data, law, racism

Racism (20): Racial Discrimination in Marijuana Arrests

Marijuana use by black residents of Washington DC is only slightly higher than among white residents. Given that blacks are slightly more numerous in DC than whites, we should – if criminal justice were fair – also see only slightly more blacks arrested for marijuana use. Surprise, surprise: that’s not the case. In 2007, 91 percent of those arrested for marijuana were black. Adjusting for population, African-Americans are eight times more likely to be arrested.

racial discrimination in marijuana arrests

(source, source, the drawing makes it look like blacks are more than 11 times more likely to get arrested – 8*11=91 – but that doesn’t take into account the fact that blacks are slightly more numerous in DC – hence the correct number is 8 times)

A similar pattern for Chicago (where whites are more numerous than blacks):

marijuana arrest rates by race, chicago

marijuana arrest rates by race, Chicago

(source, click image to enlarge)

And this is the case for many if not all types of crimes. The racial distribution of inmates in U.S. prisons is highly negative for black Americans. Whereas they only make up 12% of the total U.S. population, they represent more than 40% of all inmates. It’s obvious from the case of cannabis that this difference isn’t due to a higher level of involvement in crime. I wonder, could racial profiling perhaps explain something? Actually, I don’t wonder…

education, human rights violations, law, most absurd human rights violations

The Most Absurd Human Rights Violations (83): 8 Years in Prison for Sex Doll Prank?

sex doll

In case you were wondering why there are so many people in jail in the U.S.:

When 18-year-old Tyell Morton put a blow-up sex doll in a bathroom stall on the last day of school [in Indianapolis], he didn’t expect school officials to call a bomb squad or that he’d be facing up to eight years in prison and a possible felony record. … [S]ecurity footage showed a person in a hooded sweatshirt and gloves entering the school with a package and leaving five minutes later without it. … Administrators feared explosives, so they locked down the school and called police. K9 dogs and a bomb squad searched the building before finding the sex doll. … “Their reaction is understandable, but use the school disciplinary process. Don’t try to label the kid a felon for the rest of his life.” (source)

More absurd human rights violations here.