2WTK Fact Check: Hillary Clinton

Is Hillary Clinton right about her assertions on African American's experience with the justice sentence?

GREENSBORO, NC -- One of the key points for Hillary Clinton in campaign rallies and ads -- appealing to African Americans. Here's an example.

"Something is just fundamentally broken when African-Americans are more likely to be arrested by police and sentenced to longer prison terms for doing the same thing that whites do."

Two Wants to Know continues with its fact check of candidate ads. We're going to examine each one of the claims Hillary Clinton makes in the ad. First - "African-Americans are more likely to be arrested by police..."

Here's the evidence the Clinton camp uses. According to Politifact, the ad is based on data from a 1980 paper that said blacks are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for selling drugs than whites even though whites are 45 % more likely to sell drugs than blacks.

But the ad also points to analysis by USA TODAY from November 2014. The paper found in an analysis of 3500 police departments across the country 95 percent of the departments arrested  black  people  at  a  higher  rate  than other  racial  groups.

Now what about Hillary's assertion that African Americans are "sentenced to longer prison terms for doing the same thing that whites do."

Two studies back up this statement too - one in the journal Criminology and one in the Yale Law Journal. They report federal prosecutors select more severe charges against blacks than whites. Which affects the sentence.

"If you take a black man and a white man that look the same on paper, same arrest offense, same type of crime, same criminal history, on average - the black man will get a sentence that is 10% longer," says M. Marit Rehavi, co-author of the study published in the Yale Law Journal.

Read other 2 Wants to Know Ad Fact Checks


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