Edwin Carbajal Criminal Justice Research Prof. ChiabiSystematic Injustice in the American Judicial System Table of Contents Abstract ………………………………………………………………… 3 Stop and Frisk …………………………………………………………. 4Mandatory sentencing ………………………………………………….. 5Execution by Cop ………………………………………………………. 6Capital Punishment……………………………………………………… 7Racial Profiling …………………………………………………………. 11 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………12References ………………………………………………………………13 Abstract Throughout this paper, different topics will be discussed concerning systematica in justice in the American judicial system. The topics that are talked about deal with things that happen on the streets as well as inside institutions. Many of the laws that are in place put many people at a higher risk of being convicted of certain crimes because of the specifics of it and the crowd that it is directed at. On the streets stop and frisk, although intended to deter crime and take drugs and guns off the streets, it is not that very effective. Mandatory sentencing also puts people at a disadvantage when they are forced to serve time for crimes that require it no matter what the circumstances are. Execution by cop is also a growing problem in the US and the courts have let many officer’s walk for murder and may be lenient on them then they would any other individuals. There must be more laws to bring justice to the families of the victims. Capital punishment is also a huge problem in this country because we see a clear racial problem in the courts as more African Americans are given the death penalty the any other race. Many racial issues also play a big part in each of the topics listed above and will be discussed throughout the paper. Stop and FriskAs it has become one of the main talking points when discussing the criminal justice system and the laws in the United States, “stop and frisk” has become a central issue in America. With the growing violence in the United States, lawmakers are trying to come up with different ways to reduce street crimes across the board. Stop and frisk would normally allow a police officer to search and frisk an individual if they have suspicion of someone about to commit a crime or suspicion of the individual in possession of something. The main reason why this law was put out was to deter crime on the streets but did not prove as successful as originally thought of because of the many negatives that are associated with stop and frisk which include racial profiling, mistrust of police officers, less likely to comply with officers after being frisked.On the streets, officers can stop and frisk whoever they want which raises many concerns as to who they are stopping and the manner in which they are doing so. Officers are more likely to stop and frisk an African American, or latino individual than any other race. To many this may seem like racial profiling which someone can sue for which is one of the dangers of it. If it is proven that they are stopping people of a certain race more than they do another, there going to be missing a lot of things because they profile people and often their judgment is wrong. A study that was done in New York City, examined the results of stop and frisk during a certain period of time, and found that although stop and frisk took a small portion of drugs and guns off the streets it did not deter crime in the City and that there were more effective means of getting the drugs and guns off the streets. More than half half of the people that get frisked by officers in the United States, are not in possession of anything and are often confused when they get search because of the randomness. We see that officers are now frisking more people, which has a negative effect on the people that are getting frisked. Not only do the people feel racially profiled, but it might cause them to act differently toward to officer who is frisking the individual, but also they might have different views about police officers in the future because of what they have gone through. Stop and frisk might cause an individual to not comply with the officer and give the officer a hard time. In addition, by doing this the officers are losing the trust of the community that they are searching in fear of getting racially profiled or mistreated by a cop. If the community does not trust the police officers, then less crimes will be reported and people would rather endure whatever they are going through or the problem that they have just to avoid contact with police. When the community does not trust those who are protecting it, crime will only rise. Mandatory Sentencing In the United States, more than half of the inmates that are there are have been convicted of a charge the carries the mandatory sentence with it. Mandatory sentencing no longer gives the prosecutor the ability to determine the sentencing but rather they decide whether they want to charge you for a crime that carries a mandatory sentence. The majority of the people serving time for charges where there was a mandatory sentence, are mainly minorities. I certain cases where someone was set up, although the prosecutor does not want to charge the individual with the mandatory sentencing, the have no other choice because it is the law. We also see that for certain drugs that are used mainly within the white population have lesser mandatory sentencing than those used by minority groups in the United States. Putting a mandatory sentence on certain types of crimes could be seen as targeting a certain race or population. We now see in the jails and prisons that the majority of the people that are in there consist of African Americans and Latinos which make up the two main minority groups in the United States. For some of these people, it is there first time ever being convicted of anything, and will do and say whatever they need to, in order to get out of the situation that they are in. Many people will often snitch on someone on the outside doing whatever is asked of them to help the situation as much as they can. What the person might say may not always be accurate and can sometimes give false information to get out of the situation that they are in. Execution-by-cop One of the big concerns that has been faced with police departments all across the country is cop murdering innocent people when most of the time there was no threat posed against the officer. Every couple of months we see a new case where a cop has killed an innocent individual, and it is starting to become a trend in America as it is happening more often all across the country. There have been cases where the officer may have had his back against the wall but a firearm should only be used when they feel threatened