At the turn of the 21st century the majority that entered the prison system were African Americans and Latinos. (Michelle Alexander, 2010) The reason behind mass incarceration was due to the crack down on the deteriorating communities where the majority of minorities lived. Authors Scott Ehlers, Vincent Schiraldi and Jason Ziedenberg of Still Striking Out: Ten Years of California’s Three Strikes (2004) report that African Americans in prison because of the three strike law is higher per every 100,000 African American than Whites and Latinos in California. (U.S. Census Bureau
Other forms of disfranchisement, including the disfranchisement of criminals, remain controversial. Since the early 1990s, all but three states prohibited imprisoned offenders from voting. Thirty-five states disfranchise offenders on probation or parole, and fourteen disfranchise ex-offenders for life. Because a disproportionate share of convicted criminals are non-white, some have argued that such laws constitute a racially discriminatory voting barrier that is as pernicious as poll taxes and literacy tests. Many state criminal disfranchisement laws date back to the Reconstruction era, and such laws were often targeted at offenses for which African Americans were disproportionately convicted.
For many African Americans during this time, that meant that you were freed as a slave only to be arrested and deemed a slave once again. How does this relate to mass or wrongful incarceration today? Well, what I'm trying to do is to create a timeline of how twisted the "judicial" system was and still is. I mention the confederacy because it is an accurate representation of how racist the roots of the United States are and also on a side note, how anti American the confederacy actually was. A concept that many do not seem to be aware of.
4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States from 1882-1968, of these people that were lynched, 3,446 were black. Lynching is a tragedy of our Nation’s past time, although tempting to try and erase it from the history books, it must be remembered to attempt to prevent such injustices from happening again. In Ida B. Wells’ speech, “Lynch Law in America.” Ida B. Wells talks about the discrimination and horrendous crimes black people face due to racist white men and a corrupt justice system. The laws created to protect the African Americans; 14th and 15th amendment was ignored, or loopholes were being used to justify the mainly Southerner’s actions.
Based on. “Although African Americans make up only 13 percent of the population, they constitute 48 percent of all murder victims—93 percent of whom are killed by other blacks—and they commit 51 percent of the murders in which the case is solved. A standard argument against the death penalty is that it is racist because 40 percent of those on death row are African American”(Tucker). This is saying that out of 100 people sentenced on death row, 40 or more of them are usually african american. That is a high number of people to be executed for murders, which occur daily across America.
However, the main contributing cause to his wrongful conviction was eyewitness misidentification. According to Walker (2015), eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions with “72% of cases being wrongfully convicted based on eye witness testimony.” Another thing I noticed while looking at The Innocence Project, which was also discussed in the book, was racial bias. In the book, they mentioned “wrongful convictions involve a strong racial disparity, with 62 percent of the Innocent Projects 302 cases involving African Americans.”
Race has assumed a major part is these inquiries also. Out of the 114 police stops, a shocking 96 were African-American residents, and 30% of those 96 stops were more than liable to be illegal, contrasted with 22% of whites that were ceased. Ruthlessness has likewise been an issue connected with these unlawful movement stops. It 's so basic between cops that there 's an inclination for rehashed misuse of force and it 's fundamentally transformed into the "standard". This isn 't great on the grounds that with cops speculation like that it gives them to some degree a need to overstep the law.
According to New York City Police Department, “NY police 80% stops were of blacks and Latinos, when whites were stopped, only 8%” (Quigley). Blacks and Latinos aren’t treating equally in NY City. Also, in California, American Civil Liberties Union found blacks are three times more likely to be stopped than whites. This shows institutional discrimination, mainly against Blacks, Latinos and they treated based on their race
According to Voter Institute, Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning than to fall victim to voter fraud. However, states consistently cite this problem to justify strict voter identification laws, a popular form of voter discrimination today. It is for this reason that the Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965 to prevent the disenfranchisement of minority voters. However, in June 2013, the Supreme Court case, Shelby County v. Holder, deemed Section 4(b) of the act, the list of states subjected to preclearance, unconstitutional. Critics argue that the Section 4 states no longer displayed the same amount of blatant discrimination compared to the past rates which had warranted the burdens of preclearance.
African Americans are criminalized and targeted because of their skin color, and it is not fair. This argument connects to the theory of Law in the Book vs. Law in Action, and relates to how this type of discrimination from the law affects society. In particular, the way the Law is written in codes, statutes, judicial opinions that supposedly support the righteousness of justice, is a far cry from the way the Law actually operates. Despite substantial progress in recent years, racial discrimination remains a significant problem in the United States. I will prove this argument with the help of various peer-reviewed articles, and non-scholarly article that examine this unequal behavior.
Affirmative action is defined as; the policy of favoring members of a disadvantaged group who suffer from discrimination within a culture. History in America has always had the reoccurring theme of racism. Throughout history there has traditionally been a universal feel of oppression to minorities. Blacks and Latinos specifically have been stereotyped as underprivileged and not able to have equal opportunity in America. Statistics back these claims up as well; America boasts 64% of the American workforce is considered Non-Hispanic White, 16% Hispanic, and a mere 12% for African Americans.
Since 1930, 90 percent of individuals executed for rape have been African Americans. This issue has faced multiple controversies due to the belief of “complete confidence” of the criminal justice system (Harmon, 2004). Wrongful convictions have historically occurred due to the races of the defendant versus the race of the victim. This is an in issue because these cases impair the integrity and reliability of the court system (Harmon, 2004). Wrong convictions are not as uncommon as believed by the public.
Shortly after this act was passed, 31 ID offices were shut down by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. 75% of users of said offices were black. Keeping in mind that just over 25% of people in Aalabama are black, it is no coincidence that these closures were intended to limited the number of black voters, effectively violating their constitutional right to vote. Another frequentlyoften mentioned example of racial prejudice is the United States criminal justice system. A book on this topic, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, explains how the criminal justice system “Intentionally targets poor uneducated black men.” Michelle Alexander , author of The New Jim Crow, claims that the prison system is a racial hierarchy and reform is ineffective, the only true solution is to dismantle the prison system altogether.
I don’t agree with this statement because it implies that African Americans are particularly singled out by the government to receive such a penalty because the government enforces capital punishment in certain states that are predominately black. This cannot be the case. I feel as though more violent and heinous crimes are committed in these cities or counties and therefore have more valid grounds for the sentencing of the death
This year alone, in Chicago almost 80 percent of the people killed have been black. In Baltimore the figure is 216 black people versus 11 white, in Philadelphia 200 black people versus 44 white. Although it’s troublesome that most are killed by other black people, it is disturbing to think that the innocent blacks are killed by armed officers, especially the white officers. The “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) movement is taking actions to campaign against violence toward black people. Founder Alicia Garza said BLM is recognizing that “Black people are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity.