We have a criminal justice system which is racist, broken

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  • #148766

    • Total Posts: 1,150

  • #148857

    • Total Posts: 1,788

    Everyone involved in this lady getting 5 freakin’ years for this “crime” should be ashamed, of, if not themselves, at least the damn “justice” system!

    All governments lie to their citizen's, but only Americans believe theirs.

  • #149039

    Cold Mountain Trail
    • Total Posts: 5,608

    wow.  that’s an even better comparison than the one i came up with, which was 5 years in prison for felony voting (voting while on felony probation).  also a black woman.

    on edit:  in this woman’s case, however, she apparently got another 5 (concurrent) for selling drugs.

    Last month the 34-year-old Bridgeport woman pleaded guilty in a Norwalk court to charges of first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny for illegally enrolling her 6-year-old son in Norwalk public school despite living here.

    That case drew protests by residents and civil rights groups who claimed McDowell was being persecuted for her attempt to get a better education for her son.

    (Judge) Iannotti retorted Tuesday that the Norwalk case had nothing to do with why McDowell was before him.  “This case is about the convictions for the sale of narcotics to an undercover police officer,” the judge said. “I think you understand that because that is really the essence of what has gotten you into the predicament you find yourself today.”

    On the two counts of sale of narcotics, the judge then sentenced her to 12 years, suspended after she serves five years and followed by five years probation. The sentence is to run concurrently with a five-year sentence she received in the Norwalk (school enrollment) case…

    Tuesday’s hearing ended a highly charged case that put a spotlight on the city’s beleaguered school system and cries for changes in state legislation that makes it illegal for parents to send their children to schools in towns where they are not residents.

    But support for McDowell dropped off after she was arrested by Bridgeport police in June and charged with selling marijuana and crack cocaine on two occasions to an undercover police officer outside her Dover Street home…



  • #149220

    • Total Posts: 534

    There are tons of studies that show that the justice system is racist, elitist, and sexist. No one seems to know how to go about fixing it since most of the inequalities concerning race and gender are due to human prejudice and not the laws themselves.

    But more than anything, people who don’t have money get screwed. It’s not that public defenders are bad lawyers. They get a terrible reputation, but they aren’t bad at their jobs. Most of the time they are educated by the same exact schools as the big guns. The problem is they are almost always overworked and underpaid. Their desks have piles of cases. They can’t spend the needed time and dedication that each case deserves because there isn’t enough manpower and not enough hours in the day. They also lack the resources a private criminal defense firm has. Those private firms can demand large sums of money, have several lawyers and legions of detectives and paralegals and law experts to fully research every single case.

    And if you are a prosecutor, who also has a heavy caseload, and you are dealing with a case that has powerful defense armies behind it threatening to take you to trial and threatening to throw everything they can at you and drag it out and make your job miserable, what are you going to do? You want to get rid of that case ASAP. So you offer a plea deal they can’t refuse.

    It’s not easy to fix that problem on a wide scale. Because public defenders are paid by their jurisdictions. So it’s usually a city or county paying them. To give them more money or hire more staff, that means the local/state government would need to find more money. That means cutting budgets elsewhere or raising taxes. And when you are a city leader and try to explain to the voters that you want more money so poor people can have better defense in the justice system….you are probably going to get resistance.

  • #149238

    game meat
    • Total Posts: 925

    It is more about having sufficient financial resources to afford quality legal representation. That’s far more important than any racial bias. Felicity Huffman can afford it. Poor people are stuck with overworked public defenders who just don’t have the time to devote to an individual case. Poor whites aren’t treated much better. And does anyone honestly believe Oprah Winfrey would be doing hard time for rigging SAT scores? Of course not.

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