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  • Do you think.....?

    that the criminal justice system is racist?

    An assignment in one of my classes was to do a presentation on whether or not we think the system is racist.

    Personally I dont think it is. I think all the crazy numbers are simply because more people of different races commit more of the crimes. Like how there are so many African Americans in prison, yet their population is lower.

    Of course, a lot of the statistics you see never comment on that.

    Thoughts?
    "...and the taking of a life is murder. And the punishment for murder is.... well it varies from state to state and by race, but...." - Homer J Simpson.

    Police: "Stop and we'll shoot!"
    Dilbert: "Stop AND we'll shoot? If you're gonna shoot, why should we stop?"
    Police: "Well, it would be alot easier for us. The targets at the shooting range don't run."

    R.I.P. Momma Coleman. You may have left our world, but you have NOT left our hearts.

  • #2
    Yes and no.
    Is it racist in intention? No. The state legislature writes criminal laws (often heavily influenced by federal legislation and grant initiatives) and they enact statutes based on (often heavy handed) interpretations of what protects the public good. However, often politicians are influenced by somewhat reactionary citizens who insist that all crime is "out there" and they wind up targeting legislation toward direct, out in the open street crime... so, its a much more serious crime/penalty for breaking into someone else's house than it is to access their bank account illegally, since the first engenders more public outrage.

    Is the criminal justice system racist in application. You bet. It's not that race affects how badly people behave-- it's about socioeconomic class and culture. There is a strong correlation between being a minority and being poor and poor people commit direct, out-in-the-open kinds of crime, which is easier for law enforcement to detect and prosecute (ie. possessing narcotics on a street corner, burglary, auto theft). White and wealthy people commit crimes as well, but they are different kinds of crimes, which are far less likely to be reported, detected and prosecuted (ie. prescription drug abuse, gambling, incest etc.). So, minorities wind up getting arrested more often and convicted more often.

    Just my $0.02

    Comment


    • #3
      People see racism in a lot of places where it's really about poverty. Minorities are more like to be poor, and poor people generally don't fare so well in court as the wealthy (further, the wealthy don't commit as many crimes).

      Look at O.J, he was rich, he could afford Cochrane. If there is any problem with our system, that's it.

      Comment


      • #4
        .....No..........
        John 3:16

        Comment


        • #5
          No? how could it be? What kind of a teacher would give you this assignment?
          "Friendly Fire, isn't"

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          • #6
            No. Just plain no. The claims of racism ("institutional racism") in our justice system is just a reaction to the embarrassing percentage of minorities in our justice system, whether it be charged, convicted or sentanced and in prison. It is just that simple.
            Space for rent .........

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            • #7
              Do you think.....?

              Originally posted by Sharp View Post
              that the criminal justice system is racist?
              NO.....
              "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

              "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

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              • #8
                Not at all
                "We're not in this business for the money. We're not in it for the excitement, and moments like this. Duty, honor, country, service, truth, and justice are good. But you can do that from behind a desk. In the end, you carry a gun and shield out into the field for the sole purpose of confronting the bad guys. The enemy. There is no other reason to be on the front lines." ~Nelson Demille

                If your story involves Peanut Butter and an animal - give up now!
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  2 things I want to say.

                  1.No the criminal justice system is not racist, and has not been racist for decades. But there are racists in positions of power, there are people with strong biases in positions of power, so that will lead to racism. Its an individual thing. the problem with the system is more economic and social than racist.

                  2. It upsets me that everyone is so quick to say NO, and not back it up with anything. I mean this is supposed to be a discussion, if the original poster wanted yes or no answers they would have done some kind of poll. If we work in criminal justice and have the power to take away a persons freedom, we should be critical of ourselves and the system we work in. Its not something to be taken lightly

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by exdrip View Post
                    No? how could it be? What kind of a teacher would give you this assignment?
                    It IS possible...

                    I believe Nolo has had the best response, and swami made a very good point as well. Both are very true.
                    "...and the taking of a life is murder. And the punishment for murder is.... well it varies from state to state and by race, but...." - Homer J Simpson.

                    Police: "Stop and we'll shoot!"
                    Dilbert: "Stop AND we'll shoot? If you're gonna shoot, why should we stop?"
                    Police: "Well, it would be alot easier for us. The targets at the shooting range don't run."

