Jaeah Lee


Jaeah reports, writes, codes, and charts at Mother Jones. Her writings have appeared in The Atlantic, the Guardian, WiredChristian Science Monitor, Global Post, Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and Grist. She was a 2013-14 Middlebury fellow in environmental journalism. Her work has been named a finalist in the Data Journalism Awards. In a former life, she researched and wrote about China at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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The Vast Majority of America's Elected Prosecutors Are White Men

| Tue Jul. 7, 2015 12:45 PM EDT
St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch

A study released on Tuesday reveals a glaring lack of diversity among America's elected prosecutors. The data, gathered by the Center for Technology and Civil Life and published by the Women's Donors Network, examines the racial and gender makeup of the more than 2,400 elected city, county and district prosecutors, as well as state attorneys general, serving in office during the summer of 2014. Here are the key findings:

  • 95 percent of all elected prosecutors were white.
  • 79 percent of all elected prosecutors were white men.
  • In 14 states, all elected prosecutors were white.
  • Just 1 percent of the 2,437 elected prosecutors serving were women of color.

The study comes amid stark questions about race and the American criminal justice system, an issue thrust into the spotlight after a string of high-profile police killings of black Americans. Most of the nation's police forces are disproportionately white. And while a high-profile prosecution in Baltimore is being led by a black woman, other controversial cases in Cleveland, Ohio, and most famously in Ferguson, Missouri, have been in the hands of white men.

See the full dataset on elected prosecutors here.

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