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NCJ Number: 163443 Find in a Library
Title: Courts: A Case of Unequal Justice (From Color of Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America, P 122-150, 1996, Sabra Horne, ed. - See NCJ-163438)
Author(s): S Walker; C Spohn; M DeLone
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Belmont, CA 94002
Sale Source: Wadsworth Publishing Co
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter seeks to determine whether there is racial discrimination in the criminal court system.
Abstract: The chapter attempts to determine whether racial minorities are more likely than whites to be tried without representation by adequate counsel, to be denied bail or detained in jail prior to trial, to be fully prosecuted, or to be denied the right to serve on juries. In addition, the chapter examines the question of whether African American and Hispanic juveniles receive harsher treatment than white juveniles. Reforms mandated by the US Supreme Court or adopted voluntarily by the states have eliminated much of the blatant racism that in the past was directed against racial minorities in court. Implementation of those reforms, however, has not produced equality of justice. Defendant race continues to affect decisions regarding bail, charging, jury selection, and juvenile justice processing. Evidence suggests that African Americans who commit certain types of crimes are treated more harshly than whites, and that being unemployed, having a prior criminal record, or being detained prior to trial may have a more negative effect on court outcomes for African Americans than for whites. In short, contemporary court processing decisions are not characterized by systematic but by contextual discrimination against racial minorities. Figures, tables, notes
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Court procedures; Criminal justice system analysis; Discrimination; Ethnic groups; Jury selection; Juveniles; Minorities; Prosecutorial discretion; Racial discrimination; Statistics
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