Every country operates in accordance with specific rules that outline the way people should be punished in case they impose threat on lives and safety of other people, maintenance of organizations and government, and other potential dangers. Some of the rules regulating people’s actions are referred to as laws that stipulate punishment for criminal laws.
According to the United States law, criminal acts are actions that, under the United States law, cause a threat to injure persons even if the offender is considered unable to commit the crime. Criminal acts are not influenced by race, such that persons of a particular race are prone to commit crime more than those of another race. Criminal acts are influenced by socioeconomic factors that put minority groups in improvised conditions promoting delinquency. The way the law is enforced will affect the extent of prevalence of criminal acts.
As such, it is necessary to review the ideas introduced by David L. Bazelon (1973-) who analyses the development in criminal law as the one that occurred “against a background of mounting public anxiety about violent street crime” (p. 1143). In this essay; race is shown to be insignificant, law enforcement is shown to be a moral question, and self-reporting policies are seen as a social solution to managing criminal acts.
Though justice should be blind and racial disparities should not be decisive for legal acts it is necessary to admit that some people are more likely to commit crimes due to socioeconomic disparities. More blacks than whites are arrested and this is attributed to the crime-conducive neighbourhoods that many blacks live in.
Research findings of Robert J. Sampson and Janet L. Lauritsen (1997) conclude that there is no significant disparity in crime and criminal justice in the U.S. among blacks and whites that are as a result of race. Blacks are also less likely to self-report crimes they commit because of their prejudice against law enforcement. Whites offend the law less than blacks’ arguably because they enjoy better economic opportunities and success. If the tables were turned, blacks would be less law offenders than whites.
The criminal justice system serves as the main source of research on racial differences. However, “the data that do exist are rarely presented to permit systematic study of race and ethnic variations” (Sampson & Lauritsen, 1997, p. 317). These sources are subject to the question moral concepts that were held at the time of implementation.
The view that order should be achieved at all costs does not consider social justice. It emphasizes stiff penalties regardless of the social factors of the crime. On the other hand, factoring in of the realities of social injustices, law enforcement is viewed as a moral obligation when people believe it because it is justified. Such diverse views have affected how law enforcement is carried out with the help of concepts like criminal responsibility assuming that criminals should be responsible for what they do (Bazelon, 1973-, pp. 1143-1144).
The first view of restoring order at all costs by the criminal justice system is to blame for the majority blacks’ prejudice against law enforcers. Therefore, we can argue rightfully that the system is to blame for the biasness in crime records that show prevalence to be high among others than whites including Hispanics and blacks.
Embracing the second view of law enforcement as a moral obligation, results to better management of criminal acts in society. It is important to view all criminal acts neutrally without racial bias. Socio-economic factors that affect blacks and other minority communities should be factored in while formulating policies to encourage self-reporting in the management of criminal acts.
As reported in the study by Lous Kaplow and Steven Shavell (1997), self-reporting by offenders who understand their moral obligation reduces costs associated with investigations, promotes better relationships among citizens and law enforcers, and reduces incidences of mistaken identities and generalizations.
As such, law offenders can be allowed to “pay a sanction they would face if they did not report the act” (Kaplow & Shavell, 1997, p. 584). So, every criminal should think about his/her actions that impose threat of other individuals and may be the reason for depriving their families of homes due to sanctions paid off.
To conclude, the criminal acts should be widely recognized as potentially dangerous. Besides, the officials and corresponding organizations should introduce practices that would discourage potential criminals from committing crimes.
Bazelon D. L. (1973-). Foreword: The morality of the criminal law: Rights of the accused. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 72(4), 1143-1170.
Kaplow, L., & Shavell, S. (1994). Optimal law enforcement with self-reporting of behaviour. Journal of Political Economy, 102(3), 583-606. Retrieved from http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/shavell/pdf/102_J_Politcal_Econ_583.pdf
Sampson, J. R., & Lauritsen, J. L. (1997). Racial and ethnic disparities in crime and criminal justice in the United States. Crime and Justice, 21, 311-374. Retrieved from http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3226952/Sampson_RacialEthnicDisparities.pdf?sequence=2