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Criminal Law – Victims Paper

Racial Profiling

Introduction

There is a need to put a stop to racial profiling in America. Unfortunately, biased policing is a widespread tendency in American society, and the outcomes are not satisfactory. Historically, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer authorized centralized agents to round up thousands of settlers based on their background and religion. The move was an example of racial profiling although this was not the name used during the existing regime. Several decades later, the same approach was witnessed in the American judicial system. The 9/11 incident has seen an upsurge in the nation’s inclination to disregard law implementation and safety movements based mainly on skin color and an unblemished disposition on the part of the Bush government to implement such agendas. A remarkable struggle against acumen and racial prejudice in America still exists and remains one of the key challenges of the 21st century. Since the 9/11 attack in America, new procedures of racial outlining have exaggerated a growing number of people of color in the state to include members of South Asian, Arab, and Muslim communities. It is evident from the Obama administration that Muslims and Arabs face racial profiling as they are treated as suspects without the presupposition of blamelessness and identical fortification under the state law (Feist, Nelson, & Bratlie, 2013).

Strategies and practices, which seem race-neutral but unreasonably confine the rights and liberties of persons of color, are hard to cope with. The establishment of a prejudiced nature in the communal realization and among legislators is a demanding encounter. Racial profiling by law enforcement and the related proscription of individuals of color is a perfect example. Racial profiling is undemocratic, communally mortifying and counter-productive, yet this unwarrantable exercise leaves a stain on American egalitarianism and prevents from realizing the promise of racial impartiality. Several administrations in America strive to end racial profiling although this is only, in theory, more than practice. The paper seeks to discuss victims of racial profiling in the United States. To effectively explore the subject, the paper will provide information about the victims, both direct and indirect, offenders, the criminal justice system and organizations established to assist victims.

Offenders of Racial Profiling

Racial profiling has become a pervasive practice in recent times. It exists in practically every aspect of American life. In this section, the paper provides information on the offenders of racial profiling. Offenders in this context are people who facilitated the occurrence of the offense (Walker, Spohn, & DeLone, 2011). To understand various contexts under which racial profiling can occur, the paper will highlight the key perpetrators of the activities. Racial profiling is a deep-rooted challenge in the United States. Despite the fact that it is unproductive and frequently makes American citizens feel unsafe, racial profiling continues to occur in America. The key offenders of racial profiling are members of law enforcement. Many law implementation officials remain dependent on this direct race-based tactic with anticipation to detain more lawbreakers (Feist et al., 2013).

Offenders make up a small fraction of the population but intermingle with the larger population of law-abiding citizens. The offenders of racial profiling range from formal social control agents, police officers and patrol social workers to private security personnel. According to law enforcement officers, racial profiling is effective in narrowing the field of potential suspects before, during, and after the committing of their transgressions (Briggs, 2014). Offenders of racial profiling believe that past experiences and information on criminal activities will help apprehend criminals. The backbone of racial profiling is previous criminal records and trends which provide the law enforcement officers with common factors present in the offender pool. The highlighted factors are instrumental in the screening process by law enforcement agents while on duty. More so, law enforcement agents tend to look for behavioral or demographic markers that are believed to characterize the population of known criminals. The race is one of the main characteristics of helping identify criminals in the United States. Law enforcement agents have a reason to employ racial profiling without personal prejudice (Walker et al., 2011).

Law enforcement agents have different workplaces, which sets a platform for racial profiling. The key areas that have led to racial profiling include patrolling on highways, in neighborhoods and places where people walk, areas of shopping such as malls and stores, airports and train stations, places of worship and schools, and residential areas (Briggs, 2014). These are the contexts that give rise to a tendency of the law enforcement agents to employ racial profiling in trying to curb crimes in America. Racial profiling occurs when in the course of performing their duties, law enforcement agents apply race to determine which individuals are responsible for crimes witnessed in their district (Brewster, Lynn, & Cocroft, 2014). For instance, there are key disparities between whites and people of color when it comes to traffic stops and arrests. Reports indicate major racial-based biases among people held as suspects for committing traffic crimes. Most of the law enforcement agents arrest or stop people of color as suspects of criminal activities because of the vast back up indicators present in criminal records. However, the outcomes of these approaches are not always positive as not every African-American is a criminal (Miller, 2016). Policymakers can also be considered offenders of racial profiling because of the policies created in relation to fighting crimes. Although the different regimes in the United States strive to eliminate racial profiling, this is not the case when it comes to the policymakers. The policies regarding crime and race continue to be infringing, convicting innocent African Americans as being engaged in various criminal activities based on their race. From the above discussion, it is evident that law enforcement agents and policymakers are the key offenders of racial profiling in the United States. Seeing that racial profiling is an acceptable tool in law enforcement, few prosecutions for racially discriminatory law enforcement conduct are successfully brought under this statutory provision. The offenders of racial profiling face exemptions when it comes to prosecutions (Brewster et al., 2014).

Victims of Racial Profiling

A huge number of people in the United States are subject to racial profiling. According to recent reports, approximately 32 million Americans report having been victims of racial profiling. In addition, approximately 80 million Americans are at a high risk of being subjected to racial profiling during their lifetime (Miller, 2016). These numbers are an indication of the extent of racial profiling in America. From the previous discussion, it is evident that racial profiling acts as a tool used by law enforcement agents to curb criminal activities. However, the approach has minimal effectiveness in fighting against crime and only creates issues amongst the American communities (Feist et al., 2013). Racial profiling affects people of different origins, which is always related to their skin color. Modern America comprises of people from different backgrounds and these are the key factors law enforcement agents use to profile potential criminals. Notably, Native Americans are not subjected to racial profiling. The section discusses information concerning victims of racial profiling that include both direct and indirect victims. In this paper, the direct victims include African Americans, Muslims, and Arabs, while the indirect victims include citizens and visitors of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent. It is important to note that racial profiling may happen to both women and men and of all age groups. Law enforcement officials do not consider the socio-economic background of the people of color as racial profiling is reported in suburbs of rural and urban areas (Walker et al., 2011).

1. Blacks. Most people believe that the racial profiling of blacks began after 9/11. However, there was racial profiling in the previous years, and at that time it was focused on blacks and African Americans. The key area which led to the increase of profiling of blacks in the war on drugs in the previous few decades. American police agents used to focus on low-income neighborhoods in an effort to flush out drug traffickers, users, and peddlers. In turn, there was over-representation of people of color in prisons convicting in committing crimes related to the illegal drug trade (Johnson, 2014). The prison figures were an indication that the black community was more into the drug business than other members of American society. Mostly, young male blacks were profiled as being associates in the drug business hence there was great exposure to the police for drug-related crimes (Briggs, 2014). Essentially, the profiling became popular on the grounds that any black male irrespective of location and age was a potential peril for the society in terms of drug-related activities. Evidence of black racial profiling is witnessed in America when unrestricted precautions are taken at the sight of a black male with no evidence of criminal activity other than the skin color. Despite notable changes in the African American community, racial profiling is still widespread among its members (Walker et al., 2011).

2. Arabs and Muslims. The events of 9/11 led to the intensification of the racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims (Feist et al., 2013). Profiling of Arabs and Muslims is based on previous experiences with terrorist activities which are mostly committed by people of this community. In the modern America, as witnessed from key places of entry such as borders and airports, racial profiling has become a major instrument in the fight against terrorism. In the era during which the world has witnessed major terrorist activities, Muslims and Arabs are depicted as extremists, fanatics, and violence-loving maniacs. Unlike African American profiling, the profiling of Arabs and Muslims has become accepted worldwide. In turn, airport security intensified scrutiny, surveillance, and profiling of individuals of the Arab and Muslim origin. The on-going tendency calls to minimize profiling of Muslims and Arabs in terms of them being associated with terrorism (Johnson, 2014). The ideology of Islamic extremism is intended only for a few representatives of the population. It is unfortunate that all Arabs and Muslims used to be profiled based on selected terrorist activities which involved people from the community. Arab and Muslim profiling was evident even for those with suggestive last names. The impact of profiling is seen among the members of the community faced with serious hardships in the spheres of employment, residence, travel and even education (Miller, 2016). More so, people from the community face greater inspection and unwarranted surveillance, which is an invasion of their solitude rights and to some extent torment. According to the existing reports, in December 2002, approximately 700 young adults from Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Iraq were arrested in California by immigration officers for having minor visa problems (Brewster et al., 2014).

