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GOP-appointed judges give harsher sentences to black defendants: Harvard Law study

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A new study suggests that Republican-appointed judges give harsher sentences to black defendants — and shorter ones to women — than those appointed by Democrats.

The New York Times reported that the study conducted by Harvard Law professors Alma Cohen and Crystal S. Yang extrapolates common understandings about the sentencing differences between GOP and Democrat-appointed judges.

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“Republican-appointed judges sentence black defendants to three more months than similar nonblacks and female defendants to two fewer months than similar males compared to Democratic-appointed judges,” Cohen and Yang’s study reads. “These differences cannot be explained by other judge characteristics and grow substantially larger when judges are granted more discretion.”

The study took data from half a million defendants — many of which were tried on drug offenses — and 1,400 federal trial judges over a period of more than 15 years. Yang and Cohen’s study includes a number of surprising data points, such as their finding that Republican-appointed black judges tend to be more lenient with black defendants than their white counterparts. They also found that judges “in states with higher levels of racism,” which they qualified with regional popular support for interracial marriage laws, were harsher on black defendants as well.

Though they warn that “the precise reasons why these disparities by political affiliation exist remain unknown,” Cohen and Yang foretold that the Trump administration’s notable judge-appointing speed is likely to widen the racial and gender sentencing gap they observed.

 

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WATCH: Lewandowski’s lawyer freaks out, tries to block Congress from asking any further questions

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During the House Judiciary Committee testimony of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about the Russia investigation, Lewandowski's attorney frantically crashed the witness table and demanded that Congress stop asking questions of his client.

"Mister Chairman, as you know I am counsel for Mr. Lewandowski—" began the attorney.

"You are not a witness and you should not be seated at that table," cut in House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sharply.

"I understand that," said Lewandowski's attorney. "I will leave after I register a formal protest based upon the debate that I heard. These seem to be unauthorized questions and I know you choose your words carefully—"

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Lewandowski’s testimony will let Democrats build Nixon-like articles of impeachment: Ex-prosecutor

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As President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski combatively testified before the House Judiciary Committee, he admitted that Trump asked him to communicate to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation must be shut down. Aside from that revelation, most of the testimony was unproductive, with Lewandowski lashing out at members of Congress and running interference for the president.

But as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter, these outbursts — and the fact that Trump sanctioned the way that Lewandowski behaved in the hearing — could be the basis for Democrats to write up articles of impeachment against Trump similar to those drafted against Richard Nixon in 1974:

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Putin aims a weaponized barb at Trump over Saudi attack – and hits the mark

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Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

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