Racial Profiling In The U.S. Criminal Justice System

1045 words - 5 pages

Racial Profiling in the U.S. Criminal Justice System
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Racial Profiling in the U.S. Criminal Justice System
Racial profiling is among the key problems that are cited in the U.S. criminal justice system. The American Civil Liberties Union(2016) defines racial profiling as a discriminatory practice by law enforcement officers of using individual’s race, ethnicity, religion among other traits as grounds for suspicion Racial profiling has particularly affected the black Americans and other minority groups. Research shows that these minority groups and especially the black Americans are overrepresented in the U.S. Criminal system despite the fact that ...view middle of the document...

In this servitude, black Americans would be leased to toil on white individual’s plantations and private companies such as coal and rail road firms. They were forced into convict leasing usually through a particular set of laws known as black codes which targeted black people and used and exploited to assert control for the benefit of the white who had for long relied on free black labour. One of the black codes was a law that criminalized vagrancy. The latter meant not having employment. Convictions for crime of vagrancy usually required black people, in particular men to work off their prison terms (Rushing, 2013).
The modern racial profiling in the country’s criminal justice system is a replication of racial profiling of the slavery era. Today, the black people are often viewed as suspects of drug possession among other crimes, which culminate in arrest, trial and conviction not necessarily on fair grounds. This claim is backed by several research findings on the prejudiced nature of the U.S. Criminal justice system in relation to minority groups.
Hartley (2009) found that there are racial and ethnic discrepancies in the US criminal justice system. Although African American’s constituted just 13 percent of the total United States population, in 2006, they made up 42% of the total inmates nationwide in the same year. These figures translate to a rate of 4.7 times the rate for white Americans. A report funded by the American Bar Association in 2007 resolved that one third black American death row prisoners in Philadelphia wouldn’t have been sentenced to life had they not been African –Americans. In 2007, a study conducted by Yale School of Law on death sentences reported that black Americans are sentenced to death three times more than white defendants in cases involving white Americans as the victims. Additionally, murderers of white victims receive more harsh treatment than people who murder minorities when it a case of deciding what charges to institute (amnesty.org, 2014).
Solution to Racial Profiling in the U.S Criminal Justice System
To end racial profiling in the criminal justice system, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive legislation that will be aimed at ending racial profiling altogether. The legislation would prohibit federal and state governments from racial profiling that encompasses using...

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