3. Other Victims. Profiling affects people from other communities which include South Asians. The members of the community are associated with being engaged in the drug trade, which raises their profiles in the criminal departments of America. In addition to the South Asians, racial profiling affects South Americans, Aboriginals, and Caribbean groups. Very few victims of racial profiling are judged according to the law or allowed to attend court proceedings to determine their innocence as they are already considered guilty of a crime (Johnson, 2014).

Criminal Justice System in relation to Racial Profiling

Racial profiling affects a large number of people in American society. There were times when the administrations considered racial profiling as an instrument of controlling crimes related to drug trade and terrorism. However, it is evident that the approach only inflicts pain to innocent people who are from what American law enforcement considers “wrong” community (Agarwal & Marcus, 2015). Racial profiling has influenced the operations of the criminal justice system both positively and negatively. Being categorized as a challenge to the American community, racial profiling has adverse effects on the co-existence of people affected. The effects of racial profiling are evident in the families of the victims and their communities at large. Despite the notable impacts of racial profiling, no jurisdiction in America has addressed the issue in a way that would be both operative and all-inclusive (Walker et al., 2011).

The steps taken in relation to racial profiling differ from state to state. Statistics indicate that 46 states do not immediately ban racial profiling based on religious grounds, while 35 states do not prohibit racial profiling of pedestrians. In June 2003, the Department of Justice distributed its guidelines to law enforcement agents on the use of racial profiling in relation to crimes (Johnson, 2014). Consequently, the department prohibited racial profiling. However, it is debatable that the circular was not all-inclusive as it does not prohibit profiling based on religious grounds or background of the suspects. The authorities apply only to Federal Law Enforcement Agencies and do not cover state or local law enforcement agencies (Gabbidon, 2015). More so, the circular is considered an advisory on racial profiling rather than a law, hence it is not legally binding. Different regimes including the Bush administration have assertively stated that racial profiling was a bad approach in terms of handling criminal matters. However, four years later, the directive was not effective when the issue was raised by policymakers (Brewster et al., 2014). The key recommendation presented by scholars is the national prohibition of the practice in terms of allowing law enforcement agents to use discretion to search completely innocent people. The searches are carried out based on the suspect’s race, even when there is no evidence of criminal activity. This is a bad policy stipulated by the criminal justice system. There is an urgent need to consider racial profiling as infringing on the privacy of innocent people who have a different skin color (Brewster et al., 2014).

Organizations Established to Help Victims of Racial Profiling

Following several cases of racial profiling in America, there has been an increase in organizations and groups which seek to help victims of racial profiling. The End Racial Profiling Act prohibits profiling by local, state and federal officers on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin and religion. The act also gives a reserved right of action for victims of racial profiling to pursue amends, which act as watchdogs to the Department of Justice in their jurisdiction of crimes related to racial profiling (Johnson, 2014). Other key organizations in charge of helping victims of racial profiling include the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The changes in the Constitution such as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and the 4th Amendment, which ensures protection from unreasonable searches, also help victims of racial profiling (Feist et al., 2013).

Conclusion

Since the 9/11 events, there has been a notable increase in the scope of racial profiling in America, with the offenders trusting the approach as a key tool in fighting different crimes. However, it is evident that the approach is ineffective and subjects innocent people to torture. From the above discussion, it becomes clear that the key offenders of racial profiling are law enforcement agents that include federal, state and local police officers. There are various contexts under which racial profiling takes place in the country. The paper also highlights the main victims of racial profiling with a major focus on African Americans (Blacks), Arabs and Muslims, and other victims from South America and South Asia. Racial profiling has adverse consequences for the victims and usually affects their family members and community members at large. The paper further explored the racial profiling in the Criminal Justice Department with recommendations on the measures to be taken to curb the development of the approach.

