Florida University Professor Fired Over 'Erroneous' Studies Finding Racial Bias in Criminal Justice

Eric Stewart (Florida State University Facebook)
August 1, 2023

A Florida university fired a professor for misconduct in studies that allege racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Florida State University fired criminologist Eric Stewart for "extreme negligence in basic data management, resulting in an unprecedented number of articles retracted," according to the termination letter that Stewart received, posted online by the nonprofit group Retraction Watch.

At least six of Stewart's studies contain "numerous erroneous and false narratives," harming the criminology field "on a national level," Florida State University provost James J. Clark wrote in the letter. "The damage to the standing of the university … approaches the catastrophic."

In one case, the College Fix reported, "editors found that Stewart manipulated data in a 2011 study published in the academic journal Criminology to inaccurately show that as black and Hispanic populations grew, the surrounding white populations wanted more racially discriminatory sentencing." The study was retracted in 2019.

"Five other criminology studies related to race and co-authored by Stewart have also been retracted," according to the College Fix.

Stewart is only the latest left-wing academic to fall from grace over research misconduct. Stanford University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne last month announced his resignation after a law firm found that multiple papers he co-authored contain manipulated data. In June, a Chronicle of Higher Education report credibly accused a Harvard professor who studies honesty of using fraudulent data in her research.

One of Stewart's co-authors on the retracted papers, SUNY Albany professor Justin Pickett, publicly accused Stewart of fraud, the College Fix reported.

Fraud is "the most likely explanation for the data irregularities in the five retracted articles," Pickett wrote, noting that "Stewart could easily prove it" if "honest error, not fraud," were the explanation.