Unequal time for equal crime

ITEM A man convicted of murder is twenty times more likely than a woman convicted of murder to receive the death penalty.’

ITEM No woman who has kiled only men has been executed m the United States smce I9S4.2

ITEM Smce the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty. 120 men – and only I woman – have actually been executed.3 The woman, from North Carolina, said she preferred to be executed.

ITEM In North Carohna. a man who commits second degree murder receives a sentence an average of 12.6 years longer than a woman who commits second-degree murder.4

ITEM The U. S. Department of justice records the following sentence differ­ences nationwide:

Number of months to which females versus males were sentenced for the

same offense9

Offense

Female

Male

Percent of added time males sene

Rape

117

159

74

Aggravated assault

49

83

59

Burglary

46

66

70

Larceny

36

48

75

ITEM Being male contributes to a longer sentence more than race or any other factor – legal or extralegal.6 Yet sentencing guidelines were introduced largely to end racial discrimination.

Do sentencing guidelines reduce discrimination against men? Son of

ITEM The sentencng guidelines of the state of Washington are among the strictest. Overall sentences of men. however, are still 23 percent longer than those of women ’ Even when offense histones are the same and the serious­ness of enme is the same, women are 57 percent more likely to receive treatment sentences than prison sentences.8 Women are also more likely to be made eligible for early departure from prison; and once made eligible, are another 59 percent more likely to actually be released early. Here are some examples from 1991:

Percentage of first-time offenders eligible for early departure who were in
fact released early, by sex’

Female

Male

Residential burglary

63

35

Assault 3

20

13

Burglary 2

40

32

Theft 2

38

25

Theft 1

17

9

Forgery

48

35

Bail jump/Class В or C

36

15

ITEM Prosecutors consistently note that women almost always receive lower bail for equal comes.10

In essence, there are two bails: the male bail and the female bail. Women are also more likely to be released on their own recognizance. But the real sexism begins before the bail. . .