or someone is threatening someone else. As this starts to become a trend, many people will change their views about police, as stated above, in fear of becoming the victim of these tragic cases. When something bad is happening over and over, you try to find ways in which to break a certain pattern, and many police departments have now started to force officers to wear body cams so that they could see what is going on at all times. This is not to say that it will not stop officers from killing a citizen but the cameras might help the victims of this type of crime to receive justice. Normally the courts would take the side of the police officers and many have just walked away for that reason. This is a problem that will go on forever if police officers do not have any restrictions and do not get treated the same as if anyone else would have committed that same crime. In 2016 there were 963 murders by police officer, and 836 murders in 2017 (retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/) . Although the number dropped a little in the past couple of years, there should not be any just reason for the number to be that high in the first place. Officers are mainly there to maintain order and protect the people, but do the people really feel protected by the officers in their city. Some people are even more afraid of a officer with a gun than a random individual with a gun because of all killings that have been going on in America it is the perception that they get. Even with the body cameras on it does not stop officers from killing people in the streets and has become a growing concern for police departments everywhere. Most of the time when this type of news comes on, you normally see a white cop killing an African American individual, and that’s the stereotype that officers are being given. Police officer are supposed to help, protect, and serve the community, but how is that possible when you do not have the community on your side and for many departments that is the case. Capital Punishment Views on capital punishment vary in many states, and every person that is asked about it will give a different answer. The fact of the matter is, the whole process takes a toll on the victim’s family, the community, the inmate’s family, and all of the staff that is involved. Many people are for the death penalty, but would they still view it the same if it were one of their children, or family member, or anyone close to them. Many of the inmates on death row today are innocent, and once they are killed it can not be reversed. The cost that each death row inmate has if far more than that of a non death row inmate and it is something that can be used on other things to improve the facilities. Also the pain and suffering of watching a loved one can be very traumatizing to the family members. The community is not gaining anything from this as it has proven that it does not deter crime, and more and more countries around the world are starting to get rid of it. The majority of people who receive the death penalty in america are african americans. Is this really a fair system that treats everyone equally? Capital punishment is a very cruel act that takes more money from the taxpayer with no positive outcome on society. With all the flaws and disadvantages the death penalty has, it needs to be abolished. The death penalty started to become popular in england in the tenth century where the most popular way of executing someone way by hanging them. When someone was going to be executed thousands of people would gather around to watch the execution take place. After the execution they would eat food and drink as if it were something to celebrate about. In the sixteenth century it was estimated that around 72,000 were executed by being hung. The united states adopted the death penalty from england and the first execution that occurred in the united states was in 1608 in the colony of virginia. Since then many rules and regulations have evolved in a more sophisticated way. Today executing someone by hanging them is not that often as people want the most painless way to die. Some of the ways that people get executed today is by lethal injection, gas chamber, electrocution, hanging, or firing squad with lethal injection being the one that is most commonly used across the country.Putting someone on death row can be very expensive and cost the taxpayers a lot of money. Throughout the whole process from the time that they go to trail till the day that they are executed it costs the state 3 million for every person on death row compared to someone who is not on death row which will cost the state one third of that amount. In the documentary, “Life and death Row 1” which was created by BBC documentary stated that, “On average it costs $620,932 per trial federal death cases”. With these numbers in mind to put someone to trail for the death penalty is eight time more expensive than one where the death penalty is not introduced. In addition it is more expensive to execute someone than to house the individual for the rest of their lives in a prison. On the other side, the equipment and utilities that are used to carry out these execution come with a great cost as well. One of the most expensive ways of execution, which is the gas chamber, cost thousands of dollar to inspect and fix if something is wrong. All the money that is being spent can be used to make the prison better by improving technology or hiring more staff rather than the death penalty.One of the big topics that have been on the news a lot lately is racism and how white cops are killing african american. This is a trend now in the United States and it is happening more often. The people who are being put on death row is having the similar effect. In the United States there are more african americans on death row then there are whites. A statistic by the ACUL states: “Between 1930 and 1976, 455 men were executed for rape, of whom 405 – 90 percent – were black”(https://www.aclu.org). The justice systems claims that there is equal justice for everyone although there are more african american out in death row than any other race. Discrimination has always been an issue in america and here is a clear example of it. In the documentary, “Life and death Row 1” by BBC documentary stated that, “A recent study in the United States found that a black male, convicted of killing a white, is over 4 times as likely to receive the death penalty as a white who had killed a black”. At the same something to think about how many people that are wrongly accused and are executed for something that they did not do. Out of every 10 that are given the death penalty at least one of them are innocent and