Also, teenagers are dumb as shit, you guys. Kids under the age of 16 can have as much difficulty understanding the intricacies of the legal system as an adult who's been declared unfit to stand trial, which can make it difficult for them to mount a proper defense. This was the conclusion reached by a study of 1,400 young Americans, while the same conclusion was also reached independently by everyone who's ever tried to order anything at a drive-thru.
Criminal Sentencing Is Wildly Inconsistent For Woman And Minorities
Josh Rinehults/E+/Getty Images
Between 50 states that each handle crime differently, national and local legislators duking it out over new laws, and the odd vengeful vigilante of the night taking things into their own hands, it's highly unlikely that two people convicted of the exact same crime will get the same punishment. That is because, despite the justice system's claims of being fair and impartial, it is neither of those things.
Wesley VanDinter/E+/Getty Images
"Those scales aren't balanced! How can she not see that?"
For starters, women are twice as likely as men to avoid incarceration if convicted of a crime. Women who do spend time in the pokey won't be there as long as men, who earn 63 percent longer sentences on average for more-or-less identical crimes (this is accounting for similar criminal backgrounds and other conditional factors).
There are several theories for why this is. One is the "girlfriend theory," or the idea that women are simple-minded pawns going along with the plans of their male partners. Which is quite insulting, but should absolutely be taken advantage of if you're a woman planning a bank robbery. Women's societal role as mothers, and their willingness to be more cooperative during criminal investigations than men, also factor in. But it might come down to how society and the government don't give a shit if women get off easily -- which is ironic, given our attitude towards women in literally every other aspect of society. We're not suggesting we should start cracking down on female criminals, but rather that since women have consistently consistently lower recidivism rates than men, there might be something to the fact that they are shown relative leniency.
"Our prisons need strong men who can work the crime factories."
Race plays a factor, too, which probably comes as a shock to absolutely no one. In addition to black and Latino drivers getting searched 6.7 percent and 7.9 percent more often than white drivers during traffic stops, blacks get 10 percent longer prison sentences than whites (again, accounting for conditional factors). The race of the victim is also important, even though this is 2015 and not the 1930s. Blacks who victimize whites receive longer sentences than those involved in black-on-black or white-on-white crime. The death penalty is most often handed down in murder cases in which the victim was a white woman. Conversely, the death penalty is most commonly withheld in murder cases in which the victim was a black man and the defendant was a white man.
Obviously, the solution isn't to start executing more people, but when the most common homicide victims (black men) are seeing their killers get the lightest punishments, there's a fundamental problem in the way criminal sentencing is handled, and it needs to be addressed. The nearly insurmountable first step? Convincing the average person to give a shit.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Did you know courtrooms are a literal circus on purpose? And that prosecutors have no problem with breaking all the rules? See what we mean in 5 Staples Of The Legal System That Statistics Say Don't Work and 5 Ways America's Justice System Is Designed To Screw You.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out Worst Police Sketch Artist Ever, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also, follow us on Facebook, because we think you're all guilty but love you no matter what.