American prisons have a disparity of minority inmate population, and one of the reasons this is so is because of the manner the Judicial system operates. The investigator chose this topic because there are many African Americans and Hispanics that have been incarcerated for crimes they committed, as well as for crimes they didn’t commit, and because of their cultural background they were given severer sentencing.
After performing the research the investigator found that many actors played a big part in the incarceration of minorities that included, ethnicity and gender. Although there is a high crime rate in minority areas, there are more minorities that are placed in Jail due to the lack of a fair trial by the Judicial system, and convicted of crimes they didn’t commit compared to their counterparts. The investigator conducted her research by gathering data from online resources, and speaking with ex-cons that have experienced the injustice of either being given an unreasonable sentence, or held responsible for a crime they didn’t commit.
The investigator found the website Innocence Project very helpful. It provided the investigator with names of individuals that were accused of offenses that they never committed, and after many years of being detained was acquitted, but for some it was too late [Frontline April 2002]. The investigator also found Oxford’s library to be very helpful. It provided her with many resources that included statistics that would help construct her case. Racial profiling dates back as early as the sass’s.
In those days instead of placing the minorities in Jail, which whites were placed in, and only cause most of the African Americans were still slaves; they would send them to work for private industries and do dangerous tasks such as mining and railroad building, or send them to slave owners who would have them working in the field (Crucified, Fernando, Martinez 2010). During the Antebellum times there was racial disparity in the American criminal Justice system, but it didn’t look like most would expect (Crucified, Fernando, and Martinez 2010).
A study of race and imprisonment could only be done below the Mason-Dixon Line because there were not many African Americans in other parts of the United States until after the Great Migration. Even after they were free, instead of sending them to Jail they would send them back to slave owner and have them work in the same fields that they worked in when they were slaves. Statistics show that violent behavior affects every race; and income group, but the massive area that is impacted by this the greatest is the poor African American and Hispanic inner city children, which is where the problem rest (Miller 2010).
Research shows that in 2007 one in 106 white men over the age of 18 were incarcerated, Latino were one in 36, and African Americans were one in 15 (Miller 2010). One of the most discouraging facts of racial inequality at the dawn of Is It Possible for Justice for All By Baklava race, violence, arrest, and incarceration on African Americans and Latino compared to whites (Mille 2010)”. The promise of civil rights is the promise of inclusions, yet these vast disparities stand as stark reminders of the nation’s long history of racist exclusionary practice (Miller 2010)”.
The investigator of this report took it upon herself to speak with several ex-cons to get a take on their experience, and see if she could get a little more insight on the topic at hand. Each interviewer was either invoiced of a crime that they committed, or a crime they were falsely accused of. From here on out each person will be referred to by their last name only. Davis, who was 18 when he was first sentenced to prison for three years for a crime that he committed. Although he didn’t commit the crime by himself, at the end of the trial the others were given probation, and he was given three years in prison.
He stated, “My attorney assured me that I would get probation as well if I would confess to doing the crime alone since this was my first offense. Being the only black male on the case, I decided to do as my attorney advised. But once the Judge made his decision everything that was guaranteed to me went out the window, and I was sentenced to three years in prison while my co-defendants walked away with a slap on the wrist. My co-defendants had paid attorneys who made sure they would get probation only, while my court appointed attorney did the minimum for me.
My co-defendants were white females whose family was well known in the city (Davis 2013)”. The investigator asked Davis if he felt that he was being discriminated against, and if so why? The response that was received was, mimes, and because everyone on the case including he attorneys and Judge were white (Davis 2013)”. Although the information obtained from Davis is Just a mere opinion of his, this is Just an example of how some minorities are treated when they can’t afford an attorney, and live in the South, or along the Bible Belt.
And being that the investigator is from the South, she has also seen firsthand how attorneys do the less work possible when they are appointed to represent you by a Judge. Interviewer two, whose last name is Pennington, situation, and answers were completely different from Davis’. Pennington stated, “l feel that I was given a fair trial or the crime that I committed”, but he also stated that he had a paid attorney that wasn’t racist and was known for helping minorities to either beating their case, or getting the least time possible (Pennington 2013).
