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By being a man, you are 20 times more likely to receive death penalty for a murder than women and will receive an average of 63% more time in jail for the same crimes. This means for every 20 men executed for murder, 1 woman is executed, and for every 10 years a woman gets sentenced, a man gets 16 years. If you are black or latino you have a much higher chance of being pulled over and will also usually be sentenced to more time in jail; people of color make up about ⅓ of America yet ⅔ of inmates are non-white. I believe that people tend to be more harsh when judging a black man than a white woman, and most of the time society sees the black man as the criminal and the white woman as innocent and nice, when often it is the other way around. This is caused by how the media portrays races and genders, for example white women are often seen in cleaning commercials, kid’s cereal commercials, and clothing commercials, while black men are often seen in movies in which the protagonist goes to a ghetto area, in which you see black men in gangs committing crimes. A recent study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, shows that in movies, Hispanic women are the most likely to have hypersexuality indicators (tight clothing, nudity, etc), which although sounds somewhat irrelevant, may be the explanation as to why Hispanic women are largest victims of rape, which shows that the way in which a movie portrays you does affect how others view you, in this case, movies commonly portrayed Hispanic women as hypersexual, and therefore were most likely viewed as sex objects to certain people. So could it also be that if people of color are portrayed as criminals, that society will look at them that way? When society is constantly bombarded with these stereotypes, it strongly affects how the jury and judge visualize the perpetrator in court.
Some would argue that discrimination has nothing to do with this jail time gap, and the reason why men and people of color are receiving harsher jail sentences is simply because they commit the most crimes and deserve harsher punishments. If they aren’t learning, then give them more time.The problem with this argument, is that by creating such a large gap in punishments, it could allow for women to commit crimes because they think they will be spared in court, it may also bring up the issue of women accusing men of stuff they did not do in order to put them in jail or give them death penalty, thinking that they will be successful since courts favor women. This will also let white cops use excessive force against black suspects because people will assume they are guilty anyways. A racist cop may be able to get away with shooting a person of color and simply say that he was robbing someone or he was coming at him with a knife. The only thing that can fix this discrimination is to change how people are stereotyping races and genders, which all comes down to media and how these races and genders are being portrayed.
Conclusion: Updated (11/06/2014)
People's jail sentences are greatly impacted by their appearance, specifically their race and gender and is due to the media's representation of these groups. Comments on my blog post have made me consider why male judges cause a larger gap in gender discrepancies. After a small amount of read-up on a link commented, I have concluded that another cause of this gap is the nature to be protective of women, which was evolutionally helpful in order to protect babies, and the gap of the gap between female and male judges is caused by this protective instinct, however the majority of the gap is due to media representation. I really enjoyed the blogging process, the comments made me consider stuff I had not considered or known about before, and I liked being able to join the discussion on other people's posts also. The questions left in comments, which I thought would be simple to answer, ended up requiring me think deeply at the question and from different angles. I often find at random times in my daily life these subjects that we blogged about will be brought up or mentioned which causes me to repetitively question and reflect on the subject. I now not only think about the judicial process differently, but also media, movies, judges, criminals, and everything else that I have connected to my topic. Blogging has expanded my mind to include multiple viewpoints from the comments and the articles I ran into while researching. I hope to blog again.