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.
The relationship between the cultural beliefs and biases identified in my PowerPoint and the social issue of racial inequalities in sentencing …show more content…
Members of the judicial system, such as judges and lawyers, play a crucial role in addressing the issue. Lawyers provide legal counsel and representation to their clients, including those accused of crimes, and can work to ensure that their clients receive fair treatment within the criminal justice system. Judges, on their part, are responsible for making sentencing decisions and have the power to address disparities in sentencing. This understanding can help us to identify the root causes of the problem and develop effective strategies to address it. For example, by recognizing the impact of systemic racial inequalities on sentencing decisions, we can work towards implementing reforms within the criminal justice system to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly and justly. Additionally, by acknowledging the role of lawyers and judges in addressing the issue, we can support efforts to provide better legal representation and reduce biases in sentencing decisions. Understanding these social roles can help us to better address the issue and work towards creating a more just and equitable …show more content…
I mentioned that the bond for the man who murdered my son was lowered by half so his family could afford to pay it. Socioeconomic status can also play a role in sentencing disparities, with individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds having less access to quality legal representation, which can impact the outcome of their cases. This can result in harsher sentences for those who cannot afford high-quality legal counsel. By recognizing the systemic racial and economic biases within the criminal justice system, we can work towards addressing these disparities and ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and
This racial discrimination has led to a discriminatory manner that punishes blacks who victimized whites more severely compared to whites who victimize blacks. Even though race has been abolished as a legally relevant factor in capital sentencings, there are still variations in capital sentencing patterns along racial lines. The author tries to answer the question of how a system that tries to design itself as a racially neutral system can still have racial variations in capital sentencing. The author argues that there is a link between race and empathy in mitigation. The author conducted a study that focused on juror race and receptivity to mitigation and defendant race.
Bryan Stevenson negotiates the prejudice and intolerance within the criminal justice system, and the biases within based on economic and racial status. This book exposed myself to a deeper level of injustice inside our system than what I already had a conception of. Each story Bryan talks about hits on different subjects that opened my eyes to how our system truly treats minorities so coldly. Those of a different race, economic status, are treated far worse than we can imagine. Within the past few years racial injustices have began to gain more attention in the media, allowing awareness into the discrimination still present in our system.
This is an example of racial bias impacting access to justice and the overlook of incarcerated black americans
A recent trend in the United States Justice System, at local and state levels, is to implement the use of formulas and algorithms to determine sentencing length. In her article “Sentencing, by the Numbers”, University of Michigan law professor Sonja Starr focuses on this trend, and shows flaws that she finds in the system. In the article, she agrees with the actions of Attorney General Eric Holder in criticizing the system for the way in which it determines the risk of future crimes. Throughout, Starr presents the system as something that will, instead of solving mass incarceration, make the problem worse for impoverished persons and minorities. Starr argues that the system discriminates against those with a socioeconomic disadvantage, has
This article critically examines the racial disparities in sentencing during the late 20th century and highlights how biased judgments influenced judges' decision making processes. "Just Mercy" aligns with these findings by emphasizing how racial bias affects sentencing outcomes. The author Bryan Stevenson explores implicit bias and cultural stereotypes illustrating their impact on judges' perceptions and judgments of African American defendants. Through concrete examples. "Just Mercy" vividly exposes instances of racial bias within the criminal justice system and reveals the unjust consequences faced by people of color.
Kamalu, Ngozi Caleb, Margery Coulson-Clark, and Nkechi Margaret Kamalu. " Racial Disparities in Sentencing: Implications for the Criminal Justice System and the African American Community." African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies: AJCJS 4.1 (2010): 1-31. ProQuest.
Journal of Criminal Justice Administration, 29(4), 325-342. Hetey, R. C., & Eberhardt, J. L. (2018). The numbers Don’t speak for themselves: Racial disparities and the persistence of inequality in the criminal justice system. Current Directions in Psychological Science :
Discriminatory sentencing is another example of systemic racism within the criminal justice system. Studies have consistently found that people of color are more likely to receive harsher sentences than white individuals who have committed similar crimes (Mauer & King, 2007). These disparities are not explained by differences in criminal behavior or past criminal records, but rather by the implicit bias
However, racial bias also plays a role in the juvenile justice system. When looking at the population of detention centers and training schools, black males are four times more at risk of being a part of this population than white males are (Leiber & Fix, 2019). Going back to the 1990s, 41% of juveniles in detention centers were black (Leiber & Fix, 2019). In 1995, 68% of the detention centers population was made up of minorities (Leiber & Fix, 2019). These juveniles who were minorities were also more likely to be sent to an adult court (Leiber & Fix, 2019).
Racial Disparities in the American Criminal Justice System Introduction The United States criminal justice system is the largest in the world. In 2015, there were more than 6.7 million people under some form of correctional control within the United States, including 2.2 million incarcerated in federal, state, or local prisons and jails. By being the world leader in incarceration rates, the United States eclipses the rate of any other nation. These statistics from “The Sentencing Project” emphasize the significance of mass incarceration in America and the racial inequality that takes form in its criminal justice system.
The interviewers in their study were also asked to record what race they perceived the participants, this changed throughout the study in proportion to the incarceration rate of the individual. This shows not only that is race fluid but also that it can change over the course of one’s lifetime due to the institutions one comes in contact
George Woodworth once examined the death penalty rates among all death eligible defendants in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between the years of 1983 and 1993. The results of their study proved that the odds of receiving the death penalty in Philadelphia increased by 38% when the accused was black. (“Race and the Death Penalty | American Civil Liberties Union”) This shows that the justice system is biased and proves that a black person is more likely to receive a death punishment for committing the same crime as a white person. Another example of discrimination is when death penalties are given to those that are poor and grow up in underprivileged backgrounds.
For being such an advanced country, America’s biggest issue stays unresolved. That issue is its justice system. In the book Just Mercy, the author Bryan Stevenson writes, “We have to reform a system of criminal justice that continues to treat people better if they are rich and guilty than if they are poor and innocent.” The majority of prisoners in the U.S. are black, mentally ill, or poor. Minorities are treated harshly by the justice system in the United States because it’s built to benefit the rich, guilty, and white.
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.
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