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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

Celesta A. Albonetti

This chapter presents four theories that hypothesize race/ethnicity disparities in sentence outcomes. Empirical studies assessing the relationship between defendant’s…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter presents four theories that hypothesize race/ethnicity disparities in sentence outcomes. Empirical studies assessing the relationship between defendant’s race/ethnicity and sentence severity are discussed.

Methodology/approach

I focus on federal sentencing in terms of support or non-support of the theoretical perspectives.

Findings

Sentence disparity linked to defendant’s race/ethnicity are observed as net main effects, as a component in joint-conditioning effects with other extralegal defendant characteristics, and as a variable that conditions the effect of process-related mechanism of discretion, and legally relevant case characteristics, and as indirect effects.

Originality/value

Theories share substantial conceptual overlap in specifying the relationship between defendant’s race/ethnicity and predictions of the effect of defendant’s race/ethnicity on sentence severity.

Details

Race, Ethnicity and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2014

Aleksandr Khechumyan

This chapter aims to demonstrate that the fundamental human rights principle that no one should be subjected to (grossly) disproportionate punishment should be interpreted…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter aims to demonstrate that the fundamental human rights principle that no one should be subjected to (grossly) disproportionate punishment should be interpreted to take into account terminal illness of the offender. It should be applied both during imposition of the sentences and also during execution of already imposed sentences.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to reveal whether this principle takes into account serious medical conditions, including terminal illness of the offender in the calculus of the proportionality of punishment and whether it is applicable at the execution stage of sentences, this chapter examined the roots of the fundamental human rights principle of proportionality of punishment by briefly surveying the penal theory, jurisprudence, court cases, laws, and legislative history from the U.S. federal and state jurisdictions and from Europe.

Findings

There is a consensus among surveyed theories that terminal illness of the offender is an element of the principle of proportionality of punishment. Thus the fundamental human rights principle must be interpreted to take it into account. The principle should be observed not only at the imposition stage, but also at the execution stage of already imposed sentences.

Originality/value

This chapter re-examines the roots of the fundamental human right to not being subjected to (grossly) disproportionate punishment. It does so in order to demonstrate that the right should be interpreted to take into account terminal illness of the offender and that it should be observed not only at the imposition stage, but also at the execution stage of already imposed sentences.

Details

Punishment and Incarceration: A Global Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-907-2

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

Lori Elis

This research examines the direct and interactive effects of defendant race and sex on judicial decisions to utilize mitigating departures in cases involving felony drug…

Abstract

Purpose

This research examines the direct and interactive effects of defendant race and sex on judicial decisions to utilize mitigating departures in cases involving felony drug convictions in Virginia.

Methodology/approach

Logistic regression models are used to examine judicial decisions to depart downward in Schedule I & II, and Other (Schedule III, VI, and V), drug cases. The direct and interactive effects of race and sex on departure decisions are modeled separately for Schedule I & II and Other drug offenses.

Findings

Defendant race and sex exert both direct and interactive effects on decisions to sentence offenders below the guidelines for both drug categories. Cases involving Black and male defendants, relative to white and female defendants, are significantly less likely to result in mitigating departures for Schedule I & II, and Other drug, violations. The interaction models indicate that cases involving Black male defendants are less likely to result in mitigating departures than other cases, while cases involving white females have higher odds of receiving mitigating departures than other cases.

Originality/value

This chapter adds to the current literature on sentencing disparity by examining unwarranted sentencing disparity in Virginia, where scant research has been conducted. Furthermore, this research models decisions separately by drug category and examines both the direct and interactive effects of race and sex.

Details

Race, Ethnicity and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2008

M. Catherine Gruber

This chapter explores some of the risks and constraints associated with defendants’ apologies during allocution at sentencing. It argues that defendants’ stigmatized…

Abstract

This chapter explores some of the risks and constraints associated with defendants’ apologies during allocution at sentencing. It argues that defendants’ stigmatized institutional role identities in conjunction with the constraints imposed by the discursive context of allocution function to limit both the effectiveness with which defendants can speak on their own behalf and the kinds of things that they can say. Allocution has long been understood as a protection for defendants. This chapter proposes that the ideologies associated with this turn at talk have functioned to obscure the ways in which allocution preserves existing power configurations instead of challenging them.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-090-2

Abstract

Many jurisdictions fine illegal cartels using penalty guidelines that presume an arbitrary 10% overcharge. This article surveys more than 700 published economic studies and judicial decisions that contain 2,041 quantitative estimates of overcharges of hard-core cartels. The primary findings are: (1) the median average long-run overcharge for all types of cartels over all time periods is 23.0%; (2) the mean average is at least 49%; (3) overcharges reached their zenith in 1891–1945 and have trended downward ever since; (4) 6% of the cartel episodes are zero; (5) median overcharges of international-membership cartels are 38% higher than those of domestic cartels; (6) convicted cartels are on average 19% more effective at raising prices as unpunished cartels; (7) bid-rigging conduct displays 25% lower markups than price-fixing cartels; (8) contemporary cartels targeted by class actions have higher overcharges; and (9) when cartels operate at peak effectiveness, price changes are 60–80% higher than the whole episode. Historical penalty guidelines aimed at optimally deterring cartels are likely to be too low.

Details

The Law and Economics of Class Actions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-951-5

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Vivek Pande and Will Maas

Criminal Medicare and/or Medicaid fraud costs taxpayers $60‐250 billion annually. This paper aims to outline the characteristics of physicians who have been convicted of…

Abstract

Purpose

Criminal Medicare and/or Medicaid fraud costs taxpayers $60‐250 billion annually. This paper aims to outline the characteristics of physicians who have been convicted of such fraud.

