State courts unfair to men, minorities, UW study alleges
Thursday, February 26, 2009
- Organization: Seattle Times Recorder
The study, conducted on behalf of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission, found that Hispanic defendants are given significantly higher fees and fines than white defendants. It also found that defendants who take their cases to trial instead of pleading guilty face steeper fines.
"Our findings show that some people convicted of similar offenses face very different sentencing outcomes, not on the length of confinement but on the financial side," said Katherine Beckett, an associate sociology professor at UW. "It's a huge financial obligation to possess."