U1CD2 2nd response Issues of Diversity in Criminal Justice

I’m studying for my Law class and need an explanation.


Judge James Shoreman is up for reelection in 2 months. He has a full docket on Monday morning. Two of the individuals on this docket are Thomas J. Catalano and Abdul Hussein Jabari.

Mr. Catalano has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. His prior record consists of breaking and entering, assault on a police officer, and possession of narcotics. Mr. Catalano has a “high-priced” lawyer with the discretionary funds for an additional investigation. Mr. Catalano has a wife and two children. He has been employed for 5 years for the local banking institution. Mr. Catalano has received a 10-year probation sentence with the stipulation that if he violates this probation, he will serve the remainder of the sentence in the state prison.

Mr. Jabari has been charged with the distribution of a controlled substance (prescription drugs). His prior record consists of possession of narcotics and falsification of identity. Mr. Jabari has a court-appointed lawyer who is on the pro bono list maintained by the judge. His funds are limited but the Muslim community has rallied to his financial aid, and there have been demonstrations at the courthouse. Mr. Jabari has a wife and three children. He has been employed for 8 years as the chief chef at a local restaurant. Mr. Jabari has received 7 years in the state prison, without the possibility of good time.


Using 100 words or more, please respond to the following post:

The judge’s reasoning for his decisions is based on the fact that one individual is wealthy, Mr. Catalano, and may have wealthy friends that contributed to the judge’s re-election campaign. The other individual is not wealthy and relies on the Muslim community for financial aid. If you want to play the race card, some people might say that the judge’s decision is based on Mr. Jabari being Muslim, and to give him probation or a lesser charge would lessen his chances of getting re-elected.

The judge would have a hard time supporting his decisions, in my opinion. How could a judge give probation to a suspect charged with involuntary manslaughter, (a felony in most states), and has a prior record consisting of breaking and entering, assault on a police officer, and possession of narcotics? The Muslim suspect receives seven years in prison for distribution of a controlled substance (prescription drugs). His prior record consists of non-violent crimes, but he still received a much harsher sentence. How can anyone with a little common sense, rule in this unfair manner and when both suspects committed felonies, and have very different records?

The judge showed bias with his decision making of these two cases. He showed bias when it came to the sentencing of these two men. The wealthier man received probation, and the blue-collar worker received seven years in prison for a less violent crime. The judge used a form of ‘cognitive bias,’ when he made his unorthodox decisions. ‘Belief bias,’ is described as “someone that is so sure about his own gut feeling that they ignore other facts or statistics” (Mester, 2017).

I don’t believe that the demonstration for Mr. Jabari had any effect on the judge’s decision to send him to prison. One would think that if support for Mr. Jabari were so prevalent, the judge would reevaluate his decision-making process.

The first case I found in which minorities were wrongly convicted and sentenced is ‘The Central Park Five.’ This case stems from five minority teenagers that were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park in 1989. Their sentences ranged from six to thirteen years, but they were all exonerated in 2002 when a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

The Chief of Police and District Attorney were both pursued relentlessly by the public to find the criminal or criminals who committed this horrendous crime. The pressure from the public forced the top two law enforcement officials to arrest someone. The police arrested the five teens and used sleep deprivation, threats, and fear to coerce the five teens to confess to the rape and assault of the woman.

The second case that I found was based in my home state of Colorado. Defendant Ronald Higgs was tried and charged in 1978, with two counts of first-degree burglary,[1] two counts of first-degree sexual assault,[2] and one count of first-degree criminal trespass.

Mr. Higgs was ultimately acquitted of all charges when it was discovered that he was arrested under false pretenses. “Sandra Price, the complaining witness, initiated and maintained the criminal action against him without probable cause, and that she was motivated by malice” (Justia, 1978).

It was also discovered that two deputy sheriffs with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, and James R. Florey, Jr., Michael Miller, and James Peters, deputy district attorneys in the District Attorney’s Office for the Eighteenth Judicial District were involved in the cover-up of arresting and charging the wrong man. The prosecution knowingly prepared false affidavits and misleading affidavits with an order for nontestimonial identification evidence, an arrest warrant for Higgs, and a search warrant for the search of his home.