Essay on Racism in the Criminal Justice System

Words: 1208
Pages: 5

African Americans suffer from economic, psychological, political and social exploitation at the hands of powerful Whites in this country. As a result of this exploitation, Black people usually are put into situations where the commission of a criminal act is often seen as the most effective resolution to their problems. Most Caucasians, however, will probably never understand the predicament in which most Black find themselves. Stolen from our homeland and then forced to work under the most miserable conditions imaginable. African American not paid any money and kept in slavery of different forms and fashions up to this very day. Black people have been under the constant control of whites since coming into this country. Today, white …show more content…
Federal parole was abolished in 1987, and federal drug convictions frequently result in lengthy, mandatory sentences. Moreover, if the prosecutor includes in the indictment charges carrying mandatory penalties and then refuses to permit a plea to other charges, the defendant has no opportunity to undergo drug treatment as an alternative to imprisonment, since federal law does not offer judges that option.
According to the United States Sentencing Commission, federal courts in 1990 sentenced drug traffickers to an average of 84 months in prison, without possibility of parole. By contrast, state courts in 1988 sentenced drug traffickers to an average maximum sentence of 66 months, resulting in an average time served of only 20 months. Thus, the decision of a prosecutor to bring federal charges, rather than letting the case proceed in state court, can result in a prison term that is years longer than the sentence that would likely result from state prosecution.
That the prosecutorial decision to bring charges in federal, rather than state, court is often exercised to the detriment of minorities is best demonstrated by statistics on crack cocaine prosecutions. In 1986 Congress enacted especially harsh mandatory minimum penalties for these offenses. From 1988-1994, hundreds of blacks and Hispanics – but no whites – were prosecuted by the United