Design/methodology/approach

The names of convicted physicians were first gathered from public databases (primarily, the OIG exclusion list). The names were further cross‐checked and verified with other public records. Details regarding demographics and the particulars of the fraud were obtained by searching court documents, media reports, the internet, and records maintained by the American Medical Association and state medical licensing boards. The paper categorizes these doctors by: age, gender, geographic location, medical school attended, and medical specialty, and compares these demographics to those of the medical profession as a whole. The paper then identifies: the specific Medicare fraud these physicians were charged with; length of prison sentence and/or probation imposed; amount of fines assessed and/or restitution ordered; and professional sanctions imposed.

Findings

Physicians convicted of criminal Medicare and/or Medicaid fraud tend to be male (87 percent), older (average age of 58), and international medical graduates (59 percent). Family practitioners and psychiatrists are overrepresented. The amount of fraud averaged $1.4 million per convicted physician. Surprisingly, despite the fact that 40 percent of such fraud compromised patient care and safety, 37 percent of physicians convicted of felony fraud served no jail time, 38 percent of physicians with fraud convictions continue to practice medicine, and 21 percent were not suspended from medical practice for a single day despite their fraud convictions.

Practical implications

The paper makes several practical recommendations including: running as many claims as possible through predictive modeling software to detect fraud before claims are paid; developing metrics on the average rate of diagnoses and procedures by specialty to be used in the predictive modeling software; incorporating the basics of ethical billing and the consequences of fraud convictions into the medical school curriculum and testing this knowledge on the USMLE; and encouraging and/or pressuring state medical boards to hold physicians more accountable for fraud.

Originality/value

The paper categorizes doctors convicted of Medicare and/or Medicaid fraud and makes specific recommendations regarding physician training, licensing and discipline, to reduce the amount of Medicare fraud perpetrated by doctors in the future.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Nicole F. Stowell, Martina Schmidt and Nathan Wadlinger

The purpose of this paper is to make readers aware of the extensiveness of healthcare fraud in the USA and how it involves and affects the government, healthcare…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make readers aware of the extensiveness of healthcare fraud in the USA and how it involves and affects the government, healthcare providers, insurance companies, patients and the public. In addition, recommendations are made that may help control this pervasive type of fraud.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of different journal publications, information from government health institutions and law enforcement websites, healthcare fraud cases and healthcare laws are used as a basis to provide information about how fraudsters are committing healthcare fraud and how to prevent this fraud from occurring.

Findings

Despite increased funding and prosecution efforts by the government, healthcare fraud continues to be a major threat to the US economy and public. While healthcare fraud will never be eradicated, specific efforts can be deployed to help rein in these complex fraud schemes.

Practical implications

The paper provides a useful resource of information on healthcare fraud for healthcare providers, insurance companies, patients and the public that may help combat healthcare fraud and prevent financial losses.

Social implications

Every dollar saved from combating fraud could be used to improve access to more or better health services and can, thereby, save lives.

Originality/value

This paper provides recommendations regarding healthcare fraud that could help prevent this large drain on the US economy.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2010

Peter Hovde

The past several decades have seen a tremendous increase in the U.S. incarceration rate, with varying trends in other advanced industrial democracies. These developments…

Abstract

The past several decades have seen a tremendous increase in the U.S. incarceration rate, with varying trends in other advanced industrial democracies. These developments have only recently begun to attract the attention of political scientists. This chapter provides a critical review of recent literature on mass incarceration by both political scientists and scholars in related disciplines, and a discussion of directions for further research. I argue that further work in this area should involve theoretically informed analysis of interactions between criminal justice experts and professionals, elected politicians, and the public at large, with particular attention to how public concerns about crime are parsed and interpreted by public officials in the making of penal policy.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-615-8

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2018

Christine L. Arazan

Prior studies of criminal sentencing have largely focused on individual-level predictors of sentencing outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of a…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior studies of criminal sentencing have largely focused on individual-level predictors of sentencing outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of a variety of theoretically derived community measurements of social threat and disadvantage on the criminal sentencing of convicted felons. This analysis permits an evaluation of whether legal ideals such as equality before the law and policy goals of equal treatment for like offenders are achieved.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examines data of individuals sentenced in the state of Florida and community level measurements of racial and ethnic threat and community disadvantage. Hierarchical generalized linear model is used to analyze the effect of these measures on the dichotomous in/out imprisonment variable, and standard hierarchical linear regression analysis is used to model the continuous dependent variable of sentence length.

Findings

The results provide support for the racial threat perspective though not for ethnic threat nor community disadvantage. The findings and their implications are discussed in terms of theory, research and policy.

Practical implications

Racial disparity in criminal justice practices is receiving increasing public and policy attention, as evidenced by the growing Black Lives Matter movement. Regarding sentencing, racial disparity remains a major research and policy question. While the current research and theoretical literature on sentencing is not conclusive, it is clear that race matters. As a result, racial disparity in sentencing needs to be a priority in subsequent “transitional criminology” efforts between researchers and policy makers to identify, explain and ultimately predict exactly how race impacts sentencing, and how to reduce it as a consideration from sentencing.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a growing body of literature that examines the social context of punishments by using several community level measurements of threat and disadvantage, while modeling the two-step sentencing outcome of imprisonment and sentence length.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2000

Cassia Spohn and Miriam DeLone

Abstract

Details

Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-889-6

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