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The Racial Disparity Iceburg

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Nicole Oehmen

on 6 April 2015

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Transcript of The Racial Disparity Iceburg

Law and Society
Racial Disparity Iceberg
Judicial Discretion

"The Zimmerman Mindset" by Michelle Alexander

What happened in Ferguson, MO?
Differential Policing
Black boys and men seen as dangerous and a problem (Ferguson 2001; Alexander 2012)

Parties involved: Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager and white police officer Darren Wilson

Details of the case

Problems with the grand jury

Deptartment of Justice report

Are we criminalizing drugs or people?
Different Rules
According to conflict perspective,

Cocaine &

were all eventually criminalized

NOT due to a study of their

"Race and Prosecutorial Discretion in Homicide Cases" by Michael Radelet and Glenn Pierce
Prosecutorial Discretion
What do they want do do?


Past research?

What's missing?

This study's focus?

Main Findings?

BUT due to perceived
economic threat

the creation of a criminal class of USERS
"Ethnicity and Sentencing Outcomes in U.S. Federal Courts: Who is Punished More Harshly?" by Darrell Steffensmeier and Stephen Demuth
Shortcomings of past research?
Main Findings?
Full transcript