Emily T. Maryland

Criminal Justice Reform

As a citizen of the US I believe that in order to have a smooth running country, we need a better justice system. Our justice system is supposed to make us feel safe and not worried that we will be discriminated and put away for something we didn't do.

         Dear Future President,

My name is Emily and I am a sophomore in High school. I would like to introduce the topic Criminal Justice Reform and why it is important for you to establish it in the US. From personal experience, I know that many people, every day, are sent to jail for false accusations, beliefs and physical appearance. There is also false sentencing in each state of the US. For example in one state a man may be charged for distribution of child pornography and sentenced 10 years with 5 years’ probation, but a man in another state can sexually harass a teenage girl and only be sentenced 2 years. As a president, I’m sure you know that our justice system is very broken and there are rules to abide by, but it just isn’t happening.

Over the past 50 years in America, the prisons have become over-populated and about 25% of the prison population of the world is American citizens. This has happened because of the false accusations and our justice system not following their own rules. About 13 years ago, a man named Brian Banks was a football player for his high school, and he was an innocent man accused of rape. He is an African-American male and was sent to jail for 6 years. During his trial the jury was completely filled with Caucasians. However, a few years ago a Stanford swimmer named Brock Turner was convicted of 3 felony counts related to sexual assault. He was sentenced to 6 months in county jail and can be let out early for good behavior. May I remind you that Mr. Turner is a 23 year old white male who has a rich family. Do you see what the issue is here? Cases like this are tried every year in America, and someone faced the same crime, but received more time because of skin, gender, religion, etc.

As you can see, our justice system is broken, and it is for many more reasons than this. Nothing is being done to stop this madness. The citizens in the US deserve to be treated fairly and not feel attacked for being a certain way. According to research conducted by Ohio State, there are about 10,000 people who are wrongfully convicted and many of them are because of race. This is called a Racial Hoax, when someone is charged for a crime or sentenced a longer time because of their race, whether they’re white, black, Hispanic, Asian, etc. Part of the reason why is because the juries aren’t closely examined, or people may lie to be on the jury. A jury is supposed to be fair for both the defendant and prosecuting sides.

In conclusion there is something that needs to be done to make our justice system fairer. I understand that that person committed a crime, but it doesn’t give an excuse to be rude or unjust towards them.