Gender Discrimination Against Men in Courts

Men face gender discrimination in American courts. A recent study by Sonja Starr of the University of Michigan found that men are given much longer sentences than women convicted of the same crimes in federal court. The study concluded males receive sentences that average 63 percent higher than their female counterparts. There is also bias against men from prosecutors and police departments. Males arrested for a crime are more likely to face charges and convictions than females. Additionally, they are twice as likely to be incarcerated if convicted. The study concluded a significant disparity favoring women exists at all stages of the judicial process.

The study indicates both prosecutors and judges practice gender discrimination. Prosecutors use an array of excuses inorder to avoid holding adult women accountable for their actions. Some common excuses used are: she has mental health problems, has a drug addiction, is a mom, she accepts responsibility, she was under the influence of her boyfriend and she is sorry. Prosecutors do not use these alibis for male defendants. Judges practice gender bias by allowing family circumstances to temper female sentencing. This leniency does not extend to males. Additionally, judges sometimes issue no sentence at all simply because the convicted criminal is a women.

The idea adult women should be put up on a pedestal and their criminal activity blamed on men reigns supreme throughout the American judicial system. Grown, adult women simply are not held accountable for their actions by American courts.

An example is the Brenda Ray case. Despite having sex with a 16 year old boy, giving him alcohol and possibly even drugs Brenda Ray was not sentenced to jail. Additionally she was not even required to register as a sex offender. The prosecutor was not interested in the fact a minor received alcohol and possibly drugs. The judge had no interest in the case. No one cared. If an adult man did this the outcome would be very different.

Feminist continuously advocate for a two tiered judicial system - one for men and a separate one for women. A feminist group named "The National Association of Women Judges" wrote a document titled Sentencing Women Offenders: A Training Curriculum for Judges. The document claims that "levying the same sentence on a female offender as on a male offender does not in reality impose far greater deprivations on the woman because of her gender." It also states "In many cases, that lack of information {about women criminals} leads to oversanctioning." The paper's conclusion is that female criminals should be handled differently than male criminals - thereby advocating gender discrimination. The National Association of Women Judges still endorses this document.

In the 21st century, treating male criminals differently than female criminals is obsolete. Additionally, if the legal process insist grown, adult women are easily influenced by men and therefore not responsible for their own criminal actions then shouldn't women be forbidden from holding political office? Couldn't she easily be influenced by a foreign enemy? Isn't that dangerous for the country?

The time has come to end American judicial double standard and hold ALL adults equally accountable for their actions.

November 28, 2012

1 comment:

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