Judicial System Disparities
WHEREAS, African-Americans and other people of color represent 12.5% of the nation's population; and
WHEREAS, more than 60% of African-Americans and other people of color are disproportionately represented in the prison and criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS, at least twenty-nine states have conducted studies on racial and gender bias within the judicial system; and
WHEREAS, these studies have consistently found that:
- In most areas of the country there exists racial and ethnic bias in the judicial selection process; and
- There exists a sentencing disparity against racial and ethnic minorities; and
- There is a disproportionate number of African-Americans on death row; and
- African-Americans are disproportionately represented by public defenders and court-appointed lawyers where they receive less effective representation; and
- African-Americans tend to be under-represented in the employment and appointment of judicial positions and court personnel; and
- African-American youth are over-represented in the criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS, these studies have made numerous recommendations on methods of correcting these conditions; and
WHEREAS, the prison industry is growing at an exceptional rate.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP call upon its State Conferences and local units to work with governmental agencies like legislative Black caucuses and private organizations to adopt and implement the recommendations made as a result of the studies; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP call upon those states which have not conducted studies to perform such studies to detect any disparities in their judicial systems.