Racial Disparity In The Criminal Justice System

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As a Black person, many obstacles I have to overcome have more to with my race and less to do with my abilities. Some of these obstacles come in the forms of education, access to health care and the criminal justice system. The term racial disparity refers to a difference that may or may not be related to discrimination. One type of racial disparity occurs when there is a significant difference between the percentage of a racial group represented in the general population and the percentage of the same group represented at any point in the justice process.
It's been more than a half a century since the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education ruling found that "separate but equal" has no place in U.S. public schools. And yet, true racial
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Documentaries, such as 13TH highlights this ugly truth. Police arrest black Americans for drug crimes at twice the rate of whites, according to federal data, despite the fact that whites use drugs at comparable rates and sell drugs at comparable or even higher rates. A 2014 study in New York City showed that blacks were more likely than whites or nonblack minorities to be in jail while they await trial, even after controlling for the seriousness of charges and prior record. A 2012 working paper found “robust evidence” that black male federal defendants were given longer sentences than comparable whites. Black men’s sentences were, on average, 10 percent longer than those of their white peers. Jurors who play a vital role in the fate of capital cases can often become subject to whitewashing. Researchers found that North Carolina prosecutors were excluding black people from juries in capital cases at twice the rate of other jurors, even when controlling for legitimate justifications for striking jurors, such as employment status or reservations about the death penalty. Other studies have shown that excluding black people from juries can influence deliberations and verdicts. For example, black defendants in capital cases with white victims are less likely to receive a death sentence if there is a black juror. For Blacks who have spent time in prison, the after effects ripple through the whole community. Most U.S. states restrict the voting rights of citizens convicted of crimes. Since black Americans are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, voter disenfranchisement has a disproportionate effect on the black population. According to recent estimates from the Sentencing Project, 2.5 percent of all Americans are disenfranchised due to a current or past felony conviction. For blacks, the figure is 7.7