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The Racial Disparities Of The American Criminal Justice System

2778 words - 11 pages

What if I were to tell you that the American Criminal Justice System is corrupt? Or, that when it comes to working within the color of the law, police officers work around the color of your skin. Are there racial disparities within The Criminal Justice System? There can be no other answer than yes.
In this paper I will examine and prove that racial disparities do exists within The Criminal Justice System through the systematic targeting of people of color as well as through our Judicial System.
Systematic Targeting
Does anybody not find it interesting that in a country where people of color only make up 30 percent of the population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned (Kerby, “The Top 10”, par. 3)? These disturbing numbers suggest two possible things about American society. The first is that despite people of color being the minority in the country, the chances of them being caught committing a crime is higher than that of their Caucasian counterparts. The second suggestion is that perhaps there are racial disparities within the criminal justice system, more specifically the rate at which people of color are arrested in comparison to Caucasians. To understand why this number is so disturbing I will put it in context in terms of the NFL. The National Football League’s population is 69 percent people of color and 31 Caucasian. Notice how similar those numbers are to that of the general United States population. However in the NFL, “people of color are arrested nearly 10 times as often as white players (260 to 28)” (Schrotenboer,” Black NFL players”, par.4). Although those numbers are still troubling they show exactly what should happen in a society in which one demographic outnumbers another. People of color outnumber Caucasians in the NFL so it makes sense, it is logical that they are arrested more frequently. However when we look at the general population of the country, which once again are the exact same numbers as the NFL population with the exception of reverse demographics, are showing the same numbers as it would if people of color were the dominate demographic. As we all know this is not the case. With people of color being arrested more often in a society they are the minority in only shows that they are being systematically targeted.
To say that people of color are systematically targeted may sound a bit controversial. After all according to New Century Foundation’s research blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit a murder, and eight times more likely to commit a robbery (pg. 2). However, when you compare this statistic with the numbers mentioned in the prior paragraph you realize that they are not consistent. The reason why people of color are recognized for being more likely to commit a crime is because African-Americans are incarcerated at a rate of nearly 6 times the rate of whites (Williams, “Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System”, par. 3). So if the minority...

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