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Law and racial inequality

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civil law
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Valparaiso...

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term papers
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  1. Introduction
  2. The legacy of racism
  3. Imposing death penalty
  4. The case of Terry vs Ohio
  5. What makes a person a threatening?
  6. Problem with racism in the law
  7. The racist perceptions of drug use
  8. GI Bill's benefits to all soldiers
  9. Conclusion

Since the early 20th century, minorities have been striving for equality in the United States. Much progress has since been made in the form of anti-discrimination laws and desegregation, but while many advances have been made in the civil rights movement, inequality has not been escaped. Minorities are still fighting inequality while institutional racism battles against them. Currently, the legacy of racism is preserved in laws, rules, and governmental practices. The way that the death penalty is administered in capital cases, search and seizure procedures, minimum sentencing policies and lack of protection against discrimination are all ways that the government reinforces racism in American society.

The legacy of racism is apparent in the way that the death penalty is administered. Studies have shown that prosecutors will seek the death penalty more often and juries will impose the penalty more often if the victim of the crime is white, as opposed to black. Jeffrey Abramson, We the Jury 234. The race of the defendant is not nearly as important and in fact, there are more white people on death row than there are black people. Id, at 213.

[...] If crack cocaine is predominantly associated with urban minorities and the penalties for crack are greater than for powdered, associated with upper class whites, then the penalties are designed to punish minority users to a far greater extent than white users. The policies are further unjustified in that, as mentioned previously, crack cocaine and powdered cocaine are identical drugs. This discrimination in sentencing is a deliberate policy arraignment that supports the incarceration of minorities in America at a higher volume than whites. [...]


[...] Perhaps the most prominent is in the disparities in punishments for use and possession of crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. While the drugs are pharmacologically identical, possession, use and trafficking of crack cocaine, carries stiffer penalties than powdered cocaine. In 1986, Congress set five grams as the amount of crack cocaine needed in possession with intent to sell to incur a five-year penalty, whereas the amount set for powdered cocaine was a significantly higher five-hundred grams. Anti-Drug Abuse Act of U.S.C. [...]

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