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Thread: How Our Criminal Justice System Fails African Americans.

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flowers View Post
    The offenders are all in the front row. Only about one in ten Madisonians is black. Only one of the "offenders" is not black. That cannot be fair. That cannot be accurate. That can only be proof of a broken and corrupt system.
    I don't see it as proof of anything. And how can you assume that the list isn't accurate? Blacks commit violent crimes in a massive disproportion to their population, so seeing the list be mostly black isn't exactly a surprise.

    There is no doubt in my mind that our criminal system needs work, and that it fails the poor. But African Americans are what is failing African Americans, it's a cultural problem, and blaming the justice system is a red herring.

  2. #32
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    A 'cultural problem' caused by whom?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by blah! View Post
    I don't see it as proof of anything. And how can you assume that the list isn't accurate? Blacks commit violent crimes in a massive disproportion to their population, so seeing the list be mostly black isn't exactly a surprise.

    There is no doubt in my mind that our criminal system needs work, and that it fails the poor. But African Americans are what is failing African Americans, it's a cultural problem, and blaming the justice system is a red herring.
    Wow. Just fucking wow.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynch View Post
    A 'cultural problem' caused by whom?
    Clearly it's Asians and their "dirty shops".

    Maybe it also explains how brain-damaged racist crackhead politicians get themselves elected too?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by idrisz View Post
    Me -> US citizen, votes democrat, doesn't believe Obama is a front for radical Islam, doesn't believe institutional racism affect our crime rate much anymore.

    But then I am an Asian, so I'm probably racist in some ways.
    If you're Chinese, you're racist against Japanese. If you're Japanese, you are racist against Koreans. If you're Korean, you're racist against everybody.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunch of Kong View Post
    If you're Chinese, you're racist against Japanese. If you're Japanese, you are racist against Koreans. If you're Korean, you're racist against everybody.
    Iit's more like every other Asian is racist against Japanese, but I'm ok with LoK's explanation.
    Last edited by idrisz; 04-06-2012 at 04:38 PM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flowers View Post
    It is a serious and ongoing problem, so feel free to discuss the matter even after today.
    I think just punishment strives to make the recipients understand and agree with their punishment, and provides them the tools and opportunity to attempt to make up for their wrongdoing and not repeat it. To me, justice is about trying to salvage and repair bad situations to the greatest possible extent.

    As far as I can tell, the function of the US penal system is to contain, torment and occasionally get those subjected to it killed. Which, in my eyes, is vengeance at best, and outright bloodlust at worst.

    I sort of asked in another thread what good it is to torment a bunch of murderers for 40 years, but I think that question is better asked here. So... What is the purpose of subjecting people to that sort of thing. Does anyone think that tormenting a murderer for the rest of his life will somehow undo the harm he has caused? Or that a lifetime or torment will somehow make him a better human being?

    I ask, because to me it seems the very definition of two wrongs not making a right. Emotionally it might affect the aggrieved that their offender is tormented for the rest of his life, but that is hardly healthy behaviour that a society should seek to facilitate. At least in my mind, they would be far better served by being helped to get past their trauma. I certainly understand the desire for vengeance, but when trying to be objective about it, I cannot see how vengeance is a good thing for anyone. It only makes offenders of us all.

    I'm not suggesting rehabilitation is always possible. But we're not hunter-gatherers. We have the resources to rehabilitate almost everyone, and are not forced by limited resources to kill or torment the rest. We simply have no practical need to wreck people's lives. And it is very much possible for us to make most of their lives better, for themselves, their victims and for society as a whole.
    Which to me means it is inexcusable not to do so, to the fullest extent that we're able. Just like it means it is inexcusable to torment the hopeless cases, when we can even more easily contain them while inflicting minimal misery.

    Denmark is hardly perfect, but it actually tries to salvage shitty situations, the people who suffered them and those who caused them. And it works fairly well. Arguably enormously much better than the criminal justice & penal systems in the US.

  8. #38
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    To me, justice is about trying to salvage and repair bad situations to the greatest possible extent.
    So one of my good friend use to work as a correctional officer in a Juvenile facility that housed the Pokemon Killer.

    According to him, basically there isn't any chance rehabilitation for people like that kid. we probably save money just by taking him out to the yard and shoot him.

  9. #39
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    Murderpedia exists? Holy cow.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omniscia View Post
    A study commissioned by four local police departments was just released today. It found that, as community activists have been insisting for years, there is apparently a strong racial component in local traffic stops. Namely, in Burlington and South Burlington, black drivers are twice as likely to be pulled over than are white drivers; on the UVM campus, they're 25% more likely to be pulled over.
    How does it compare to the true crime rate?
    Last edited by SnowBlue; 04-06-2012 at 06:31 PM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by idrisz View Post
    According to him, basically there isn't any chance rehabilitation for people like that kid. we probably save money just by taking him out to the yard and shoot him.
    Assuming your friend is right, why would a society want to dump the boy in the penal system. Given our assumption, the punishment-bit of the penal system is pointless cruelty to him, and he's a threat to the other inmates.

