Gentrified Juries: A Study of Felony Convictions by Jury Trials in Gentrifying Cities Open Access

Marcano, Alexius (2016)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/8g84mm75h?locale=en
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Abstract

Gentrification has become an important topic of conversation within neighborhoods and cities in the recent years. Some argue that this phenomenon is revitalizing neighborhoods and brings an overall positive change to the neighborhoods it occurs to. However, others have pointed out that gentrification has led many of the original residents to be faced with negative outcomes such as climbing rents and displacement. While there have been several studies outlining the effects of gentrification on current residents, those that explore the effects of gentrification on an area's criminal justice system have been limited. Gentrification is described as the the entry of white, affluent residents into neighborhoods originally inhabited by low-income communities of color. The change of demographics has the potential to alter the makeup of juries in the area, which can have an effect on the resulting conviction rates in criminal cases. In order to explore this effect, felony criminal case trial data was used from the ICPSR database and compared to the gentrification levels across some of the most populated cities across the United States. Results from this analysis suggest that areas where gentrification is more prevalent tend to have higher conviction rates. This result implies that residents of gentrifying areas might face harsher juries when involved in a felony case, an area of gentrification and criminal justice not explored before.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Introduction........................................................................................................................................1
Urban Gentrification.............................................................................................................................4
Theories of Gentrification......................................................................................................................5
Process of Gentrification.......................................................................................................................9
Gentrification and the Criminal Justice System.......................................................................................17
Conviction Without Representation.......................................................................................................19
Bias in the Courtroom.........................................................................................................................22
Data Collection...................................................................................................................................26
Gauging Gentrification.........................................................................................................................26
Counting Convictions...........................................................................................................................28
Results..............................................................................................................................................30
Table 1: Summary of Felony Cases by Gentrification Ranking from 1990-1999............................................31
Table 2: Summary of Felony Cases by Gentrification Ranking from 2000-2009............................................32
Figure 1: Trial Verdicts for Gentrified Cities 1990-1999............................................................................33
Figure 2: Trial Verdicts for Gentrified Cities 2000-2009............................................................................33
Table 3: Mean Felony and Gentrification Scores 1990-2000......................................................................34
Table 4: Mean Felony and Gentrification Scores 2000-2009......................................................................35
Table 5: Number of Years of Available Data for Cities in Studied Decades...................................................36
Table 6.1: One-Way ANOVA: Percentage of Felony Trial Cases Convicted by Level of Gentrification 1990........37
Table 6.2: One-Way ANOVA: Percentage of Felony Trial Cases Convicted by Level of Gentrification 1990........37
Table 7.1: One-Way ANOVA: Percentage of Felony Trial Cases Convicted by Level of Gentrification 2000........38
Table 7.2: One-Way ANOVA: Percentage of Felony Trial Cases Convicted by Level of Gentrification 2000........38
Table 8.1: Explanation of Variables Used in Logistic Regressions................................................................39
Table 8.2: Logistic Regression of Felony Convictions in Selected Cities: 1990-2009......................................40
Table 9: Estimation of the Probability of Conviction by Level of Gentrification..............................................41
Analysis and Discussion.......................................................................................................................42
Implications and Conclusions................................................................................................................46
Policy Recommendations......................................................................................................................46
Further Studies...................................................................................................................................49
Conclusion..........................................................................................................................................50
References..........................................................................................................................................53

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