Black America vs. the Criminal Justice System
A. One significant problem faced among the judicial system is the injustice involving African Americans with sentencing and racial profiling. Not only will the individual and society response be discussed but the expert’s theories and alternative solutions will be included. II. African Americans facing injustice within the judicial system. A. Sentencing for crimes committed compared to other races. 1. Marissa Alexander, a black mother, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after shooting a warning shot to scare her abusive husband. No one was injured in her choice to shoot the warning shoot but Amber Cummings, a 32 year old mother, did not face any jail time for killing her husband who was said to be a white supremacists. 2. Judge Jean Boyd sentenced a young white male, Ethan Couch, after killing 4 individuals while driving drunk, to 10 years of probation and sentence a 14 year old black male to 10 years of prison after punching and killing a man. Ethan Couch prior to the incidents, stole from a store and alcohol level was three times the limit. Neither young men where mentally ill or had justification on the crimes they committed but sentencing was harsher for the young black male. 3. John McNeil, a black father of two, was sentenced to seven years in prison and 13 years of probation in 2005 for murdering a white male that threaten to stab his sons after trespassing on their property while Joe Horn, an elderly white male shot and killed two men that was breaking and entering into his neighbor’s home one night. Horn took it upon himself, even after the 911 operator repeatedly informed him not to interfere in the situation because the cops were on the way, to murder the two men. B. Racial Profiling of African American individuals.
1 Trayvon Martin was a young black teen walking through a neighborhood with a black hoodie and was murdered by George Zimmerman because he believe the young teen was going to commit a crime. George Zimmerman did not serve any jail-time for the murder. 4. African Americans have a higher chance of being stop by police officers when driving and frisking than a White American. Research has found that “in investigatory stops, a black man age twenty-five or younger has a 28 percent chance of being stopped for an investigatory reason over the course of an year; a similar young white man has 12.5 percent chance and a similar young white woman has only a 7 percent chance”. (Epp & Maynard, 2014, p.15) 5. African Americans also has a higher chance of being stalked or watched closely in department stores. For example: Barneys, a high-in department store is now under fire for its practices when facing minorities. Two young African Americans have come forward with their issues faced when shopping in Barneys. One young man, Trayon Christian was put in handcuffs after an employee of Barneys called the police to report a fraudulent credit card used by the African American male and later found out the credit card was real. Kayla Philips purchased a 2300.00 pursed and was later stop by the police upon leaving the store. (Harris, 2013, p. 1) III. Expert’s Opinion on the problem.
A. Both David Harris and Randall Kennedy have research and exam research on the topic of racial profiling. 1 David Harris is a law professor at University of Pittsburg School of Law and has found that in 2003, many of the traffic vehicle stops resulted in illegal substances and goods being found by police officers. When Harris calculated the traffic vehicle stops he came across that White Americans contributed to most of the stops and that “that racial profiling is a counterproductive law enforcement strategy as well as a controversial one.” (Collica, 2012, chp. 4.3) 2 Randall Kennedy wrote an article in 2011 title, “"Race and the Administration of Criminal Justice in the United States". In 2006 he research racial profiling in New York City and found that “55% of African...
References: Collica, K. & Furst, G. (2012). Crime and Society. San Diego CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Gabbidon, S. L., Jordan, K. L., Penn, E. B., & Higgins, G. E. (2014). Black Supporters of the
No-Discrimination Thesis in Criminal Justice: A Portrait of an Understudied Segment of the Black Community
Rosich, K. J. (2007). Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System. Washington, DC: American
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