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Film Racial Injustice Content Analyses

When it comes to America’s criminal justice system, it is hard to argue it is the biggest and best with 14 million annual arrests, 1.7 million police, guards, and functionaries, and a cost to taxpayers of $74 billion a year (Platt 35). American, in short, has become a nation that focuses on punishment and incarceration as opposed to restitution and rehabilitation. There are several reasons behind this. Crime waves caused criminal justice expenditures to increase at the same time as prison administration and ownership was being privatized. When Congress passed the crime bill under the Clinton Administration, $30.2 billion was earmarked for a crackdown on crime and a beefing up of law enforcement, including 100,000 new police officers and almost $9 billion in prison construction (Platt 35). The result meant that even liberal, new Democrats were in favor of punishment and incarceration over restitution and rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, the brunt of the crackdown on crime has been borne by African Americans, mainly young African American males. This is largely because criminal justice in this country, statistically, is not colorblind. Nor does a poor person have the same advantages as a wealthy person within the criminal justice system. Furthermore, a majority of people wrongly convicted in this country are people of color. From 1903 to now, 459 known innocent people in the U.S. have been wrongly convicted, many who served life sentences or were put to death due to those convictions, (Database 1). We will see such a wrongful conviction in The Hurricane, based on the life of Rubin Carter who spent 19 years in jail on a murder conviction of which he was innocent.

We shall see that the criminal justice system leaves a lot to be desired with respect to equality, freedom, and justice for all in this country. All too often, rampant racism, prejudice, economic advantage, and bureaucratic corruption target poor African American...

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