The New Jim Crow Research Paper

1396 Words 6 Pages
Racism in the American Justice System
Forms of crime and justice have been relevant and can be traced all the way back to the first civilized societies of the Ancient world. Fortunately these systems have reformed to reflect changing customs, political ideals, and economic conditions of a given society. That being said, one would think that America’s justice system would be one of the most progressive in the world. However, looking at the overwhelming evidence, the it is actually to the contrary. As the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness outlines, it has been proven that the American criminal justice system is in fact, inherently racist.
The first example of how this is true is that the War on Drugs is really
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As soon as a minority obtains a criminal record, suddenly a vast amount of legalized scapegoating besieges them. They can now legally be disenfranchised, denied housing, and quality education. Disenfranchisement of African Americans is a huge problem. In fact, today more African American males are disenfranchised than in the 1870’s. This is mainly to do with felon disenfranchisement laws that deny felons the right to vote. People who are felons are disproportionately people of color. Research has shown that as much as 10% of the population in some minority communities in the United States are unable to vote as a result of felony disenfranchisement. The criminal justice system has been able to arrest significantly more African Americans and deny them the right to vote as part of the War on Drugs. This is inherently racist and has in turn expanded the powers of the system in a negative way.
During the duration of the War on Drugs, the power and incentives of law enforcement has risen, which has had negative effects on African Americans. One of the main negative powers is known as Civil Forfeiture. Which by definition is “a
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As The New Jim Crow points out, racial discrimination still exists in "crack sentencing laws". An example used in the book was the controversial United States v. Edward Clary case. The book argued that the court was prejudiced towards Edward Clary, who was an African American boy. In the case, Clary was convicted of crack cocaine possession for the first time, and was punished more severely compared to powder cocaine counterparts. Clary 's lawyers argued that the law was unreasonable and deliberate as to segregate African-Americans, who were the major users of crack cocaine. In the end, however, Clary lost the case and was sentenced to a minimum of ten years. Alexander believes that racism plays a role in criminal punishment. Unfortunately that was not the first or last time discriminatory sentencing affected the life of a young African

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