Racial and Implicit Bias in the Courtroom

Updated January 5, 2022

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Racial and Implicit Bias in the Courtroom essay

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“Two officers escorted a young black man into the courtroom.The prosecutor had offered the man a plea deal of probation, and he indicated that he would accept. I The judge asked, as she must: “Is anyone forcing you to accept this plea today?” At this point, most people quietly say ‘no.’ But the man responded “yes,” he was being forced to accept the plea. Refusing to accept meant facing the strong arm of prosecution and potentially going to prison for years. He protested that he had no real choice. Three court officers surrounded him.

The judge repeated the question: “Is anyone forcing you to accept this plea today?” This time, flanked by officers, he said no. A few minutes later, he walked out a free man, but he now had a criminal conviction and the oversight and constraints that come with probation.” (Borchetta). The criminal justice system is being seen as bias in both implicitly and racially. There have been many accounts where a black male committed the same crime as a white male but the latter was offered a higher sentence. This leaves the world to wonder if their judicial system is really fair. The racial and implicit biases that still remain today; have lead to the corruption of the judicial system. An implicit bias is defined as a bias that is inherent in people.

This means that it, the bias, is subconscious or without the avid participation of the person. The effects of an implicit bias are not just found in the court system but as simple as crossing the street because they are approached by the “wrong” type of person. It seems as if there is nothing that can protect people of diversity from such inherent and uncooperative bias and is seen as unfixable. This has become a controversy in the Judicial system and implements have been set in place to take care of a bias that isn’t clearly seen. Implicit bias training is something that all judges must go through to make them consciously aware of their actions. This bias can be as deeply ingrained as the values of even their parents; the way the judges grow up can majorly affect this bias.

A racial bias, on the other hand, is a completely conscious choice. Racism in the United States isn’t a new concept, especially in the Criminal Justice system. An example of this greatly represented in the book To Kill a Mockingbird. The main theme of the novel is about an African American man accused of rape when all of the evidence pointed to the father of the victim. The father of the victim was white and so, automatically, it was assumed that the black man was the criminal. The novel was set in the 1930’s; that was over 80 years ago and the criminal justice system still has remnants of this racism. The difference of a racial bias and an implicit bias is that an implicit bias is ingrained in their brain but being racist is a choice; thus, both of these biases interrupt the judicial system. Furthermore, the effects of these biases can be everlasting to criminals with a diverse background.

According to The Demographic Differences in Sentencing studies have shown that black males that have committed the same crimes usually have a 19.1% longer sentence compared to a white male. Along with this, there was a study done recently about the differences between 253 identical drug offenses. The study showed that black males were 11% more likely to get convicted and had to spend on average 1.06 years longer than a white male that was charged for the same crime. Which doesn’t make very much sense due to the fact that black males, on average, have 11% more job training and skills. Something must be at work besides the drug offenses; when the only difference is the races. Another large part of the bias is the judge themselves.

According to two sociologists, white judges are four times more likely to dismiss any racial affiliation in the case. Whereas African American judges have been in the shoes of diversity and can recognize the racism easier. This is an effect of an implicit bias; the African Americans have learned what it’s like to be alienated. They understand the meaning of the case and relate to the criminals and this is why African American judges are more than half likely to weigh in the favor of racial harassment. On the contrary, many people don’t see the implicit bias and some choose not acknowledge the racism. This is why there is much being done in the judicial system because not enough people believe that it is an issue.

On the opposing side many people only see where we have come from and not where we need to go. By not seeing the other side of this unjust act, it is limiting the criminals of the diverse the options they need to move on. The major point of the other side is that the Judicial system isn’t lynching people or convicting the wrong people for the wrong skin. So,whether or not the bias is intentional or ingrained, it is having a large impact on the diverse criminals. The racial and implicit bias can cause substantial repercussions on criminals with diverse backgrounds.

The corruption of the judicial system has gone from convicting the wrong people for the wrong skin; to giving longer sentences out of pure malicious or subconscious awareness. The biases aren’t so blatant anymore but they are still there and are affecting the judicial system. Just because there isn’t a man hung doesn’t mean that they aren’t still left out to dry.

Racial and Implicit Bias in the Courtroom essay

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Racial and Implicit Bias in the Courtroom. (2022, Jan 05). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/racial-and-implicit-bias-in-the-courtroom/


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