    I assume you're not serious about killing people like him, but I think matters to formulate why killing him is at least as morally bankrupt as throwing him in prison. To me, killing human beings is not an option, it's a last resort. The thing you do when there's nothing else you can do. And we can do something else. We can easily spare the resources to contain people like this in facilities that are a minimal negative impact on their lives, and ensures they never pose a threat to anyone. So until/unless we come up with a way to punish people like this boy, why isn't that exactly what we do?

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disconnected View Post
    Assuming your friend is right, why would a society want to dump the boy in the penal system. Given our assumption, the punishment-bit of the penal system is pointless cruelty to him, and he's a threat to the other inmates.

    I assume you're not serious about killing people like him, but I think matters to formulate why killing him is at least as morally bankrupt as throwing him in prison. To me, killing human beings is not an option, it's a last resort. The thing you do when there's nothing else you can do. And we can do something else. We can easily spare the resources to contain people like this in facilities that are a minimal negative impact on their lives, and ensures they never pose a threat to anyone. So until/unless we come up with a way to punish people like this boy, why isn't that exactly what we do?
    I'm actually for death penalty, and I think putting him out of his misery is better than dump him in our penal system and letting him rot. If I was given a choice of lifetime in max security prison or a bullet, I think I rather take a bullet.

  13. #43
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    I'm absolutely against the death penalty. Never mind the failure rate of any system you can construct to manage the process, I don't see how it can be considered ethical to put someone to death when you aren't forced to do so.

    That said, I too would pick death over a lifetime sentence in an American maximum security prison. I'd probably rather kill myself than suffer a decade of such a place. But I was not suggesting condemning anyone to any amount of time in such facilities. On the contrary, I was opining that such places have no justifiable function.

    Much like killing people, I don't see how one can justify forcing people to suffer what they consider to be a fate worse than death. I mean, how can such a thing possibly be construed as anything other than torture?

  14. #44
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    We can easily spare the resources to contain people like this in facilities that are a minimal negative impact on their lives, and ensures they never pose a threat to anyone.
    I don't think we can, that's the problem. Anyways it cost too much under our justice system to put someone to death, and it still cost a shit ton to lock them up forever.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by idrisz View Post
    I don't think we can, that's the problem. Anyways it cost too much under our justice system to put someone to death, and it still cost a shit ton to lock them up forever.
    I'd much, much rather read how you can defend society putting a human being to death, when it isn't forced to do so. But in terms of resources, do you really believe it is cheaper to maintain a system with a failure rate that you can accept, that is also cheaper than simply containing people? And somewhat related, what is an acceptable failure of such a system to you?

  16. #46
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    The wiki has a solid article on the subject.

    But this is QT3 where racism is the only answer to any question.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disconnected View Post
    To me, justice is about trying to salvage and repair bad situations to the greatest possible extent.
    Deterrence doesn't factor into your view of justice?

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huzurdaddi View Post
    Deterrence doesn't factor into your view of justice?
    Sure it does. Ideally, the potential or severity of reprisals should never, ever influence the behaviour of anyone. And to the best of my knowledge, in first world countries, it doesn't by any reasonable definition.

    Maybe I should ask you for the most ideal and feasible example of terrorism instead. Because as far as I can see, tormenting a man not for anything he has done, but to make of him an example to terrify others, is pretty much it.

    - I'm sorry, my wife just came home and got me kind of shitfaced, and my less "objective, disinterested" response to things like this is wanting to introduce you to Dr. Marten's dental plan. So I really better shut the fuck up now. Though I guess there's worse ways to demonstrate the need for disinterested third parties to mete out justice.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huzurdaddi View Post
    The wiki has a solid article on the subject.

    But this is QT3 where racism is the only answer to any question.
    The wiki doesn't suggest there is NOT a racist component. A group who was been marginalized and excluded for centuries turns in large part to black market and criminal activity, and that becomes effectively part of the culture; that is a state of affairs born of racism.

    Racism still exists, which doesn't help, and the culture is self-perpetuating, which doesn't help. The very very difficult solution is to stop being racist and discourage the culture, which simply takes decades and decades of consistent educational and political messaging.

    In Canada, the black population is quite tiny relatively speaking but blacks are still incarcerated at 3 times the rate of whites and there is certainly a racist component to law enforcement; looking at the aboriginal population though we discover that they are incarcerated at 6 times the rate of whites; racism leads to marginalization leads to desperation leads to crime leads to criminal cultures.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soapyfrog View Post
    The wiki doesn't suggest there is NOT a racist component.
    Correct. That is one of the theories of causation. Many may be at play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soapyfrog View Post
    In Canada, the black population is quite tiny relatively speaking but blacks are still incarcerated at 3 times the rate of whites and there is certainly a racist component to law enforcement; looking at the aboriginal population though we discover that they are incarcerated at 6 times the rate of whites; racism leads to marginalization leads to desperation leads to crime leads to criminal cultures.
    Your phrasing wasn't tight, so let me see if this is what you are saying:

    "the black population is incarcerated at a higher rate than whites in Canada and thus there is racism in law enforcement"

    This is similar to statements made above. Assuming that your definition of racism isn't a tautology, this is logically incorrect.

    If you are saying that SES and crime are related then, yep, this is correct. It doesn't completely explain the variances, however. There is, again, a lot of study on why SES varies for different ethnic groups (ugh, I can't find a really good wiki link ... this will have to do, I hope we can agree it is complex). However it isn't clear cut that it is caused by racism (again, assuming a definition that isn't a tautology).
    Last edited by Huzurdaddi; 04-07-2012 at 11:28 AM.

  21. #51
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    I know its not where you're going, but you're really about two words away from saying black people are inherently criminals.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huzurdaddi View Post
    This is similar to statements made above. Assuming that your definition of racism isn't a tautology, this is logically incorrect.
    Well you are right in a way, I was not saying that blacks (and indians) are jailed more, ergo cops are racists, just commenting that the racism in the MUC and SQ here in Quebec is well known and documented, and that probably feeds into the incarceration rate. There seems to be a feedback loop there: racism marginalizes certain people, those people turn more to crime out of desperation, law enforcement racism gets reinforced because there is more crime being committed by those people.

    I doubt there is a significant biological component. Even if you feel that culture and race have been properly accounted for and therefore there is some biological component that makes black people earn a few percent less than white people, it's hard to see how that translates to the HUGE disparity in incarceration rates in the US.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaX View Post
    I know its not where you're going, but you're really about two words away from saying black people are inherently criminals.
    Shhh!!

  24. #54
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    Has anyone ever compared the % of African Americans incarcerated to the % of poor whites in jail?
    I'm sure there's a racial element to traffic stops, and sentencing, but it would interesting to see if the white people in jail turned to crime due to economic factors, which has been suggested is the reason for so many non-whites in jail.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destarius View Post
    Wasn't there a study suggesting that African Americans are responsible for more crimes
    Sure. The problem is, once you have a criminal record and can do far less legal work and lose access to benefits, the percentage of people who will commit crimes to feed the kids goes right up. It's, sadly, self-sustaining.

    Disconnected - Quite apart from the fact the state shouldn't have the power to execute people.

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    Why do you guys assume that 100% of the crimes are the result of desperation?

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowBlue View Post
    Why do you guys assume that 100% of the crimes are the result of desperation?
    Not 100% by any means, but its certainly a motivator.

    I mean the only reasons to really commit a crime are:

    Don't think I'll get caught.
    Desperation.
    Too stupid to consider the consequences.

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    Actually, some of the really nasty ones are the people who take a calculated risk. They're rare, but...high profile if they fail.

    Also, there's mental illness or addiction.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewl View Post
    Has anyone ever compared the % of African Americans incarcerated to the % of poor whites in jail?
    I'm sure there's a racial element to traffic stops, and sentencing, but it would interesting to see if the white people in jail turned to crime due to economic factors, which has been suggested is the reason for so many non-whites in jail.
    People like to blame racial profiling, but you can't force someone to do something wrong. Cops pulling people over isn't what's giving them criminal records...committing a crime and getting pulled over is what's doing it. If I get pulled over every time i get into my car, I'm still NEVER going to go to jail because I've done nothing wrong. It's an annoyance, but if you aren't a criminal and get pulled over that's all it is.

    As far as the economics angle, that plays a part in crime, but it doesn't account for the huge disparity in crime committed by blacks. There are plenty of poor white people (and other races) out there, and the statistics for crimes, especially violent, among them are far lower than blacks of the same standing.

    The is a distinct lack of caring about education, a lack of male role models/head of households, and an overall lack of community in black America. These three things are far more responsible for the problems in the black community than racism or economics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blah! View Post

    The is a distinct lack of caring about education, a lack of male role models/head of households, and an overall lack of community in black America. These three things are far more responsible for the problems in the black community than racism or economics.
    Don't you think you're failing to see the forest for the trees just a tiny bit here?

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