Are all defendants treated equally in the Texas criminal justice system? Why or why not?
The main aim of the criminal justice system is to ensure the protection of the people as well as criminals. However, there is no equality in how the defendants are treated in the Texas criminal justice system. Other than the differences in types of crime and other aspects, research shows that there has always existed a sign of ethnic racism when it comes to arresting people in Texas. There has been a great difference in the number of blacks and whites who receive fair trials. From research, it is clear that the number of black Americans who are treated fairly is too low as compared to whites Americans (Governing Texas (Third Edition). Therefore, the criminal justice system of Texas does not follow a democratic system.
Why do you think certain groups are overrepresented or underrepresented in the prison system?
The main reason why there is an underrepresentation of some people in the prison system in Texas is because of the difference in leadership positions. The positions are divided between the Latin Americans and the conservatives. The conservative dominates in the justice positions due to discriminations in education and other aspects (Governing Texas (Third Edition). Consequently, there exists high levels of racism in the criminal justice system thus some people are overrepresented while others are underrepresented in the prison systems.
At times the integrity of the criminal justice system has been called into question. What are some of the events that have led to this situation?
There have been a lot of occurrences in the justice system that shows a lack of integrity. One case is when two people, a black and a white are arrested because of the same crime and one end up in freedom or a short sentence while the other one ends up in a death sentence. Another case is when one is denied a chance to exploit what he or she thinks might be evidence to prove their innocence.
- What is cite and release and why was it implemented?
It is an option given to the Texas police to cite an offender for possession of fewer than four ounces of bhang. The policy gives a low-level offender a citation following an order to appear before the court later instead of being jailed (Palacios, J. (2019, February 13). Such an offender is one who has been engaged in nonviolent crimes. The main aim of its introduction is to minimize congestion in jail and prisons as well as protect suspects from underrepresentation in courts of law and harassments (Governing Texas (Third Edition).
- Do you believe that more counties should adopt cite and release? Why or why not?
I believe this policy should be adopted by countries all over the world. This is because the policy ensures that people are treated depending on the level of their crimes. It is not fair to arrest and arrest a low-level offender in jail. As a matter of fact, it is a violation of human rights. The policy also helps reduce chances of discriminations in the criminal justice system. Releasing the low-level offenders reduces the chances of mistreatments as well as discrimination (Palacios, J. (2019, February 13). Besides, the policy gives the police in the jails an easy time because there is no congestion.
- Discuss at least two changes that you believe would increase fairness in the criminal justice system.
Mainly, Unfairness in the criminal justice system results from ethnicity. Therefore, I would recommend that the legislature debate on ethnic balance and make it a law. This change will ensure that all groups in the states are well represented and treated equally in the criminal justice system. Secondly, I would recommend the vetting of the criminal justice system. Vetting the incompetent officials out of the system is the only sure way to enhance the integrity and credibility of the criminal system. With this, we can be assured of equality and minimum racism.
Governing Texas (Third Edition) – Kindle edition by Anthony Champagne, Edward J. Harpham, Jason P. Casellas.
Palacios, J. (2019, February 13). SAPD To Launch Site and Release Policy In April. Retrieved from https://www.tpr.org/post/sapd-launch-cite-and-release-policy-april
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