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Republican-appointed judges sentence black offenders to 3 months longer on average than whites: study

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A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that Republican-appointed judges on average give black Americans sentences that are three months longer than those given to white convicts.

In a paper released this month, researchers Alma Cohen and Crystal Yang concluded that a judge’s political ideology can impact the sentencing of non-white criminals.

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“In sharp contrast to the prior literature relying on court-level variation, we find economically meaningful and statistically significant evidence that judge political affiliation is a source of disparities in federal sentencing,” the authors explained. “We find that Republican-appointed judges give substantially longer prison sentences to black offenders versus observably similar non-black offenders compared to Democratic-appointed judges within the same district court.”

“The racial gap by political affiliation is 3.0 months, approximately 65 percent of the baseline racial sentence gap,” the paper observed. “We also find that Republican-appointed judges give female defendants 2.0 months less in prison than similar male defendants compared to Democratic-appointed judges, 17 percent of the baseline gender sentence gap.”

The authors noted that much of the gap in sentencing is “largely driven by serious drug and violent offenses, and cannot be fully explained by other observable judge characteristics such as judge race, gender, former prosecutorial experience, or proxies for racial bias.”

“We also find larger racial and gender gaps among judges who serve in courts from states with higher racial bias, which are disproportionately located in the South,” the researchers said.

The study concludes:

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These results indicate that the appointment of federal judges can have profound distributional effects on the criminal justice system, in particular because the federal criminal justice system is the source of the largest and fastest growing prison population (Congressional Research Service 2013), with federal judges making tens of thousands of sentencing decisions a year. Our estimates suggest that a ten percentage point increase in the share of Republican-appointed judges in each court would increase the racial sentencing gap by approximately five percent and the gender sentencing gap by roughly two percent.

In President Donald Trump’s first year in office, the Senate confirmed a dozen of his district court judge nominees, more than any president since Congress created circuit courts with the 1891 Judiciary Act.


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Rudy Giuliani’s devotion has escorted Trump straight to impeachment

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"Step by step, [Rudy Giuliani] has escorted President Trump to the brink of impeachment," The New York Times said in a piece following the president's top lawyer and his impact on the scandals facing the 45th president.

Two associates of Giuliani's have already been indicted, Giuliani is under criminal investigation from federal prosecutors, and he was never graced with a top position in the Trump government.

"The separate troubles he has gotten his client and himself into are products of the uniquely powerful position he has fashioned, a hybrid of unpaid personal counsel to the president and for-profit peddler of access and advice," The Times said Sunday.

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Trump supporters lose their minds when church shows Nativity scene in immigrant cages

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MAGA supporters are losing their minds after a photo of the Nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church was posted to Facebook.

The scene depicts Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus separated and put in their own cages, a reference to the families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Inside the church, the family is shown as reunited.

Senior minister Karen Clark Ristine shared the image on Facebook with the message hoping that everyone in the United States could see the photo and read the story for Christmas.

"The theological statement posted with the nativity: In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world," she wrote. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death."

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Columnist nails Republicans for only caring about Hunter Biden now that his father is running for president

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One of the critical questions that must be answered by Republicans, according to one Washington Post columnist, is why they didn't care about Hunter Biden's position at Burisma for so many years.

In a Sunday piece, James Downie asked why Republicans didn't do anything about Hunter Biden five years ago when it was first revealed that vice president's son was on the board of a Ukraine energy company. The House and the Senate were being run by Republicans until this year. They haven't had problems with other partisan investigations against high-profile leaders. There were ten investigations into the Benghazi attacks, three hearings, 29 witnesses, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours. Yet, it was only after Joe Biden announced he was running against President Donald Trump that Republicans discovered an issue.

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