Possibly the most striking about the discussion of race is how frequently national attention to racial issues revolve around race and the criminal justice system. Over the past year alone, significant national events have had wide-spread media coverage involving race that has affected large portions of the nation. Although the United States is the most racially diverse nation in the world, a defendant’s race and/or ethnicity can affect the severity of their sentencing. This purpose of this paper is to examine racial sentencing disparity and the underlying issues contributing to this concern. Additionally, this paper will provide recommendations to be implemented in order to eliminate or at least reduce the level of sentencing disparity throughout the nation.
Within the United States judicial system, there appears to be an unrestrained discretion that is a direct result of sentencing disparity. In regards to sentencing, disparity exists when illegitimate or legally irrelevant defendant characteristics appear to directly affect the overall outcome of sentences imposed after all relevant information is taken into consideration. Within the judicial system, judges are not bound by sentencing set rules or guidelines, which allows for judges to create sentences for defendants as they deem appropriate. In many instances, judges have imposed different sentences for offenders who have very similar or sometimes identical situations, yet they’re crimes and characteristics are substantially different. Interestingly enough, an offender’s characteristics, specifically their race, can affect the severity of their sentencing. (Spohn, 2002).
It’s important to note that disparity is largely used interchangeably...
... middle of paper ...
... the nation are disproportionately occupied by Blacks and Hispanics. Interestingly enough, this trend holds true throughout most geographical areas, with this trend being highest in the Southern and state correctional systems. Blacks represent 38 percent of inmates in the federal prison systems and 55 percent in state prison systems. Hispanics on the other hand represent 28 percent of the federal prison systems and 17 percent of the state correctional population (Yeisley & Krebs, 2002). It’s important to note that racial disparities at the sentencing stage may not necessarily be a function of judicial bias; it can also result from race neutral sentencing policies with skewed racial effects. This is readily identifiable with many drug policies and habitual offender statutes that ultimately lead to disparity within the criminal justice system (Crow & Johnson, 2008).
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- THE DISPARITY IN SENTENCING AMONGST MINORITY PRISONERS Although some say the disparity of minority to white prison sentences are due to repeat offenses by second and third time offenders, the disparity in the population between black and white Americans in the U.S. doesn't support the fact there are more blacks than whites in American prisons. The make- up of judges, juries and law enforcement officials in the judicial system are a factor. A larger percentage of white defendants come before a judge then black defendants, however the conviction rate and sentences imposed for blacks is higher for the same relative crimes committed.... [tags: minoritities, jail, prison, whites, blacks]
955 words (2.7 pages)
- Although some say the high disparity of minority to white prison sentences is due to repeat offenses by second and third time offenders, the disparity in the population between black and white Americans in the U.S. doesn't support the fact there are more minorities than whites in American prisons. The make- up of judges, juries and law enforcement officials in the judicial system are a factor. The high disparity amongst minorities in prison is due to the societal issues such as racial discrimination, racial inequality of lawmakers in the court system, and presumptive sentencing guidelines.... [tags: Prison Sentences, Repeat Offenses, Jail Time]
1640 words (4.7 pages)
- From 1990 to 2010, the percentage of foreign-born individuals in the United States population has skyrocketed from 7.9% or (19,767,316 individuals) to 12.9% of the population (or 39,955,854 individuals), and has received attention from researchers seeking to examine the link between immigration and decisions made by government representatives and officials (Wu and D’Angelo, 2014, p. 58). In the article “Unwarranted Disparity in Federal Sentencing: Noncitizen Crime as a Social/Group Threat”, Jawjeong Wu and Jill M.... [tags: Crime, Prison, Criminal justice, Sentence]
923 words (2.6 pages)
- The issue in this question is regarding the effect of Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003) to previous English sentencing system regarding one of the aims of punishment i.e. retribution. It is a duty for courts to apply under section 142 (1) of CJA 2003. The section requires the courts to have regarded the aims in imposing sentence to offenders which has now plays a smaller role in serving punishment. And how profound this changes has been. I will discuss briefly about (a) historical background of CJA 2003, (b) identify who is CJA successor, (c) recognise difference in principle between CJA and its successor i.e.... [tags: Criminal Justice, Sentencing Policy]
2919 words (8.3 pages)
- Community Service within the justice system is being used in the present,due to prison overcrowding.The problem with giving community service as a discipline in the justice system.Some offenders may be a threat to the safety of citizens and safe communities.Community service was established as a way for the justice system to budget for the community.Community Service,(2014) Community service programs where initiated in the United States with female traffic offenders in Alameda County, California in 1966.Local initiatives following in several counties throughout the United States.The state of California believed community service would help address the issue of prison overcrowding.... [tags: alternative sentencing, justice system]
1768 words (5.1 pages)
- The underlying issue of wild horses is the overpopulation of a particular species, which is contributing a serious ecological disaster, overgrazing. The degradation of the land has a domino effect, which will lead to more issues. It is important to maintain a balance between the need of the species, and what is healthy or the environment. The issue created controversy, is central to the passing of laws, and creates an opportunity for the government and the community to work together. There are many way to solve the issue of the wild horses and the issue that are created due to their existence.... [tags: Decision making, Decision theory, Wild horse]
1027 words (2.9 pages)
- In the 1980’s the crack epidemic was in full swing. To combat drug-related crime, congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act in 1986 (Edwards). For the first time mandatory minimum sentencing went into effect for the criminal possession of cocaine and other illegal drugs. Then in 1994, to combat violent crime, Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (Edwards). New mandatory sentencing guidelines were recommended by the federal government. States that accepted the new guidelines were then awarded funds by the feds to build additional prisons and jails, and thus the prison-industrial complex was born (Schlosser).... [tags: Mandatory sentencing, Crime, Prison]
1253 words (3.6 pages)
- Due to the unfair sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine, despite the fact that the two are the same drug, just in different forms, the government endorsed a law to reduce the sentencing of those who were convicted of crack related offenses. Repealing past wrong doings seemed to be a hurdle initially for lawmakers, but ultimately inmates finally received some of the justice that they deserved. The disparity in sentencing was seen by many as to be a racial war, considering the fact that blacks typically used crack, and whites used powder cocaine.... [tags: injustices, fair sentencing act]
746 words (2.1 pages)
- Sentencing to Service (STS) is a sentencing option available to most Courts where a convicted offender "works off” his/her fine by performing a specified number of hours of public service work under the supervision of a work crew leader employed by the state or a local corrections agency. Courts may also sentence offenders to STS rather than jail or workhouse time. STS was established in 1986 by the Minnesota Department of Corrections along with several County Sheriff’s Departments, community corrections, Courts and local governments.... [tags: Sentencing to Service, Juvenile delinquency, ]
898 words (2.6 pages)
- Underlying Corruption Long shadows meandered through the darkened house, lightning strobing their actions on the walls. Jeremy stood in the dark kitchen, holding a small emergency candle and a box of matches. Barefoot in jeans, and an unbuttoned flannel, his relaxed look belied his state of mind. The sights and sounds of the night made him pause. Holding stalk still, he listened intently, hoping for the sounds to be the dog or maybe some farm animals. The noises that greeted him were nothing of the sort.... [tags: Underlying Corruption Short Story Essays]
1186 words (3.4 pages)