Free Essay on Demography of the Legal Profession and Racial Disparities

Published: 2018-07-03
Free Essay on Demography of the Legal Profession and Racial Disparities
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Racism Law Justice Society
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1370 words
12 min read

Racial Disparities in Sentencing

According to Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever (2), there have been notable developments pertaining legal institutions concerning the establishment of dynamism and variations in the representation of convicted personages. As such, however, Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever (2) note that the significance of under-representation of particular groups of individuals has not been satisfactory, as minimal research has been conducted, to determine a more holistic solution to cases of discriminatory malpractices in the judicial systems. The core problem rendered is that the rise in the number of poorly conducted legal systems in the conviction of the minority is due to the lack of a significant number of representatives associated with a lawyer, for these groups of individuals (Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever, 2).

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The argument further reiterated is that a high number of representatives of an individual racial composition of personages inherently results in a fair hearing and one, which is not subjected to cases of discriminatory practices, in the determination of the duration of a sentencing or the overall conviction of a perpetuated offender. Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever ask of the significance of numbers in as much as administration of fair hearing is concerned, on a particular racial background is concerned (3). Besides, it is vital to note that the issue of ethnicity, racial backgrounds, and differences in opinions are the governing entities in the contemporary society. As such the research is fundamental as it provides a realistic perception of real challenges based on facts, of the scenarios happening in the legal structure and particularly in the under-representation of the minority of groups.

Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever argue of the unlikeliness of persons of similar racial backgrounds to discriminate against individuals of similar ethnic affiliations (6). Inherently the variations associated with the increase in the discriminative tendencies towards the victims of the malpractice are based on the distances in a cultural difference between the persons governing the legal counsel, and an offender. Such involves administration of unfair hearing and judgment for Black individuals in a court ruled by a white prosecutor, under a white audience, and the administration of a sentence by a white judge (Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever (6). It is, however, vital to fathom that such an argument merely gives a representation of such occurrences for the majority of the cases in the United States and does not imply that all white officials in the legal structure endeavor to conduct discriminatory practices (Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever, 7).

SCPS Support Argument

The research conducted is based upon the carrying out an extensive evaluation and analysis of numerous cases ranging of the State Court Processing Statistics (SCPS) between for twelve years between periods of 1990 to the year 2002. The findings of a survey of cases in urban centers were focused on integrating variables deemed to obtain ascertain as to whether the argument was valid or invalid. For instance, Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever argue that in a judicial setting comprised of white officials presiding over cases of the minority, and then it was likely that the latter would receive a harsh sentencing. If there were a high number of a minority-based representation, then the hearing would be favorable.

For example, Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever argue that the severity of the cases was a core determinant in illustrating the discriminatory practices caused by under-representation of the minority. Such includes the quest to ensure the incarceration of an individual as opposed to either integration of probation or other correctional of behavior strategies such as an explicit treatment institution (11). According to the findings pertinent to the evaluation of cases under the State Court Processing Statistics, there was an increased case of individuals subjected to life sentences caused by the small representation by minority legal counsel.

Social Legal Methods and racial composition

According to Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever, the research integrated the use of stratification and mobility to determine the extent at which racial composition of the judicial officials such as the lawyers influenced the outcome of cases (6). These parameters emphasize the importance of numbers in influencing outcomes. For instance, in other professions, stratification and mobility refer to the process utilized in the distribution of resources and rewards. For example, the hiring process, establishment of wages, and offering of incentives is based upon the number of appropriate personnel in an organization. Thus, an organization with a high representation of women is more likely to have the women awarded promotions, bonuses and having more women hired as compared to the fewer numbers of men in the same institution.

The same rationale happens in other systems whereby the decision-making process in a statutory framework is determined by the strength in numbers of a racial group on the court. According to Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever (18), such a scenario will only happen in a cosmopolitan society in which there are individuals of various racial affiliations who are in constant conflict with each other. As such in countries dominated by one ethnic group, then other parameters such as religious affiliation, economic status, and sexuality beliefs may apply. Therefore the majority of the personages in the offices and who are subjected with the mantle of decision-making, are more prone to bias than those in the minority and representing ‘their own.' As such one of the applications of the stratification and mobility social-legal method is clearly demonstrated by Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever when they note that in three Pennsylvanian counties, the white defendants in the region received fairer and less harsh treatment than other racial groups such as the Blacks (7).

Besides, it was noted that one of the judges mentioned that in Pennsylvania the white offenders are less likely to be incarcerated in correctional centers comprised of high numbers of blacks. The reasons for such an argument is because the judges have been victims of the stereotype based on biased rumors that paint the minority racial groups as less inhumane than white individuals do. One cannot help but ask whether belonging to a white racial background is a pre-requisite for the obtaining of ‘rewards' such as receiving a fair hearing.

Relationship between Law and the Society

The research provides both a direct and indirect relationship between the demography of legal professions and the differences in the phylogenetic affiliations of individuals in the determination of the innocence of an individual. As one goes through the research, the statistics therein demonstrate that the Blacks are more prone than white personages in obtaining a fair hearing are. The reason for such a direct observation is that there is no sufficient legal counsel for the Black personalities as compared to the white individuals more so in the United States. The other racial groups are also subjected to the same fate, especially the Hispanics and the Asian groups respectively (Ryan, Johnson, and McGeever, 27). The scenario in Pennsylvania in which non-white folk is treated harshly for similar crimes committed by white individuals do not demonstrate equality and fair hearing of people.

From the research, one notes that there is a correlation of numbers to the administration of a fair trial in judicial systems. Besides the utilization of mobility and stratification as the social, legal methods, have demonstrated their efficacy in the succinct description and presentation of the scenario currently happening in the contemporary society. From the beginning, the author argues that persons with a significant number of representations by lawyers sharing similar ethnicities are less prone to being subjected to discriminatory practices as compared to those with a small numerical representation. As such, this is the reason why there are more numbers of minorities in the prisons as compared to the whites, for similar crimes conducted by individuals from both racial groups. The reason is that in a court with a full white bench, the victim is more likely to receive a fair hearing and coupled by fair rulings as compared to the minority racial groups. The remedy is to have an increment in legal counsel for the minorities to give them a fighting chance, and an opportunity to have a fair hearing and judgment in a court of law.

Work Cited

King, Ryan D., Kecia R. Johnson, and Kelly McGeever. "Demography of the legal profession and racial disparities in sentencing." Law & Society Review 44.1 (2010): 1-32.

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