Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

RE: Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States

So I ran across this report this morning and had to discuss it because I'm certain it will show up on the left as "proof" of systemic bias against African-Americans by the justice [sic] system. lets get at it:
African Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large-scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.”
This is the great liberal "population demographic" argument. Since black people are 13% of the population they must be 13% of everything else, except where they are entertainers, where they should be well overrepresented. What this opener conveniently leaves out is that while African-Americans are 13% of the population they commit on average 7X the amount of murders than the white population. You would think that if one were to discuss the criminal justice system in any honest manner you would be sure to point out all relevant data.

Now knowing that African-Americans commit 7X the amounts of simple murder lets look at their next statement that 47% of 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations are African-American. 47% of 1900 is 893 persons. How far back does this registry go back? It goes back to 1989. That's 28 years. that's 31 persons per year. While that is certainly 31 more people than should be wrongfully convicted (per year), it pales in comparison to those who have been arrested for ONLY murder and ONLY in NY City where in ONLY 2015 59% of 306 persons (180) arrested for murder were black. For whites it's 6.8% or 18. Eight.
Teen. Since Blacks commit FAAAAAR more violent crimes than whites, particularly in large cities is it in any way surprising that when wrongful convictions occur that blacks would be overrepresented relative to their US population demographics? No. Not at all, except for people who don't know this.

Going back to the paper:

Judging from exonerations, innocent black people are about seven times more likely to be convicted of murder than innocent white people. A major cause of the high number of black murder exonerations is the high homicide rate in the black community—a tragedy that kills many African Americans and sends many others to prison. Innocent defendants who are falsely convicted and exonerated do not contribute to this high homicide rate. They— like the families of victims who are killed—are deeply harmed by murders committed by others.
Well, 7x eh? I wonder why? Oh wait, discussed above.

African-American prisoners who are convicted of murder are about 50% more likely to be innocent than other convicted murderers. Part of that disparity is tied to the race of the victim. African Americans imprisoned for murder are more likely to be innocent if they were convicted of killing white victims. Only about 15% of murders by African Americans have white victims, but 31% of innocent African-American murder exonerees were convicted of killing white people.
It's almost like whites don't care for people who kill their people. Shocking. But another thing we should note is that when interracial murder happens it is overwhelmingly black on white rather than the other way around. And given the OJ Simpson fiasco I would use the term "innocent" very carefully. Under US law a defendant has the presumption of innocence. The state must prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Failure to do so results in a "not guilty" determination. All that means, legally is that the state did not meet its burden, it doesn't mean that the defendant did not commit the crime. Nor does it mean that the defendant was not involved in the crime. A defendant may well have been involved in the crime but the state was unable to prove he (or she) "was the trigger man" due to lack of evidence.

Thus it is improper for the authors to behave as if these exoneration statistics are evidence of targeting of black people for charges rather than innocent people caught up in high crime areas due to the criminal activities of their peers and neighbors.

Most wrongful convictions are never discovered. We have no direct measure of the number of all convictions of innocent murder defendants, but our best estimate suggests that they outnumber those we know about many times over. Judging from exonerations, half of those innocent murder defendants are African Americans.
While I'm certain that most wrongful convictions are never discovered, kinda like male victims of domestic violence, it is pure speculation on the part of the authors to suggest that it is "many times". What the authors are attempting to do is cast doubt on the entirety of the justice system by implying that a statistically large number of people are wrongly convicted. As shown above, the data simply doesn't support such a contention. Even if the numbers were off by an order of magnitude, it would STILL pale in comparison to those properly arrested and convicted for crimes.
Assaults on white women by African-American men are a small minority of all sexual assaults in the United States, but they constitute half of sexual assaults with eyewitness misidentifications that led to exoneration. (The unreliability of cross-racial eyewitness identification also appears to have contributed to racial disparities in false convictions for other crimes, but to a lesser extent.)
Again, like murder, rape is largely an intra-racial affair. However as data shows, when inter racial rape occurs, it is overwhelmingly black male as perpetrator. Going back to the NYPD stats, we see that whites were 18% of rape victims. However whites were only suspects 9.4% of the time and arrested 6.8 percent of the time. If only half the suspects of white rape victims are white, then who represents the other half? Non-whites of course. Half of the rapists of white women are non-white? That's rather large!

Lastly the drug portion of the report contains a statement I find highly suspect:

In Harris County, Texas, however, there have been 133 exonerations in ordinary drug possession cases in the last few years. These are cases in which defendants pled guilty, and were exonerated after routine lab tests showed they were not carrying illegal drugs.
How would a lab test show that a person was not carrying illegal drugs? A lab test can show that someone did or did not have a drug in their system but at the point of arrest a person either had drugs on their person or in the property that they were arrested in. There is no "lab test" that can determine that a bag of weed was on the floor or on a couch.

it is clear that this report is front loaded with assumptions and presumptions about black people (perpetual victims) and the police (malevolent enforcers of racist laws). If they were interested in actual justice, meaning convictions for those who commit the crimes and predate on other black people as well as exonerating those wrongfully caught up in enforcement policies, they would not hide the crime data from the reader.