A Crime By Any Other Name Summary

Topics: Crime, Prison, Capital punishment, Capital punishment in the United States, Murder, Criminal justice / Pages: 3 (670 words) / Published: Jan 26th, 2017
The reading “A Crime by Any Other Name” by Jeffrey Reiman explored the biased nature of our criminal justice system, more specifically why we categorize acts as crime while others are labeled as tragic accidents. According to Reiman, in our current society, we generalize the idea that crime is a deviant action committed by an individual of color that usually male, poor and black. As a nation, we overestimate how these crimes impact our lives, when the truth of the matter is, more Americans die of unhealthy or unsafe conditions in the workplace than by homicide (). Reiman uses the example of “accidents” that have happened in our recent history that have killed innocent people and hurt the global economy. He specifically explains how corporations like BP oil can cut corners on safety regulations to save money and end up killing 11 people and devastating the local ecosystem in the gulf of Mexico: they only got a slap on the wrist. BP oil was able to pay a fine and was able to get away with the death of 11 people: these people have families whose lives are completely altered because of their sudden death. The reading also described another example in which a Kentucky mine had to pay a fine for “misconduct” after a methane explosion took the …show more content…
In a way, this reading made me feel a little hopeless. I know from my other sociology classes that it takes time to change the public discourse away from viewing black, young men as criminals, but corporations are so powerful that it makes me doubt that they will ever be held fully accountable for the consequences of their actions. It left me wondering, what will it take for justice to be served? If they are held responsible then who should be punished, the whole company or just the top executives? How will we ever be able to fix a broken system built on racism and an elitist

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