OgChapter One: Race

and the Police
examines the issue of
racial profiling and
other law enforcement
strategies and
practices that single
out blacks and
Hispanics as objects of
suspicion solely on the
basis of the color of
their skin or accent.
Police officers
disproportionately
target minorities as
criminal suspects
skewing at the outset
the racial composition
of the population
ultimately charged
con!icted and
incarcerated. "or
example:
#nder a federal court
consent decree traffic
stops by the $aryland
%tate Police on
&nterstate '( were
monitored. &n the two
year period from
)anuary *''( to
+ecember *'', ,-
percent of the dri!ers
stopped and searched
by the police were
black while only *,.(
percent of o!erall
dri!ers

as well as
o!erall speeders ..
were black.
&n /olusia County
"lorida in *''0
nearly ,- percent of
those stopped on a
particular interstate
highway in Central
"lorida were black or
Hispanic although
only ( percent of the
dri!ers on that
highway were black or
Hispanic. $oreo!er
minorities were
detained for longer
periods of time per
stop than whites and
were 1- percent of
those whose cars were
searched after being
stopped. 2he
discriminatory
treatment of minority
dri!ers was duly noted
by /olusia County
%ergeant +ale
3nderson who asked a
white motorist he had
stopped how he was
doing4 the motorist
responded

567ot !ery
good

to which
3nderson responded

Could be worse

could be black.

Chapter 2wo: Race
and Prosecutorial
+iscretion addresses
the une8ual treatment
of minorities in the
exercise of
prosecutorial
discretion focusing on
charging decisions in
drug cases and racial
disparity in the
administration of
capital punishment. 3t
e!ery subse8uent stage
of the criminal
process .. from the
first plea negotiations
with a prosecutor to
the imposition of a
prison sentence by a
judge .. the subtle
biases and stereotypes
that cause police
officers to rely on
racial profiling are
compounded by the
racially skewed
decisions by other key
actors. Regrettably
the e!idence is clear
that prosecutorial
discretion is
systematically
exercised to the
disad!antage of black
and Hispanic
3mericans.
Prosecutors are not
by and large bigoted.
9ut as with police
acti!ity prosecutorial
judgment is shaped by
a set of self.
perpetuating racial
assumptions.
&n *''* the %an )ose
$ercury 6ews
re!iewed almost
,----- criminal cases
from California
between *'1* and
*''- and unco!ered
statistically significant
disparities at se!eral
different stages of the
criminal justice
process. 3mong the
study

s findings was
that six percent of
whites as compared
to only four percent of
minorities won

interest of justice

dismissals in which
prosecutors dropped a
criminal case entirely.
$oreo!er the study
found 0- percent of
white defendants
charged with crimes
pro!iding for the
option of di!ersion
recei!ed that benefit
while only *: percent
of similarly situated
blacks and ** percent
of similarly situated
Hispanics were placed
in such programs. 2he
same study re!ealed
consistent
discrepancies in the
treatment of white and
non.white criminal
defendants at the
pretrial negotiation
stage of the criminal
process. +uring
*'1'.*''- a white
felony defendant with
no criminal record
stood a ;; percent
chance of ha!ing the
charge reduced to a
misdemeanor or
infraction compared
to 0( percent for a
similarly situated black
or Hispanic.
Chapter 2hree: Race
%entencing and the

2ough on Crime
$o!ement

re!iews
the issue of
sentencing and
describes the role of
Congress and other
legislati!e bodies in
shaping and
implementing criminal
justice policies that
fall short of our
commitment to e8ual
treatment under the
law. 2he decision to
sentence a con!icted
criminal to prison has
until recently been
!iewed as a profound
responsibility one
entrusted solely to
impartial judges.
&ncreasingly howe!er
sentencing has become
mundane and
mechanistic a
decision effecti!ely
controlled by
legislators
prosecutors and
sentencing
commissioners. 2his
change in the culture
of sentencing has had
disastrous
conse8uences for
minorities in the
#nited %tates.
One of the most
thorough studies of
sentencing disparities
was undertaken by the
6ew <ork %tate
+i!ision of Criminal
)ustice %er!ices which
studied felony
sentencing outcomes
in 6ew <ork courts
between *''- and
*''0. 2he %tate
concluded that one.
third of minorities
sentenced to prison
would ha!e recei!ed a
shorter or non.
incarcerati!e sentence
if they had been
treated like similarly
situated white
defendants. &f
probation.eligible
blacks had been
treated like their white
counterparts more
than 1--- fewer black
defendants would ha!e
recei!ed prison in that
two year period
resulting in a fi!e
percent decline in the
percentage of blacks
sentenced to jail as a
percentage of the
entire sentenced
population. &n short
the study found
blacks are sentenced
to prison more
fre8uently than whites
for the same conduct.
Chapter "our: =illful
)udicial 9lindness
discusses the
judiciary

