DENVER (KDVR) — A years-long study of racial representation in Denver’s justice system discovered there is no widespread racial bias in general plea bargaining through the Denver District Attorney’s Office.
The study, “Racial Disparities and Prosecutorial Outcomes” was carried out by Dr. Stacey Bosick and the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab to investigate whether outcomes in cases handled by the Denver DA’s Office have been racially motivated.
“I am pleased, but not surprised, that the report did not find racial or ethnic disparities in our overall plea bargaining and resolution of cases. The report makes recommendations that I am committed to pursue and some of which were already underway prior to the report’s release. I look forward to further review of the areas noted,” said District Attorney Beth McCann.
While there is no evidence for racial bias in plea bargains handled by the Denver DA’s Office, the study did find differences in outcomes between Black, White and Hispanic defendants in other areas. These areas included:
- White defendants involved in drug cases were more likely to go to drug court than the district court.
- Cases involving White defendants were more likely to be deferred than cases involving Black and Hispanic defendants.
- Cases involving Black defendants were more likely to be dismissed during prosecution than cases involving White defendants.
- Cases involving Hispanic defendants were equally as likely to be dismissed during prosecution as White defendants.
“The report highlights the need to examine more closely our practices in offering deferred judgements,” said District Attorney McCann.