Victims of Domestic Violence

It refers to the use of emotional or physical force, the threat of physical violence, including sexual violence in terms of adult relationships. Violence may be perpetrated by a partner, daughter or son, a spouse or any other close relative of the victim. The term domestic violence actually goes beyond boundaries and can be termed as physical violence. Domestic violence can involve various forms of abuse such as emotional abuse, property destruction, and threats to others such as children, experiencing isolation from family members, friends and other potential sources of support, and control over possible access to transportation, money and personal items. Victims of domestic violence can be of any sex, age, culture, employment, marital status, religious background, and education level. Although most victims are women, men and children can also be victims of domestic violence. For instance, children from families experiencing domestic violence are more likely to be neglected or abused while others are faced with emotional and physical distress (Dutton, 2011).

Most of the females appear to be the victims of domestic violence across the world. Most of the violence emanates from family differences between spouses, or partners. It is deeply rooted in the lives of individuals or families across the world. Many of the female domestic violence victims become victims of their own psychological realities (Kethineni & Srinivasan, 2012). In view of this, financial viability can be limiting for many female victims along with other known barriers that they face when attempting to try safely flee from violent situations.

Women being the main victims of domestic violence see the need for different organizations to be established to curb the vice. Domestic violence among women may be caused by brutal partners or spouses who physically abuse women. Most of the reported cases of domestic violence indicate that women experience brutal or physical abuse which is evident from the injuries sustained during the ordeal. Most families across the world actually experience financial problems that act as a stimulating factor in domestic violence. Men who tend to abuse alcohol or drugs happen to be more violent to their family members. They direct their anger towards their spouses through physical abuse where the latter are beaten mercilessly through the use of some available tools.

On the other hand, children happen to be indirect victims of domestic violence in this or that way. For instance, when spouses divorce as a result of domestic violence, the children are torn in between in decision making where they find it difficult to choose which side to rely on. Although the majority of them rely on the mother’s side, others may consider being on the father’s side in case of a conflict (Kethineni & Srinivasan, 2012). Women were victims of domestic violence may be sexually assaulted by their spouses or close relatives.

In the case of a domestic uproar, men tend to use sex as a tool of punishing their partners which are done in a brutal manner causing both physical and emotional injury to the victims. Sexual abuse is considered the worst form of domestic violence among women in any given country because of its adverse effects on the victim’s health, emotional state, and behavior. Most of the domestic violence victims end up thinking that it is better to dismiss the charges than to be subsequently exposed to the abuser after a given hearing session is over (Dutton, 2011).

Victim’s Views

It is the victim’s view that a protective order issued does not guarantee them safety because when the abuser is released violence may escalate to higher levels such as murder. It is evident that the criminal justice system and social science departments developed several measures and interventions that were designed to deter abuse and offer rehabilitation services to the abusers so that they might not repeat the offense again. The Criminal Justice System in the recent past has enforced several laws that are aimed at controlling the use of violence against intimate partners terming it as a criminal act.

Victims of Rape

Rape is a popular form of sexual assault that involves intercourse or other kinds of sexual penetration committed against an individual’ will. Rape and sexual assault are characterized by domination and control over the victims. Anyone can fall victim to rape. The elderly, children, women and the mentally and physically disabled people are the easiest targets of rape because of their vulnerability. Men, gays and straight people can also become victims of rape. Rape is all about control and opportunistic violence against the other person not associated with uncountable lust or passion. Sexual assault and rape are currently the most underreported misdeed in the world. Rape and sexual assault have a dire impact on both direct and indirect victims.

