SAGE Journal Articles

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Franklin, T. W., & Fearn, N. E. (2010). Sentencing Asian offenders in state courts: The influence of a prevalent stereotype. Crime & Delinquency, 61, 96–120.

A significant body of literature has developed to explain the controversial issue of sentencing disparity among various racial/ethnic groups. According to the focal concerns perspective, judges may rely on race-based stereotypes, among other factors, in reaching sentencing outcomes. This contention has received support by the empirical literature when examining sentencing differences that emerge between similarly situated White, Black, and Hispanic offenders. Unfortunately, very little research has addressed the relative treatment of Asian offenders to determine whether stereotypes that commonly target these individuals--particularly the “model minority” stereotype--emerge as a potential extralegal factor in judicial sentencing decisions. To address this shortcoming, the current study employs a large sample of offenders processed by state courts to examine the sentencing of Asians relative to White, Black, and Hispanic offenders. Findings are consistent with a focal concerns/model minority perspective and indicate that Asians are, in fact, treated more leniently than other racial/ethnic groups at the incarceration decision. This extralegal disparity, however, does not emerge during the sentence length decision. Implications for theory, policy, and future research are discussed.

Tang, C. M., Nunez, N., & Bourgeois, M. (2009). Effects of trial venue and pretrial bias on the evaluation of juvenile defendants. Criminal Justice Review, 34(2)210–225.

This research examines how the public evaluates juvenile defendants tried in different venues and whether participants with different pretrial dispositions evaluate these juvenile defendants differently. In Study 1, 144 undergraduate students judge juveniles tried as adults more harshly than adult defendants or juveniles who were tried in the juvenile court. Prosecution-biased participants judge all defendants more harshly than defense-biased participants. In Study 2, 123 community residents are recruited. Findings of Study 1 are largely replicated. In addition, defense-biased participants are more likely than prosecution-biased participants to endorse the wayward youth stereotype instead of the superpredator stereotype of juvenile defendants. Implications for juvenile justice and further research on the evaluation of juvenile defendants and pretrial bias are discussed.

Nogueira de Melo, S., Pereira, D. V., Andresen, M. A., & Matias, L. F. (2017). Spatial/temporal variations in crime: A routine activity theory perspective. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Prepublished April 12, 2017. doi:10.1177/0306624X17703654

Temporal and spatial patterns of crime in Campinas, Brazil, are analyzed considering the relevance of routine activity theory in a Latin American context. We use geo-referenced criminal event data, 2010-2013, analyzing spatial patterns using census tracts and temporal patterns considering seasons, months, days, and hours. Our analyses include difference in means tests, count-based regression models, and Kulldorff’s scan test. We find that crime in Campinas, Brazil, exhibits both temporal and spatial-temporal patterns. However, the presence of these patterns at the different temporal scales varies by crime type. Specifically, not all crime types have statistically significant temporal patterns at all scales of analysis. As such, routine activity theory works well to explain temporal and spatial-temporal patterns of crime in Campinas, Brazil. However, local knowledge of Brazilian culture is necessary for understanding a portion of these crime patterns.

Rodriguez, N. (2003). The impact of “strikes” in sentencing decisions: Punishment for only some habitual offenders. Criminal Justice Policy Review14, 106–127.

Sentencing research has continued to address how legal and extralegal variables influence sentencing decisions. However, little attention has been given to how the implementation of habitual offender laws has influenced the sentencing of repeat, violent offenders. In this study, criminal history record and prior strike offenses are used to measure sentence length of convicted felony offenders in Washington State. By using both additive and interactive models, findings show that the influence of criminal history record and prior strikes on sentencing decisions is indirectly related to offense type (i.e., person, property, sex, and drug cases). Findings shed light on the various measures of prior record and their role in sentencing research.