Utah Offenders Can Raise Racial Bias Concerns At Sentencing
Minorities who have been charged with crimes in Utah can argue against lengthy conviction sentences if they can provide proof of racial bias in the criminal justice system. The Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday that the Utah Sentencing Commission approved the guideline in January, but it does not appear many defense attorneys have tried to make the argument yet. Judges look at many factors during sentencing, including a defendant’s age and criminal history, but attorneys can now bring up racial issues. The move came after state data showed that the percentage of minorities among new prisoners has increased, despite previous reform efforts.