S. Starr says new sentencing risk-assessment tool would introduce new sources of inequality & undermine transparency
"Pennsylvania's proposed risk-assessment tool is racist, critics say. It's up for a vote this week anyway." - Philadelphia Inquirer. 9/4/2019.
Sonja Starr, a University of Michigan law professor who has studied risk assessments at sentencing, warned that combining multiple risk assessments introduces new sources of inequality and undermines transparency. In a letter to the commission, she also condemned the plan on legal grounds. "Use of gender as a risk factor plainly violates the Constitution," Starr warned, adding that the Equal Protection Clause "forbids the government from treating people differently on the basis of sex even when there is a statistical basis for doing so."