Missouri Policy Journal


Contrary to the perception, it is judges, not juries, that typically determine the sentence for a convicted criminal defendant. While all citizens are to be treated equal under the law, recent cries to overhaul our criminal justice system came to a head following the wake of Officer Darren Wilson’s (Caucasian) shooting and killing of Michael Brown (African-American) in Ferguson, Missouri. This paper attempts to examine sentencing practices of Missouri courts from 2007-2015, covering a time period both before and after Brown’s death in 2014.