Structural Injustice In The Criminal System Can Occur Due

1344 WordsMar 6, 20176 Pages
Structural injustice in the criminal system can occur due to an individual’s implicit bias affecting their discretionary actions; however, the central question rests in who bears the moral responsibility of this injustice? In my opinion, individuals and sovereign institutions share the moral responsibility for the structural injustice that results when implicit bias influences discretionary actions in the criminal justice system, but the greater responsibility is vested in officials with authority who possess the capability to prevent future inequities. In support of my position, I will explore why individuals do not bear all the blame, why sovereign institutions are more accountable, and I will address the counterargument that the…show more content…
It can be difficult to maintain a different mindset, and sometimes relapses can occur. The implicit associations we harbor cause us to have feelings and attitudes about others based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance, which can produce structural injustice. This is often seen in law enforcement, for example, police officers pulling over Philandro Castille over 44 times due to subconscious racial profiling. Structural injustices that people experience can be a result of “often unconscious assumptions and reaction of well-meaning people in ordinary interactions, media and cultural stereotypes, and…the normal processes of everyday life” (Young, 72). Everyone possesses some implicit bias shown through his/her actions. Even if an individual does not intend to be biased, certain stereotypes and beliefs are innate due to his/her upbringing. For example, in media, African-Americans are portrayed as drug dealers and/or criminals. Due to this, people tend to associate African-Americans with such stereotypes. Law enforcers are not immune to this exposure and form an implicit bias against these ethnic groups. They should not be blamed for their unintentional implicit biases, but should still hold some responsibility for their actions. In the case of Philandro Castile, Officer Jeronimo Yanez should have considered his actions, but his subconscious told
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