s failure to
redress ob!ious
injustices by curbing
access to and
restricting the use of
data that reflect the
disparate impact on
minorities of law
enforcement and
prosecutorial
practices. 2he chapter
stresses that courts
bear significant
responsibility for the
injustices suffered by
minorities in our
criminal system
despite this era of
mandatory sentencing
laws and sentencing
guidelines in which
judges ha!e less
authority to affect the
outcome of criminal
cases through the
exercise of judicial
discretion. &n the face
of the o!erwhelming
racial disparities
created by policing
tactics prosecutorial
decision.making and
unjust sentencing laws
courts ha!e generally
declined to examine or
redress racial
ine8uality in the
criminal justice
system and ha!e
made it harder for
litigants to expose
such flaws.
Chapter "i!e: Race
and the )u!enile
)ustice %ystem
examines the
disproportionately
harsh treatment of
minorities in the
ju!enile justice
system an area in
which especially
pronounced disparities
pose ominous
conse8uences for
minority communities.
"or example minority
youths are
disproportionately
targeted for arrest in
the war on drugs. &n
9altimore $aryland
*1 white youths and
1> black youths were
arrested for selling
drugs in *'1-. One
decade later ju!enile
drug sale arrests had
increased more than
*-- percent o!erall
and the almost (.to.*
racial disparity that
existed a decade
earlier had become a
*--.to.* disparity:
white youths were
arrested *; times for
selling drugs in *''-

less than in *'1-

while black youths
were arrested *;-:
times an *:--
percent increase from
*'1-.
2hese figures reflect
the broader national
experience: "rom *'1>
to *''* arrests of
white ju!eniles for
drug offenses
decreased ;: percent
while arrests of
minority ju!eniles
increased ,1 percent.
3ll this despite data
suggesting that drug
use rates among
white black and
Hispanic youths are
about the same and
that drug use has in
fact been lower among
black youths than
white youths for the
last couple of decades.
%imilar disparities
appear in relation to
non.drug.related
crimes.
Chapter %ix: 2he
Conse8uences of 2oo
?ittle )ustice outlines
the conse8uences of
une8ual treatment of
minority 3mericans in
the criminal justice
system

for those
caught up in the
system for their
families and
communities and for
society as a whole.
2oday it is beyond
debate that 3merica

s
minorities are treated
unfairly within the
criminal justice
system. &nnocent
minorities are
stopped detained and
interrogated more
than innocent whites.
$inorities who !iolate
the law are more likely
to be targeted for
arrest less likely to be
offered leniency and
are subject to harsher
punishment when
compared to similarly
situated white
offenders. @ach
successi!e measure of
une8ual treatment
compounds the prior
disparities. $eanwhile
minority youths face
similar ine8uities with
the added
conse8uence that they
are disproportionately
!ulnerable to
politicians

efforts to

adultify

ju!enile
justice and are
therefore more likely
than white youths to
be transformed by
go!ernment policies
into career criminals.
Confessions obtained as the result of
an inducement . for example a
promise of bail or a promise that a
prosecution would not arise from the
confession4
Hostile and aggressi!e 8uestioning4
"ailure to record accurately what was
said4
"ailure to caution4
"ailure to pro!ide an appropriate
adult where one is re8uired4
"ailure to comply with the Code of
Practice in relation to the detention
of the accused . for example a
failure to allow sufficient rest prior
to an inter!iew4
"ailure of the +efence %olicitor or
3ppropriate 3dult to act properly .
for example by making interjections
during inter!iew which are hostile to
the defendant. &t is important that
prosecutors take into consideration
whether confessions can be adduced
to be reliable or not by the Courts
is one of se!eral forms of police
misconduct which include: false arrest4
intimidation4 racial profiling 4 political
repression4 sur!eillance abuse 4 sexual abuse 4
and police corruption.