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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99703 Find in a Library
Title: Is the Criminal Justice System Fair to Minorites?
Journal: Howard Law Journal  Volume:27  Issue:4  Dated:(1984)  Pages:1115-1129
Author(s): A D Guy
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This speaker, a district judge in Nevada, outlines the interactions between sociological forces and the American justice system that have produced that system's lack of fairness toward black persons.
Abstract: He observes that the slavery laws that existed before the Civil War, the Somerset and Dred Scott court decisions, Jim Crow laws, de facto discrimination in the North, and activities of the Ku Klux Klan and other organizations have all contributed to the longstanding failure of justice for black Americans. Inferior education for blacks and resulting unemployment also created a situation making blacks more likely to enter the criminal justice system. One unfortunate effect of these societal problems has been the extent of violent encounters between the police and blacks and the myths held by both police agencies and blacks regarding the sources of these encounters. One of the most destructive myths is that blacks are genetically prone to violence, although history suggests that the opposite is true. Within the court system itself, fairness toward blacks does not exist in that the peremptory challenge system often prevents blacks from serving on juries. The fact that the letter of the law is being observed has not produced a truly fair justice system, in the view of black Americans. A total of 32 footnotes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Criminal justice system reform; Cultural influences; Racial discrimination; Social organization
Note: Presented at the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association Convention, Seattle, Washington, August 7-13, 1983.
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