Discriminatory Treatment Undergone by the Blacks under the Criminal Laws of United States – Essay Example
The paper "Discriminatory Treatment undergone by the Blacks under the Criminal Laws of the United States" is a good example of an essay on law. Time and again, there have been allegations that the criminal justice system in the United States is marred by racial discrimination. Research has evidenced that black criminal defendants are subjected to more severe sentences as compared to their white counterparts. This is more prevalent in the imposition of death penalties. In recent times, concerns have been raised about black criminals being required to post higher bails than their white counterparts (Sinderman and Edward 26-27). These, among many others, are just but a few examples illustrating how discrimination against blacks is the order of the day in the United States criminal justice system.
Thus, on these premises, there is a need to carry out analytical research to determine the prevalence of discrimination against blacks in the criminal justice system in the United States. To do this, I require reliable data and information from incredible research carried out by various scholars, with the aim of unraveling the underlining truth behind the discrimination against the blacks in the United States criminal justice system.
In my research, I intend to extensively consult two scholarly articles. The first article is by Bryan Stevenson and Ruth Friedman, "Deliberate Indifference: Judicial Tolerance of Racial Bias in Criminal Justice." Washington and Lee Law Review. 51.2 (1994): 509-527. This article extensively explores the issue of judicial tolerance and racial bias in the United States Judicial system. It begins by giving an overview of the racial bias situation in the criminal justice system for the last scores of years. It discussed the roles the civil rights activist have played in enhancing anti-discrimination law and the changes which have been implemented to fizzle out this enduring discrimination.
The article gives a vivid description of how capital punishment has been imposed with regards to racial differences. The author gives quantitative data depicting the prevalence of death penalties imposed on whites against blacks. Various cases in different courts across the U.S are cited, plus the verdicts were given. The article also stipulates the judiciary’s response to the deliberate discrimination against blacks and other minorities (Stevenson, and Friedman 509-519).
The Swan and Baton cases have been extensively described depicting how the U.S courts perpetuated discrimination against blacks. Also, the article addresses the controversial issue of unrepresentative juries and racially discriminatory selection procedure which ultimately create a barrier to a fair and just review of criminal cases. The article concludes with a section which elaborately delineates the need for reorientation in the criminal justice system. Here, the authors condemn the courts, legislators and the key decision-makers within the U.S. criminal justice system who perpetuate racial discrimination by evaluating issues of racial bias in terms of prejudice. Thus, a need for a reorientation in the psyche of the United States justice system’s decision-makers is an immediate necessity rather than a requirement (Stevenson, and Friedman 520-527).
As sustained by the issues addressed by the authors in the article, it is palpable the article consists of a profusion of details and ideas which could be of great importance to my research. For instance, the cases cited, the quantitative data provided, the recommendations for the possible changes to be made within the U.S criminal system among other issues extensively discussed by the authors will provide a firm foundation upon which my research will be developed.
The second article is by David Cole, "No Equal Justice." Scholarly Commons. 19.33 (2001): 19-33. The article starts by highlighting the expectation prior to the sentencing, and the reaction that followed the sentencing in the case involving O. J Simpson, who was charged with the double murder of his wife and her friend. There was a great division with regards to the innocence of Simpson. The article talks about how racial inequality is perpetuated in the American criminal justice system. He gives extensive data depicting how inequalities between the black and the whites are very rampant, even in other social parameters, besides crime and the criminal justice system. It links up the inequalities in wealth, poverty, income level, education among others to the inequalities in the criminal justice systems (Cole 19-26).
For instance, the author posits that, despite the fact that African- Americans comprise only 12 percent of the entire U.S population, they make up more than half of the prison population. The same comparison is given with regards to literacy level, poverty level, unemployment level of the prison population. The author also notes that African-Americans serve longer prison sentences, are subjected to higher arrest and conviction rates, and are often subjected higher bail amounts as compared to the whites. The article gives specific quantitative data about the blacks against whites, with regards to imprisonment, parole, probation, and incarceration inter alia. The author also cites several cases demonstrating various forms of racial discrimination and suggests the possible solutions geared towards discarding such discrimination (Cole 26-33).
Thus, the article has a wealth of details relating to the interconnectedness of the inequalities in the U.S criminal justice systems with the other inequalities. This information is important in my research as it provides the explanations needed to unravel the underlying reasons and prevalence in the discrimination against the black in the U.S. criminal justice system
In conclusion, the two scholarly articles are both important and relevant to my research. In this regards, I intend to use them complimentarily. Whilst the first article is detailed with information regarding the prevalence of discrimination against the blacks, the second article provides the underlying reasons explaining why the U.S criminal justice system is marred by such discrimination. Thus, the two articles are intricately interlinked with regards to exploring the contentious issue of racial discrimination is prevalent in the United States criminal justice system.