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Does The U.s. Justice System Treat All Citizens Fairly?

Response to the statement: "The United States Justice System Treats all Citizens fairly and Equally"

Racial Profiling and discrimination has been a large part of our society since the beginning. The criminal justice system has not been excluded from this by any means. Many Americans want to believe that the justice system treats all citizens fairly and equally, but this is an unfortunate misconception, as poor people, particularly minorities are more likely to be convicted of a crime. In fact, the situation may even be getting worse for many people.

            Since 9/11, Muslims and Arabs alike have been discriminated against, and have even been the victims of sometimes violent hate crimes from ignorant people who believe all Arabs to be responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The criminal justice system has been no exception when it comes to racial profiling. Because of the so called “War on Terror,” many legal protections and rights have been suspended or even ignored. This leaves Muslims vulnerable to unconstitutional surveillance, or unwarranted imprisonment, merely because of their looks.

            Additionally, our criminal cases are determined by a jury. A jury can easily be flawed. If it happens that everyone on the jury is even subconsciously racist, that puts a defendant who is a lower class minority at a major disadvantage. As an example, Troy Davis, a poor black man, was convicted of killing a police officer based purely on flawed witness testimonies which were recanted after his conviction. There was no solid evidence to begin with. Despite this, he was executed. On the other hand, Casey Anthony, a white woman hailing from a relatively wealthy family, was acquitted of killing her daughter, despite a multitude of evidence, although the evidence was shaky. She is free of any charges relating to killing her daughter. She shouldn’t have been convicted because there was reasonable doubt, but Troy Davis was convicted, despite more than reasonable doubt, enough to drive the Pope, a former president, and former governor, among thousands of others, to ask for his release. In the minds of a standard jury, a poor black man is a likely suspect of killing a police officer. And it is a fact that a wealthy person has an advantage over a poor person in court, as they can afford better lawyers, and the people of a jury are less inclined to convict them of a violent crime, such as murder, due to the defendant having a higher social status, therefore being less inclined to commit a violent crime.   

            This issue shows no signs of an end, because all humans have their own biases. So despite what many Americans want to believe, our justice system is not fair, and does not treat everyone equally, because poor minorities have been, and are being discriminated against in the justice system. 

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