Op-Ed: Black people are wrongly convicted more than any other group. We can prevent this.
In 2007, we saw the sentencing of a young black man for the second time for the very same crime he had already been convicted for on a separate set of charges by a jury on a different day. As the news of his sentence spread across the country, it was met with angry and frustrated reaction from many people and sparked a national conversation about the justice system and the unfairness of conviction on the basis of race. It was a discussion that needed to continue, a discussion that in many ways is far more pertinent today than it was in 2007.
The issue of the racial disparity in the justice system has now reached critical mass, with black people routinely committing more violent crimes than white people, even when we are statistically the same age and have similar economic classes. The question is whether black people have become more criminal and worse offenders simply because of their race, and if so, what can be done about it?
At the same time, in 2015, we saw a high-profile case in which a well-known black man was charged with trying to murder a white woman who had accused him of harassment. The trial of the case made national headlines for the wrong reasons, with the alleged victim testifying that she was scared to death of the defendant. This is not the case of one man who was charged to begin with and whose fate was predictable. Rather, this case is but one example of the racial gap in the justice system that has been widening over time.
The following is an op-ed by Randa Plath.
By Randa Plath
Last Monday evening, my husband, who is black, went to dinner with a good friend, who is white. After a long day of work, my sweet husband was exhausted. He had worked on his own startup business on the side for the last 7 or 8 years. Before dinner, I went to the bathroom, where I heard my husband laughing. When I came back, he had changed his shirt and I immediately realized that something was terribly wrong. I found a folded-up piece of paper in his shirt on the kitchen table. It had the words “I love you.” It was dated the previous Saturday. I was at a loss for words