Discrimination within the criminal justice system in the US

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This report, the author will be covering about the discrimination within the criminal justice system in United States of America (U.S.A). This issue is about the criminal acts being caught red handed between the majority and minority community group. The report will also focus about the ratio stats and treatment the minority get in the criminal justice system. As this happen, the consequences of it lead to the prejudice and discrimination towards the minority community group.

SECTION II - THE ISSUES AND WHO ARE INVOLVED

The population in U.S.A is currently estimated around 308 million which is the third highest population in the world behind China and India (Nov, 17, 2010, Matt Rosenberg, About.com Guide). As the country has vast amount with population, the minority of the population is currently being on injustice treatment. The minority in USA contains of Black American, Hispanic/Latinos and Asians. The graph below shows the race percentage of total population in USA.

Race

Percentage of Population

Number of Population

White American

69.13

242,639

Black American

12.06

39,059

Hispanic & Latinos

12.5

46,944

Others(Asian.etc)

6.14

13,549

(Source: U.S Census Bureau, Administration & Customer Service Division)

This report will be focusing on varies aspect of their systems. The aspects that will be covering are police and criminal procedural law.

The discrimination against the minority within the justice system in USA can due to the start of a simple common stereotyping. As example, black American will always relate for being in the gangster hood placing the gun behind their back, robbing shops and etc. While the Hispanic & Latinos are famously known for drug trafficking group and illegal immigrants pass through the border of Mexico. This simple stereotyping has lead to unfair treatment in the justice system. In fact this discrimination starts during the civil war era.

SECTION III - WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR US TO TALK ABOUT IT?

Police System

The word justice is always having connection with the police due to their job to catch the criminal. Therefore the civilian have their complete faith on them for doing the job. However some of the police officer misuse this trust and take advantage of it.

In fact we begin within the structure inside of the police department in US. In the police department in US, there are inappropriate ratios of white and minority police officer, "white police officers remarkably make up 87 percent of the nation's police force while the minority makes up only 13 percent which 11 percent of it are black officer "(Saturday, April 28, 2001 in the Dayton Daily News).

Within the structure itself there are unequal rights of employing an officer. Hence the jobs of the black officer are also different from the white officer. The black officers have to do the 'dirty' mission; the mission they need to be done is a matter of life and death. The mission is to become an undercover police posing as a drug dealer to catch the bigger drug dealer due to the background of the blacks. "While doing the undercover jobs, they face the assault or shot by their very own white officer counterparts before they could identify who they are" (Roger Abel, a retired NYPD detective is wrote a book on this matter).

"In New York City alone, 23 African American officers have been shot by mistaken and 18 have been assaulted by fellow white officers and none white officer ever being shot by the black officer" (Roger Abel, a retired NYPD detective is wrote a book on this matter).

Racial Profiling of a Criminal

Racial profiling is the major thing that is needs to be strongly disapproval in U.S.A. Usually profiling is use in police to focus on to see whether the suspects behave suspiciously in certain circumstances. However, racial profiling is not judge by reaction of an individual person, in fact it judge by the colour of the skin/race/ethnicity. Whenever there is a roadblock, the police officer tends to ask the Hispanic and blacks to stop their car at the roadside. "Police were much more likely to threaten or use force against Blacks and Hispanics than against whites in any encounter, whether at a traffic stop or elsewhere" (April 30, 2007, Brent Jones, USATODAY.com).

Race

Vehicle Stop

(Percentage)

Vehicles Search(Percentage)

Drivers Arrested(Percentage)

Use force/threat

Blacks

8-10

9.5

4.5

4.4

Hispanics

8-9

8.8

3.1

2.3

White

8-9

3.6

2.1

1.2

(Source in USATODAY.com bureau statistician Matthew R. Durose, the report's co-author)

Crime & Prison

In terms of developed countries, USA has the most crime committed. Whenever if there is a crime African American are more likely to go to prison than the whites, and even received longer sentences for the same crime (Nov 8, 2008,Pradelyne P Michel StHilaire). According to statistics of Bureau of Justice, the minorities covering up over 68 percent of the total population in all the prisons and mostly the prisoners committed the crimes are in their 20th.

Age group

Murders Committed

US population

Population Ratio

White/Blacks

White

Blacks

White

Blacks

17-19

645

853

9724

1907

5.099

20-24

1159

1470

16014

3022

5.299

25-34

1339

1288

29157

5282

5.520

(Source in Crime in the United States, 2004(US Census))

"Based from Robert Staples, this criminal system was set up by the Whites to protect their own races" (Staples, 1975). Robert Staples then elaborate that 90 percent of the minorities had no chance to go to trail when they committed a crime (Staples, 1975). As this happen, the whites has a higher success of pleading bargains than the blacks found by the studies of US sentencing commission (USSC, 1990).

As the trial already shows the unfairness of the procedure of the law, the penitentiary in USA increase by 2.8 percent in the last 12 months brings up to the total of 2 millions inmate at the end period of June 2006 (June 27,2007, James Vicini). At the year 2008, 5,800, 1,700 6,300 out of every 100,000 Blacks, Whites and Hispanics respectively were sentenced to prison (U.S. Department of Justice & Bureau of Justice Statistics). As now this blacks American who now in prison is experiencing a modern-day version of the slavery doing hard labor fields following the days of the civil war era.

Comparison between USA & France Police

The Police system in USA and France has a different structure. France has similarities structure with Singapore. Basically France & Singapore police system and police officer is totally run and supervised by the central government. As a result all state or city has the same order and view to follow by the central government. This system could have less corruption and if there is a case of attack, the situation will reach to the central headquarters faster.

While in USA their system is much more independent. The state or city has its own responsibilities and agencies to meet depending of the states common crime. As this happen, rural places are often left alone and have disadvantage if there is a major incident there.

SECTION IV - WHERE CAN WE START TO FIX THE

PROBLEM?

At the beginning, let start from where stereotyping came from and that the solution for fixing this discrimination against minorities within criminal justice system. As I believe the whole media such as movies and dramas are to blame. Such movies as American Gangster, The Godfather and Four Brothers shows the negative parts and this negative parts will shows that all the minorities are like in the movies where they carry guns robbing shop, drug trafficking and much more. As can be seen whenever there is a movie about minority gangster; American gangster movie receive a box office hit domestically gross of US$130,164,645 (Worldwide US$266,465,037).

While movies like true inspiration story where minorities and whites help each other through common things such as Glory Road and Invictus receive a low audience attention receiving a total of US $42,647,449, US$37,491,364 respectively in the domestic gross. Therefore the country should concentrate and pump the money to the influence of media as this could be a stepping stone to slowly decline the discrimination on the minorities when comes to criminal justice.

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