The role of racial disparity in the justice system

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2020 | Criminal Defense

The justice system in Minnesota and throughout the United States of America seems to be discriminatory, especially along racial lines. Studies regarding the representation of state judges indicate that there is a disparity between the judges and the communities they serve.

One study notes that 95% of the prosecutors elected to serve are white in terms of race. This disproportionate representation has been said to undermine the court’s legitimacy, and it might originate from the initial stages of the selection and recruitment process. People of color are said to be missing out on the opportunities to become judges. The educational opportunities for students of color are said to be more challenging; fewer get admitted into law school and are able to graduate.

According to other studies, African American defendants get harsher judgments compared to white defendants with the same criminal cases. In many cases, the lack of a balance on the bench and the prosecutor’s office could be a determinant of how the rulings go. According to activists, reconstituting the bench and prosecutors’ offices is necessary if systemic racial bias is to have a resolution. If the justice system is reflective of the population, racial injustice might reduce with a larger percentage of judges who are people of color.

There are scenarios where racial prejudice in the determination of a case may lead to a mistrial. In such a case, a criminal defense attorney may have to prove that racial bias had a hand in the mistrial. If an attorney can convince the courts of a mistrial and wrongful conviction due to racial bias and neglect of lawful procedures, the court might order a retrial.