The continuing evolution of race and sentencing research and reviews of this research

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2 Scopus citations


This commentary is a reaction to Professor Franklin's review of the race and sentencing research. Franklin's review summarizes many key findings from five generations of race and sentencing research. The most central of which is that this body of research relatively consistently finds evidence of racial/ethnic disparities, disadvantaging African Americans and Hispanics, in sentencing. These disparities are generally small but grow in magnitude in certain contexts (e.g., when minority status is combined with employment status, gender and age). Yet, Franklin's review fails to mention some important contexts in which disparities are pronounced, most notably in drug offenses. The failure to mention such an important finding may be due to the review's narrative methodology—a methodology that is common in criminology but has several known shortcomings. Further, Professor Franklin's review does not offer a solution to the persistent problem of minority sentencing disparities. This commentary concludes with a proposed solution to this problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-31
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Race and sentencing
  • Racial discrimination
  • Sentencing
  • Systematic reviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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