Dec 11, 2018 in Informative

Law, Common Law Essay


The question on whether racism is apparent in the legal systems is often asked by different individuals and civil rights groups. The manner in which various cases involving people of diverse races are handled has left so much to be desired in relation to race differences. The question that lingers in the minds of many observers is whether there are traces of racism in the legal systems that handle different cases; particularly the criminal justice systems. Many scholars and human rights activists and observers have raised concern on the practicality of the various criminal justice systems embraced in different nations. In deed, extreme concern has been raised concerning the moral practices in different nations on racial differences and their relationship to the final court ruling concerning their criminal actions.

In the American society for instance, there is an increasing polarization in terms of race and economic aspects. As a matter of fact, the plight of the minority citizens and the poor people living in the United States is extremely deplorable. These groups of people have had to contend with the prejudice that has been directed to them due to their characteristics; either race or their social class. In fact, the vast majority of the minority groups subscribe to what is commonly referred to as discrimination thesis due to the discriminatory aspects of the criminal system. In spite of the apparent conditions demonstrating that there is presence of racism in the judicial systems, there is no clear evidence that can proof that the entire system is racist. 

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The extent of racism in the criminal justice systems

There have been extreme violations of international law in the United States in the recent past. The pattern has been on a repeated manner such that all the major stakeholders have marveled to the extent of the violation. There has been experienced corruption of the highest order in the American society to the extent that much of the domestic legal system has totally abandoned the habit of seeking justice to all (Wilbanks 2009). As a matter of fact, many of the USA courts that deal with slight issues that do not entail crimes of higher order such as terrorism are not very fair when it comes to foreigners. Foreign visitors and travelers are some of the most vulnerable victims of the unfair practices within the phony courts of the USA.

In total, there are more than 2 million prisoners in the American jails. The worst thing is that most of this group is comprised of innocent visitors and travelers accused of wrongdoings whose fault they do not know. The riskiest part of the vast majority of American courts is that the same courts may be avenues for the impoverishing the poor travelers and visitors through being represented by corrupt lawyers. By the entering the American territory, one literally steps into a most dangerous and risky zone. It is not uncommon that such foreigners may end up dying in prison after being sentenced to life imprisonment through the corrupt US criminal justice system. On the face of it, the United States of America claims to have the most just and fair system of criminal justice. In fact, it claims to be a land of freedom where one is judged according to their deeds. However, the rhetoric in this claim is great. 

All legal systems have certain contexts and principles on which they are based. The concept of racism does not actually come out of the sheer hate and ill attitude that a nation has towards a certain group of people; it flows naturally. Simply put, the design of all judicial systems of the world is meant for the people of the land; not mainly the new-comers who are regarded as intruders. This fact makes it difficult to prove that there racism is at its best play in the judicial systems. While this statement may be true, all the claims made concerning racism and legal systems have been met with utmost argument and counterarguments to defend the judicial systems of the land. All states of the world admire the sovereignty that they enjoy. Never do they admire any intrusion by other states irrespective of the position and power that such a nation possesses. As such, it is the priority of any state to protect the interests of its citizens; those of the foreigners come a distant second. No other place in the whole world that the judicial system demonstrates racism and disregard to foreigner’s interests than in the United States of America. A look into the criminal system in the United States depicts a systems that totally full of racism aspects and disregard of the interests of the foreigners. Many overseas families had had to grapple with the agony of losing their loved ones to corrupt hands of American judicial systems either through death sentences imposed on their family members or life imprisonment that has unfairly been crafted against them.

The plight of the foreigners from different races is very risky all over the world. Massive executions and death sentences have been the practice rather than the norm for most of the judicial systems of the world. In fact, there is never a trace of consideration or any careful investigation done in a case that involves a foreigner from a different race. In the United States; a self proclaimed land of freedom, foreigners are jailed based on flimsy evidence that is tainted to meet the criminal required snitches (Adrianus 2005). Although it is a common fact from various civil advocates on the absence of justice to the minority in the US, conservatives from the government side strongly oppose it. For them, there is no proof that the system is racist. They challenge those who think otherwise to gather and produce as mush evidence as possible to argue out their case. In a nutshell, the rhetoric in the argument is much more a puzzle than a mere rhetoric. All the people from different races executed or imprisoned are sentenced on account of various criminal offences upon them. Of course, the acts are worth the sentences that they receive. The question is the justification of the evidence used to sentence them. Obviously, such people are treated with utmost animosity and prejudice; they are never offered enough chance to protect themselves against them. Eventually, they end up in the hands of the hangman’s noose or life imprisonment. In the reality of the matter, the US is comprised of dishonest, crooked and dangerous system of the law that passes unjust sentences to the foreigners and people from other races. Actually, corruption in the legal system of the United States can be liked to a think blanket hovering over the entire system. 

