Tuesday, September 15, 2009

S is for Statistics

Back in 2006, I posted a review of sentencing of men vs women by our courts entitled H is for Happy (it was the New Year). I like sentencing stats - they reflect the actual functioning of the courts, and hint to us at the injustices that might be happening in other parts of the process.

My intent was to discover if the evidence of our eyes was true, and if women in general were getting a whole different kind of justice when they went to court.

The numbers were shocking - across the board, women were recieving much shorter sentences - about 40% shorter than what was doled out to men. And it of course leads you to wonder what kind of biases are occuring in the arrest, trial and probation phases.

Well, I thought it was time to re-visit this question, and I found a nifty and huge government database to work against:

United States Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Federal Justice Statistics Program: Defendants Sentenced Under the Sentencing Reform Act, 2007 [United States] [Computer file]. ICPSR24232-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-02-23. doi:10.3886/ICPSR24232

Apparently they turn one of these out every year or did up to '07. You can download your copy here, (registration required) but the dataset is kind of large, and unless you have a recent copy of excel and/or are pretty good with databases, this isn't fun. Happily, I love this kind of thing and so:

I took the data, which is at an individual level, and first determined the average sentence length by gender: The average woman was sentenced to a 59% shorter sentence than the average man, with the average sentence (across all offenses) for a man being 57 months, and the average sentence for a woman being 23 months.

If men and women are really committing the same crimes, this already givs us significant evidence of bias, but let's compare apples with apples. The database gives us the primary offense, and we can break the data down by that:

The following list outlines, per the data that you can download and work with yourself, the percentages less (or more) that women are sentenced for the exact same crime as men:

51% 1 Murder
43% 2 Manslaughter
37% 3 Kidnapping/Hostage
68% 4 Sexual Abuse
34% 5 Assault
57% 6 Bank Robbery
24% 9 Arson
47% 10 Drugs: Trafficking
50% 11 Drugs: Communicatn facilities
81% 12 Drugs: Simple possession
54% 13 Firearms: Use & possess
(21%) 15 Burg/Breaking & Entering
14% 16 Auto Theft
57% 17 Larceny
45% 18 Fraud
46% 19 Embezzlement
49% 20 Forgery/Counterfeiting
40% 21 Bribery
14% 22 Tax offenses
40% 23 Money laundering
62% 24 Racktring (includes extortion)
100% 25 Gambling/Lottery
41% 26 Civil rights offenses
51% 27 Immigration
43% 28 Pornography/Prostitution
32% 29 Offenses in prisons
60% 30 Administration of justice
117% 31 Environmental offenses
34% 32 National defense offenses
100% 33 Antitrust violations
(253%) 34 Food and drug offenses
63% 35 Traffic violations

And now it is possible to calculate how much less, on average, by crime, a woman is sentenced to than a man: 40%. Note that there are only two (2) areas in which women's sentences exceed men's.

Now perhaps the sentences being meted out to women are appropriate, and those given to men are out of line. With this nifty database to hand, I can calculate how many excess years are being doled out to men per primary offense, and the number is.... for 2007...

(drum roll please)

142,036.17 years.

Think of that, 142,036.17 years of productive male effort flushed away in the US court system just in 2007, - because men are not viewed as being as worthy of mercy as women.

Think what you could achieve with an army of 142,036 men working for you for a year! Even if these are difficult, or slothful men, a lot could be done! But it is necessary to lock them away, because, as you know,

...they just aren't women....

Your comments and thoughts are always welcome, - and do please hit the ‘Donate’ button, if you can.

My Best To You In Your Struggles



While I was in the neighborhood, and with the HBD/VDare/BNP/Bio-Cons and the like in the back of my mind, I wondered what the stats would say about Blacks as opposed to Whites in the courts.

And those who are Black do suffer from bias in some big-ticket items - murder (your average White gets a 7.3 year sentence according to the data, but your average Black gets 23 years), Manslaugter (Whites get a 23% discount), Arson (51% discount), and Drug Posession (75%!).

But the balance tips the other way for white-collar crimes, and the sentencing balances out around 4% in favor of the Black Man if you average across offenses. Whites are beaten up for Embezzelment -75%, Gambling -296%, Civil Rights Offenses -181%, and the like.

I guess that judges and prosecutors get 'fed up' with certain crimes in certain communities and races and sentence those extra hard, thinking that that will make a difference. Or perhaps certain crimes occurr more predominately in different communities, and repeat offenders get whacked. The data is there to parse that out if anyone is interested.

It's also fair to note that the things that blacks are being sentenced with carry much longer terms than what whites get sentenced with, but, you know, I am running a Men's Rights blog here, not a generic Civil Rights blog. If some Civil Rights guy wants to dig down on this data, and isn't technical enough to mince the data properly, I'd be glad to help.

Heck, maybe a grant could be written. :)

There might be grant money for studying how the court system screws BLACK men.
(Bitter? Me? Nooooooooooooooooo)

pps - had a brain spasm and typed 'years' instead of 'months' as the units for the average sentences in the 7th paragraph above. This has been fixed. In years (for those who can't divide by 12) it is 4.8 years for average male sentence, and 1.97 for average female sentence. The ratio remains the same, of course, with women getting a 59% discount on average. The other numbers (like the excess years men serve) did not suffer this problem.


Keoni Galt said...

Wow...great breakdown. Shoulda titled this one "P is for Pussy Pass!"

Good to see ya blogging again... MisAnDrope.

MisAnDrope said...

Heh. Howabout 'XX Discount?'

Richardhg said...

Great post. Sent to me by a friend, who also commented that the dtaabase now appears to be locked down.

"The data are restricted from general dissemination. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement form and specify the reasons for the request. A copy of the Restricted Data Use Agreement form can be requested by calling 800-999-0960. Researchers can also download this form as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file from the download page associated with this dataset. Completed forms should be returned to: Director, National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research, P.O. Box 1248, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, or by fax: 734-647-8200."

Unfortunately, it appears that Obama's commitment to transparency doesn't include the US Government.

The US scenario is not global, thank God, but it underlines why US justice is not a model of fairness that the world can adopt.

So I would suggest that you make the point that this is an American phenomenon. Your writing does not make this distinction anywhere, and it needs to be a warning to the rest of the world to take any American suggestions of a legal system and fairness with a grain of salt.