The criminal justice system in the United States perpetuates a cycle of oppression of marginalized groups such as African Americans, the disabled, and the poor.”But there was no evidence against Mcmillian – no evidence except that he was an African American man involved in an adulterous interracial affair, which meant he was reckless and possibly dangerous, even if he had no prior criminal history and a good reputation. Maybe that was evidence enough.
” (34)Walter McMillian spent 6 years awaiting execution on death row because of perjured testimony. By being involved in an interracial affair with a woman 18 years younger than him, McMillian violated the social taboos of the Deep South which contributed to the fact that he was targeted as a suspect by local law enforcement. This example supports the idea that minorities, particularly African Americans, are targeted unfairly and are given harsher prison sentences than their white counterparts.”American prisons have become warehouses for the mentally ill.
. .It’s created unprecedented problems.” (186)”The ‘free world’ became perilous for deinstitutionalized poor people suffering from mental disabilities.” (188) “A flood of mentally ill people headed to prison for minor offenses and drug crimes or simply for behaviors their communities were unwilling to tolerate.” (188)The author explains that the criminal justice system’s misunderstanding of mental illness has greatly contributed to the unbelievably high rates of incarceration in the United States. Today, over fifty percent of prison and jail inmates in the United States have a diagnosed mental illness, a rate nearly five times greater than that of the general population.
In addition, mentally ill inmates remain incarcerated longer than other prisoners because they may find it difficult to understand and follow prison rules. Prison guards are not trained to understand mental illness or neurological disorders, which reflects a system ill equipped to handle the needs of the disabled.”Capital punishment means ‘them without the capital get the punishment” (6)Stevenson is emphasizing the economic classism associated with punishment in the American legal system. A common myth in the criminal justice system is that everyone is treated equally, regardless of race or social standing. Sadly, the underprivileged are unable to afford expensive legal representation to avoid long, unjust sentences.