November 13, 2002
Crime and Justice in American History
In April of 1994, Tanya Watson who was convicted of minor drug charges gave birth while shackled to a prison bed and surrounded by policemen. They refused to let her hold her baby after birth. Millions of women in the American prison system are beaten and raped each day. Thousands of juveniles are forced to labor and are separated from their families. Countless racial minorities convicted of crimes are sentenced to death and suffer injustice and ignorance of their natural born American human rights. Cruel, degrading, and life threatening methods of restraint have indeed been a ritual of the U.S. criminal justice system. On the contrary, one of thirty murderers spends less than seven days in prison. Many are immediately set free under the law to roam the streets and continue their rituals of inhumane behavior. Hundreds of murders who have taken the right of life from others continue to live at no cost, unpunished in society setting an example that murder in America is inconsequential.
Are these opposing factual realities, as the government claims them to be, sufficient and integral criminal justice? In 1787, American leaders wrote the United States Constitution, which states the rights off all Americans; however these rights do not necessarily apply to those who have impaired the rights of other Americans. Human rights abuses of the criminally accused have been permeated throughout American history dating back to the times of smugglers, slavery, prohibition, the mafia, and the beginning of street crime. The government and Supreme Court have reformed and brought about laws concerning the rights of the accused numerous times both for and against protection of criminals. The history of Criminal Justice in the U.S. is long and extremely complicated but was essential in all...