Do Black Prosecutors Matter? The Effect of Descriptive Representation in the American Criminal Justice System Open Access

Jackson, Chelsea (Spring 2018)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/f7623c599?locale=en
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Abstract

In the era of Mass Incarceration, activists, politicians, and scholars alike have criticized the U.S. criminal justice system for incarcerating too many Americans and perpetuating racial and class disparities. One more recent solution posited is an increase in minority representation among local prosecutors. Despite their virtually unrestricted discretion and interdependent role in the criminal justice system writ large, district attorneys are overwhelmingly white. This study uses multivariate regression and two-sample t-tests to evaluate the effect of Black district attorneys on incarceration rates and racial disparities. I find that Black prosecutors are less punitive than their white counterparts are, and have narrower racial disparities.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

 

Chapter Title

Page Numbers

List of Tables and Figures

x

Introduction

1 - 7

1. The American Prosecutor as an Institution and Political Actor

8 -18

2. Why Would Black Prosecutors matter?

19 - 48

3. Do Black Prosecutors Affect Punitiveness and Racial Disparities?

49 - 64

4. How Do Black Prosecutors Compare to Non-black Prosecutors?

65 – 74

Conclusion

75 - 78

Appendix

79 - 84

Bibliography

84 - 98

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