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December 7, 2021

"'No idea whether he's Black, White, or purple': Colorblindness and cultural scripting in prosecution"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new research authored by R. R. Dunlea and just published in the journal Criminology.  Here is its abstract:

Prosecutors maintain immense power over criminal case processing.  Yet, they have not historically been a major target for reforms designed to foster equality and reduce racial disparity in criminal justice outcomes.  Using in-depth interviews with 47 line prosecutors, this study explores how prosecutors think about race in criminal justice, and what they believe their role should be in addressing racial disparities. 
Results show that prosecutors broadly embrace a colorblind approach to prosecution and argue that race should be disregarded in case processing.  Their support for colorblind prosecution is reinforced by race-neutral cultural scripts that can be linked to the social and operational realities of prosecutors’ work environment.  These findings suggest that efforts to improve fairness in case processing will be more effective if they are accompanied by widespread prosecutorial culture change.  Such efforts may also benefit from the consideration of structural features of the prosecutor's office that currently lead line agents to embrace colorblindness and reject a larger role in alleviating racial disparities.

December 7, 2021 at 03:30 PM | Permalink


I'm glad, in a sick sort of way, that the Left has become so unhinged and so unable to hear itself that it openly pushes considering race in deciding how to handle a case. The most charitable thing I can say about this is that it's poisonous and dangerous.

The way to end demographic disparities is to have each demographic group commit offenses at the same rate. Thus, if we want to end the massive disparity against males in charging and punishing sex crimes and crimes of violence, the way to do it is to have women commit these crimes as often as men do.

This is obviously preposterous. The reason the system produces unequal outcomes is that demographic groups commit different sorts of crimes at unequal rates. This is not something prosecutors can or should try to change by rigging cases to "adjust" racial statistics to satisfy the Woke crowd.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 7, 2021 5:44:47 PM

I've got to agree with Mr. Otis that this idea is incredibly poisonous. "Well, you see Mrs. Victim's Mother, our office policy is to give your daughter's rapist a break because he's black, and because you are as well." No matter how you polish that it's still a turd. Of course, even if not couched in such offensive language it seems that actual policy likely produces that particular result anyway.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Dec 8, 2021 3:35:19 PM

"Prosecutors maintain immense power over criminal case processing."

True and this is what desperately needs to be addressed.

"Yet, they have not historically been a major target for reforms designed to foster equality and reduce racial disparity in criminal justice outcomes."

Instead we get this Woke nonsense. How about the ridiculously hideous power of prosecutors??
Stop with the equality and racial disparity NONSENSE!!!!!

Posted by: restless94110 | Dec 8, 2021 4:34:41 PM

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