Racial Disparity in America

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Black people, White people Pages: 6 (2063 words) Published: June 20, 2013
Racial Disparity in America Criminal System
Leverd Nunn IV
ENG 122/ AXE1317D
Brandon Bond
May. 26, 2013

INTRO:

DMC is a big issue in our society! Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) is the overrepresentation of people of color in the nation’s criminal justice system. Black or African Americans make up only 12.6% of the US population and make up over 28% of all arrest, 40% of all inmates in prisons and in jails, and 42% of the population on death row. While whites who make up 67% of the US population, only constitute 40% of all inmates held in prisons of jails and 56% of the death row population. Other minorities like Hispanics and Native American are also over represented in the criminal system, this is not right. Back in the 70’s my parents and grandparents fought against many different disparities in America, and in today’s society most of them are gone. The disparities in our criminal justice system have lasted far too long. In no way am I saying we should be soft on crime, but we should be equal. Laws should be enforced the same in every community, Two people who commit the same crime should get the same sentencing no matter what color skin or heritage they may be. The United States has the second highest incarceration rate in the world second to Russia. Hispanics and black make up two-thirds of the US prison population. Almost one in every three black males on any given day is under some form of criminal supervision, weather that’s prison or jail, or probation or parole. What’s sad is that there are more young black men incarcerated than enrolled in college. For every 1 black male that graduates from college, there’s 100 black males arrested. Is it that minorities are violent people who commit crimes? Or is there some sort of injustice in our system? In this paper I intend to show you the disparities in our criminal justice system.

Race and the Police:
Whites and Minorities view police in two completely different lights. Race is the most noticeable predictors of attitude toward police and other criminal justice institutions. It’s not really clear, why racial differences exist in peoples view and relation with the police. Studies and many different surveys show that different races have different views on police. While white tend to view police favorably, minorities have a rather negative view on police. Whites have a more favorable opinion of police, supportive of aggressive law enforcement, and are less likely to believe criticism of police. Many whites believe black are more likely to commit crimes or display violent behavior. A general social survey showed that 48 percent of whites believe black are “violent-prone”. Many whites believe intensifying law enforcement on minority individuals and communities is a primary way to control crime. They believe accepting the fact that minorities are mistreated by police would give reason to loosen laws and law enforcement which in-turn would threaten whites. African Americans and Hispanics, view the police mistreatment as a “visible sign of majority domination” (Bayley and Mendelsohn 1969:195). This is not saying that minorities are anti-police, but they position as the less dominant races increase their chances of receiving police misconduct. Black and Hispanics, like white, favor more law enforcement, they just want it done in a way that lessens abuse.

Race and Prosecutorial Discretion:
It is no secret that the Federal system is known for its harsh and unequal treatment on people of color. In the Navy I’ve learned that before a big accident, like two ship colliding, happens there is at least five things that go wrong, so there was five different chances for someone to step up and prevent the accident. The same can be said for the unfair prosecution of minorities. It’s evident at every level of the criminal process from the first plea negotiation with the prosecutor to the prison sentence by the judge that prosecutorial...

References: Bayley, David and Harold Mendelsohn. (1969). Minorities and the Police. New York: Free Press.
Bureau of Justice Statistics. (1999). Criminal Victimization and Perceptions of Community Safety in 12 Cities, 1998. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Carter, David. (1985). “Hispanic Perceptions of Police Performance.” Journal of Criminal Justice 13:487–500.
Chettiar, Inimai and Stamm, Alex. (2005) “Tough Crime No Longer American Mantra.” ACLU Center for Justice. Retrieved May 27, 2013 from World Wide Web:
http://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform/tough-crime-no-longer-american-mantra
Harris, David. (2002). Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work. New York: New Press.
Jacob, Herbert. (1971). “Black and White Perceptions of Justice in the City.” Law and Society Review 6:69–90.
Lu, L. (2007). Prosecutorial Discretion and Racial Disparities in Federal Sentencing: Some Views of Former U.S. Attorneys. Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 19, No. 03, p. 1-11.
Shah, Palak. (2005) Defending Justice- Low Income Individuals/Activists.
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