November 07, 2016
Dear Future President,
The justice system has become unfair and favors perpetrators by their appearance and race instead of focusing more on the actions they did not violate. In 2016, our justice system has become meticulous in giving longer prison/jail sentences to victims with minor illegal drug usage cases rather than to violent/dangerous criminals. According to Worldpost, “Over 50 percent of inmates currently in federal prison are there for drug offenses” (Miles). In other words, the percentage has risen from 16% since the 1970’s. While police prosecute people for drug use, there are murders, rapist and other people terrorizing the community receiving dropped charges. The justice system has left people feeling mistreated, useless and worried.
In March 2016, Brock Turner, a convicted sex offender, sexually assaulted a 22 year old woman who appeared intoxicated and unconscious behind a dumpster. “Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci said Turner should [have received] a six-year sentence in state prison, arguing that he lacked remorse and that his victim was especially vulnerable in her unconscious state” (CNN, Grinberg, Shoichet). The attorney agreed that Turner deserved a 6 year sentence because he took advantage of the women but Persky decided to do his own thing. Judge Persky favored Turner because of his race, and he also attended Stanford University. The judge ruled his sentence to 6 months when it was suppose to be 14 years due to the amount of education he has received and attendance at a prestigious college. Persky felt that a long sentence would damage Turner’s future.
July 17, 2014 Eric Garner, an African American was choked to death in Staten Island by an officer named Daniel Pantaleo because he refused to be detained and frisked. According to New York Times, Garner appeared unarmed before the incident and pleaded for air eleven times and “two witnesses said they heard a sergeant tell the officers to ease up as they held Mr. Garner down on the sidewalk. ‘Let up,’ a beauty store manager, Rodney Lee, recalled hearing the sergeant say that day. ‘You got him already.’” (New York Times, Baker, Goodman, Mueller). When Garner was held down and handcuffed the officers did not let go and continued to hold him down when they handcuffed him. The officers treated him very poorly and continued to mistreat him when they have already prosecuted him. Law enforcement falsely accused Pantaleo and was not charged for the murder of Garner. Since the incident he has earned one-hundred thousand dollars a year. Unfortunately, Garner’s family received no justice for their loss. They lost a loved one while the person who caused his death profits since the incident.
On August 15, 2014, police convicted Justin Bieber of a DUI, drag racing, illegal usage of marijuana, and driving with an expired license. “UPI reports that Justin did not go to court. Instead, he had his attorney enter the guilty plea. The outcome of that plea resulted in a court order of 12-hours of anger management classes” (DeLaney). Since Justin Bieber has become a successful celebrity throughout the years, he got to do whatever he wanted with his case. Also, his charges were dropped and he got out on a bail of two-thousand five hundred dollars.
As a resident in the United States, I feel unsafe knowing that people who have been convicted of violent/serious crimes are given the upper hand in many cases. I am uncomfortable knowing that there are many people who have been acquitted. I personally feel like people who are not white or famous are viewed as a lower class and our justice/protection does not matter.
These are cases when the justice system favored one party over the other because they focus more on identifying the criminal before breaking the law rather than their actions. Unfair trials has become a major issue in the United States, it leaves people feeling hopeless and disrespected because they do not receive the justice they deserve. This needs to change because the justice system are releasing people who have convicted serious crimes and we are letting the citizens of the United States uncomfortable and unprotected when they should feel more comfortable and protected. Thank you for your time.
Foster High School