Criminal Justice: Racial Disparity and Discrimination and O.J. Simpson Essay

Criminal Justice: Racial Disparity and Discrimination and O.J. Simpson Essay

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Criminal law is based on the principle of actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea. The principle is to the extent that a man is not guilty of his acts, actus in the absence of a guilty conscience, mens rea (Gardner, 2009). To this end, criminal law justice provides that the person alleging the commission of a crime must proof beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person(s) possessed mens rea, if the court is to hold a criminal liability against the accused. In the case of People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson (1995) or what has come to be famously known as the O.J. Simpson Trial is a classical illustration of how highly the U.S. criminal justice regards the beyond reasonable doubt principle.
The United States of America is by all rights a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society comprising mainly of Whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian and Native Americans. This multi-racial society has seen with it the development and manifestation of racial disparity since its inception. Such notions are commonly based on beliefs that some races are more superior to others. Such notions have found root to the core of the American society, and to this end to the justice system which is by all means a social element. Under criminal law, this may be reflected in regards to legal factors as well as extralegal factors. Whereas the legal influences may contain aspects like the seriousness of the crime as well as the criminal records, extralegal notions are based on factors like gender, race, and class amongst others. These thus fail the test of criminal behavior as they are based mainly on the group membership an individual belongs to.
Such disparity is experienced due to the existence of a proportion of a specific racial an...


... middle of paper ...


...amely, institutionalized, systematic, contextual, and lastly individual acts.
The two are however in comparison based on the fact they both concentrate on the sentencing of individuals for crimes in courts as well as arrests. To this end, they are both deemed to be responsible in the decision making that will lead to one being deemed either guilty or not in a court of law.
To this end, there is dire need to reform the justice system to curb the preference of discrimination as well as disparity (Mathis, 2007). The two would lead to great injustices as the victims of both would end up meeting justice in an unfair manner.



References
Gardner, Anderson. (2009). Criminal Law, 10th Edition. Wadsworth.
Mathis, G. (2007). Justice System is Criminal and it’s Time for a Change. Tri-State Defender. Mephis, Tenn.
Mauer, M. (2006). Race to Incarcerate. The New Press.

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