Summary Of Racial Discrimination In The Criminal Justice System

Amazing Essays
The topic I chose to study for my report is racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. The first article I read was Skin Color and the Criminal Justice System: Beyond Black-White Disparities in Sentencing by Traci Burch which was published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. The second article I read was and Justice for Some: Race, Crime, and Punishment in the US Criminal Justice System by Jon Hurwitz and Mark Peffley which was published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science. This first article analyzed sentencing outcomes for first-time offenders black and white, not solely based on race but also by their skin colors. The author was trying to understand why blacks in the United States make up more than 36 percent …show more content…
The average of black first time offenders are prone to receiving higher incarceration sentences than whites regardless of crime type. Dark-skinned blacks receive longer sentences than both whites and light-skinned blacks after taking into account crime and demographics. Through this data the criminal justice system revealed that they differentiated between light-skinned blacks from their darker counterparts by assigning them different rights, privileges, and status within the system. The upper class continues to use this racial hierarchy in the criminal justice system to maintain the U.S. racial order, by putting the dark-skinned blacks in jail longer and less for the whites or lighter-skinned blacks. Burch believes that if the United States keeps discriminating based on the darkness of skin tone, the racial hierarchy in which whites are privileged relative to blacks can be considered alive and well in the United States. The second article sought out to determine the perceptions of the fairness of the Criminal Justice System (CJS), as well as the political consequences of these perceptions, by black and white individuals. The authors were trying to see if either of the groups saw discrimination in the CJS and if they were handled fairly when talking about white and black offenders. The main focus of this paper argued by the authors …show more content…
Inequality of race has always played a significant role in the convictions and sentencings of blacks, having harsher punishments for crimes. The method of using the inmate research file in the first article about sentencing was the best possible method that could have been used. On the other hand, if Burch surveyed civilians instead of using the inmate file about how the different skin tones of blacks were related to sentencing; I believe that there would be different outcomes in data and less realistic. In the second article the method of surveying “free” individuals for obtaining data, was a very smart choice. This is because they were trying to see the race of an individual would influence their opinions about the fairness of the criminal justice system. However, if the authors surveyed respondents that were in prison or have been to prison then I believe that they white respondents would have had a different opinion about the criminal justice system and the actors involved. In the first article Burch’s hypothesis was strongly exemplified by facts and in depth analysis of differences in skin tones and what they mean to sentencing. Both of the articles leave me with the same question, why are females excluded from all of the data? Also, if women were to be included in these analyses would that change

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    In the essay Race, Capital Punishment, and the Cost of Murder by M. Cholbi, the author examines the issue of racial discrimination in capital punishment among African Americans; also, how African Americans murderers are more likely to receive the death penalty over white murderers. The Author believes capital punishment and the death penalty are just punishments for the actions of perpetrators, however the author believes the unequal distribution of capital punishment is not a just action (Cholbi 1). The argument of whether capital punishment is immoral has shifted to if its distribution among criminals is tolerable and just (Cholbi 1). Cholbi states,”I believe that the issue of racial disparities in capital sentencing deserves to be reinvigorated…

    • 910 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This article is in discussion of the truth behind the criminal justice system. The author first introduces how the minorities are in fact not receiving the full fairness they should be receiving. The author then reveals that the unfairness and discrimination towards African Americans can cause the police and criminal justice system problems. “To the extent that police are negatively affecting blacks’ perception of the criminal justice system, not only may they be less likely to comply with authorities, but they are also more likely to deem criminal justice outcomes as less just. This may influence the perception of blacks such that punishments are seen as biased or too harsh”( Blackwell, 538).…

    • 1728 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In his essay, he states that he would like to rehabilitate the system of the American criminal system. Butler provides relevant arguments such as the racism in court, specifically the way white jurors are more likely to agree with a white person’s testimony as opposed to a black person’s. His opinion concerning the alarming rate of youth entering prison before the age of thirty is something we should look at in more depth. With all these positive changes he is trying to make for nonviolent criminals, he seems too prejudice towards African Americans and not willing to give Caucasians the same benefit of the…

    • 753 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Death Penalty And Religion

    • 1140 Words
    • 5 Pages

    This article has the viewpoints on the affects that individuals react to capital punishment in our society. The literature section discusses the implications between races. As the article methodology it relies on qualitative research. The report perdition is that Caucasian’s view the death penalty differently compared to African American’s. This repetition has reoccurred due to the facts that African American has been more likely to have major historical events within the correctional system pertaining the law.…

    • 1140 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This may be normal, but there is a major difference in the differences in similar cases and the disparity between sentence lengths between races. An entry in the journal of legal studies, “Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?” by authors David S. Abrams, Marianne Bertrand, and Sendhil Mullainathan, find that black people serve longer sentence length than other races. They write “with violent crimes receiving the most severe sentences. African American defendants receive longer sentences on average and are more than 30 percent more likely to be incarcerated than are white defendants”. While it’s easy to look at this and say that the criminal justice system is unfairly sentencing black people, many will believe that black people simply commit more crime and deserves harsher sentences.…

    • 1200 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Overall, they found that race did not have a direct effect on sentence severity, but that blacks were more likely to be incarcerated than whites. I find this study important to my research question because it not only addresses issues with other race and sentencing studies but goes on to fix those problem and conduct a more thorough study. From the results we see that race does in fact have an effect on sentencing. In this particular case, not on sentence severity, but on the incarceration…

    • 1349 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Saperstein and Penner’s article, “Racial Fluidity and Inequality in the United States,” highlights the processes that make race a product of expectations, versus an unchangeable essential constant, how it was perceived as for so long in history. Race, they argue, is defined by expectations in which people are judged in everyday interactions. Because of these these expectations (“stereotypes”) of how people should act, which is especially dependent on their fluctuating social status, black stigmatization and white privilege are able to survive and flourish. In their research they discovered that people tended to be classified (and identify themselves) as “more white” or “more black” based on the fluctuating positive and negative attributes to…

    • 799 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Misjudging, and applying harsh judgments to people just because of their race/ethnicity is a type of racial disparities. Racial disparities is a major problem across the state. When people of any race commit a crime of any kind, most of the time black and Latino receive harsh judgments more than white people. ACLU report “Racial Disparities in Sentencing” states that “There are significant racial disparities in sentencing decisions in the United States. Sentences imposed on Black males in the federal system are nearly 20 percent longer than those imposed on white males convicted of similar crimes.…

    • 1268 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Role of Racial Prejudice in Crime Policies The research on the influence of racial prejudice is the basis of my study. The sources were chosen show readers that racial prejudice and crime policy are strongly linked. Barkan and Cohen investigate the link of racial prejudice and the view that the criminal justice system needs more money to fight crime. The study focused on white respondents views on what race was more prone to committing crimes. The authors discovered that whites that were more racially prejudiced perceived African Americans as more likely to commit crimes, tended to be in favor of spending more money to reduce crime (Barkan 2005).…

    • 1286 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    According to the report that was released by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) there is a stronger link between race and the death penalty, than between smoking and heart disease. The death penalty and racism are closely correlated in the United States of America because some statistical evidence that prove the same. Many believe that death penalty is a harsh punishment that should be abolished because it has negative impact on the families of the prisoners and it is also painful. Statistics indicate that a Black American who has committed a heinous crime is likely to face a death penalty as compared to his or her white counterparts. It is therefore right to conclude that death penalty is closely related to the spiraling racism in…

    • 1347 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays