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Women as Policymakers: The Case of Trial Judges

John Gruhl, Cassia Spohn and Susan Welch
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 25, No. 2 (May, 1981), pp. 308-322
DOI: 10.2307/2110855
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110855
Page Count: 15
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Women as Policymakers: The Case of Trial Judges
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Abstract

Previous research analyzing differences between men and women political elites has focused primarily on attitudinal differences, recruitment patterns, or background characteristics. In contrast, this research looks at possible behavioral differences. It examines the convicting and sentencing behavior of men and women judges in over 30,000 felony cases in "Metro City." In particular, it compares the behavior of men and women judges in convicting and sentencing male and female defendants. The findings indicate that women judges generally did not convict and sentence defendants differently than men judges did. However, women judges were considerably more likely to sentence female defendants to prison than men judges were.

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