Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice
Why do people who commit street crimes seems to be punish more harsher than people who commit crimes that are equally heinous like fraud and hardly ever step foot in court? Well, here are a few more reasons why this problem may exist. Racial disparity is present within sentencing because of the way ineffective assistance of counsel and procedural bars. The problem lies within the fact that “proving ineffective assistance of counsel is structured in a way that is extremely difficult to show that a lawyer ineffectual” ( Tabak, 1999). A good example of this is a case where the defendant Johnny Lee Gates, he lived in a black community all his life, and he was accused of raping a white woman and the jurors who were listening to his case were all white. In this case his lawyer should have object to the jury selection process. When looking at this case more closely you can see that the lawyer did not care about his client court case and he already concluded that his client was guilty.
Another potential reason why we may see racial disparity in sentencing is caused by venue and jury selection. The phase “location is everything” can prove to be a painful truth for those who are punished for being placed on trial in the wrong neighborhood. “It is not uncommon for prosecutors to choose venues for the defendants which result in all white juries” (Tabak, 1999). The number two problem of selecting a jury,