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1. In a narrative format of 750 or more words, discuss the following: Assume there is evidence that prosecutors in a particular jurisdiction offer more favorable plea bargains to racial minorities than to White-Americans – that is, they are more willing to reduce the charges or to recommend a sentence substantially below the maximum permitted by law if the defendant is a racial minority. What would explain this seemingly “anomalous” finding?

2. Why is evidence of racial disparity in sentencing not necessarily evidence of racial discrimination in sentencing? What are the alternative explanations? (300 word minimum, cite reference)

3. Some commentators have raised questions about the quality of legal representation provided to the poor, they have also suggested that racial minorities, who are more likely than White-Americans to be poor, are particularly disadvantaged? Based on this statement, answer the following questions. Please use research to support your answers and be sure to cite your sources.

a. Is this statement necessarily the case?

b. Given the statistical breakdown of the population, are racial minorities more likely than White-Americans to be poor?

c. Are racial minorities who are represented by public defenders or assigned counsel treated more harshly than those represented by private attorneys?

d. If you were an African American, Hispanic or Native American defendant and could choose whether to be represented by a public defendant or private attorney, which would you choose and why?

(300 word minimum, cite reference


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