A number of studies has revealed that black people in Illinois are much more likely to be arrested by the police than white individuals even though they are no more likely to commit crimes and make up a much smaller percentage of the population. A new study reveals that the disparate treatment based on race extends into the court and criminal justice system as well. Black people are likelier to receive harsh sentences than are their white counterparts even if they have similar records and have committed similar crimes.
According to research from Loyola Law School, in which 30,807 misdemeanor cases in Wisconsin were reviewed, white defendants were 74 times more likely than black individuals of having their charges dismissed or reduced. Among the defendants that had no prior criminal records, the black defendants also were much less likely to have their charges reduced or dropped.
According to the researcher that conducted the study, prosecutors factor in race when determining the types of pleas they will offer to defendants. They are more apt to view black defendants as being more likely to re-offend than white defendants. Black defendants who are poor also are likelier to plead guilty simply to be released from jail.
The study reveals that the criminal justice system is biased against people based on their race. Experienced criminal defense lawyers might use this data to argue for more lenient plea offers for their clients or bonds to be set at reasonable amounts. They may conduct thorough investigations of their clients’ cases in an effort to strongly defend against the criminal charges that their clients face. The goal of experienced defense attorneys is to fight for their clients’ rights so that they might secure the most favorable outcomes possible.