Racial Profiling Ryberg

801 Words 4 Pages
In “Racial Profiling and Criminal Justice,” Jesper Ryberg argues that “the apprehension of more criminals may not constitute a reason in favor of racial profiling” (Ryberg, 79). The evaluation begins with a brief discussion on racial profiling and its possible effects. Ryberg utilizes utilitarianism in conjunction with the retributivist approach to support his thesis. However, the underlying assumption, unclear concepts, and a lack of supporting evidence reduce the effectiveness of the author’s argument.
Ryberg begins with a general discussion on the use of police profiling. Supporters of the tactic of racial profiling argue that by targeting a certain race or ethnicity, they are more likely to apprehend criminals. Ryberg contests this assertion
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The normative foundation is based on the idea that the costs associated with racial profiling will outweigh the benefits of apprehending more criminals. This is in conjunction with the legal restrictions that are placed on police departments such as a prohibition on racial discrimination and so forth. In addition, the use of police profiling is fought on the basis of majority/minority dynamics. The author asserts that when a focus of the police is directed at a certain minority group, the majority tends to view the minority group as criminals.
The author’s overall argument is that “the apprehension of more criminals may not constitute a reason in favor of racial profiling at all (Ryberg, 79). This argument is based on the underlying assumption of the author. This assumption is that criminals are punished too severely in Western countries. A discussion on utilitarianism and retributivism is utilized to illustrate the author’s
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The retributivist’s idea is that the more severe a crime is, the more severe the punishment should be. With that foundation, two possible reactions are presented as plausible One, is that there is no connection between the way in which individuals are apprehended and the future desirability of apprehending individuals. Second, the way in which individuals are punished does not have an impact on how future individuals will be apprehended. The author concludes that retributivists would not support racial profiling.
The underlying assumption the author makes is that criminal punishment in western countries is too severe (79). This assumption, highly subjective in nature, restricts the effectiveness of this piece. The assumption in of itself raises more questions. Do non-western countries such as China, India, Argentina, and so forth treat their criminals better? Does this underlying assumption make the arguments that followed less

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