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Black defendants at risk for racial bias during court proceedings

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2018 | Criminal Defense

New York residents may be interested to learn that white as well as black bail judges often show bias toward black defendants. This is according to a recent study that was conducted in the Miami and Philadelphia areas. The authors of the study said that the evidence suggested that racial stereotypes were a factor in the bias that is shown towards black defendants.

More than 162,000 cases from 2006 to 2014 were used. The study found that black defendants were more likely to be detained before court hearings than white defendants by 2.4 percentage points. Additionally, the average bail was more than $7,000 higher for black defendants than for white defendants. It was also suggested that based on the results that inexperienced judges and part-time bail judges were more likely to show racial bias.

Under normal circumstances, defendants who are thought to be less of a flight risk or just less risky in general are often released on their own recognizance. Furthermore, defendants may be released if they satisfy certain conditions put on them by the court, such as paying a bail amount or posting a bail bond. Those who cannot meet bail will wait in jail until their court hearing.

Going through court proceedings can be confusing for those who have been accused of committing a crime. Regardless, there are certain processes that law enforcement agencies and judges must follow when a case is underway. If it is suspected that a defendant did not get fair treatment due to racial bias in the court system, a criminal defense attorney may go over any evidence or testimony to determine if the proper procedures were followed throughout the case. In addition to assisting with any criminal trials that may occur, the attorney could help ensure that the defendant’s rights remain protected.