Are Men and Women Treated Differently by the Criminal Justice System?
Biases can be found in nearly every area of human interaction, from employment to education to politics. When it happens, it creates unfair hurdles for certain groups to overcome in order to enjoy the same rights, protections, or access to privileges that other groups enjoy without facing hurdles. When it happens in the criminal justice system, certain individuals face greater conviction rates, longer prison sentences, and other disparities due to how they are perceived. A competent criminal defense lawyer can reduce the bias hurdles his or her client faces in court by developing a strong case for him or her.
Gender Differences in Perceived Morality, Behavioral Expectations, and Circumstances Surrounding Alleged Criminal Acts
Many of the gender differences observed in court and other parts of the criminal justice system stem from social perceptions of how men and women behave differently. One area where this is apparent is in sentencing for sex crimes. When women are convicted of sex crimes, they tend to receive more lenient sentences than men who commit the same crimes, possibly because men are often assumed to be sexual aggressors while women are assumed to be more passive. Other studies found the following gender discrepancies in criminal justice:
- Women are less likely than men to be detained before their trials;
- Women are 58 percent less likely than men to be sentenced to prison;
- Women who are convicted of theft crimes often receive shorter prison sentences than men who commit theft crimes; and
- Although women of all races are more likely to be released before trial than men, black women are typically held on higher bond amounts than white women and more likely to be sent to prison.
With certain types of case, courts are more likely to treat male and female defendants differently than they do in other types of case. Domestic violence is one of these categories.
What to Do if You Suspect You are Being Treated Unfairly Because of Your Gender
When gender discrimination occurs in the criminal justice system, individuals face unfair treatment that can lead to unfair sentences. If you feel you are facing gender discrimination or any other type of discrimination with your case, discuss your concern with your lawyer. When a conviction or a sentence comes from bias on the part of the jury or prosecutor rather than a fair application of the law, the defendant has the right to appeal the case and potentially receive a new ruling.
Work with an Experienced Naperville Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a criminal charge, work with an experienced Naperville criminal defense lawyer to develop an effective defense strategy for your case. To get started, contact our team at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to set up your initial consultation in our office. Your race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or anything else about you should not impact how you are treated by law enforcement or the court.