Posts by Liz Goodwin

  • Nationality trumps race in sentencing gap

    Liz Goodwin at Yahoo News9 hrs ago

    Study after study has shown that black men do more time in jail than white men who commit similar crimes — an entrenched racial disparity in the nation’s justice system that Attorney General Eric Holder has decried as “shameful” and unacceptable.

    But a new study finds that a previously ignored factor has an even larger impact than race on whether and for how long a person will go to jail: U.S. citizenship.

    Immigrants who lack citizenship are four times more likely to be sent to jail than U.S. citizens who committed the same crimes, according to a study of federal sentencing data to be published in the American Sociological Review this month. Once they’re in jail, immigrants serve two to four months longer than the average citizen convicted of the same crime.

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  • Oklahoma police say McCaskill wrong on extreme militarization example

    Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News at Yahoo News20 days ago

    Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, singled out a small sheriff’s department in Oklahoma as an extreme example of the over-militarization of local police forces in a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

    “I want to make sure we are clear about how out of control some of this is,” an outraged McCaskill said at the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which has given billions of dollars of excess military equipment to local police over the past two decades. “In Dr. Coburn’s state, the sheriff’s office has one full-time sworn officer. One. They have gotten two MRAPs since 2011.”

    The jarring image of one small-town police officer lording over two enormous Pentagon-provided armored vehicles ended up in news reports on the hearing, perfectly illustrating concerns about the 1033 program that have been raised since police in Ferguson, Missouri, quelled protests with the help of an armored vehicle armed with a machine gun last month. President Barack Obama announced he’d be reviewing the federal programs that arm local police to address concerns that they are turning local cops into soldiers.

    But it turns out the data the senator was relying on was wrong.

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