Racial discrimination in our criminal-justice system.
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In May 2020, Minneapolis Police Department officers arrested George Floyd, a forty-six-year-old black man, after a convenience-store employee called 911 to report that Floyd had purchased cigarettes using a counterfeit $20 bill. Less than twenty minutes after the first officer arrived on the scene, Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests about racial discrimination in our criminal-justice system.
Our criminal-justice system is largely composed of three separate but interrelated units: police, courts, and corrections. Inside each unit, decision-makers have powerful authority. For example, a police officer can use discretion in deciding whether to arrest someone, a prosecutor can use discretion in deciding whether and what to charge someone with, and a prison official can use discretion in deciding whether to release an inmate early.
Along with this discretion, however, comes the possibility of discrimination.
Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:
Address racial discrimination in the three units of our criminal-justice system.
Propose solutions for eliminating racial discrimination in these units.
1. Read the following:
a. Issue 14: Potential Discrimination in our System from the textbook,
Controversial Issues in Criminal Justice
b. Article: Racial Disparity (The Sentencing Project)
c. Watch the video “We need to talk about an Injustice” by Bryan Stevenson.
2. Write a minimum 600-word paper that addresses the following:
a. Which unit of the criminal-justice system do you believe is most susceptible to racial discrimination—police, courts, or corrections? Explain.
b. What do you think can be done to reduce the possibility of racial discrimination in the unit you selected? Explain.
3. Use two sources in addition to the textbook for this assignment.