Legal Violence Is Within Mass Incarceration Essay

1289 Words Jun 8th, 2016 null Page
Another site of legal violence is within mass incarceration. William Stunz addresses the violence of the system as focusing on the process over the outcome. He focuses on how the law was put into place to create the desired outcomes, rather than looking at the results to create the law. This focus on the process means there is no inquiry to whether material outcomes of the process are actually just and as such it appears that the system does not want to fix the problem, but rather just emphasize an existing problem. This is a systemic violence because the way the way the law is interpreted causes the focus on procedure rather than the outcomes (Gopnik 2012). Stunz’s argument is very similar to Naomi Murakawa who also address that the law is about process and achieving the result. An example she uses is within the war on drugs and its relation to incarceration. The purpose of the war on drugs was to prevent drug abuse in the community by incarcerating those who had drugs in their possession. However, the laws put in place were often racially disproportionate, as 5g of crack cocaine would be enough to convict someone (despite it being a lot easier to obtain) than the equivalent of 500g of powder cocaine. It was still the same drug, and there was no significant difference between crack and powder, so the quantity was a completely arbitrary number. This was disproportional because poorer, more marginalized individuals could get their hands on crack cocaine, and primarily upper…

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