The history of the country is always tightly connected with the history of criminal and noncriminal offenses and a justice system. The system of justice in the United States is very unique, because the country is multinational. People from all over the world have immigrated to the United States to find a better life. Since the beginning of civilization, all peoples and cultures had their own imagination of what is right and wrong. Thus, the principles on which the justice systems of countries have been created are also different. The American justice system should have been created with the consideration of cultural differences of citizens. The unique system of justice has been created, but nowadays one may see some racial tendencies in a judgment. The African Americans suffer most of all. The main idea of this research is to prove that the drug laws in the United States of America led to disproportional incarceration of African Americans; consequently, this led to inappropriate level of their lives.
War on drugs
War on drugs is an American campaign that President Nixon started in 1971. The campaign prohibited any military aid, intervention and drugs spreading in the country. The main aim of the campaign was to stop illegal drug traffic in the country. The campaign was legally based on set of drug policies that prohibited production, selling and buying, and consumption of any kind of psychotropic drugs. For this purpose, the Congress of the United States of America set a list of drugs to be concerned psychotropic.
For the first nine years, arrests were not as massive as they would have become later. In the middle of the eightieth of the last century, the Congress of the United States of America passed the law, called the Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1986. The Act implemented punishment for taking powder and crack cocaine drugs. Some researchers suggest that this article of the Act was racial. The point is that African Americans used to consume crack cocaine. For consuming five grams of crack cocaine, a person was sentenced to five years. The same sentence was implemented for consuming half a kilo of powder cocaine. In this case, it becomes obvious that the Act was racial. Statistic shows that 14 % of drug users are African Americans. The point is that 37 % of arrested for drug use are African Americans, as well. There are many reasons for such conduct. Some researchers name demographic, religious reasons, as well as the ease of drug producing that led to mass arrests during the war on drugs. Besides, police officers confess that they tend to focus their attention on districts where Africa Americans live. Social status has become one of the reasons, as well. The point is that districts, where citizens with low income live, tend to have more drug users than districts, where citizens, who have average or high income.
The war on drugs and the Anti Drug Abuse Act played a significant role in the lives of African Americans. According to statistical data, after the Act has been adopted the correlation of arrested for crack cocaine use and powder cocaine use was 100 to 1. After the prison most of Africa Americans were not able to find any job. Moreover, after incarceration for drug use, people are prohibited to vote, get license or public assistance.
Discrimination of African Americans in the American history
The African Americans are treated not only badly, but unfairly. According to the statistics, in 1965, the Congress adopted a Voting Rights Act. This law influenced on the vote right of African Americans. Nowadays, more than a million of African Americans have no rights to vote, because they have been accused in felonies. The year before, in 1964, the Congress adopted the law about discrimination in the employment sector. Nowadays, three out of ten African Americans will remain unemployed because they have been arrested. I do not think that this is fair, because everyone deserves to get a job in order to have the money for living. If an African American, after being released, does not find any job, or a house, he will have to make an offense to go back to jail. Those African Americans being in prison now have no other choice, as to have the fate of a criminal. The more recent research has showed that one out of eleven African Americans are in prison. This is much higher than the Caucasians (one out of forty five) or the Latinos (one out of twenty seven). The jails in the United States are filled mostly with the persons who have the black or white skin (70%).
The fullest research in the field of unfairness and race discrimination in the criminal justice system of the United States was made in the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. This was published in 2010. This book deals with such questions as a process and the tools of race discrimination by investigators. It described the way of not only the discrimination happening in prison, but as well the way African Americans are treated after the release (they are labeled as “felons” and are considered to be the second class). The author of the book agrees that some of African Americans have achieved a lot in their lives. However, there are many of those who do not, and the majority of people still consider Afro-Americans to be like a plague of the society.
The main sources used, while making this research, are the archives of the FBI. These are the scientific articles about racism and its influence on the American justice system as well as the way how Afro-Americans are treated in the court. Also, I have taken into account the cases, in which both the Americans and Afro-Americans were involved. Their cases were described together with their sentences. The data of statistics were also very important, together with the research and conclusions. Such resources as the United States Incarceration Rate or the International Centre for Prison Studies were applied too.
As said before, the statistics is the only thing to be believed in. According to the following figures:
- 11.8% of African Americans are taken while driving (compared to 8.9% of the Whites);
- 75.7% African Americans are stopped for increasing the speed (compared to 66% of Whites);
- 15.9% of African American drivers are stopped and have the search in their cars conducted (compared to 7.9% of Whites);
- The research has shown that 32% of African Americans have all the chances to be arrested and get into jail; and only 6% of white males have those chances;
- African Americans are treated badly during a trial and are sentenced for the crime strictly. For the same crime, Whites are receiving a suspended sentence;
- The African American youth is most likely to be arrested than the white;
- 43% of criminals sentenced to death are African Americans;
- In 1998, 72% of the federal National Household Survey on Drug Abuse was the Whites, and 15% were African Americans, although African Americans are mostly arrested for keeping drugs.
The research has shown that African Americans are incarcerated more often than any other nationality of the country. Besides, the research has proved that African Americans are more difficult to find a job after prison. The war on drugs influenced such conduct greatly. The statistics, shown in the second part of the research paper, showed the attitude to African Americans after the war on drugs. The point is that since the war on drugs African Americans were considered the only criminals of the country. If we see modern movies, an African American is appeared to be a criminal after a crime is committed; an African American is the first, and in most cases, the only suspect. Such attitude toward African Americans led that they have inappropriate level of life. Although the United States of America struggles for equality in the country, equality between nationalities, the oppression of African Americans remains.
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