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News (Media Awareness Project) - US TX: PUB LTE: Race A Factor In Light Sentence
Title:US TX: PUB LTE: Race A Factor In Light Sentence
Published On:2012-01-24
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX)
Fetched On:2012-01-25 06:02:41
RACE A FACTOR IN LIGHT SENTENCE

Re: "Of laced muffins and being a mother," by Steve Blow, Sunday Metro column.

It is good to know that a stupid teenage prank, delivering
marijuana-laced muffins to the teachers' lounge at Lake Highlands
High School, will not ruin "Niall's" chances of reaching his potential in life.

The outcome very likely would not have been the same had Niall been
African-American.

According to "And Justice for Some" by the National Council on Crime
and Delinquency, "Throughout the [criminal justice] system, youth of
color - especially African-American youth - receive different and
harsher treatment."

This includes - for the same offense - more arrests, more detention,
more placements outside the home and more admissions to adult prison.
Unnecessary arrest and incarceration is not only a tragedy for the
teen, it leads to a devastating downward spiral for his family and
his community.

"Equal Justice Under the Law" should be more than a slogan.

Suzanne Wills, Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Dallas
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