A Judge Asked Harvard to Find Out Why So Many Black People Were In Prison. They Could Only Find 1 Answer: Systemic Racism

Dr. James Hall Comments:

Reading the headline of an article like this one, it’s so easy to say – they (meaning black and brown people) need to be more personally responsible for their actions.

The truth, is we should all view it as everyone should be responsible for their own actions.

This article, however, speaks to the amount of unwarranted contacts blacks have with law enforcement, which are far in excess of unwarranted contacts of white people.

If true, how should this data be used to determine future outcomes of law enforcement training:

…Think about why the stop,
…Possible unwarranted frisk or property search (you know – that give me liberty or give me death thing…),
…How the infraction was selected, before the incident or select a target, aggravate the situation and create a reason for the infraction, and thereafter written up by the patrol person,
…how the case is processed and argued by lawyers, among other judicial decision making processes
…sentencing, etc.


It wasn’t Black-on-Black crime. Violent video games and rap songs had nothing to do with it; nor did poverty, education, two-parent homes or the international “bootstraps” shortage. When a judge tasked researchers with explaining why Massachusetts’ Black and Latinx incarceration was so high, a four-year study came up with one conclusion.


It was always racism.

According to 2016 data from the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission, 655 of every 100,000 Black people in Massachusetts are in prison. Meanwhile, the state locks up 82 of its white citizens for every 100,000 who reside in the state. While an eight-to-one racial disparity might seem like a lot for one criminal justice system, nationwide, African Americans are imprisoned at almost six times the rate of white people. So, in 2016, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants asked Harvard researchers to “take a hard look at how we can better fulfill our promise to provide equal justice for every litigant.”  more

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