Racial and Economic Discrimination in the American Criminal Justice System: An Investigation of and Alternatives to Judicial Sentencing in Criminal Courts in Non-Capital Cases
Kern, Kathleen A.
Washington and Lee University -- Capstone in Shepherd Poverty Program
Capabilities approach (Social sciences)
Legal assistance to the poor
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Kathleen A. Kern is a member of the Class of 2009 of Washington and Lee University.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]My experiences as an investigator at the Public Defender Service for DC sparked my interest in this topic of racial and economic discrimination in the criminal justice system. I examine previous research and case studies from different states across the United States dealing with sentencing disparities at various levels of severity in non-capital criminal behavior and draw conclusions. I then consider alternative sentencing options, including programs for drug rehabilitation, mental health institutions, counseling, education programs, job training, and other community outreach programs that might offer a better chance at reforming those convicted of criminal behavior. These alternatives will provide a greater capability for criminals to reform themselves and to improve their lives; judges, as I later show, discriminate based upon race during sentencing, and thus, decrease the capability of achievement, in Amartya Sen's terms, for those convicted of criminal behavior based upon race. . . . [From Introduction]Kathleen A. Kern