                    R.I.P. Momma Coleman. You may have left our world, but you have NOT left our hearts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rattlehead View Post
                      It upsets me that everyone is so quick to say NO, and not back it up with anything. I mean this is supposed to be a discussion, if the original poster wanted yes or no answers they would have done some kind of poll. If we work in criminal justice and have the power to take away a persons freedom, we should be critical of ourselves and the system we work in. Its not something to be taken lightly
                      Your profile says student, so I don't see how you are in the "we" of law enforcement. Secondly, I find these types of posts, the "I have an assignment" post, annoying.

                      There are thousands of articles and supporting positions for both sides of this argument. The OP's assignment was whether or not the OP thought it was racist, not how a bunch of cops feel.

                      Racism is not something to be taken lightly, but if you want to discuss it, or delve more deeply, i suggest you start your own thread.
                      "We're not in this business for the money. We're not in it for the excitement, and moments like this. Duty, honor, country, service, truth, and justice are good. But you can do that from behind a desk. In the end, you carry a gun and shield out into the field for the sole purpose of confronting the bad guys. The enemy. There is no other reason to be on the front lines." ~Nelson Demille

                      If your story involves Peanut Butter and an animal - give up now!
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I already have completed the assignment, and gave my presentation on what I thought. I simply stated it had been an assignment so it would not seem so random.

                        I thought it would be interesting to see what you all thought as well.
                        "...and the taking of a life is murder. And the punishment for murder is.... well it varies from state to state and by race, but...." - Homer J Simpson.

                        Police: "Stop and we'll shoot!"
                        Dilbert: "Stop AND we'll shoot? If you're gonna shoot, why should we stop?"
                        Police: "Well, it would be alot easier for us. The targets at the shooting range don't run."

                        R.I.P. Momma Coleman. You may have left our world, but you have NOT left our hearts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          absolutely!!!

                          can't believe this is an honest discussion, if it's racist, then there are no steroids in baseball

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If your big concern is that there are a disproportionate number of African Americans in prison when compared to the population, try contacting the Public Affairs office the FBI, which maintains crime statistics for the US. They will tell you ( and give you specific figures to back it up) that based on initial crime reports, the suspects in crimes (as identified by their victims and not by the police) are disproportionately African American. They will also tell you that when the perpetrator is African American, that their victims are disproportionately African American as well.

                            Additionally, if you contact whatever state agency maintains crime data for your state, they will give you similar information along with the statistics to back it up.

                            The premise posed by your instructor is that disproportion in numbers reflects racism. With that in mind, you might want to pose the following question in you paper - Does the fact that African Americans commit a disproportionate amount of crimes when compared to other ethnicities become a racist act on their part? Does the fact that the victims of African American criminals are disproportionately African American even further condemn African Americans as being super racists? (After all, they should be equal opportunity criminals and target Whites, Hispanics and Orientals as victims in proportion to their makeup of the population.) What does this say about the Japanese, whose statistics as crime suspects are miniscule when compared to other ethnicities? Is society racist by turning a blind eye to what should be the Japanese "fair share" of crimes, or as an ethnic group, do they just commit fewer crimes than other ethnic groups? If they commit fewer crimes, should we have an Affirmative Action program for Japanese criminals to ensure they are encouraged to get their "fair share" of the crime pie?

                            Of course my questions are stupid but they point out the obvious - Mere disproportion is numbers does not reflect racism.
                            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cgh6366 View Post
                              Your profile says student, so I don't see how you are in the "we" of law enforcement. Secondly, I find these types of posts, the "I have an assignment" post, annoying.

                              There are thousands of articles and supporting positions for both sides of this argument. The OP's assignment was whether or not the OP thought it was racist, not how a bunch of cops feel.

                              Racism is not something to be taken lightly, but if you want to discuss it, or delve more deeply, i suggest you start your own thread.
                              Not everyone here is a sworn officer, some are aspiring officers, such as myself. so that would be the WE, i refer to.

                              Just because this is an assignment thread doesnt mean there can't be a good discussion about it, that would probably help the person with their assignment more than:

                              "No what a preposterous question"

                              The thread asked how do YOU feel. not, what should I put.

                              Comment

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