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Is There Rampant Racism in Federal Prosecutions?

In a word, no.

The charge of racism is explosive, since little would be less acceptable in, or more corrosive if found to be influencing, federal prosecutorial decision-making.  It's thus unfortunate that the defense bar and its allies make this charge thoughtlessly and routinely.

Perhaps studying would be better than bellowing.  The National Institute of Justice took a look at the question. Here are some of its important findings:

[T]here is little systematic evidence of age, race and gender disparities in U.S. Attorney decisions regarding which cases are accepted and which are declined for prosecution.  The most common reason for case declinations reported by U.S. Attorneys was weak or insufficient evidence.  Second, there is some evidence of disparities in charge reductions, but they operate in opposite directions for gender and race.  Male defendants were less likely than female defendants to receive charge reductions but black and Hispanic defendants were slightly more likely than white defendants to receive them. 

The entire report, which is not short, is here.

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