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Elderly Felons - Dispositions of Arrests (From Elderly Victims and Deviants, P 161-176, 1987, Carl D Chambers, et al, eds. - See NCJ-105603)

NCJ Number
J H Lindquist; O Z White; C D Chambers
Date Published
16 pages
This study examines the disposition of arrested elderly (55 years old and over) and nonelderly defendants by prosecutors and judges of the Bexar County district courts (Texas) between September 1975 and August 1977.
The focus was on all cases considered for prosecution by the district attorney. During the study period, 3,923 offenses were processed, of which 85 were alleged to have been committed by elderly persons. The oldest defendant was 81. The independent variable was age. The dependent variables were type of Part I offense (dichotomized as violent and nonviolent), case rejected by the prosecutor, case no-billed by the grand jury, case dismissed by the prosecutor, trial result, sentence length, and sentence type (probation or imprisonment). Forty-seven percent of elderly defendants and 25 percent of younger defendants were arrested for violent crimes. Prosecutors preferred not to forward to the grand jury cases involving elderly defendants, and grand juries apparently resisted indicting elderly defendants brought before them. Courts found 14 percent of the elderly defendants not guilty, compared to 2 percent of the younger defendants. Convicted elderly defendants received sentences similar to younger offenders. Only younger offenders, however, received sentences of 20 years in prison. 5 tables and 23 references.


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