And justice for some: Race, crime, and punishment in the US criminal justice system

Jon Hurwitz, Mark Peffley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Criminal justice policy in the US has long been exceedingly responsive to public opinion. Unfortunately, public attitudes towards justice in the US are severely bifurcated along racial lines, such that Whites see a system that is colour-blind and Blacks perceive one that is severely biased against them. In this paper, we explore the magnitude of this racial cleavage and, more importantly, demonstrate how it impacts differential reactions to events (such as accusations of police brutality) and policies (such as capital punishment) in the justice domain. To the degree that elites base policies on (mainly White) majority preferences, such policies are unlikely to be responsive to the racial discrimination that is a part of the current criminal justice environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-479
Number of pages23
JournalCanadian Journal of Political Science
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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