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Beyond the verdict in Sanford

Posted by Admin On July - 16 - 2013

Marc Mauer

The Sentencing Project

As have all Americans, we have followed the trial in the tragic death of Trayvon Martin with great concern. The outpouring of emotion following the verdict this weekend is a strong statement of the degree to which this case has touched people and resonated with deep feelings about race in America today.

Unfortunately, we have been here before. The high profile cases of Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, the Jena 6, and others have all produced national conversations about race, justice, and politics. These dialogues have been constructive in many ways, but of course we need to do much more than engage in such discussions only when a single case rises to that level of understanding.

As we look back on recent decades, modest progress has taken place on these issues. In many jurisdictions, attention to racial profiling has resulted in changes in policy and practice. In the court system, the excessive penalties often applied to defendants of color and others in drug cases have led to reforms in mandatory sentencing laws at the federal and state levels. In both the adult and juvenile justice systems, the number of incarcerated African Americans has begun to decline modestly in recent years.

Even so, we still are faced with a society and a criminal justice system in which one of every three African American males, and one of every six Hispanic males, can expect to go to prison in his lifetime if current trends continue. A shameful truth is that too often it appears that there is a different criminal justice system for whites and blacks, and for the wealthy and the poor, in our country. This is an unconscionable situation that can only be addressed through ongoing and comprehensive change.

At The Sentencing Project we are proud to have been one among many organizations and individuals who are advocating for reform and racial justice. This weekend’s events only remind us of the importance of continuing in these struggles, and we will welcome your active engagement with us in the weeks and months ahead.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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