Bryan Stevenson TED Talk, He Proposes a “Crazy” or Radical Idea to Criminally Try or Treat His Poor 14-Year-Old Black Male Client Like a Privileged White 75-Year-Old Corporate Executive”

BryanStevenson TED Talk, He Proposes a &quotCrazy&quot or Radical Ideato Criminally Try or Treat His Poor 14-Year-Old Black Male ClientLike a Privileged White 75-Year-Old Corporate Executive&quot

BryanStevenson TED Talk, He Proposes a &quotCrazy&quot or Radical Ideato Criminally Try or Treat His Poor 14-Year-Old Black Male ClientLike a Privileged White 75-Year-Old Corporate Executive&quot

Discriminationand racial disparities exist at every stage of the U.S. CriminalJustice System from the levels of policing to trial and sentencing.The United States is a global leader in the number of people behindbars with a record high of 2.2 million prisoners. The issue ofdiscrimination in the U.S. Criminal System might be politicallycontroversial in some people but the facts are overwhelming. Mostcritics see the Criminal Justice System as an important part of thedomestic war on the minority groups. The discrimination takes placebased on factors such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, andsexuality.

Raceand Ethnicity

Racialdisparity in the Criminal Justice System prevails when a fraction ofa race or an ethnicity has sovereignty over other groups. Racialdisparity challenges the values on which the Justice System wasbuilt it represents the refusal to comply with the concept of equaljustice. The biggest contributing factor to racial disparities in theCriminal Justice System is the war on drugs. Even though all racesuse and sell drugs, Blacks and Hispanics comprise 62 percent of thosein state prisons for such offences many of them are often faced withharsh mandatory sentences. Racial profiling is the discriminatorypractice by local and international police officers who earmarkindividuals for suspicion of crime based on an individual’s race orethnicity (Miller, 2016). Race profiling rates in the U.S. beganincreasing after the terror attacks in 2001. The department ofjustice provided guidance outlawing the use of race and ethnicity bylaw enforcement as a component of suspicion. Some factors enforcethe racial and ethnic discriminatory practices. The Blacks andLatinos are more likely to be stopped by the police than the Whites.In New York, people of color make up about 50 percent of thepopulation (Miller, 2016). Notably, eighty percent of the stops madeby law enforcement officers were Blacks and Latinos. Of all the whitepeople stopped, only 8 percent underwent the full body search(Miller, 2016). The Blacks and Hispanics are arrested fordrug-related offences eleven times higher than the Whites. The Blacksare more likely to remain in prison awaiting trial than the Whitesfacing the same trials. Besides, the Blacks are more likely to getpublic defenders for their lawyers (Ted Conference, 2012). The publicdefenders are overworked and underpaid they always end up pleadingguilty for innocent clients. The chances of a Black male going tojail are five times higher than the White counterpart while thechances of a Hispanic are three times higher. During trials, theyalways end up receiving longer sentences than people of the Whiterace. The Criminal Justice data infrequently separates race fromethnicity and that is the reason for the minimal informationaddressing their issues.


Menare found to experience discrimination in the Criminal JusticeSystems than women. The police contribute to sexual discrimination inthe events where they stop and search members of the public onsuspicion of carrying illegal firearms or drugs. The police arebiased towards searching males. Sex profiling is universal it isknown that police rarely stop women. Statistics show that men aremore likely to commit violent criminal acts than women (Miller,2016). Women first petty offenders are less likely to receive aprison verdict they would likely be sentenced to a community penaltyor be discharged with a warning. Among first and repeat offenders,females convicted of violence were more likely to be discharged andmen fined. Female offenders in the death penalty always invokeempathy from the public as compared to men and they are also treateddifferently from the male offenders.


Individualswho identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)experience discriminations in everyday life from homophobic people.They are in most cases, victims of hate crimes because of theirsexuality. The victims of these hate crimes are often reluctant toreport them due to the fear of discrimination from the system. LGBTindividuals who take part in criminal activities often go throughdiscrimination in the court proceedings and prison systems. Lawenforcement officers also contribute to the discriminatory practicesexperienced by the LGBT victims. LGBT-identified people will reporttheir cases and participate in The Criminal Justice System but theirprevious experiences and how they perceive the structure makes themhesitant and practice caution in their interactions with theorganization.


Peoplefrom high social status are most often given higher priority thanthose of minority class. Individuals of higher social status are alsomore capable of paying for good defenders and in most cases, wintheir cases. An example of a case where people of high social statusget away with heinous crimes is the trial of O.J Simpson in themurder of his wife Nicole Brown. He was able to convince theprosecutors out of getting the death penalty because he was acelebrity. It is believed that people of the lower class areintentionally put in jail in a system of crime control.

Recommendationsfor Change

TheDepartment of Justice should encourage the individual states to getrid of the death penalty and capital murder since it is mostly usedas a discriminatory tool against marginalized groups. Besides, thegovernment should support the Congress to pass harsh rules thatprohibit law enforcement authorities from practicing racialprofiling. The Department of Justice should seriously investigate themisuse of power by the law enforcement officers against individualsfrom marginalized groups. Also, the Department of Justice shouldsupport the implementation training to reduce implicit racial biasand Criminal Justice Systems to collect data on outcomes of importantdecision-making points in the structure. Harsh laws should be put inplace to ensure that all forms of discrimination should be eliminatedin the Justice Systems people who do not abide by the rules shouldbe prosecuted. Moreover, there should be improvements in police andprosecutorial accountability. The police should be trained on how touphold the standards of anti-racism laws and the prosecutors shouldbe held accountable as well.


Insummation, discrimination and racial disparities exist at every stageof the U.S Criminal Justice System from the levels of policing totrial and sentencing. The United States is a global leader in thenumber of people behind bars with a record of 2.2 million prisoners.It is notable that the discrimination takes place based on factorssuch as race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality.Recommendations should be put in place to improve the CriminalJustice Systems.


Miller,T. (2016).Discriminatory Practices in the American Criminal JusticeSystem: The Politics of Policing and Punishment.Availableat SSRN 2713810.

TEDConferences. (2012). Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about aninjustice. Retrievedfrom&nbsp