial categories, namely, discrimination on the basis of a person's Afro-centric features:"

By Afro-centric features, we mean those features that are perceived as typical of African Americans, e.g., darker skin, fuller lips, or a broader nose.  What our research found was that when one examines sentencing from this perspective, those inmates who have more pronounced Afro-centric features tend to receive longer sentences than others within their racial category who have less pronounced Afro-centric features.

If you are intrigued by this brief account of the piece (and how could you not be), you can download the full draft here:

Download pizzi_et_al_psych_draft_dec_2004.doc

December 6, 2004 at 04:31 PM | Permalink


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Hello, I am studying bias/discrimination in the courtroom, pertaing to minorities, women and the like.
Can anyone direct me to a statistic-based web site??

Posted by: Dave Mc | Nov 10, 2005 3:19:47 PM

Hi, I am a grad student and I'm actually researching discrimination in sentencing and minorities due to many believe there is a racial disparity, but not discrimination.
God Bless.

Posted by: Natasha | May 6, 2006 8:02:06 PM

We seem to have alot of same crime different sentences bases on who you are in our county.Right now my son is looking at prison for $400 and someone else was just sentence to 20days for $15,000.00. Is there some discrimination law for this?

Posted by: Linda | Jul 31, 2007 6:54:38 PM

sorry didn't realize you needed that information. I'm a working Mom. I do purchasing for an electrical contractor.

Posted by: Linda | Aug 1, 2007 10:50:27 AM

I am doing my research on my assignment in regards to the criminal procedure. I have chosen sentencing as its interested me much as how the courts impose sentencing on convictions. I am just a student doing study on law.

Posted by: Ruiti Uriano | Sep 23, 2008 10:53:40 PM

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