Dual Teir Legal System

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It’s no secret that America’s Criminal Justice system is flawed. With the highest prison population in the world, routine and systemic racial abuse, and one of the highest recidivism rates in the world, we are far from achieving a just-justice system.
it doesn’t take long when examining the disparities in our justice system to realize that we have been lied to. We have been told that American justice is blind. That her scales are even, and her sword cuts equally as deep for all offenders. Yet in reality, there are three separate systems in play. One for the rich, one for the poor, and one for the brown.

According to The Sentencing Project, one in three black men will end up in prison at some point in their lives. That number drops to 1 in 17 for white men. The statistics for women are even more staggering. One in 111 white women will end up in prison, while one in 18 black women will. In addition, black men will serve on average 20% longer than white men after being convicted of the same crime. Yet these statistics only portray a piece of the larger problem.

If you’d like to see the true duality of our legal system, then look no further than Jefferery Epstiens 2004 settlement with the state of Florida. Jeffrey Epstien was a billionaire hedge fund manager who had been sexually exploiting young women for over a decade. He had used his wealth to sexually abuse over 30 underage girls. Despite the fact that many of these women were willing to testify against him, he received the legal equivalent of a slap on the wrist. At the end of the day, he was convicted of one count of soliciting prostitution of a minor, a charge that does not exist in Florida state law. He was sentenced to 11 months in a county prison and allowed to leave five days a week to run his business.

When we compare this case with those of the countless non-violent drug offenders caught up within the criminal justice system, it becomes clear that justice in America is not blind, nor are her scales truly even. Instead, the cloth covering her eyes has been irreparably sheared, leaving countless holes and tears, held together by a thin veil of impartiality. Her scales to have been rigged. What once read as equal has dragged by down by the weight of gold. Yet perhaps the hand we have been dealt was not a product of maliciousness. Perhaps it was designed that way. From its inception, our criminal justice system has served the interests of one class and one class only, the ruling class. The definition of the ruling has expanded over the years from wealthy land-owning white men to wealthy people in general. However, the system, and more importantly its function, have not.

Of course, I have no expectation that my reader base will put any thought into this piece apart from a brief cursory glance. We all knew about what has been discussed in this article beforehand, yet those who will read this are also those who benefit most from the system in place. I wish that the solution lies simply in acknowledging reality. It doesn’t. In order to correct the sins of our past, we must be active in shaping the future.

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