Do Race and Ethnicity Matter in Prosecution? A Review of Empirical Studies


Vera’s Prosecution and Racial Justice Program (PRJ) conducted a review of 34 empirical studies on the relationship of race and ethnicity to prosecutorial decision making published between 1990 and 2011 in peer-reviewed journals. The literature review distills the research and provides a reference resource for a diverse audience—including academics, practitioners, and interested generalists—about the current state of the debate on these subjects. The aim of the literature review is to encourage additional empirical research on the relationship between race and prosecution by identifying areas that need further study; provide prosecutors and other criminal justice practitioners with a frame of reference in which to assess their own practices; and strengthen the general public’s understanding of the criminal justice system.


Series: Target 2020

Justice is on the Ballot

We elect federal leaders, district attorneys, mayors, local legislators, and sheriffs—people who shape how our communities ensure public safety and secure justice.

Election Day is in six weeks, but in communities across the United States, voting for the 2020 election is already underway. In every race, from the federal to the state to the local level, it’s clear: Justice is on the ballot. Our votes can help ensure due process for immigrants facing deportation, address overpolicing in communities of color and ...

Blog Post
  • Nicholas Turner
    Nicholas Turner
September 22, 2020
Blog Post