Crime Against Humanity: Study Says 1-in-3 Black Males Will go to Prison – US Criticized Globally
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Racial disparity pervades “every stage of the United criminal justice system, from arrest to trial to sentencing.”
The Sentencing Project, a prison reform advocacy group, published a report assessing the staggering racial disparities that plague the American justice system. The report was then submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee this week, as the U.N. is set to review American’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights later this month.
America, who positions itself as a leader and police of worldwide democracy and freedoms, finds itself at the center of scrutiny and having to answer to the World for what is seen as crimes against its own people.
The report finds that one in every three black males born today can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. One in six Latino males can expect to catch prison time and one in seventeen white males will be incarcerated based on current trends.
The results of the report are simple and straight-forward.
“Racial minorities are more likely than white Americans to be arrested,” the report explains. “Once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences.”
The gross disparity that exists, and is heavily proven by incarceration numbers, lead the authors of the report to conclude that the U.S. is violating the International Covenant and Civil and Political Rights, which states that all citizens must be treated equally under the law.
There are many widely debated socio-economic factors that contribute to the racial disparity of prisoners in America but the report argues that the real problem begins with police activity. Studies have found that white high-school students were more likely to have abused illegal drugs than black students the same age, but according to the Justice Department, police arrested black youth for drug crimes at twice the rate of white youth.
Racial profiling and the imbalanced application of the Stop-and-Frisk policy all point to “implicit racial bias” on the part of the police which leads to the police officers making snap judgments about the danger of and criminal nature of minorities.
Attorney General Erick Holder has been at the forefront of scaling back the mandatory minimums and reducing the absurdly lengthy prison sentences given to low-level drug offenders. He has even declared the public defense system to be in a state of crisis as they struggle to come up with adequate funding to ensure poor people receive proper defense services. But that is not enough, since only 14% of all drug offenders are in federal prisons. The rest are being locked away in state prisons at an alarming rate.
There is much more that needs to be done to fix America’s broken justice system. Even if America is found guilty of violating the treaty by the U.N., there is little the U.N. can do in sanctions or punishment. Hopefully through awareness
embarrassment. change will be achieved before America loses worldwide credibility.
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