killing someone who did nothing wrong is very cruel. A “fair justice system” where one race is being executed more than any other race when the same level of crimes are being committed by both races is unjust.This does not only affect the inmate that is being put to death but it also has a huge impact on their families and the families of the victims. The slow process of having to say goodbye to a loved one and knowing that they will never be seen again can be emotionally stressful. Watching a loved one getting executed right in front them can be a very traumatizing experience for the people who are watching and can affect ehm for the rest of their lives. In an interview that was shown in the documentary described the reaction of a victim’s family after the man who killed their brother was executed. They stated that even though he was executed they did not feel any relief from what had happened, and putting someone to death may not always bring closure to the families. Watching an act like this happen can be even more tougher on the families because they are brought back all of the memories and have to relive the experience all over again.Macy countries around the world are starting to get rid of the death penalty. This is because this act have proven that it does not deter crime. The death penalty is the most harshest punishment that there is, and they think that this will prevent people from committing crimes. When comparing two states, one with the death penalty and the other without it, the one with the death penalty did not show lower crime rates or much difference in the communities from the ones that did not have it. The majority of the crimes that have been given the death penalty were committed out of anger and rage which means that they were not premeditated. People are not born killers, and the people who are committing these crimes do not deserve to die because most do not have that crazy careless attitude. For the ones that do, putting them to death does not give the individual a chance for rehabilitation and becoming a better person. Not only can the individual become a better person but it can also be a learning experience for other people in the prison and the outside world on how one can improve and change their lifestyle. Capital punishments has more negative affects from every aspect that it is looked it at. It has been proven that it does not deter crime and that it does not have a positive outcome on society. In addition the death penalty is also not cost effective in anyway from the trail all the way till the person is executed. It can be a very traumatizing and stressful experience knowing that there is nothing one can do about it. The people that are given the death penalty are not viewed equally and the sentence can often be racial bias. Such a cruel act on people needs to go away as it does not have any positive outcomes.Racial ProfilingIn all of the topics listed above there has been some type of racial component that when it comes to crime and how that crime is handled in America. In stop and frisk we see racial profiling in the people that they are picking to stop and frisk mainly going after African Americans and Latinos. The thought that African Americans and Latinos are more likely to carry something that they are not supposed to must be eliminated in order for racial profiling to stop. When looking at mandatory sentencing racial profiling is seen in the types of crimes that have mandatory sentencing and the individuals who are committing those crimes. When we see that more than half of those in prisons are serving mandatory sentencing it is a big problem especially when you look at who are the types of people that are serving time and see most of them are African American’s . It is also seen in cases where Individuals are given the death penalty as well as those that were actually carried out. More African Americans are given the death penalty which in turn means that they have also been the majority that have been executed than any other race. If there are more African Americans in the system then any other race, it is a clear example of racial profiling and injustice in the american judicial system. While these inmates are in prison or jail, racial profiling can be seen as well. For example, they may give some privileges to certain inmates that they may not give to others.Conclusion The systematic injustice in the American judicial system is one that the country has been faced with for many years. Being the country that has the largest imprisoned population than any other, there has to be something wrong and changed to reduce the amount of people going through the system. The types of sentences that are being given to certain inmates shows that race plays a part in the type of sentencing although many will deny that fact. After these people serve their time they often become institutionalized and often end up back in the system because it’s what they are used to and came out the same person they were when they first went in. Some type of counseling or other mediums should be provided to inmates so that when they go back out into the world they are not doing the same things that they were doing before. Many do not know how to interact with the outside world because of all the time that they spent inside the prison, and are basically left out to dry with no resources to better themselves and prevent these individuals from coming back. Some type of reform must occur in order keep these injustices and downward trends from getting worst and focus on different ways to improve the system so that it treats everyone equally. ReferencesPolice shootings 2016 database. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2017, from htttings-2016/ps://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shooPolice shootings 2017 database. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2017/Suzuki, J. (2015). Constitutional calculus: the math of justice and the myth of common sense. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. “The Case Against the Death Penalty.” American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2017. “Part I: History of the Death Penalty.” Part I: History of the Death Penalty. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2017. Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtD01TWIaUunU0EWIlX5Ttg. “BBC Documentary 2015 Life and Death Row 1 Execution.” YouTube. YouTube, 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2017. “Trial and Error: Capital Punishment in U.S. History.” Trial and Error: Capital Punishment in U.S. History. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2017.
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