This Article does not challenge the prior research on sentencing discrimination between racial categories that found no significant difference in sentences given to similarly-situated African Americans and Whites. In fact, in the jurisdiction investigated- Florida- no discrimination between African Americans and Whites was found in the sentences imposed on defendants, looking only at racial category differences. Rather, the research suggests that in focusing exclusively on discrimination between racial groups, the research has missed a type of discrimination related to race that is taking place within racial categories: namely, discrimination on the basis of a person's Afrocentric features. By Afrocentric features, this Article means those features that are perceived as typical of African Americans, e.g., darker skin, fuller lips, or a broader nose. The research found that when one examines sentencing from this perspective, those defendants who have more pronounced Afrocentric features tend to receive longer sentences than others within their racial category who have less pronounced Afrocentric features.
William T. Pizzi, Irene V. Blair & Charles M. Judd,
Discrimination in Sentencing on the Basis of Afrocentric Features,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol10/iss2/2