CRJ

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“One in three black males and one in six Latino males are imprisoned during their lifetime while only one in seventeen white males are incarcerated” (Bonczar, T., 2003). Furthermore, of the U.S. population African Americans make up 12.9 percent, Hispanics 15.8 percent, and non-Hispanic whites 65.1 percent while the percentage of jail and prison inmates, African Americans make up 39.4 percent, Hispanics 20.7 percent, and non-Hispanics whites were only 34.4 percent of the jail and prison population (Walker, Spohn, & Delone, 2012, p. 283). Some believe there is racial discrimination involved in the sentencing process; others believe it is disparity due to other factors such as prior criminal history. This paper will uncover possible reasons for this disparity and discuss ways to decrease any discrimination that may be contributing. The first explanation for this variation could be from the fact that African Americans and Hispanics commit more serious crimes and have more serious prior criminal records than whites. In a study by King, Johnson, and McGeever, the likelihood of a jail sentence was higher for men with prior convictions, those found guilty at trial, and those who committed more serious crimes (King et al, 2010, p. 19). Second, it could be tied to indirect economic discrimination as indigent people usually use a public defender as they cannot afford to hire a private attorney. Usually those who do not have the money to employ a private attorney end up being detained prior to trial and fair off worse in the sentencing phase as compared to those that were released prior to trial. (Walker et al, 2012, p. 285). A third rationalization might be from the application of neutral laws and policies that result in racially... ... middle of paper ... ...ounsel representation as they do not have time to prepare their case to do the best they can for their client. We all know that the criminal justice system is not perfect and will never be so, but we need to always strive to look for improvements to give everybody an unbiased and honest hearing as best as we can. I do not believe we will ever reach a point that there is no discrimination in our world but we must never give up to bring it to the least amount it can possibly be. Nobody is perfect and if you engage in activity that puts you in the legal system, we should strive to give everyone equal treatment with bail, counsel and in sentencing. There is no room to treat others of different racial backgrounds differently, we need to have our criminal justice system as unbiased as it can be and maybe that will benefit our world outside the criminal justice system.
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