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Racial Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System Introduction Throughout the history of the United States, race has been an important issue in all aspects of the society. Although there has been significant reduction in the level of racial discrimination, it is still a defining topic in the American society.
This significant reduction in racial discrimination has been as a result of the abolishment of formal racial discrimination in the civil rights era.
It is not surprising to note that this problem has permeated the United States criminal justice systems. There is no doubt that despite the institutional and legal changes that made all formal racial discrimination in the United States illegal, race is an important factor in all aspects of the criminal justice system.
This includes how the law enforcers carry out their responsibility, selection of the jury and sentencing Katheryn, Race in the Criminal Justice Systems The role of race in the criminal justice system has been a contentious issue for many years.
Some scholars basing their argument on the disproportionate number of convicts from the minority races have maintained that all facets of the American criminal justice system are discriminative.
On the other hand, some scholars also maintain that these arguments are not based on facts. Although it is important to analyze both sides of the arguments, there is some compelling evidence of racial discrimination in the justice systems.
Due to the principle role of the criminal justice systems, ensuring justice is done to all; any malpractice should be taken with the seriousness it deserves.
According to BanksAfrican Americans have been victims of formal and informal discrimination since the United States was founded. Since the slavery era, American systems have endorsed legislations and policies that have discriminated and segregated African Americans.
Other minority races such as the Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Indian Americans have also received similar discriminations by the criminal justice systems. Banks also noted that the criminal justice systems have over the years shown collaborations with the general society in promoting discrimination and stereotypes of Latino Americans.
Overrepresentation of the Native Americans in the correctional facilities is also evident in the American criminal justice systems due to the negative effects of the changes in the American society on the marginalized natives. Banks noted that there are some reports that maintain that there is no racial discrimination in the criminal justice systems.
However, he points out some aspects of American justice systems where racial discrimination has been eminent over the years. It is also important to note that though many reports support the fact that race is an important factor in the criminal justice systems, they concur with the argument that the resultant racial discrimination is not systematic.
Some of the areas in which Banks concluded to be dominated by unacceptable levels of racial discrimination include encounters of the law enforcement agents with the public.
In many cases, the police and other law enforcement agents have been influenced by racial prejudice and stereotypes while making important decisions leading to discriminative racial profiling, arrests, shootings and police discretion.
Bailing has also been considered to be another aspect of the criminal justice where racial discrimination is evident. The law gives guidelines on discretion by the judge or the offender. There are various factors that have to be considered before an offender can be released on bail.
Although studies indicate that race is not a major factor in bailing, there is no doubt that it affects the decision of the judge or the prosecutor in many ways. For example, the level of education or income influences the decision which gives members of the minority races a disadvantage since they are less educated.
Racial discrimination in the selection of the jury has been an important issue in the criminal justice systems. Race has been entrenched in the jury selection for many years.
Although this trend was overruled by the court, some states have tried to maintain an all white jury. Although individuals from any race are equally eligible for selection into the jury, the selection of individuals from the minority races has been very seldom.
The authorities have argued that this is not a matter of racial discrimination stating that the selection is based on the experience, morality and abilities of the candidates.The history of the United States is filled with examples of legal discrimination against all minority groups, particularly in the period between Emancipation and the Civil Rights movement.
Jim Crow laws were racial segregation laws that were enacted between the s and s primarily at . In an article written by the U.S. Sentencing Commission titled “Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Federal Sentencing Today” the author states that “In the federal system, Black offenders receive sentences that are ten percent longer than White offenders for the same crime”/5(1).
The racial history of the United States often shows us that the structures and socialization process of white privilege and white supremacy are not only far from gone, but are alive and well.
The Long History of Racial Injustice in US Courts. By Shamako Noble, www and the potential executive kill list that goes with it is a huge issue. Racial Injustice; Is America ignoring the truth? There has always been a huge disparity in our legal system as it relates to racial bias.
As . While the historical and ongoing symbolic and material inequalities and violence faced by African Americans can be understood as a human rights violation, the efficacy of the human rights framework for addressing racial injustice in the United States remains contested.
Racism in the United States has been widespread since the of the Harlem-based Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has identified more than instances of mass racial violence in the United States since and has noted that almost every instance was our legal system "ignores the possibility that 'race' is.