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Persistent offender law

racial disparity, patterned offenses, and unintended effects


Considering sentencing under persistent offender laws, Rodriguez examines the correlations between sentence and race and ethnicity. Her study uses sentencing data on repeat and third-strike offenders in Washington state to assess the effect of legal and extralegal variables on sentencing outcomes and the pattern of offenses committed. In addition, interviews with prosecutors and defense attorneys throughout the state provide contextual information on the impacts of the law. Rodriguez finds that racial disparity is confined to specific offense types and mitigated by other legal variables.