Crime And Race In America

Jim Shea
3-24-99

There has been quite a bit of controversy in the US lately about how Blacks are being treated in the criminal justice system. The information I have compiled should help explain how Blacks are treated in the criminal justice system.
Although Blacks have made great strides in society since the Civil Rights movement, incidents like the Rodney King beating and police using "racial profiling" when conducting traffic stops prove that racism is not dead.
The events mentioned above raise questions about the criminal justice system. Are more Blacks arrested than Whites? Are prision populations filled with predominantly miniority prisoners? Are more Blacks being put to death than Whites?
According to the New York State Dept. of Correctional Services, 50.8% of prisoners in New York are black. This is high when compared to a national average of 42%. 32.4% of New York state prisoners are Hispanic and 15.6% are White compared to a national average of 15.7% and 40.6 for Hispanics and Whites respectively.
Police agencies also keep track of hate crimes, crimes motivated by race, religion, sexual orentation, or ethicity. Results show that there were 6,994 victims of race related hate crimes in 1996 compared to only 1,207 ethnic related, and 1,535 religion related the same year.
In 1996, 45 people were put to death. Out of those 45 people, 31 were white, 14 were black, and they were all males. As for prisoners on death row, 1,820 were white, 1,349 were black, and they were all there for murder convictions. When compared with California, Georgia, and Illinois, New York ranked third for executions between 1940-1969, the only of the four selected states having less executions than New York in this time period was Illinois.
In conclusion, there appears to be no clear answer to whether Blacks are treated better than Whites in the criminal justice system. Poverty and inadquate access to good legal representation may have an effect on a person\'s treatment by the system. But based on events like the Rodney King beating, we are far from a racism free society.
Jim Shea Crime And Race In America 3-24-99

There has been quite a bit of controversy in the US lately about how Blacks are being treated in the criminal justice system. The information I have compiled should help explain how Blacks are treated in the criminal justice system.
Although Blacks have made great strides in society since the Civil Rights movement, incidents like the Rodney King beating and police using "racial profiling" when conducting traffic stops prove that racism is not dead.
The events mentioned above raise questions about the criminal justice system. Are more Blacks arrested than Whites? Are prision populations filled with predominantly miniority prisoners? Are more Blacks being put to death than Whites?
According to the New York State Dept. of Correctional Services, 50.8% of prisoners in New York are black. This is high when compared to a national average of 42%. 32.4% of New York state prisoners are Hispanic and 15.6% are White compared to a national average of 15.7% and 40.6 for Hispanics and Whites respectively.
Police agencies also keep track of hate crimes, crimes motivated by race, religion, sexual orentation, or ethicity. Results show that there were 6,994 victims of race related hate crimes in 1996 compared to only 1,207 ethnic related, and 1,535 religion related the same year.
In 1996, 45 people were put to death. Out of those 45 people, 31 were white, 14 were black, and they were all males. As for prisoners on death row, 1,820 were white, 1,349 were black, and they were all there for murder convictions. When compared with California, Georgia, and Illinois, New York ranked third for executions between 1940-1969, the only of the four selected states having less executions than New York in this time period was Illinois.
In conclusion, there appears to be no clear answer to whether Blacks are treated better than Whites in the criminal justice system. Poverty and inadquate access to good legal representation may have an effect on a person\'s treatment by the system. But based on events like the Rodney King beating, we are far from a racism free society.