Jan 1, 1991
This report describes the authors' investigation of 2,263 male defendants charged with armed robbery or residential burglary in 14 urban areas across the nation. They sought to determine if certain case outcomes varied from one jurisdiction to another. They also attempted to determine if these outcomes were linked in any way with various case and defendant characteristics. The study considered all cases pending against a defendant, but the findings indicate that knowing whether or not a defendant faced overlapping charges contributed little to the prediction of case outcomes. The fate of a defendant was generally invariant across jurisdictions once case and defendant characteristics were held constant. The principal findings are twofold: (1) once a defendant is charged with an armed robbery or a residential burglary, there is a high probability that he will be convicted and incarcerated; and (2) that probability is generally unaffected by the urban county in which his case is adjudicated.