Although everyone can fall victim to rape and sexual assault, some people are at greater risk of becoming a victim of sexual assault than others. Girls and women are the cosmic majority of sexual assault victims. However, men and boys also stand a high risk of rape. Globally, all women regardless of their race are rape targets. However, some races are more susceptible to rape than others. For instance, in the United States, multicultural women become victims of rape more frequently followed by the Alaskan natives and the American Indians. Hispanic and Black women rape cases are lower with White women cases recorded as the least cases among all (Basile et al., 2011). The majority of rape victims are familiar with their perpetrators. The perpetrators include former partners and acquaintances. Stranger rape cases are lower compared to the known perpetrators. Repeated victimization cases are very common especially in cases where the perpetrator is close to the victim. Most rape victims who got raped as minors are also likely to be assaulted when adults. Male individuals are the most frequent assailants of both male and female rape cases (Basile et al., 2011).

Closer insights to rape demographics indicate that teenage young adults consist of the majority of sexual assault victims. Most women were sexually assaulted while in college (Basile et al., 2011). The mentally and physically challenged individuals are also at increased risk due to their high vulnerability. GLBT (gays, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) community is also an exclusively vulnerable group. Rape and sexual assault cases are also rampant among incarcerated individuals in prisons. However, bisexual prisoners are at higher risk than heterosexuals prisoners. There is a correlation between homelessness and sexually associated crimes. Most of the homeless individuals are victimized at least twice as children.

Sexual assaults and rape take an intense toll on the survived victims. The victims suffer from severe mental and physical health complications that are long-lasting. Women and other vulnerable groups sustain injuries from the assaults (Campbell, Patterson, & Lichty, 2005). Sex assault victims are exposed to a high risk of contracting HIV and suffer chronic pain and may experience sleeping disorders. Survivors also experience a vast range of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and post-trauma stress disorder. Besides, sexual violence survivors are likely to engage in dangerous habits like alcohol and substance abuse as a means of dealing with trauma. The impact is sometimes so strong for the victims that they consider taking their lives.

The radiating blow of rape and sexual assault usually does not end with the survivor's well-being and health. The aftermath of rape also has severe impacts on the indirect victims of the assault. The family and friends of the assault survivor suffer from stress and severe emotional breakdowns. Sexual assault victim’s legal representatives and professional therapists who guide the victims through the aftermath and recovery of the incident are also not spared the distressing effects of rape (Campbell et al., 2005). They actually suffer from various trauma-related disorders from their rape victim's stories of the ordeal. Scholars who study rape cases are also emotionally affected by the victim's stories.

Victim’s Views

Both direct and indirect victims of rape suggest that a clear policy and law need to be put in place to curb the vice. They tend to suggest that individuals found guilty of committing the offense or those who have played some role in the crime should be apprehended and charged by the courts as a way of punishing them for their offense.

Victims of Child Abuse

Children are the most vulnerable group that experiences abuse in one way or another. Children are more often exposed to several forms of violence, directly as victims or indirectly as witnesses, which is often associated with psychological, long-term physical and emotional harm. On the other hand, children as victims of child violence tend to be at higher risk of engaging in criminal behavior later on in their life culminating it as a life cycle of violence-related cases. Being victims of child violence, it tends to have adverse effects on them so that they are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, and suffer from post-traumatic disorders, depression, and anxiety-related behaviors.

Several studies conducted indicate that almost 40% of the American children are direct victims of two or more violent forms of abuse. It is evident that more children are likely to be exposed to various forms of violence and crime-related activities (Kimbrough, Magyari, Langenberg, Chesney, & Berman, 2010). Violence occurs when the children see one family member assault another family member while others are exposed to family violence during their lifetime.

Children around the world experience or are exposed to domestic violence in many ways. For instance, as victims, they may end up hearing one parent or guardian threatening the other, seeing one parent assaulting the other, observing a parent who is reckless or out of control with anger, or later live with the aftermath of any given assault (Moylan et al., 2010). In this case, children being victims are negatively affected by hearing such threats to the safety of their caregiver, regardless of whether the outcomes will culminate in physical injury. On the other hand, children who live in an environment filled with domestic violence are at the highest risk of becoming direct victims of child abuse.

