Wednesday, March 12, 2014

INFOGRAPHIC: Racism in the Criminal Justice System

It is no secret that justice in America is not blind. It is certainly not color blind.

Since Marisa Alexander published "The New Jim Crow" there has been a huge response to the decades long push toward full, profitable prisons, particularly comprised of black and brown faces.

 In 2010 we did a series titled, "Unmasking the Prison Industrial Complex" where we took a look at the circumstances that lead America to having the largest  prison population in the world, with no particular decrease in crime. We did not examine the disproportionate number of black men who occupy these prison cells, leaving a misguided soul to believe that blacks actually commit more crime than any other race. This is very untrue.

Statistically blacks and whites commit both violent and drug related crimes at roughly the same rate, but blacks are arrested and prosecuted by an appalling larger margin. Additionally, the criminal justice system has a long history of convicting, and executing countless innocent black men by denying them a fair trial -- a bi-product of the Jim Crow era and subsequent "tough on crime," mantra of the 80's which affected mostly blacks.

A great example of this would be Glenn Ford, a 64 year old black man who was released from prison this week after spending 30 years on death row for a murder he did not commit.

Mr. Ford was sentenced to death in 1984 by an all white jury, for the murder of a white man in Louisiana. I would encourage you to read the story of Mr. Ford and see how biased the criminal justice system is toward the black community.

The following infographic gives stunning statistics to support the premise that black people, whether man, woman or child are almost always treated more harshly than any other race when it comes to prosecution, sentencing as well as initial arrest -- and beyond the harsh treatment (certainly fueled by racism) are the blatant lawbreaking practices which put Glenn Ford on death row for 30 years.

Racism in the Criminal Justice System – An infographic by the team at

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