Race, Gender and Criminal Justice

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The article Researchers have discovered a new and surprising racial bias in the criminal justice system written by Jeff Guo for the Washington Post is a good example of an issue involving race and criminal justice system in the US. Race, gender, and the criminal justice system are among the trending discussions in recent times. Latest discussions argue that the justice system has had several bias and discrimination cases. The rise in this type of cases led to the questioning of the efficiency of the services provided by the criminal justice system. The article by Jeff Guo provides a brief aspect of this type of gender and race bias in the criminal justice system.

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The article begins by stating that the United States with its multiplicity, the male, and the white population control the justice system. The article supports this by saying that theoretically judges should not be entertaining as described by Chief Justice John Roberts. The article discusses reports produced by sociologists that suggest that there is a high chance for white magistrates to dismiss a race discrimination case. It also looks at another analysis that discovered that black judges are more suitable for discrimination cases as they have few experiences on the issue. However, black judges have high chances of ruling for those claiming to face provocation due to their race as the report analyzed. The article also argued that in some states such as Louisiana, federal judges give lengthier verdicts to criminals of the same race. This shows that some judges do not show sympathy to lawbreakers of their race. The judges exerted such kind of punishment especially to those suspects who plead guilty to the crime. The article also analyzes the assumptions made by the researchers of the reports. The first assumption is that the victims race matters in this kind of cases. The researchers made this assumption using collected statistics that show that white victims are a result of crimes committed by their fellow white people. This is also similar to the black peoples crimes. In these cases, the judges may be more sympathetic to the victims but might exert heavy punishments to the perpetrators of the crime even if they were of the same race. A second assumption made was that judges become more relaxed assigning longer verdicts to people of their race. The researchers explain that white judges tend to prefer black defendants than white suspects while a black judge might see the benefits of a black defendant being in jail rather than being on trial. The last assumption explains that judges become lenient on defendants of another race to prevent cases of racism on their verdicts.

In conclusion, the news article proves the presence of racial bias that the criminal justice system in the United States. The article also begins by identifying the presence of more male judges than female ones indicating the presence of gender inequality in the judiciary. The biggest problem occurs when giving verdicts to the suspects. White judges tend to be lenient on black defendants while black judges on white defendants. This scenario proves the presence of reverse discrimination. The case of reverse discrimination has become very common in the criminal justice system. The article also identifies the theories that might cause federal judges to make such kind of decisions.


Guo, J. (2016). Researchers have discovered a new and surprising racial bias in the criminal justice system. Washington Post. Retrieved 3 May 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/24/researchers-have-discovered-a-surprising-racial-bias-in-the-criminal-justice-system/

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