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Investigation finds sentencing disparities by former Florida prosecutor.

A nine-month investigation in June by the Herald-Tribune and the Florida Times-Union found that former Duval County (Jacksonville) prosecutor Christine Bustamante’s cases resulted in black people receiving sentences nearly four times as long as white people.Josh Salman, Andrew Pantazi, and Michael Braga, “Influence & Injustice: An Investigation into the Power of Prosecutors,” Herald-Tribune and Florida Times-Union, June 21, 2018, updated June 24, 2018.

Reporters evaluated 3,500 felony drug cases handled by 22 prosecutors in the county in 2015 and 2016.Salman, et al., “Influence & Injustice,” 2018. While the newspaper found that Bustamante’s outcomes were impacted by her boss, then-district attorney Angela Corey, as well as the two judges she appeared before, stark disparities remained even after accounting for these influences.Salman, et al., “Influence & Injustice,” 2018. The paper discovered that Bustamante was more likely to support pretrial diversion for white defendants and to make plea deals for black people that resulted in sentences more than twice as long as those for white people.Salman, et al., “Influence & Injustice,” 2018.