cultural concerns in the criminal justice

Topics: Police, Robert Peel, Police officer Pages: 5 (1533 words) Published: March 17, 2014


Christian Guerrero

In the United States of America we all rely on what the constitution reads, which is like constantly listen to our parents through our journey in life. Our system works in a way that there should be equality among every individual but the power given to some of our leaders whether they work in senate, courts or jail, can go to their head and the system shakes a bit. Culture is one of the issues we face in society, the US is a diverse country but this difference can affect our justice and administration and how it’s practiced.

Courts often seek for alternatives when sentencing defendants convicted of hate crimes. Many times individuals who commit a crime for the first time act out of ignorance or low self-esteem when they commit hate crimes. Many juveniles commit crimes such as burning crosses and scrawling offensive graffiti on public buildings which are considered to be hate crimes against religion and society. Many of these individuals are required to take diversion courses which teach them about their behavior, these courses cover racism, anti-Semitism and civil rights laws, offenders by the end of the course should have an understanding of why their behaviors are considered discriminatory and inappropriate.

According to the non-profit Sentencing Project racial inequalities exist during sentencing proceedings. There was a research conducted by this group regarding cultural inequalities in criminal sentencing. An interesting fact of this research was the finding of how a criminal case decision is influenced through racial aspects. For instance, juries in some states tend to recommend the death penalty for homicide defendants accused of killing a white person. In trials, many times prosecutors seek the death penalty in those racial cases that involve white victims.

A new study by M. Marit Rehavi of the University of British Columbia and Sonja B. Starr of the University of Michigan Law School shows that Black Americans receive almost 60% long prison sentences than white Americans who committed the same crime.

The study covered 58,000 federal criminal cases and found that there was a significant difference between the sentences given to Black people to those given to white people, (McCalla, 2012).

Although the constitution guarantees a fair trial, juries fail to represent their local community in which they serve. In the past, court systems relied on rosters of registered voters. The Supreme Court wants local courts to have other methods of selecting its jury that is different in race and ethnicity. In recent cases many states now allow courts to pull citizens records such as driver’s license and company information to make a drawing of a more diverse group of individuals that could be suitable to be potential jurors.

Not only has the jury become more diverse but also the criminal justice system is also known for its diversity among police officers which is a positive sign that there is equality among its departments. When law enforcement officers work with others of different cultures and sex they tend to demonstrate greater sensitivity toward others including their colleagues. Police departments encourage and mentor females and minority youths to consider entering the field in law enforcement.

In 1829 a British Conservative statesman, Sir Robert Peel, who served as prime minister of the United Kingdom between 10 December 1834 to June 1846. Peel helped create the modern concept of the police force, known as bobbies and peelers. As prime minister, Peel issued the Tamworth Manifesto during his first term in office, this manifesto lead to the principles from which British Conservative Party is based on.

In early 19th century Britain, the British government was trying to set a police force but people were suspicious of the idea of a possible armed large police force. The public fear was upon the possible suppress protest...

References: Policing by consent. (2012, December 10). Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/policing-by-consent
Baron, B. (2013, July 17). Judge rules cop who shot and killed unarmed 14-year-old hiding in a woodshed after a fistfight may have used excessive force. Retrieved from http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/texas-cop-shoots-unarmed-teen-hiding-woodshed
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