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Diversity Issues In Criminal Justice Essay

2562 words - 11 pages

Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice

The diversity issue focused on in this paper will be racial disparity in sentencing. This paper will also focus on some of the reasons why racial disparity exists within sentencing. One of the research methods used in this paper will be case studies. In society today there are a diversity of citizens, of offenders, and leaders within in the court system. However, race still plays a big role in the Criminal Justice system especially during the sentencing portion. Although racial dynamics may have changed over time, race still exerts an undeniable presence in sentencing process. This ranges from disparate traffic stops due to racial profiling to ...view middle of the document...

According to ( Burnham, Sen, 2005) “The compact for racial justice is a proactive agenda for fairness and unity in our communities, politics, the economy and the law. It offers concrete strategies and proposals to reverse racial disparities and move our society towards full equity, Cultural Diversity 3 Inclusion and dignity for all people.” Having fairness and unity in our communities would be very nice because everyone would be treated equal. Another thing is that sometimes people are treated less than equal because of the racial, ethnic, or gender group to which they belong. When people are treated unfairly it can have a negative impact on the way they view the world, which is sad because they did not make themselves.
People in society need to realize that people did not make their selves and that the person
the color they are is not their fault either. Back to racial disparity, there are four reasons to why
racial disparity continues to flourish. These reasons are: prosecutorial discretion, ineffective
assistance of council, and procedural bars, venue, and jury selection, as well as potential racism by jurors. According to ( Tabak, 1999) “these reasons apply in cases in which the death penalty may be sought.” When illustrating the use of prosecutorial discretion two crime types that can be
compared, include white collar crime and street crime. When people commit a white collar crime
the sentence imposed is normally lesser than the people who committed a regular street
crime. Some sentencing is very unfair for instance people who cheat on their taxes may never
even spend a day in jail. Whereas, people who had a small amount of drugs can receive up to five years in prison sure drugs are bad but so is cheating on your taxes. Why do people who commit street crimes seems to be punish more harsher than people who commit crimes that are equally heinous like fraud and hardly ever step foot in court? Well, here are a few more reasons why this problem may exist. Racial disparity is present within sentencing because of the way ineffective assistance of counsel and procedural bars. The problem lies within the fact that “proving ineffective assistance of counsel is structured in a way that is extremely difficult to show that a lawyer ineffectual” ( Tabak, 1999). A good example of this is a case where the defendant Johnny Lee Gates, he lived in a black community all his life, and he was accused of raping a white woman and the jurors who were listening to his case were all white. In this case his lawyer should have object to the jury selection process. When looking at this case more closely you can see that the lawyer did not care about his client court case and he already concluded that his client was guilty.
Another potential reason why we may see racial disparity in sentencing is caused by venue and jury selection. The phase “location is everything” can prove to be a painful truth for those who are punished for being placed on trial in the...

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