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Sentencing and State-Level Racial and Ethnic Contexts

Title: Sentencing and State-Level Racial and Ethnic Contexts.
Name(s): Wang, Xia, author
Mears, Daniel P., author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Date Issued: 2015-12-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Sentencing studies have incorporated social context in studying sentencing decisions, but to date the bulk of prior work has focused almost exclusively on county context. An unresolved question is whether there also may be state-level effects on sentencing. Drawing from the minority threat perspective, we examine (1) whether state-level racial and ethnic contexts affect sentencing, (2) whether this effect amplifies the effect of county-level racial and ethnic contexts on sentencing, and (3) whether the interaction of county-level and state-level contextual effects is greater for minorities than for whites. Analysis of State Court Processing Statistics and other data indicates that state-level racial and ethnic contexts are associated with sentencing outcomes and that this effect may differ by outcome (e.g., incarceration versus sentence length) and by type of context (e.g., racial or ethnic). The study's findings and their implications are discussed.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1459518881 (IID), 10.1111/lasr.12164 (DOI)
Publication Note: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wang, Xia, and Daniel P. Mears. 2015. “Sentencing and State- Level Racial and Ethnic Contexts.” Law and Society Review 49(4):883-915., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Law and Society Review.
Issue: iss. 4, vol. 49

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Wang, X., & Mears, D. P. (2015). Sentencing and State-Level Racial and Ethnic Contexts. Law And Society Review. Retrieved from