Dear Next President,
I am excited that the candidate most fit for the job now has the opportunity to put into action her wonderful plans. Though I have several concerns about the bettering of this nation and world, I present to you the solution I believe should be prioritized. The American justice system should be restructured to prioritize crimes in order of seriousness, and have pre-determined jail times for each crime.
Why is it that a Black man will get 30 years and a White man 3 years and probation for the same exact crime? Why does a mother who lied about an address on her child’s school application get 10 days in jail and 3 years probation, while police officers who murder in cold blood get paid leaves of absence and no jail time at all? Why are there more prisons than schools? Why is prison an American business industry? The above does not suggest that America wants the best for its citizens. It does however suggest that the 1% is getting its way socially and financially, while the 99% does not have access to equality. We promote the equality and freedom of America. But when you read the fine print, both of those things aren’t so evident. The lines quickly blur.
Our nation's justice system is also so quick to strictly sentence convicts of mild crimes, but for peculiar reasons reduce or eliminate sentencing for harsher crimes where the convicts are seemingly part of the upper class of society. For example, in 2011, ABC News reported on an incident where an African-American mother was convicted of lying on a school application in order to get her children a better education. They fined her with the tuition, which she was unable to pay. Because of this, they gave her 10 days in jail, 3 years of probation, and community service. That’s a lot in my opinion. A few years later in 2014, reported on by NBC, officer Darren Wilson would be not indicted for the crime of murdering an unarmed Black child. Not indicted at all, for murder, versus severe punishment for attempting to improve your child’s education. The difference is drastic. Looking at situations like these, I think it's imperative we have prioritized crimes with subsequent punishments that reflect that for every case.
In conclusion, if America is going to coin itself as a place of equality, then we need to treat all citizens the same. That starts with you Lady President, making this issue known and affecting change on it. We first must make sure that harsher crimes have harsher punishments, and that we reduce sentencing for light weight issues. Then we must make sure that when sentencing for a same crime, the convict is sentenced the same way. In this way, the nation’s legal justice system will hold up to the American principles of justice and equality.