This essay will examine three types of disparities that happen under the United States sentencing today. Judges tend to look at the characteristics of the victim involved in the crime to determine the outcome of the sentence. Why should someone’s race, gender, or even religion effect the time they receive for their jail sentence? The 1984 Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) was created to eliminate disparities, basically explaining how one’s ethnicity, gender, and religion should not affect their sentencing. Even with this act existing, race and gender has still plays a huge part on unnecessary sentencing lengths. A racial disparity in sentencing has been analyzed to play a huge role in the sentencing of individuals for over 20 years. In most
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Introduction In the article “Black Judges are Tougher on Black and White Offenders”, Dr. Darrell Steffensmeier did exclusive research on prison sentencing and treatment given to both black and white offenders by black and white judges. Steffensmeier provides details that support his finding of how black judges and white judges sentence their defendants differently. Through his study at Penn State University, Steffensmeier gives information that describes the harsher treatment that black defendants may face more than white defendants when it comes to having black judges instead of white judges. In the end, Steffensmeier gives a synopsis of how black judges' emotional state can be an issue while sentencing their defendants and whether the race factor matters in the justice system and the courtroom.
He claims the prejudices of the judicial system handed out mandatory sentencing for those who used their constitutional right to have a trial by jury. The author builds a relationship with the audience by using Pathos in order to compel them to recognize the urgency to change the current law. Girault explains the failing logic of the law on page 225, he states that communities were to be made safer and instead of targeting petty crimes the focus would be to bring down kingpins, however after three decades of the SRA it still was a failure. Girault defines the sentencing reform act as discriminatory and states that minorities are hugely effected by this law and states ”Black people are overwhelming charged, convicted and sentenced at a higher rate to federal crimes since the passage of the Sentencing Reform Act.” (Girault 228).
A recent study of sentencing decisions in Pennsylvania (Steffensmeier et al., 1998) identified significant interrelationships among race, gender, age, and sentence severity. The authors of this study found that each of the three offender characteristics had significant direct effects on sentence outcomes and that the characteristics interacted to produce substantially harsher sentences for one category of offenders—young black males. This study responds to Steffensmeier et al. 's (1998:789) call for “further research analyzing how race effects may be mediated by other factors. ” We replicate their research approach, examining the intersections of the effects of race, gender, and age on sentence outcomes.
The author’s studies indicate that the criminal justice system choose majority of their targets and suspects predominantly by race. According to studies conducted by the U. S Department of Justice, the imprisonment rate by race per 100,000 residents over 3,000 black males were imprisoned in the year 2000 compared to white males imprisonment rate of less than 500. This shows that conviction of crime, robbery, murder, and other violence and drug related crimes has a clear discrepancy across racial groups.
Coker gives great evidence that supports racial injustice in the criminal justice system. She discusses on the Supreme Court’s rulings and accusations of racial preference in the system. This article is helpful because it supports my thesis on race playing a role on the system of criminal justice. Hurwitz, J., & Peffley, M. (1997). Public perceptions of race and crime: The role of racial stereotypes.
Fast forward to the present day, we have the Ferguson, Mike Brown of Emmitt Till’s still occurring in our justice system. A person must view the criminal justice threw a godly telescope to see the inequalities that exit, and need to come to the forefront of our government, and the population worldwide. Sentencingproject.org statistically show that African American men, women, and juvenile are arrested more often than any other races across the nations. This report will prove, and argues that racial disparity in the justice system is at large in our system. This research paper will further explain, and presents evidence that display the presence of racial bias in the criminal justice system in America.
The social issue I have chosen to focus on is the problem of violent crime and the inequalities and disparities in sentencing. This issue is rooted in systemic racial inequalities, which can result in harsher sentences for individuals from marginalized communities who are convicted of violent crimes such as murder. There is a growing body of research that highlights the need for reform within the criminal justice system to address these disparities and ensure that all individuals are treated fairly and justly. The history of racial disparity in the criminal justice system in the U.S. has been longstanding.
According to the book Corrections The Essentials by Mary K. Stohr and Anthony Walsh, a sentencing disparity occurs when there is a wide variation in sentences received by different offender that may be legitimate or discriminatory. A disparity is legitimate if it is based on crime seriousness and/ or prior record. If it is not then it is considered discriminatory. Sentencing guidelines can help attempts to address these disparities by determining how long a person should go to jail for each crime they committed.
People of all different races and ethnicities are locked behind bars because they have been convicted of committing a crime and they are paying for the consequences. When looking at the racial composition of a prison in the United States, it does not mimic the population. This is because some races and ethnicities are over represented in the correctional system in the U.S. (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2018). According Walker et al. (2018), African-Americans/Blacks make up less than fifteen percent of the U.S. population, while this race has around thirty-seven percent of the population in the correctional system today.
Women convicted of “other property offenses” – a category of crimes that includes arson, receiving stolen property and breaking and entering — received shorter prison sentences. • Black female defendants were, in some ways, treated differently than white female defendants. Black women were assigned higher bond amounts and were more likely to be sent to prison than white women. Women of both races were equally likely to be released prior to
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
Another issue that was discussed is the inequality of death penalty in practice. There have been serious issues with racial discrimination. For reference in cases with white victims and black defendants convictions occurred twenty two percent of the time while with black victims and white defendants with percentage dropped to a measly three