There were no co-defendants in Pennington case, so he didn’t have to worry about either taken the rap for the entire crime, or having to worry if his co-defendant would blame the entire crime on him. Pennington described his experience as being “fair” (Pennington 2013). There were a mixture of nationalities working on the case, so he really couldn’t tell if there was any racism being shown. So from what the inspector gathered from the interview so far is that not all minorities are treated unfairly, and that maybe it depends on the person that is being tried for the crime, and the way that they carry themselves during the process.
Interviewer three, whose last name is Watson stated that she was falsely accused of a crime that she never committed, nor had any knowledge of it being committed, but because the person that accused her of the crime somehow had ways to prove she committed the crime, made her guilty (Watson 2013). Watson stated that she had alibi’s that could prove that she was nowhere she was claimed to be as well ease, she responded by saying “it wasn’t considered evidence, and that the Dad’s fought to have it removed from the case” (Watson 2013).
She went on to state that because she was a female the Judge stated that he would make an example out of her so the rest of the women will know that gender doesn’t matter in his court room, and also stated that she was treated unfairly because she was a young black female, whose fate lied in the hands of a Jury of her peers that were predominantly white (Watson 2013). Watson went on to say that she never stood a chance in the case after she heard the remarks of the Judge. She felt as if he had already made his decision before the Jury made theirs (Watson 2013).
After the investigator reviewed the information that was given to her by Watson, Pennington, and Davis, she came to the conclusion that race does play a factor in the way that you are treated in court. Not only does race play a factor, but gender does also. As my opinion, racial disparity doesn’t Just happen in the low poverty areas, but nationwide. For example, in Minnesota, there has been a rise of arrests, convictions, and imprisonments [Kamala, Collusion-Clark, Nikkei June 2010]. Two cities, Minneapolis, and SST.
Paul decided to collect data on races of drivers that they stopped during routine traffic stops. From the data that was collected it showed that minorities were two and a half times more likely to be stopped, and American Indians three times more than whites, and minorities only make up 36 percent of the population in the state [Kamala, Collusion-Clark, Nikkei June 2010]. These statistics show that although these are Just regular traffic stops, that there is racial discrimination being used.
Also for felony level crimes in the state of Minnesota minorities are seven times more likely to be arrested than whites, and for violent rimes the ratio is 21 (Kamala, Collusion-Clark, and Nikkei June 2010). These numbers have proven that racial disparity is also being used in the Judicial system as well. And to further prove the previous statement, the prison population ratio is 19:1 in Minnesota, which means over half of the prison population consist of minorities (Kamala, Collusion-Clark, and Nikkei June 2010).
After gathering and looking over the data Minnesota decided to come up with a way so they could try and eliminate the discrimination on the minorities that have been occurring by the police, and the judicial system. One of the remedies is by the Minnesota Supreme Court relying on their supervisory powers over the trial courts to review issues of disparities by checking on the Judicial system from the initiation of police investigation, to prosecutor’s charging decision, to the resolution of the case by pleas bargaining, or jury trial, to sentencing by the trial Judge [Kamala, Collusion-Clark, Nikkei June 2010].
Racial disparities not only occurs with adult minorities, but the youth as well. Statistics show that 108. 4 per 1,000 black youths are placed in the Judicial system, and with the second highest rate are the American Indian youths with 53. Per 1,000, and with the lowest rate are the white youths with 44. 1 per 1,000 [Crucified, Fernando, Martinez Summer 2010]. Overall minority black males are referred at a higher rate than females, whites, and younger children [Crucified, Fernando, Martinez Summer 2010].
Factors that play a role in the determining if the Juvenile will be turned over to the Judicial system are: if they come from a one parent household, referred due to these factors compared to whites [Crucified, Fernando, Martinez Summer 2010]. Not excusing the fact that some of the minorities in this paper did omit crimes that they were guilty of, but at the same time they were treated more harshly than their counterpart. So you can see that although there is a high crime rate with minorities, some are placed in Jail due to racial profiling done by the Judicial system, as well as the law enforcement.
There are more minorities in Jail because of the manner in which the judicial system operates for two main reasons. First the Judicial system doesn’t always give minorities a fair trial, but most importantly, there have been innocent minorities placed in prison for crimes they didn’t commit because of either the spinsterhood they come from, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or Just not being knowledgeable of their rights.