The criminal justice system in the United States tends to express discrimination and disparities toward minority populations. While racial discrimination in the criminal justice system of the United States is frequently discussed in modern society, many people are not familiar with racial disparities in the system. Comparing discrimination against minority populations and disparities in the criminal justice system allows for defining a significant difference between two terms and determining which one presents a more severe threat to society.
Discrimination towards minority populations in the criminal justice system, in general, is presented by tougher punishments for minority defendants than their white counterparts usually face. Discrimination of minorities, particularly African Americans, was a significant problem in the criminal justice of the mid-20th century. Many historical cases illustrate discrimination against African-American criminal defendants, such as the case of Scottsboro Boys.
However, even though much has changed through reforms of the Criminal Justice system, African Americans still face discrimination in cases where, despite insufficient evidence, the Court recommends either lifetime in prison or the death penalty. The discrimination of the minority population in the criminal justice system emphasizes the ongoing societal issues connected with the consequences of the utilization of racist systems, such as racial segregation, which negatively influenced the financial stability of minority populations.
In addition, the matter is worsened by the disparity of racial bias being present in the pretrial process. According to Walker et al. (2017), despite racially neutral policies, prosecutors use the peremptory challenge to eliminate African Americans and Hispanics from the jury in cases where defendants represent the minority population. Even though racism disparities and discrimination imply similar meanings, racial disparities are less evident and, therefore, present a greater threat to justice. Through racial disparities, the criminal justice system allows discrimination against the minority population in a discreet way. Aside from jury selection, racial disparities are widely present in arrests, as African Americans are more likely to be arrested than whites for violent crimes.
Walker, S., Spohn, C., & DeLone, M. (2017). The color of justice: Race, ethnicity, and crime in America (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.