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Sentencing disparity

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Sentencing disparity is defined as "a form of unequal treatment that is of often of unexplained cause and is at least incongruous, unfair and disadvantaging in consequence".[1] It is important to distinguish disparity from differences that arise due to legitimate use of discretion in the application of the law and those difference that arise due to discrimination or other, unexplained, causes unrelated to the issues found in the specific criminal case.

A 2001 University of Georgia[wp] study found substantial disparity in criminal sentencing men and women received "after controlling for extensive criminological, demographic, and socioeconomic variables". The study found that "blacks and males are... less likely to get no prison term when that option is available; less likely to receive downward departures [from the guidelines]; and more likely to receive upward adjustments and, conditioned on having a downward departure, receive smaller reductions than whites and females".[2]

A woman discount (also: Lady discount, german: "Frauenrabatt") is offered by numerous insurance companies in car insurance. This discount is designed specifically granted for women. These can thus obtain more favorable terms than male policyholders. The reason for this is that women rarely report or cause less damage insurance than men.[3]

In the German case law, women will also be given a woman discount. Women are thus punished for a similar offense less hard as a man Vultejus Ulrich admitted, but only after he is retired:

I'm in criminal proceedings against women always get in trouble again, and I have therefore asked each what punishment I would against a man with the same charges and penalties recognized on this penalty then less a 'woman rebate'. [...]
A woman discount is justified because women have it harder in life and therefore work harder punishments for them."
"Ich bin in Strafverfahren gegen Frauen immer wieder in Schwierigkeiten geraten und habe mich deshalb jeweils gefragt, welche Strafe würde ich gegen einen Mann bei derselben Anklage verhängen und auf diese Strafe alsdann abzüglich eines 'Frauenrabatts' erkannt. [...]
Ein Frauenrabatt ist gerechtfertigt, weil es Frauen im Leben schwerer haben und Strafen deshalb bei ihnen härter wirken."


A woman in Berlin region caused by driver error the death of 14 passengers of a coach. More than 30 passengers were injured, some seriously. She became the ruling a year on probation.[5] In Salzburg, a 22 year old woman was sentenced to a suspended sentence of five months, which had killed three cyclists when overtaking.[6]

A man lost control of his car and killed four people in Hamburg-Eppendorf. A court found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to three and a half years in prison The court acquitted the 40-year-old accused, among other things four times guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He was "negligently" driven a car in spite of his knowledge of epileptic disease and got there in March 2011, an attack which caused the accident. The defense had argued for acquittal because the defendant was subjectively aware of any danger and had therefore not acted negligently.[7]


  1. Alfred Blumstein, et al. Research on Sentencing: The Search for Reform, Volume II (1983)
  2. Pdf-icon-extern.svg Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts[ext] - David B. Mustard, 2001
  3. Was ist ein Ladyrabatt?
  4. "Zeitschrift für Rechtspflege", Ausgabe 3/08 vom 11. April 2008; Familiendrama: Mutter erstach ihre Kinder. Warum sie dennoch auf freiem Fuß bleibt., Hamburger Abendblatt am 3. September 2004; Ulrich Vultejus
  5. Busunfall mit 14 Toten: Ein Jahr Haft auf Bewährung für Verursacherin, Focus on 1 June 2012
  6. Salzburg: Frau fährt drei Radfahrer tot - Fünf Monate auf Bewährung, ShortNews on 26 April 2012
  7. Vier Fußgänger getötet: Dreieinhalb Jahre Haft für Todesfahrer von Eppendorf, Focus on 5 June 2012

External links

This article based (some phrases in the first paragraph) on an article Sentencing disparity (November 6, 2012) from the free Encyklopedia Wikipedia. The Wikipedia article is published under the dual license GNU-License for free Documentation and Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0). In Wikipedia is a List of Authors available those who worked on the text before being incorporated in WikiMANNia.