Exposure to various forms of violence among children has adverse effects on their life including drug and substance abuse, high chances of emulating violent behaviors later on in life and having emotional syndrome over what they have experienced (Moylan et al., 2010). Indirect victims of child abuse may include friends, parents, sisters or brothers and other close relatives. For instance, if a small girl experiences abuse from her father, the mother will act as an indirect victim of the ordeal because she performs the mother’s role in taking care of the child.

Children may face abuse such as sexual exploitation from the adults or their peers in different places. Sexual abuse among children is rampant across the world where most of them are raped while others are forced into sexual activities at a very tender age. Most of the reported cases of child abuse indicate that most victims have been sexually assaulted by their parents, guardians or close family friends (Kimbrough et al., 2010). Consequently, children face various forms of child abuse such as the forceful provision of labor, which infringes their right for education and other basic rights of a child.

Victim’s Views

To break the cycle of child abuse and the likelihood of the prolonged long-term consequences, both direct and indirect victims suggest that there is a need for the communities across the world to continue developing and implementing new strategies that would prevent child abuse from happening. Offenders should face serious consequences such as being jailed or convicted for a given period of time to prevent the reoccurrence of such vices.

Victims of Terrorism

Terrorism is a common phenomenon across the world because terrorist groups seek to cause widespread fear, disruption, and intimidation of the public. They tend to threaten with violence and actually use it as a means of publicizing their reasons for violent actions and motivating those who might feel sympathetic to them and negatively intimidating those who end up sympathizing them. In the modern world, terrorist victims have increased in number due to an increase in the number of terrorist organizations around the world. Terrorist victims can be of any age, size, race, and culture and emanate from any country across the world. Terrorist victims require immediate financial and medical assistance and are to be treated respectfully and provided with detailed information.

Across the globe, terrorism as a common phenomenon is believed to be carried out by Islamic nations which feel they are being suppressed and denied freedom as compared to other religions. Victims always emerge after the occurrence of a terrorist act and narrate about the ordeal that happened (Albrecht & Kilchling, 2010). Terrorist victims can be male, females, and children regardless of their country of origin. In the past, victims of terrorism were mostly women and children, but today both genders are affected by terrorist activities. For instance, terrorists target their victims in congested areas such as football fields, passenger ways, and other public places.

The fact that terrorists tend to use violence against a direct target group in order to frighten, threaten and further influence a much wider group of indirect victims implies that the audience of the crime transcends the direct victims. Most affected individuals are children in case there is any terrorist activity. Most of the children are spared but left with no guardian. Children as victims of terrorism are left homeless, with no food and water (Pemberton, 2010). They are also denied a right for education, which makes them vulnerable to engage in criminal activities such as robbery associated with violence and substance abuse. On the other hand, women also tend to be victims of terrorism, in which case most of them survive but they are mentally and psychologically tortured because of the ordeal they have lived through.

Direct victims are individuals who are at the scene of any terrorist attack as part of their job or as volunteers. Such victims include emergency service workers, the police, and firefighters. On the other hand, media reporters also act as direct victims while some people undergo several forms of organizational training that will help them overcome difficult situations or trauma. On the other hand, indirect victims are a group of people that involves the direct victim’s family members, co-workers, and friends (Albrecht & Kilchling, 2010).

Victims are psychologically tortured because of what they have to live through. Some of them have witnessed their fellow family members being brutally killed while others are tortured to death in broad daylight. Several measures have been put in place to try to curb terrorism as a global concern. Several nations have set up measures, policies and other counter-terrorism measures. For instance, the United States of America has set up measures to curb terrorism by fighting against countries, which are prone to hiding terrorist groups such as Syria.

Victim’s Views

Both direct and indirect victims suggest the unification of all religions across the world as the best method of combating terrorism activities. For instance, Muslims should be given equal rights and privileges just like Christians as a way of creating peace between them; thus preventing terrorist activities.