Courts Are Not Gender Blind

Sociological Research Indicates a Vast and Growing Gap Between Men and Women in Criminal Courts


This confirms prior data showing men receive higher sentences than women for the same crime even when age, race, priors, family situation, and other factors are accounted for, and that “gender differences, favoring women, are more often found than race differences, favoring whites.” (Crime and Delinquency, 1989, v 35, pp 136-168.) A study published in Justice Quarterly in 1986 found that, for the same felony, being male increased the chances of incarceration by 165% (being black increased the chance 19%).

The gender of the victim matters as well. A drunk driver will receive an average of a 3-year higher sentence for killing a female than for killing a male (compared to a 2-year higher sentence for killing a white instead of a black). (“Unconventional Wisdom,” Washington Post, Sept. 7, 2000.)

Researchers Edward Glaeser (Harvard) and Bruce Sacerdote (Dartmouth) examined 2,800 homicide cases randomly drawn from 33 urban counties by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and found killing a female instead of male increased sentences by 40.6% (compared to 26.8% for killing a white instead of a black)

Arizona courts hearing minor domestic violence cases are often bias and the courts themselves are highly prejudiced in women's favor. In one recent case, Judge Marie Lorona managed a non-profit domestic violence treatment center in Eloy Arizona. Lorona sentenced men in domestic violence court to her own mental health facility. She then forced these newly convicted men to pay hundreds in counseling fees to her organization or be arrested. Today, after several scathing reprimands from the Judicial Committee on Judicial Conduct, Judge Lorona still hears cases in the Pinal County Justice Court system.