Racial disparities are a severe problem in our justice system. Although African Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 37 percent of those incarcerated and 42 percent of those sentenced to death. This is an issue that affects all Americans, especially black men, who are six times more likely than white men to be imprisoned at some point during their lives.
The United States has a long history of racial injustice. This article will discuss how that affects sentencing and whether or not it can be fixed.
Other races are more likely to be arrested than whites. Whether it be a hunch or just racial profiling, black people are arrested on even minor issues like the difference of opinion or being suspicious. There have been many cases where people of a different race than whites were reported to the police for literally doing their job or just existing.
Presented in front of Jury
Compared to white people, the other races are more likely to be presented in front of the jury instead of a judge. That makes the case more complicated by involving more white people due to less representation of black people in a jury and creating more biases. This will affect the sentencing, and the white people will focus on making an example out of the person instead of punishing him for what he did.
Affording Private Attorneys
Defendants of other races who can afford private attorneys are less likely to go through public defenders. This means they get better representation and, therefore, lighter sentences, but this rarely happens. Due to racial disparity, people of color cannot land better jobs and save for unfortunate events like a hearing.
All of this leads to a harsher sentence for which the person of color will be unable to defend himself. People of color will most probably serve a lot more than they deserve because of the reasons mentioned above.
What Can We Do?
For starters, police officers should be trained appropriately to avoid unnecessary arrests. The cases should be presented in front of judges instead of a jury. There should be special education explaining the outcome that the person and their family face for wrongful conviction or unfair sentencing.
To learn more about what is currently being done about racial disparity, visit our website.