Blacks and Latinos sent to prison in Massachusetts receive longer sentences than their White counterparts sentenced for similar crimes, says a new report by Harvard Law School researchers.
- “White people make up roughly 74% of the Massachusetts population while accounting for 58.7% van sake in our data. Intussen, Black people make up just 6.5% of the Massachusetts population and account for 17.1% van sake. Latinx people are similarly overrepresented, making up 8.7% of the Massachusetts population maar 18.3% of the cases in the sample.”
- A report on the Boston Police Department van 2007 aan 2010 gevind dat Black people — who represent 24% of the city’s population — accounted for 63% of people interrogated, stopped, frisked or searched. Latinos make up 12% of the population but were subjected to 18% of those encounters. “The disparity in searches was more consistent with racial bias than with differences in criminal conduct,” the Harvard researchers wrote.
- Black people ontvang sentences an average of 168 days longer en Latinos an average of 148 days longer than their White counterparts.
- Black and Latino people ontvang more serious initial charges than White defendants, negating possible plea deals and exposing them to longer sentences.
- “The penalty in incarceration length is largest for drug and weapons charges, offenses that carry longstanding racialized stigmas. We believe that this evidence is consistent with racially disparate initial charging practices leading to weaker initial positions in the plea bargaining process for Black defendants, which then translate into longer incarceration sentences for similar offenses.”
- “Black and Latinx people is more likely to have their cases resolved in Superior Court where the available sentences are longer, both because they are more likely to receive charges for which the Superior Court exercises exclusive jurisdiction and because prosecutors are more likely to exercise their discretion to bring their cases in Superior Court instead of District Court…”