- English Literature
- Do you feel that modern media makes too much of criminal cases, sensationalizing bizarre tales that become high profile and misrepresenting the true extent of criminal activity? If you feel the media incites gross misrepresentations of crime, what fault do we as consumers of the media play in perpetuating the cycle?
- When it comes to punishment for criminals, how often do you feel that -offenders get what they deserve? Do you notice disparities within the criminal justice system that concern you? If so, what specifically do you find bothersome?
- People often say that victims of crimes and their families deserve justice. What does the term justice mean to you? What do people expect in order to feel they have received justice?
The modern media makes too much of criminal cases, sensationalizing bizarre tales that become high profile and media tend to misrepresent the true extent of criminal activity. Behind this misrepresentation lies the cause of discrimination. Often it has been seen that racial and class discrimination has made the real story a distorted one. Racist attitude and approach on the part of the media has been an issue that still has to be addressed in order to bring about balance in the operations of the criminal justice system. In this respect it must be noted that studies on television news have revealed that black crime suspects are presented in more threatening contexts than whites (Prince, 2014), and this is one reason why the depiction of crime events becomes so distorted in the context of media presentation. But it must also be noted that the biased mentality of consumer of such media news also trigger the exploitation even more. In perpetuating the vicious cycle, the consumers of media play a vital role. It must be noted that it is the demand on the part of the consumers of the media that makes the crime news more unrealistic and vicious than they really are. For an example, the distortion of story in media coverage is the source of misinformation for the consumers of the news.
Looking at the criminal justice system and understanding what institutional discrimination is one can safety state that often offenders do not get what they actually deserve. There is an imbalance in the entire process of the criminal justice system and this is because often it has been seen that the individual who did not deserve the punishment ultimately received the wrong verdict. It must be said that the presence of discriminatory practices in the sphere of criminal justice system has actually turned the system into a biased one in which it is not possible to deliver justice in the right and appropriate manner. It is quite bothersome to find how the criminal justice system is infused with discriminatory practices in a thorough manner. It is a fact that the system of the criminal justice system is actually grained with the ideology of racism and this has made the condition of justice delivery more deteriorated. One must take into account the fact that, “Race-based conflict theory predicts substantial, institutionalized discrimination against minorities within criminal justice systems” (Weitzer, 1996). Such prediction also approves the truth that there is little chance that offenders would get what they actually deserve in the context of the criminal justice system. For an example, it is often seen that some offenders are getting punishment that are lesser in degree of grimness when compared to the crime committed.
Victims of crimes and their families deserve justice. Whenever a crime is committed, someone is victimized and along with the victims, their family members are also affected by the heinous act of crime. In this respect the term justice means getting what is deserved. In order to feel that they have received justice, people have to be empowered to strike a balance between what loss has been incurred and what compensation for the loss has been given. For me, justice is the deliverance of equal treatment and the process of sustaining democracy and preserving its principles of equality and liberty. Justice means “proper administration of the law the fair and equitable treatment of all individuals under the law” (Farlex, Inc., 2018). To feel that they have received justice, people tend to find out the meaning of the judicial verdicts. This meaning is not always explicit; sometimes it is implicitly ingrained in the demand itself. To feel that they have received justice, people have to observe that their moral rights have been preserved and protected and the perpetrators who breach such moral rights are rightly punished in the right manner. In this respect it must also be noted that justice timely delivered is justice rightly served. For an example, if a murderer is caught in time and he/she receives capital punishment then that could be considered as a form of retributive justice delivered at the right time.
Prince, R. (2014). How Media Have Shaped Our Perception of Race and Crime. Retrieved February 14, 2018, from https://journalisms.theroot.com/how-media-have-shaped-our-perception-of-race-and-crime-1790885677
Weitzer, R. (1996). Racial discrimination in the criminal justice system: Findings and problems in the literature. Journal of Criminal Justice, 24(4), 309-322.