95% of elected prosecutors in the U.S. are white, exacerbating distrust in the legal system for minorities
- The study commissioned by the Women Donors Network and undertaken by the Center for Technology and Civic Life also found that white males account for 79% of elected prosecutors in 2014 and two-thirds of states that elect prosecutors have no black people in those positions,
- While much attention has been focused on police behavior and demographics, prosecutors wield a more heady influence on the justice system, driving important decision-making such as whether to bring charges, which charges are brought, and determining punishments in widely used plea bargains.
- Redressing the imbalance will be difficult as 85% of incumbent prosecutors are reelected unopposed, according to one study.
“I think most people know that we’ve had a significant problem with lack of diversity in decision-making roles in the criminal justice system for a long time. I think what these numbers dramatize is that the reality is much worse than most people imagine and that we are making almost no progress.”
Read the full story at the New York Times.
(Image Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images, via The New York Times)