Race And Criminal Justice: A New Hope?


Marcus Robinson will not be executed but instead spend the rest of his life in prison after a judge ruled that his death sentence was tainted by racial discrimination.

Our justice system has a racial bias problem, both in the way it treats suspects, and the way it treats victims.

The cases of Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin underscore this.  If the races were reversed would Troy Davis’ execution have been pursued so relentlessly, would he even have received a death sentence, would police have been so quick to ignore other potential suspects?

And, had the races been reversed, wouldn’t the reaction to Trayvon Martin’s killing have been … different?

But knowing there is racial bias and doing something about it are two different things.  In North Carolina, something is being done.


Race Matters

Trayvon-MartinRace matters. It is hard to see the events that have unfolded in Sanford, Florida, and not conclude that in this country, race still matters.

Race has become fodder in partisan political arenas, content for contentious bloggers, and sometimes, as in the case of Trayvon Martin’s shooting, race becomes a matter of life and death.

George Zimmerman’s actions on the day Travyon Martin was shot are still under investigation, but the facts of the case as reported touch on issues that have long been of concern to the Amnesty movement: a young man who is suspect not for what he did, but for how he looks; the automatic assumption that violence against a black man is probably justified; and gun laws – or more appropriately, the failure to adopt rational gun laws – that allow citizens to take fewer precautions than even the police.