☰ In this section

The Champion

May 2019 , Page 16 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Bias and the Remorse Discount

By M. Eve Hanan

The decision to credit a client’s remorse may make the difference in sentencing. While little research has been undertaken to document implicit racial bias in remorse assessments, a look at two areas of existing research — judicial assessments of remorse and implicit racial bias — points to a likelihood that judges unconsciously discount African American displays of remorse at sentencing.

Within the federal system from 2012 to 2016, black men received longer sentences than similarly situated white male offenders due to judicial departures from the Sentencing Guidelines.1 In other words, the racial disparity in prison sentences was a product of judicial discretion. While research on the effect of race at sentencing has produced conflicting results, recent studies demonstrate that Afrocentric features trigger implicit bias even if the fact of a racial designation, standing alone, does not result in a harsher sentence.2 A judge may be careful not to sentence black defendants more harshly t

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.
Advertisement Advertise with Us

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us