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African Americans treated unfairly by US laws: Scholar

The United States has long been “unfair” in treating African Americans, says Washington-based scholar Dr. Randy Short, citing sentencing disparities between blacks and whites for similar crimes.

A new study by the US government has found that Black men are imprisoned on average 19 percent longer than white men for similar crimes.

The study by the US Sentencing Commission also showed that black men received sentences that were on average 20.4 percent longer than that of white men when accounting for violence in an offender’s past.

“At its core the United States has always been an unfair society in terms of how they have administered justice to blacks versus whites, even before there was the United States,” Short told Press TV on Sunday.

“There is nothing equal about how the law is administered,” he said. “Whites make up the majority of the people arrested in the country [yet] blacks are half of the people incarcerated.”

It is the same story when it comes to drug abuse, Short said, noting that African Americans get arrested more often and receive longer prison sentences.

The US has the world’s largest prison population, with 2.2 million people in prison as of 2015, a 500 percent increase over the last 40 years, according to a recent study by The Sentencing Project, a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy center.

The Sentencing Project also found that black men are about six times as likely as white men to be incarcerated, and Hispanic men are 2.3 times as likely.

In July, the activist group revealed that in some US states, the incarceration rate for blacks was 10 times or even more.

New Jersey had the highest disparity, with a ratio of 12.2 black people to one white person in its prison system, followed by Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Vermont.

Former US President Barack Obama, America’s first black head of state, acknowledged last year the vast racial disparities in American prisons, calling the US criminal justice system “skewed by race and wealth.”

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