Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Courtney Crittenden

Committee Members

Gregory Rocheleau, Jennifer Pealer


Previous research has found significant effects of gender, race, and age on sentencing decisions made by state and local court judges (e.g. Johnson, 2003; Mustard, 2001; Steffensmeier, Ulmer, & Kramer, 1998). The current study used criminal district court data from two counties in western North Carolina to further research of the effects of the aforementioned variables on sentencing. Using knowledge acquired from past studies, the hypotheses for the current study asserted that younger offenders, male offenders, and nonwhite offenders would be more likely to be found guilty of their offense and receive fines than their respective offender counterparts. The results of the binary regression analysis models did not support many of the proposed hypotheses; however, significant relationships unsupervised probation, supervised probation, and active time were found with defendants who used privately retained counsel. Implications are discussed, as well as limitations and research recommendations for the future.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.