RacialBiases in Criminal Justice
Racialbiases in criminal justice can be traced back to slavery and Jim Croweras, and can complicate how people view the justice system (Pollock,2014). In those times, African Americans had little recourse in thejudicial system. This can be supported by the DredScott v Sanfordcase, where it was ruled that Dred was property, and he could notenjoy the liberties that were provided by the USA constitution (Falk,2010).Racial biases in criminal justice would continue and be widespread inJim Crow Era.
AfricanAmericans were burned and tortured without trial when suspected of acrime. As time passed, some liberties were experienced, but still,racial biases in criminal justice continued. For instance, in Plessyv Ferguson,the Supreme Court upheld a racial segregation law, which requiredAfrican Americans to sit in different places with whites (Falk,2010).Plessy was 7/8 white and 1/8 black he attempted to sit in the whitesection, but was arrested for violating the Segregation Law(Falk, 2010).
Theracial biases in the judicial system continued until Martin LutherKing started a movement of liberation. There were some changes inpaper, but little in actions. In 1984, a 19-year-old Darryl Hunt, anAfrican-American, was arrested on allegations of raping and murderingDeborah Sykes. After ten years, a DNA test was done, and itexonerated him from the crime, but he was released nine years laterwhen Willard Brown, a convict confessed to the crimes, which weresupported by the DNA test. He was released in 2004 (Falk,2010).
Also,a group of Hispanic and African Americans between the ages of 14 to16 were convicted of assaulting and raping Trisha Meili. Later, itwas revealed that the evidence was fabricated, and the teens werecoerced to confess. Furthermore, a man called Matias Reyes confessedto the crimes, which led to the vacation of the boy’s convictionruling (Falk,2010).
Recently,we have seen the killings of various African Americans and profiling,which has created a movement “Black Live Matters.” Such amovement sends a message of dissatisfaction in the biases in criminaljustice. Another issue that has created much debate is the fact thatthe prison population consists of 42% African Americans despite theirnational population being 12.6% according to US Census Bureau in2010. Such facts show how the racial biases have continued to mar oursociety(Rastogi, Johnson, Hoeffel & Drewery, 2011).As a result, some individuals have lost faith and trust in thejustice system and the police, which in turn has led to increase incriminal deviance behaviors (Pollock,2014).
Falk, G.(2010). TheAmerican criminal justice system: How it works, how It doesn`t, andhow to fix it.Santa barbara, CA: Praeger.
Pollock, J. M.(2014). Ethicaldilemmas and decisions in criminal justice (7th ed.).Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Rastogi, S.,Johnson, T. D., Hoeffel, E. M., &Drewery, M. P. (2011). The black population:2010. 2010issue briefs,1-20. Retrieved fromhttp://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-06.pdf