Racial Bias In Criminal Justice

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Racial bias has long since plagued our country. Ever since our country was founded, there was a divide among our citizens. When the first pilgrims landed in America, African-American were unwillingly enslaved and were stripped basic human rights and seen as property.. The possession of slaves and slave trade has been abolished and America is a diverse melting pot of culture, yet racial bias and discrimination still influences us today. Today African Americans are still being marginalized in our prisons and courts and the outcome is not good. Racial bias has a significant negative impact on our criminal justice system.
Today in our prison systems, blacks and Latinos are not treated the same way as white inmates. In the article, “The Scourge
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Many African Americans are tried for crimes that they did not commit. In the book Just Mercy, the author, Bryan Stevenson reveals one such incident involving Walter McMillian. The McMillian case became one of Bryan’s career defining work. Walter McMillian, a somewhat successful black man in Monroe County, Alabama, was wrongly charged of the murder of a local white girl named Rhonda Morrison. The investigation of Rhonda Morrison was ongoing and the public had began to lose confidence in the local law enforcement and were starting to question the effectiveness of the law. Under pressure from the public, the local authorities picked Walter to take the blame due to his past affiliation with a white woman. According to witness and family testimonies, Walter was nowhere near the scene of the crime on the day of the murder, yet he was still arrested and charged for murder, “The lawyers made their arguments, the jury retired, and less than three hours later they filed back into the courtroom. Stone-faced, one by one, they pronounced Walter Mcmillan guilty”(Stevenson 66). McMillan presented six alibi witnesses who testified that they had been with him at a family fish fry the entire day. McMillian was convicted by a jury of eleven whites and one African-American. Due to extraordinary publicity in Monroe County the case was moved to Baldwin County, where the population was eighty-six percent white…show more content…
We already established that blacks and other minorities in prison do not receive the same treatment as white inmates. The other problem is that prisoners have almost no legal representation. Although inmates have the right to appeal in court and be represented by a lawyer, rarely would they find a lawyer willing to help. According to a study done in The New York Times article, out of the tens of thousands of inmates who got disciplinary tickets in 2014 and 2015, only 280 were represented by Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York. Now that we’ve identified the problem, we can implement the solution. To prevent racial bias from spreading further on to our prisons, we must follow the examples of those who are tackling on the issue of discrimination head on. There were no disparities in discipline at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Black inmates make up 57 percent of the population there and receive 58 percent of the tickets. The main reason for such consistency is due to the diversity of the prison staff. Of the 686 uniformed staff stationed at Sing Sing, 83 percent are black or Latino compared to 17 percent for the entire prison system. Diversity and proper representation in our criminal justice system are the keys to end this outdated sense of systemic
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