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Racial Disparity In Sentencing Essay

1914 words - 8 pages

Racial Disparity in Sentencing
Racial disparity in sentencing in the criminal justice system is a problematic issue. Individuals often believe that racial disparity in sentencing does not exist; however, substantial proof in the criminal justice system proves otherwise. According to statistics of Marc Mauer, “unprecedented rise in the populations of prisons over the past three decades is a six fold increase, resulting in the incarceration of nearly two million Americans.” The breakdown of statistics is as follows: “One in every eight African-American male groups between 25-34 year old is a result of incarceration and 32% of African-American males born to society can expect to spend a term ...view middle of the document...

Although illegal deliberately to railroad or throw a case, proving racial disparity of sentencing with ineffective counsel or procedural bars may prove to be impossible of existence. Ineffective counsel is present throughout America and is an illustration when describing minorities originating from a smaller minority community of his or her racial minority. An example is the case of Johnny Lee Gates, a Black male on trial for accusations of rape and murder of a White female with a jury of White individuals, and the public defender fails to object to the selection process of the jury panel (Tabak, 1999, p. 6).
Venue and jury selection is another problematic stage of racial disparity in sentencing. Location is everything phrase is often the painful truth for many suffering punishments because of the locations of a case within wrong communities or neighborhoods. Prosecutors often will choose venues for minorities in areas with more predominantly White jury results (Tabak, 1999, p. 6). The jury selection process is controversial and possess a problem in the selecting of a jury, especially involving cases of defendants of racial minorities because the process lacks the private questioning of jurors separately from other jurors. To illustrate the problems with racial disparity the two types of crimes, street crimes and white-collar crimes are compared to prove prosecutorial discretion exist in criminal justice sentencing.
Cases’ regarding white-collar crime sentencing imposes lesser sentencing and charges than regular street crimes individuals commit. “Individuals lying on taxes to the Internal Revenue Services may never spend a night in jail or prison; however, an individual possessing a handful if illegal quantities of drugs may receive a sentence up to five years” (Mauer, 2004, p. 87). These controversial issues force questions regarding the punishments of equally heinous crimes and street crimes may contribute to harsher sentences than an individual committing fraud to the United States Internal Revenue Service. Racial disparity also exists with a fourth problematic issue regarding racist jurors.
Racial disparity in the sentencing process of the criminal justice system also exists because of racial jurors. To eliminate the suspensions of racial disparity of racial jurors the jury will select at least one African-American to serve for the jury. A percentage of African-Americans oppose capital punishment (Tabak, 1999, p. 6). Prosecutors commonly discriminate against African-Americans during challenges of discretions and blatantly abuse the powers of prosecutors. Juries predominantly use more Whites in every trial is inappropriate on the levels of the criminal justice system. Americans have rights to a trial by jury of peers and has the right not to exclude minorities in the selection of a jury. Excluding minorities in a jury of an individual’s peers is a violation of an objective and fair trial for a defendant.
The case of William Hance...

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