A criminal act, proven guilty, is supposed to determine a prison sentence. Length and severity should vary by the degree of the crime. Instead, it's repeatedly proven that the cultural, social and economic background of a suspect can increase or decrease the penalty of a given crime.
Add education to that list of unfair distinguishers, says an associate professor at Sam Houston State University in Texas. In his findings, those without a high school diploma received harsher penalties and longer sentences than those who finished high school.
Disparities in sentencing
Previous studies of the justice system have shown racial and gender bias in sentencing and the Sam Houston State University study shows further disparity that must be addressed.
In highlighting these issues, it reinforces the importance of legal defense to make sure that you're represented when you're charged with a crime. A skilled criminal defense attorney will emphasize the facts, the law and your right to a fair trial.
Investigating the investigation
When accused of a crime, police and investigators must respect your civil rights, including how evidence is gathered and the method of an arrest. The Fourth Amendment grants protection against illegal search and seizure. Another common violation of rights is entrapment, when officers force a criminal act in effort to make an arrest.
These are common defenses but there are many different approaches against a criminal charge. Each case is unique and deserves individual attention to make sure that, not only are your rights protected, but that you find an attorney who will work with you in a way that fits your own needs and future goals.
It can be overwhelming and frightening to face criminal charges. Your future is at stake. When studies like this one make it feel like the system is against you, it's more important than ever to make sure that you have somebody on your side.