The Bearing of Race and Ethnicity in the Criminal Justice System

1285 WordsFeb 1, 20185 Pages
There has been an ongoing debate as to whether or not race and ethnicity have a bearing on an individual’s treatment in the criminal justice system for many years. I will be arguing that race and ethnicity do in fact, have a bearing on one’s treatment in the criminal justice system. I will be backing up my position on this topic by providing evidence from five scholarly articles. My first source is African Americans and the Criminal Justice system by Phyllis Gray-Ray, Melvin C. Ray, Sandra Rutland, and Sharon Turner. The authors’ hypothesis is that during the course of America’s history, there has been a lot of discrimination occurring in the criminal justice system when the race of an individual is taken into account. The method these authors used was looking at and comparing a few studies. These studies include French 1979, Flowers 1988, Petersilia 1985, Crew 1991:11, and Zatz 1987. The authors also conducted a study of their own for this article. They also looked at the statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Sourcebook of Criminal Statistics. In this article, it is stated that the primary goal of the US criminal justice system is to provide equality without discrimination. However, during the study the authors conducted, they found that one’s appearance and environment are a factor when it comes to arrest. It is also noted that whites are far more likely to have their sentences and charges reduced than blacks. The authors’ state that blacks are typically
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