CRJ 524 Week 5 Discussion 2

CRJ 524 Week 5 DQ 2 Ethics Racial Discrimination in Criminal Justice


Disparity in the treatment of people accused of crimes in the United States is statistically undeniable. Chapter 3 in your text discusses the concept of institutionalized racism and the video Black Death in Dixie: Racism and the Death Penalty in the United States explore the premise that the death penalty targets minorities (Nelson & King, 2007). In this discussion, examine the moral implications for the criminal justice system if disparities in searches, arrests, and incarceration sentences continue to be skewed due to race. Provide at least two moral strategies to help combat this current event issue.

The criminal justice system was designed to be morally right. In hindsight it was supposed to be unbiased to race and gender even though it may not have been the case in some circumstances. A person is governed by their own individual morals and this is the what guides people’s everyday actions. When it comes to the criminal justice system and the laws that make up this system, everyone interprets the law differently. This is why we have people who may go to court for similar crimes and are given completely different sentences. In a time where everything was segregated and it was ok at the time to give black people harsher sentences than white people.

In today’s society I believe that race does play a role in some courtrooms but it is not as publicized or widely accepted as it was when everything was openly segregated. When people are unfairly tried in a courtroom because of race or gender that just shows us that the criminal system still needs to be worked on as far as giving everyone a fair trial at justice. I have seen in different news reports where people who commit similar crimes are given completely different sentences and this may occur for many different reasons. It is very hard to see a white person and black person commit similar crimes and yet the sentences are very different and then not wonder if race played a role in their decision. Ideally the common symbol for law which is a woman blindfolded holding a balanced scale of justice, is something that sounds perfect and in a perfect world everyone is given a fair trial without prejudice but based on our own beliefs and morals we sometimes put our own feeling into the mix and that may change how a person is judged.

So the law itself does not judge anyone it is the person who essentially makes the final decision on how they interpret the law based on their morals.


Banks, C. (2013). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.