Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy shows how unfairness in the American criminal justice system abounds. Stevenson presents arguments under which the criminal justice system is riddled with false convictions. The author also explains that some of the people convicted have been betrayed by law enforcement officials, legal malfeasances, and racism. The disproportionate population of racial minorities in the criminal justice system raises a concern of systematic bias, which relates to the concept of Critical Race Theory (Module 4, Lecture 5, part two). The theory is, that although black and Latino men are a smaller percentage of the population, they make a large swaths of the incarcerated population because of some of the aforementioned biases and challenges.The criminal sentencing guidelines beginning with the Nixon Administrations War on Drugs followed by the Three Strikes law (crime control model, Module 3, Lecture 1) and every president since has, through new law or omission, created a criminal justice system which has become draconian and ineffective. The sentencing guidelines were implemented to limit the case law discretion of judges (Module 6, Section 3 lecture) when sentencing.
It was thought that the judicial sentencing guidelines would bring a bit of fairness during sentencing phase of the criminal justice systems. As lecture Module 6, Section 3 points out the Stare Decisis of using the predictability, certainty and continuity of precedents can be flawed. Unfortunately, this has backfired a bit, and the guidelines have become handcuffs that judges don’t stray from. Through news, radio, and the internet Americans hear of the problems and overpopulated conditions at prisons. This is never more apparent than when news of a riot is in the headlines. Also, something that tugs at most Americans is the stories of or botched executions, or successful executions during which the condemned suffers in an inhumane manner.