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Noncitizen Justice: The Criminal Case Processing of non-U.S. Citizens in Texas and California

Gastvortrag
Immigration enforcement is increasingly dependent on local criminal justice authorities, and yet basic questions on the criminal case processing of non-U.S. citizens in state and local jurisdictions remain unanswered. Leveraging uniquely rich case information on all felony arrests in California and Texas between 2006 and 2018, this article provides a detailed examination of the legal treatment of non-U.S. citizens from booking through sentencing. In both states, we find that non-U.S. citizens arrested for the same crime and with the same prior record are significantly more likely to be convicted and incarcerated than U.S. citizens. These unexplained citizenship gaps often exceed the observed disparities between white and minority defendants, but the results were not identical in both states. In line with the more rigid views towards migrant criminality in Texas, the case processing of foreign nationals is notably more severe there than in California at nearly every key decision point. These findings suggest that even in local criminal justice settings, citizenship is a unique and consequential axis of contemporary legal inequality. [mehr]
Grea­ter so­cioe­co­no­mic in­e­qua­li­ty is as­so­cia­ted with hig­her cri­me ra­tes. If this as­so­cia­ti­on is cau­sal, it is un­cle­ar how the po­pu­la­tion-le­vel va­ria­ble, in­e­qua­li­ty, af­fects de­ci­si­ons to of­fend in in­di­vi­du­als’ heads. I will pre­sent a re­cent theo­re­ti­cal mo­del in which in­di­vi­du­als strive to re­main their re­sources abo­ve a thres­hold of de­spe­ra­ti­on that is set by their so­ci­al con­text. Grea­ter in­e­qua­li­ty means mo­re in­di­vi­du­als who are at or be­low this thres­hold. It be­co­mes ra­tio­nal for them to of­fend as a ris­ky stra­t­egy to leap cle­ar of it. This pro­du­ces a link bet­ween po­pu­la­ti­on-le­vel in­e­qua­li­ty and in­di­vi­du­al de­ci­si­on-ma­king. Mo­reo­ver, we show that in­cre­a­sing pu­nis­h­ment se­ve­ri­ty un­der the­se as­s­ump­ti­ons should not ge­ne­ral­ly ex­pec­ted to re­du­ce of­fen­ding. I pre­sent a fra­me­work for stu­dy­ing the as­s­ump­ti­ons and pre­dic­ti­ons of the mo­del in a mul­ti-player in­cen­ti­vi­zed eco­no­mic ga­me. Pre­li­mi­na­ry da­ta are con­sis­tent with the pre­dic­ti­ons of the mo­del. Ho­we­ver, they are al­so con­sis­tent with simp­ler but still re­le­vant hy­po­the­ses that do not use the as­s­ump­ti­on of a de­spe­ra­ti­on thres­hold, such as that loss com­pa­red to so­me men­tal re­fe­rence point leads to frus­tra­ti­on and an­ger. We are current­ly at­t­emp­ting to test bet­ween the­se al­ter­na­ti­ves. We ho­pe that the ex­pe­ri­men­tal fra­me­work, re­gard­less of which way the re­sults fall out, is use­ful for un­der­stan­ding an­ti­so­ci­al mo­ti­va­ti­ons. [mehr]
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