Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

John Faine, Edward Bohlander, Louis Beck


Mr. Hurley is deceased.

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Disparity in sentencing felons based on racial considerations has long has been considered a problem for civil libertarians and scholars alike. Examining data gathered in Kentucky, this thesis addresses this issue through the application of recently developed methodological techniques. Utilizing an index of sentencing equality, this study shows that while differences do exist in black and white offender offense characteristics, these differences do not account for the variations in sentences rendered in cases of white as opposed to black felons. This exploratory research reviews and critiques previous research and provides evidence which should prove useful in resolving the problem of racial-based sentencing disparity.


African American Studies | Courts | Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Inequality and Stratification | Judges | Law | Law and Race | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology