Convicting and sentencing differences among black, hispanic, and white males in six localities

Susan Welch, Cassia Spohn, John Gruhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The many studies examining differences in convicting and sentencing black, Hispanic, and white defendants have not led to solid generalizations about the treatment of these defendants because the studies have been done at different times and with different methodologies. This study ex­amines differences in convicting and sentencing male defendants in six lo­calities, at the same time and with the same methodology. It concludes that discrimination is directed against blacks and is manifested in incarcer­ation rates. The exact source of this discrimination is not identical in all cities. In some, it seems to occur because whites get better plea bargains than blacks; in others, it is due to the different rates of guilty pleas by black and whites. Overall, there is less evidence of discrimination in cases where a trial is held than in those where a guilty plea is entered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1985


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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