A new study finds that black men receive longer jail and prison sentences for the same crimes committed by white men, even when you control for all the other factors that might be used to excuse such statistics. If this surprises you, you aren’t paying attention.
Black men who commit the same crimes as white men receive federal prison sentences that are, on average, nearly 20 percent longer, according to a new report on sentencing disparities from the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC).
These disparities were observed “after controlling for a wide variety of sentencing factors,” including age, education, citizenship, weapon possession and prior criminal history.
The black/white sentencing disparities have been increasing in recent years, the report found, particularly following the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Booker in 2005. Booker gave federal judges significantly more discretion on sentencing by making it easier to impose harsher or more lenient sentences than the USSC’s sentencing guidelines called for.
This is what Black Lives Matter is complaining about. This is what the NFL protesters are standing up against, along with the serious problem of police brutality against black people. And they’re right. And we should not let them fight this battle alone. As relatively privileged white people, we must also stand up to injustice and demand change.