Chapter Three Summary Essay



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A critical summary of chapter 3 of Michelle Alexander
Canada is a constitutional monarchy country with Queen Elizabeth being the head
The role of Discretion

The first law enforcement requires a great deal of Discretion in deciding whom to search, stop, and arrest. This drug law enforcement is different from other types of the law enforcement because it does not have a clear victim. This leaves law enforcement to develop a strategy of who their target is and how to monitor and capture them. The war on drugs should be noted that it was not started by police but by financial incentives that made it attractive enough for agencies to start strategizing.

The sensation of us versus them narrative where "them" were the black American drug dealers was enhanced by the media changing its report. This solidified the image of black drug criminals making the word crime become a coded word for blacks. There were reinforced biases as law enforcers became aware of these coded languages and exposed these images. Alexander points out unconscious and conscious cognitive biases tend to lead to discrimination despite people not believing they lead. The supreme court in the US adopted rules which maximized racial discrimination instead of protecting the rights of African Americans toward the drug war.

In the case of McCleskey, a black man claimed racial bias after being sentenced to death even after a thorough study indicating that the white defendants were treated more leniently than the blacks in Georgia murder cases. This racial bias towards sentencing could not be challenged under the fourteenth amendments. In this case, McCleskey challenged the case on violation of the amendments as she cited a study in his defense showing that the defendants charged with killing whites were 11 times having chance of receiving the death penalty than defendants who killed blacks. The blacks who killed whites had high chances of receiving the death penalty. Sadly, the court rejected McCleskey's claims because he could not prove that the prosecutor in his case was discriminated against and the death penalty was due to racial reasons. The court was not influenced and claimed evidence needed to be clear and conscious. Still, to Alexander, the court's opinion was a way of immunizing the entire system of justice against racial bias charges.




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