The history of racial disparity among the numerous systems of criminal justices both in the United States and globally remains a challenge. Over time, the racial dynamics in sentencing have been reasonably altered to reflect a change from unambiguous racism to more clandestine actions and upshots. The recent sentencing outcomes are the proofs of direct racial discrimination at the state and federal levels. In terms of sentencing length, Blacks are usually more disadvantaged, whereas Spohn (2009) affirms that “Latinos are more likely to get disadvantaged in terms of incarceration.” It is evident that at the state level, both Blacks and Latinos are likely to suffer from the decisions concerning the necessity of incarceration, as opposed to the length of sentencing.
Kansal (2005) affirms that in terms of “trial penalty”, Blacks are likely to pay higher charges, and Whites more often receive reduction in sentence as compared to Latinos and Blacks. Probably, this happens because Blacks and Latinos have a more record of crime. Whites are also more likely to hire private attorneys as compared to Blacks and Latinos. As for the lower-level crimes, Latinos and Blacks are likely to be sentenced more harshly as compared to Whites. However, regarding the high-level drug offenses, Blacks and Latinos suffer mostly from the harsh sentences. In terms of capital punishment, there are numerous cases where the victim’s race tends to influence the outcome of the sentence, and most white victims are likely to be put to death sentences. According to Spohn (2009),
In certain jurisdictions, more so within the federal system, the sentencing outcome is usually determined by the race of the defendant, with minority defendants receiving death sentences in most cases.
In conclusion, it is evident that allegations of lawlessness in sentencing clearly reflect disparity and discrimination. Nevertheless, disparity and discrimination are sometimes used interchangeably. That is why disparity exists when the same offenders are sentenced differently, or when different offenders receive similar sentences. Conversely, discrimination exists in cases whereby legally irrelevant characteristics of a defendant affect the sentence imposed depending on the lawfully pertinent variables taken into contemplation. Unfortunately, this exists when African American, Latin American, and Hispanic offenders are sentenced more harshly as compared to Whites.