Sentencing Decisions for White and American-Indian DUI and Robbery Offenders in Alaska

Andre Rosay, University of Alaska Anchorage
Daniel J. O'Connell, University of Delaware
Ronet Bachman, University of Delaware

This study examined gender-specific models of DUI and robbery sentences that White and American-Indian offenders received in Alaska in 1998. We first considered whether the sentencing decision must be modeled as a two-step process consisting of two separate decisions. While several investigators have modeled the in/out and term-length decisions as separate processes, none have statistically examined the necessity to do so. By using models developed by Cragg (1971), our results unequivocally showed that the factors associated with the in/out decision were significantly different than those associated with the term-length decision. We then examined each decision separately using probit and truncated regression models and simultaneously using models developed by Heckman (1979). In addition, we examined Heckman models developed with and without exclusion restrictions and compared our results. Results indicated that both race and gender affected the imposition of sentences and fines for DUI offenders. Our results for robbery sentences will also be presented.

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Updated 05/20/2006