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NCJ Number: 99720 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing Disparity - An Analysis of Judicial Consistency
Journal: Journal of Quanititative Criminology  Volume:1  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1985)  Pages:281-305
Author(s): P L Brantingham
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 25
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of sentencing disparity used data from legal aid cases in two Canadian communities in 1979 and 1980 to examine the relationship of case facts, system operational factors, judge characteristics, and offender characteristics on type and length of sentences.
Abstract: Analyses of data indicate that the major predictors of sentence type were case fact variables of the overall court proportion of individuals accused of a certain offense who received probation or a jail term and whether the defendant was in custody when the offense occurred. Prior record, aggravating and mitigating circumstances, and sex also were related, but not as strongly. Judge and system variables showed only a few, weak relations to sentence type. Four predictors were found to be significantly related to sentence length. These were case facts, offender characteristics, criminal career, and use of a weapon in committing the offense. Judge characteristics were a weak but significant predictor of sentence length. Thus, while results indicate that there is some disparity in sentencing resulting from idiosyncratic decisions of individual judges and random variation in sentencing across judges, the overall pattern of sentencing was fairly consistent. Included are 39 references.
Index Term(s): Canada; Court research; Judicial discretion; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing factors; Statistical analysis
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