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Generally speaking, comprehending racial discrimination is a crucial factor for any individual that is involved with the criminal justice profession. Law enforcement officers that make arrest has to comprehend that the significance of discrimination as a result of race consistent with the circumstance. Racial profiling is a major issue within the society of today since additional African Americans will carry out crimes than will Caucasians as a result of the decreased amount of chances for improved employment as a result of the education that they are missing. To better understand the racial injustice existed in our judicial system and to learn about the major problems we need to address, I watched the TED talk about existence of inequality and injustice in our justice system.
The speaker of the video is Bryan Stevenson, who is American lawyer and he is s the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. The main point of his TED talk was based upon the notion that we collectively should play our role in towards the existence of the injustice in our social justice system. Because at the end, the human rights are far greater than any kind of punishment. To stress his point about the injustice he provided the statistics about the racial discrimination in our justice system. He also provided audience about the past statistics about the number of people incarcerated. He also points towards the racial disproportion exists in the jails and why a greater number of black people are being incarcerated in the jails. The reasons of such disproportion are that most of the black people in USA lives in poverty and in ghettos, this is the main reason of such high rates of black people in jail. This inequality persists because, when there is some racial segregation among communities–that is, when race operates as a basis of social but not economic discrimination-the process by which status is transferred across generations does not work in the same way for minority and majority families. So, he stressed that we should care about uprooting the main causes instead of making tough laws for the convicted people.
How it works
The fundamental principle of USA criminal law and criminal justice system is to control crime, punish the offenders, prevent crimes, protect innocents and to maintain a fair degree of cohesion and stability in society. But our justice system doesn’t pay heed much to the compensation of the victim, instead strict laws are created day by day that can incarcerate people by young as 13 years old and they can even have the life sentence without the chances of parole. Literally, the people young as 13 years old are being send to jail to die. He states that there is high error rate in our justice system as the 1 out 9 people are being released from the death row. This is very error rate and yet no one talks about it, because they don’t consider it their problem and he went on to state that its not the first time we are ignoring such problems as the black people have been constantly subjected to subordination, lynching and racial discrimination after WWII. That’s where Mr. Stevenson asked us to play our role and don’t act as mere spectator or don’t consider it as not their problem.
Some of the statistics he shared in TED talk are that in 1970 there were about 300,000 people in jails and now there are 2.3 million people in jail. He provided these statistics to prove that our justice system has some problems, because if it was right the number of people in jails should not have increased by this much today. That means we all need to think about the problem, because as said earlier the fundamental principle of every justice system is to increase the crime rates, thereby decreasing the number of people in jails. But sadly, in justice system of USA that hasn’t happened. The incarceration rate in USA is also very high and there are 7 million people on probation and parole. One out three black men between age 18 and 30 are in jails, probation or on parole. This is very high ratio and means that major portion of young black African Americans are not serving their country or fulfilling their dreams, hence we not to look at our justice system and also the social system. From my perspective, in our society money has edge over everything, if you are rich you can have anything, also there is a materialistic approach promoted by the media as well. But the young black people cannot afford it because they haven’t got the money. They don’t get education or any other source of income due to the poverty they are brought in. So, these people turn to crime instead. In urban communities across USA about 50 to 60% young people of colors are in jail, probation or on parole. In Alabama 34 percent of black male population has lost the right to vote. One out nine people on a death row in USA are being exonerated before the death penalty is applicable.
Why should we care? Because the rights of humans depend upon each other and protecting other people rights doesn’t do any harm to us. Instead it builds a strong society that can play its role by dissolving the economic infrastructure of the company. If we keep on ignoring such problems ultimately, we can be a victim of this problem as well, because statistics have proved that the number of people in the jails are increasing day by day. Its not only the right thing to care about these issues but it is also our moral duty to stand up against any kind of injustice. We should also strive to change these policies which are enabling judges to sentence young boys to life sentence, and we should also play our role in stopping the judges so, they cannot make a 13 year old boy stand his trial as an adult. Besides that only few people or single community cannot change the whole system. Such reforms are only possible if we think together as a society including the people from all the backgrounds, in this way we can elect the right person for senate, who will go and pass the bill about certain reforms needed in our justice system. That’s why Bryan said we should all care and act like a single community in such issues.
What do you think he means by, “ . instead of, do people deserve to die for the crime they committed, do we deserve the right to kill (them)?” I think he is talking about the morality issue here and whether it is ethical to systematically execute people based upon the gravity of their crimes. Because in our present justice system most of the people being executed on death row belongs from the minority and have poor social and economic background. So, the question why only poor people? The answer is simple because they didn’t have the opportunity to reshape their life from poverty to any better chance. In order to understand the true meaning of his statement we need to look at ourselves? Are we perfect? Human beings are neither angels capable of doing only good nor are they demons determined to destroy each other even at the cost of self destruction. Taking human nature as it is, complete elimination of crime from society is not only impossible but also unimaginable. Criminals are very much part of our society and we have to reform and correct them and make them sober citizens. Social attitude also needs to change towards the deviants so that they do enjoy some rights as normal citizens though within certain circumscribed limits or under reasonable restrictions. I also think that Mr. Bryan is talking about the right life in a sense. The right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights. Lies at the heart of international human right law. The taking of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict it on another, even when backed by legal process. Where the death penalty persists conditions for those awaiting execution are often horrifying, leading to aggravated suffering. Information concerning the application of the death penalty, including secret trials and executions, is often cloaked in secrecy. 1nd it is beyond dispute that innocent people are still put to death.
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