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Thread: Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson

  1. #1
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    Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson

    I am listening to the audiobook, read by Stevenson. I appreciate his calm, unembellished presentation of the facts, and descriptions of what the Equal Justice Initiative did about specific cases, and how prisoners reacted to the restoration of their freedom.

    Some of the facts I found upsetting... for example, the abuse of female inmates which occurred in Alabama.

  2. #2
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    I got partway into this and just couldn't finish it, it was so heartbreaking. I'll pick it up and read the rest. I think reading their stories and educating ourselves is the least we can do.

    Timing is good because the lead article in today's local paper is about how African-American and Hispanics are disproportionately sentenced to prison, and spend longer times behind bars, for drug sentences in certain circumstances. It reviewed state prison admission date from 1985 to 2017. The report they referenced indicated higher imprisonment rates for communities of color is not unique to Arizona.
    Reminds me of a suggestion I'd heard years ago to make justice truly color-blind: do not have the defendant in the courtroom, and do not indicate race on any paperwork. Then see what sentence they would receive.

  3. #3
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    Yes people of color have gotten screwed by the justice system and it still continues.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    Reminds me of a suggestion I'd heard years ago to make justice truly color-blind: do not have the defendant in the courtroom, and do not indicate race on any paperwork. Then see what sentence they would receive.
    What an odd suggestion.

    First, the bias starts earlier in the process with who gets arrested and who DA's decide to charge.

    Second, this removes the ability of the defendant to testify on his or her behalf. Even if you have the person testify from behind a screen due to acents and speech patterns in many cases their ethnicity could be accurately guessed.

    Third, court paperwork already does not as a general rule indicate race, but it does list names which can be a giveaway. Shaniqua Jones, Carlos Rodriguez, Yen Nguyen or Ernst Schluter?

    A better suggestion might be to cap the number of cases public defenders can have at any one time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    What an odd suggestion.

    First, the bias starts earlier in the process with who gets arrested and who DA's decide to charge.

    Second, this removes the ability of the defendant to testify on his or her behalf. Even if you have the person testify from behind a screen due to acents and speech patterns in many cases their ethnicity could be accurately guessed.

    Third, court paperwork already does not as a general rule indicate race, but it does list names which can be a giveaway. Shaniqua Jones, Carlos Rodriguez, Yen Nguyen or Ernst Schluter?

    A better suggestion might be to cap the number of cases public defenders can have at any one time.
    Agree that the bias starts early. Maybe make the sentencing judge different from the initial judge? Not sure how it would work.

  6. #6
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    And maybe, just maybe we could spend money on schools and housing! The money given to Amazon......and the Pentagon....makes me ill to think of it. Inner city schools should have the BEST teachers, equipment and buildings. Make them safe zones. Start with the little ones, include the parents- but no, much easier to "crack down on crime" and throw kids in jail after you suspend them from middle school.

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