Sentencing disparity summary


CJS/221: Cultural Diversity In Criminal Justice

Wk 3 – Sentencing Disparity Summary [due Mon]

Wk 3 – Sentencing Disparity Summary [due Mon]

Assignment Content

In your role as a criminal justice professional, you may need to participate in courtroom proceedings. Having a clear understanding of racial and ethnic issues that can occur in the courts will help you identify common disparities and biases that may impede justice.
Research a high-profile criminal trial in the United States with a clear sentencing disparity. Select 1 of the cases below to address in your assignment.

Brock Turner

Elijah Manuel

Duane Buck

Marcus Robinson

Leonard Allen Cure

Other, with faculty member approval

Write a 525- to 700-word summary in which you identify racial and ethnic issues related to sentencing in a high-profile criminal trial.
Audience: Develop your assignment from the perspective of a criminal justice professional who is part of a coalition comprised of criminal justice professionals, community members, and criminal justice advocates interested in advocating for change in criminal justice. You have been asked to research and explain your findings on sentencing disparities in the court system. You will use your summary as your guide when speaking at the next coalition meeting.
Include the following in your summary:

  1. Summarize the case. What were the criminal charges against the defendant? Consider these guiding questions:

What were some key pieces of evidence presented in the trial?

What were some of the legal arguments presented by the prosecution and defense teams?

What was the verdict and what sentence did the judge give the defendant?

Identify some issues with the case related to racial or ethnic disparity/disparities. Consider these guiding questions:

If the defendant was a person of color, how were they treated unfairly in sentencing?

If the defendant was not a person of color, how might the sentence they received highlight the unfair sentencing of individuals from diverse backgrounds?

  • What systemic issues in criminal justice may have contributed to the disparity/disparities?
  • What role might the judge, prosecutor, or defense attorney have played in contributing to the disparity/disparities?
  • Review the sentencing strategies presented in Ch. 6, “Sentencing” of Race and Crime. Explain which sentencing strategy you believe is the most effective in reducing disparity for individuals of diverse backgrounds. Justify your response.

Sentencing disparity summary

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