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NCJ Number: 65685 Find in a Library
Title: DIFFERENTIAL SENTENCING PATTERNS AMONG CRIMINAL HOMICIDE OFFENDERS IN HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS
Author(s): L R SAN MARCO
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 303
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY COMPARES THE DISPOSITIONS OF ALL CASES OF CRIMINAL HOMICIDE REACHING THE GRAND JURY THAT WERE DISPOSED OF IN 1977 IN HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS.
Abstract: THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE IS THE FINAL DISPOSITION. INDEPENDENT VARIABLES ARE DIVIDED INTO FOUR CATEGORIES: SITUATIONAL, LEGAL, EXTRALEGAL, AND VARIABLES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE. STITUTIONAL FACTORS INCLUDE THE LOCATION AND TIME OF OFFENSE, WHETHER A WEAPON WAS PRESENT (IF SO, WHAT TYPE), WHETHER ALCOHOL WAS PRESENT IN EITHER VICTIM OR OFFENDER, MOTIVE, AND VICTIM-OFFENDER RELATIONSHIP. ANALYSIS OF EXTRALEGAL VARIABLES FOCUSES ON THE RACE, SEX, AGE, AND MARITAL STATUS OF BOTH VICTIM AND OFFENDER. LEGAL VARIABLES CONSIDERED INCLUDE PRIOR CRIMINAL RECORD, CRIMINAL STATUS OF OFFENDER, AND PRIOR COMMITMENTS TO PRISON. ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE VARIABLES INCLUDE TYPE OF OFFENSE, PRIOR CRIMINAL RECORD, TYPE OF ATTORNEY, PRETRIAL FREEDOM, PLEA, TYPE OF TRIAL, AND SENTENCING AUTHORITY. BASED ON LITERATURE REVIEWS, DISCUSSION FOCUSES ON THE FOLLOWING TOPICS: CRIMINAL HOMICIDE; SENTENCE DISPARITY; HISTORICAL PRESCRIPTIONS; EMPIRICAL STUDIES ON SENTENCING; SENTENCING OF HOMICIDE OFFENDERS; IMPACT OF ASCRIBED CHARACTERISTICS; IMPACT OF LEGAL VARIABLES; JUDICIAL BEHAVIOR; AND FUSION OF LEGAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, AND SITUATIONAL VARIABLES. MULTIPLE LINEAR REGRESSION ANALYSIS WAS USED TO ANALYZE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE AND THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLES. FINDINGS INDICATE THAT VARIABLES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE HAVE THE GREATEST EFFECT ON DISPOSITIONAL OUTCOMES. NUMBER OF DAYS BETWEEN OFFENSE AND DISPOSITION, PLEAS, AND TYPE OF LEGAL COUNSEL WERE THE MOST SALIENT FACTORS WHEN CONTROLLING FOR THE INTERACTION OF VARIABLES. THEREFORE, THE RESEARCHER RECOMMENDS THAT THE QUALITY OF LEGAL REPRESENTATION BE CRITICALLY ASSESSED, PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN RETAINED AND APPOINTED COUNSEL. APPENDIXES PRESENT THE DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT, INTERVIEWS WITH POLICE AND OFFICIAL PERSONNEL, AND LOCATIONS OF OFFENSE, (RESIDENCE OF OFFENDER, AND RESIDENCE OF VICTIM). STATISTICAL DATA AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE PROVIDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Dispositions; Homicide; Offender classification; Sentencing disparity; Texas
Note: SPECIAL PRICES FOR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS. SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY - DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65685

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