Perhaps the corruption that covers the entire system in the United States is the most discreet and most known. The corporate media of the United States is also a big perpetuator of the racist judicial system through the news that is aimed at presenting the system to the very fair and just. The media has completely hidden the corruption that is practiced in the entire judicial system. Thus in spite of its well-known racism and corruption, the judicial system of the United States is painted as being the most fair in the entire world. Exposing the truth that is practiced in the United States by the media can result to so much evil (Sachs 2005). For instance, the media extremely fears the social revolution actions and reprisal demands that may ensue if the truth is brought to the limelight.  The entire world is in a way said to be under the illusion of practicing illegal jailing to the visitors and travelers caught in the wrong side of the law. As a matter of fact, all the overseas nations are said to be extremely practicing racism in terms of their judicial systems. The United States is regarded as the superpower in the world. As such, all the actions that originate with it are emulated by other nations. The judicial systems of the entire globe have some element of the domestic practices in the United States. It is a common practice and belief that the United States is focused to discriminating the foreigners within its borders. The eyes of the entire world have not been hid from the evils that have been done to the foreigners in the United States’ prisons. As a matter of fact, several incidences of extreme torture and illegal jailing have been aired by the world press. 

There are a number of infamous happenings that completely reveal that the world has failed the test of fairness when racism and judicial systems are concerned. For instance, extreme violations of human rights have been witnessed in Guantanamo episode, as well as the issues on the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time very secret prisons have been secretly highlighted in areas like Diego Garcia and others within American ships. In view of the whole world practices, the problem of racism and animosity towards people of other races is widespread. The abuses that are executed by America through its military invasions as well as the crusade against terrorism are just on the face value of the evils that are underground; unknown to the masses (Free 1996). The American domestic judicial system is coupled with adverse abuses of human rights and corruption especially on people of other races. In order to have an adequate comprehension of the racism that is apparent in the world legal systems, it is imperative to come to an understanding that there is a consensus on the fact that racism is a practice rather than the norm in most administrators of justice, academics, as well as policymakers. As a matter of fact, such an evil practice should not be allowed in the first place. If justice is to be done and be seen done, tolerance to racism should always remain zero. In several research works done on the practice of racism in the administration of justice, there has always been a negative outcome on the hypothesis. Surprisingly, no enough evidence has been found to establish that racism is the practice of virtually all judicial systems. 

There are various facts that have been highlighted in order to prove the claim that legal systems have followed the aspect of racism in dispersing their verdicts. Advocates of the fact that legal systems are racists have raised points such as the presence of racial bias in criminal justice systems ( 2000). They have applied various past studies relating to criminal justice and race to bring the point that the systems of justices have been racial in most of the verdicts they have given. According to the studies conducted in the past, it is evident that people from different races and other ethnic groupings are treated very harshly when it comes to the dissemination of justice. The aspect that tends to act as a cover up for the evidence of any form racial discrimination is the fact that the stages at which race determines the form of justice to be given differ. They have also argued that when justice pertaining to drug policy is one aspect that completely brings the full explosion of racial discrimination. For instance the issue of crack-cocaine and powder cocaine is a proof of racism in justice systems as African-Americans prefer crack cocaine which severe sentences. 

On the other hand, several points to dismiss the allegations of racism in legal systems have been put across. Criminologists have argued that when decisions on criminal justice are made they are not based on race; they are on the seriousness of the crime. They also argue that systematic racism is not apparent in criminal justice (Kauzlarich 2005). Some of the criminologists like William Wilbanks have argued in favor of the judicial system by coming with various phrases that protects the systems. For instance, the phrase, “systematic racism” has been developed and used to determine the extent of justice in the judicial system of the United States. The rhetoric comes is evidenced by the fact that there is no conclusive agreement that racial discrimination exists in all levels of judicial systems or it does not exist at all. 


There is no justified research to prove that racism exists in judicial systems. If we are to rely on the available practical aspects, it is justifiable to admit the presence of racism in judicial systems. However, it is a rhetoric proving its existence; in any case, all judicial systems are self protecting; leaving no loophole for their challenge. Nevertheless, majority of scholars and advocates of human rights admit its existence at different levels. 


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