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NCJ Number: 41746 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: ALASKA FELONY SENTENCING PATTERNS - A MULTIVARIATE STATISTICAL ANALYSIS, 1974-1976 - PRELIMINARY REPORT
Author(s): S H CLARKE; G G KOCH; E M ANDREWS; C H ILIFF; L J MENENDEZ; M E WHITE; M L RUBINSTEIN
Corporate Author: Alaska Judicial Council
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 65
Sponsoring Agency: Alaska Criminal Justice Planning Agency
Juneau, AK 99801
Alaska Judicial Council
Anchorage, AK 99501
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE REPORT SUMMARIZES A STUDY OF ALASKA'S FELONY SENTENCING PATTERNS OCCURRING BETWEEN AUGUST 1, 1974 AND AUGUST 1, 1976.
Abstract: THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY, PERFORMED AT THE REQUEST OF THE ALASKA LEGISLATURE, WAS TO INVESTIGATE AND EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF JUDICIAL DECISIONMAKING PRACTICES ON THE LENGTH AND SEVERITY OF PENAL SANCTIONS. THE ANALYSTS SOUGHT TO IDENTIFY THOSE FACTS ABOUT CRIMES AND THE PERSONS WHO COMMITTED THEM WHICH MOST INFLUENCED THE LENGTHS OF THE SENTENCES THEY RECEIVED. IN ORDER TO DESCRIBE EXISTING SENTENCING PATTERNS AND ACCOMPLISH THEIR GOALS, THREE RESEARCH ATTORNEYS REVIEWED EVERY FELONY SENTENCE RENDERED IN ALASKA DURING THE STUDY YEARS, TOTALING OVER 860 FELONY COUNTS AGAINST 683 DEFENDANTS. TWO METHODS OF STATISTICAL ANALYSIS WERE USED: A ONE-WAY ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE AND MULTIPLE REGRESSION ANALYSIS. ONE FINDING WHICH SURVIVED BOTH METHODS OF STATISTICAL ANALYSIS AND WHICH APPLIED ACROSS ALL FIVE OFFENSE CLASSES THAT WERE USED WAS THAT 'STRICTNESS' OR 'LENIENCY' OF THE JUDGE WAS AN IMPORTANT DETERMINANT OF LENGTH OF SENTENCE, INDEPENDENT OF ANY OTHER FACTOR OR COMBINATION OF FACTORS. ANOTHER FINDING OF THE STUDY CONCERNED THE IMPACT ON SENTENCE LENGTH OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE BLACK RACE. AFTER TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE INDEPENDENT CONTRIBUTION OF ALL OTHER FACTORS IN THE STUDY, BEING BLACK IN AND OF ITSELF CONTRIBUTED AN ESTIMATED 11.9 MONTHS TO DRUG FELONY SENTENCES AND 6.5 MONTHS TO SENTENCES FOR CRIMES OF THEFT OR UNLAWFUL ENTRY. THIS INDEPENDENT 'BLACKNESS FACTOR' SURVIVED BOTH STATISTICAL TESTS AND WAS SHOWN TO INCREASE THE SEVERITY OF SENTENCES ENTIRELY ASIDE FROM SUCH CONSIDERATION AS EMPLOYMENT HISTORY, EDUCATION LEVEL, OCCUPATION, INCOME, PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY, AND PROBATION OR PAROLE STATUS. TABLES THAT LIST THE STATISTICAL DOCUMENTATION FOR THE REPORT ARE INCLUDED IN THE TEXT. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)...KAP
Index Term(s): Alaska; Decisionmaking; Discrimination; Dispositions; Felony; Incarceration; Judicial discretion; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing/Sanctions; Statistical analysis
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=41746

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