Is Racism In The Justice System Saint Leo University Essay

2668 words - 11 pages

Roberts 1
Cynthia Roberts
Mr. Coffey
Criminal Justice
December 2, 2014
Is Racism in the Justice System?
My goal is to show that racism does exist in the criminal justice system. African Americans have been seeking equality ever since they were brought to this country. They worked hard for little or no pay, and were controlled by whites. During slavery they were beaten or hung, if they didn’t do whatever it took to appease their so called masters. They were taught to believe that they were inferior to whites. Today, whites have that same mentality, but now they are using the criminal justice system as a means of being in control.
In an article from The Huffington Post, Bill Quigley states “The biggest crime in the US criminal justice is that it is a race-based institution where African Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people”. Quigley also raises the question as to whether or not the system is operating according to how it was designed to work, or is it used to mistreat and control African Americans (Huffington Post). The criminal Justice system has been poisoned by injustices to minorities, mostly blacks. The purpose of the criminal justice system is to deliver justice for all by convicting and punishing the guilty and helping them to stop offending, while protecting the innocent. It should not be used as a means of gaining social control.
There are two issues that I would like to address pertaining to the criminal justice system. The first issue is racial profiling. As defined, it is the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed a crime. It is the key factor in helping a cop decide whether to engage in enforcement. It is merely a new politically correct name for racism. Racial profiling is wrong and unethical. It is often used by those that have been empowered to protect us. Cops become familiar with high crime areas and patrol them frequently, looking for trends or patterns to make it easier for them to decide whether or not to stop and search, or perhaps make an arrest. Racial profiling is a very sensitive subject that everyone can relate to, whether directly or indirectly. It is a disgraceful method that degrades the person that it is imposed upon. When a black feels violated, their actions to defend themselves usually results in arrest, even if they are not guilty of committing any other crime at all.
It is in the opinion of some that our jails and prisons are filled with black men that never committed a crime. They believe that some may be guilty, but many are arrested because they fit a certain profile. Is that to say that all blacks look alike or that all blacks that wear sagging pants is a thug with criminal intent? The second issue is legal representation. Many of these young men are appointed public defenders that have far too large case loads, and no experience under their belts. Their representation is poorly executed, and in most cases ...


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