Northern California Innocence Project Reveals Racial Disparities in US Incarceration

Mass Incarceration

Mass IncarcerationBy Paulina Buelna

SANTA CLARA, CA – The Northern California innocence project organization posted on Twitter this week statistical data showing how race plays a part in the legal system.

Within this data it was reported that “the incarceration rate of Black Americans in the U.S. is 40 percent while they only make up 13 percent of the U.S. population.

The incarceration rate, said the project, for Black vs white Americans: 2,306 vs 450 per 100,000. 48 percent of people serving life, life without parole, or “virtual life” sentences are Black.”

The Northern California Innocence Project works to combat racism and to fight legally for the wrongly convicted Black prisoners.

Each year the number of exonerations for Black people increase. Many are accused of crimes that take decades off their lives.

According to the NCIP “42 percent of wrongful conviction cases against Black defendants were for murder, 17 percent were for drugs, and 14 percent were for sexual assault.”

The top two leading causes of wrongful convictions against Black defendants are perjury/false accusation and official misconduct, said NCIP, noting that Black people have been proven to be targeted by the U. S judicial system.

In California, according to NCIP, of the 274 exonerations, 26 percent were Black who lost a total of 799 years of their lives and an average of 11.41 years lost per person. Black men and women are both victims of false perjury.

“About 28.5 percent of the state’s male prisoners are Black compared to just 5.6 percent of the state’s adult male residents; 25.9 percent of thee states female prisoners, 25.9 percent are Black compared to just 5.7 percent of the state’s adult female residents in California,” said NCIP.

About The Author

Paulina Buelna is a second year History of Public Policy and Law major at UC Santa Barbara and aspires to become an attorney. She is from Los Angeles, CA and hopes to attend law school after graduation in the year 2024.

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