Political Behavior

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 135–153 | Cite as

Measuring and explaining disparities in felony sentences: Courtroom work group factors and race, sex, and socioeconomic influences on sentence severity

  • James L. Croyle


The author develops a scaling technique for felony sentence severity that includes probation and estimates of expected actual incarceration time in a single metric scale. The author uses the severity measure and nonreactive case data in a set of statistical analyses with which he attempts to test recent theoretical developments in the trial court literature that posit individual actor effects related to extralegal variables in sentencing decisions and the importance of interaction among work group members in those decisions. The findings indicate that differential effects exist across judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys in a court and offer support for the influence of the courtroom work group.


Individual Actor Group Factor Theoretical Development Case Data Defense Attorney 
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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Croyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceWashington UniversityUSA

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