Racism And The Criminal Justice System

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Introduction In today’s American society much of the issues incurred are centered on racism or racial discrimination encompassing crime and the criminal justice system. A vast majority of the issues in the criminal justice system relate to race, ethnicity, or economic class and captures actions by legislators, the policies of the police, and the practices of the courts. In 2009 alone, African American males accounted for 6.7 times more incarceration rates than whites in both state and federal penitentiaries, largely due to the U.S. drug laws. In 2010, legislators of the State of Arizona required the local police to verify the immigration status of anyone based on mere suspicion, which leads to ethnic profiling of Hispanics and lawsuits for the laws’ constitutionality. The notion that the police conduct traffic stops and racially profile based on skin color and not the law being broken, as well as the statistics of prosecutors offering better plea deals based on class, or Judges sentencing people of color more harshly, all yield a feeling of injustice for minorities and a fear of crime for whites (Walker, Spohn, & Delone, 2012). The American society has tremendously grown in terms of being multiracial and multiethnic according to the 2008 census, which found that 65.4% of Americans identified as white, 12.1% as Black or African-American, 1% Native American, with 0.3% as Asian or Pacific Islander, and 2.5% identifying with Hispanic ethnicity. Recent data concluded that
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