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NCJ Number: 120592 Find in a Library
Title: Racial Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System
Journal: North Carolina Central Law Journal  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(1988)  Pages:171-190
Author(s): C E Murphy
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 20
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The consideration of criminal justice issues raises two public policy questions, how to address crime and violence that threaten the stability of both black and white communities, and how to insure that blacks are treated fairly and equitably.
Abstract: While blacks comprise approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population, they represent almost 50 percent of the prison population. Research indicates that some factors correlated with recidivism are also highly correlated with race. For example, while long-term unemployment is generally thought to be a predictor of recidivism, it also happens to be higher in the black population. Research shows that socioeconomic conditions associated with crime are more prevalent among blacks than among whites. Probably the most profound expression of racial discrimination in sentencing occurs in the use of capital punishment. Georgia, for example, has executed seven murderers since 1973; six of the seven were black, and all seven victims were white. Racial discrimination also occurs in the jury selection process. Further, studies show that racial minorities, principally blacks, number disproportionately among persons killed by police through the use of deadly force. While increased participation by blacks on urban police forces and improved training of police officers in handling potentially volatile situations are important in curbing police misconduct, the vigorous prosecution of police misconduct cases is essential to demonstrate that no one, including a police officer, is above the law. Criminal justice system reform to eliminate racial discrimination is unlikely to be effective unless the underlying problems of economic opportunity are likewise addressed. 60 references.
Main Term(s): Racial discrimination
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Black/White Crime Comparisons; Recidivism; Sentencing disparity
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