Research / Themes / Trends in governance / Sentencing patterns

This research explores patterns in the sentencing and court processing of homicide cases in a contemporary urban jurisdiction. An original data set was compiled based on the physical examination of over 1500 case files over a period of two years, resulting in a one-of-a-kind data set of over 1100 homicide cases adjudicated in Philadelphia between 1995 and 2000. This data set contains in-depth information on victim, offender, and offense characteristics, as well as processing and sentencing information. Extensive research on sentencing exists, but homicides generally account for less than 2% of dispositions in general felony court samples. Do the same patterns and theories that describe and explain legal and extralegal variation in sentencing for other crimes apply to the “ultimate” offense, homicide? This data set has provided the basis for comparing outcomes in male- and female-perpetrated IP homicides, as well as IP and non-IP homicide.

Related faculty

Kathleen Auherhahn

Selected publications

Auerhahn, K (2007) Adjudication outcomes in intimate and non-intimate homicides. Homicide Studies, Volume 11, Number 3: 213-230.

Auerhahn, K (2007) Just another crime? Examining disparity in homicide sentencing. The Sociological Quarterly, Volume 48, Number 2: 277-313.