Issues of Diversity Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


With the advent of technology, there are other tests apart from Blood Type present to rule out a crime. If today, the assailant's blood type does not match the blood on the crime scene, it does not necessarily prove him guilty. Forensics studies have indicated that there are two types of people on this planet regarding secretion of ABO proteins in body fluids. There are the secretors, and then there are nonsecretors. In cases of rape, the fluid usually tested is semen. The thing to note is that if that person is a secretor, only then his blood antigens will be present in the semen. If the semen is negative for any antigen that can either mean that the person is type O or is a non-secretor (Lyle, 2011) Furthermore, there are thousands and millions of people who have the same blood type. Due to this reason, DNA testing has been declared a more confirmatory test.

Throughout the country, criminal justice professionals are beginning to discover the vast array of possibility that DNA testing can offer. Furthermore, DNA technology is now allowing old or unsolved criminal cases to be solved, as well. Today, any small biological sample can be made use of and be tested for DNA. In order to increase security in the country, FBI has got a DNA base through which a person can be identified only if their DNA is available.

This brings is us to the idea that crimes can still be tied together today. In many cases, a serial rapist or murderer goes on to commit a crime in geographical locations. It only takes good forensics skills and good eye to notice that these crimes are linked together. Moreover, the presence of similar DNA on two or more crime cases can also confirm that they are, in fact, tied together. With networking and communication progressing at an even faster rate, criminals are likely to move around and commit crime in different locations. Despite the information technology possessed by our police forces, the criminals find several ways to combat that.

With the new studies revealed, it appears that most of the murders and rapes committed were intraracial as opposed to being interracial. Even if the current testing facilities were available in the 1984, things would still be the same. Call it bigotry or stereotyping, minorities are always more likely to be blamed for a crime. Sam Gross and his colleagues went on to analyze the list of exonerations that were carried out in the year 2003. Regarding race, he attained two major conclusions. He stated that race played a very important role in eyewitness misidentification in rape cases. Furthermore, for the juveniles that were charged, more than 90% of the juveniles were either Hispanics or blacks. This disparity in the number of minority men charged could be either due to witness misidentification or coercive police interrogations (Gross and Jacoby et al., 2005)

Some explanations for this disparity in convictions could be due to the power imbalances that are present in the society. These differences, therefore, result in a disparate influence on the criminal justice system such that they wrongfully convict more minorities. Another reason is that minorities have little resources to fight back any error that takes place in their conviction (Parker, 2001) Media can also be blamed for the growing negative and violent image of African-Americans. They are shown to be more inclined towards things like drugs and weapons and forming gangs. All this goes on to embed negative images and make the situation worse than it really is.

Johnson (1984) went on to state that there are increased chances of wrong identification if the offender involved in a crime is of a different race than the witness. Cross racial identification procedures are also likely to end in error when most of the witnesses are white. Furthermore, it is also believed that, in intraracial identifications, the witness will focus more on particular features on the face. Contrastingly, in interracial identification; the witness is more likely to focus on group categorization cues. Some processes in the body either automatic or voluntary cause the formation of certain labels in the persons mind. If the first thing that they remember is the build and the hair of that person, they will only focus on those two characteristics (Taslitz, 2006)

It is simple bigotry that not only the public but also the criminal justice system has a biased opinion about African-American men and women.

Scenario 1

A Caucasian 32 years old male raped a 20 years old college girl right before she was about to enter her room. The victim was also Caucasian and had been an argument with her African-American neighbor who was a male. The assailant reached the victim from the back and put a cover on her face. The assailant left the vicinity after raping the victim and leaving her in the room. There were strands of hair of the assailant in the victim's hand that she had grasped during the attack. After the incident, the victim reported the incident to the nearest police station. The victim already doubted her neighbor, Danny Bill, who was African-American and was of the same height as the attacked. A line up was arranged for the victim to identify her attacker. She narrowed down to five choices which included three African-American male and two Caucasian males. DNA testing of the hair sample attained did not match the victim's sample and was thought to belong to the attacker. The DNA results excused Danny Bill and caught the real perpetrator. The attacker, therefore, was a White male, and he was charged and arrested for his crime.

The case of Benny Barbour is similar to the case scenario described above. He was wrongfully accused of rape that he didn't commit. Thirty years after he was paroled, DNA testing went on to prove his innocence and charged another man who was guilty of the crime. In his case, the victim was also raped in her apartment, and she could only recall the weight and height of the assailant. A week after the attack, the victim, was showed a picture, and she picked out Barbour's photo (, 2013) It was seen that the evidence revealed the presence of type A blood and Barbour did not have Type A blood. Regardless, Barbour was still charged with the crime. In this case, neither the court nor the jury paid any attention o the discrepancy between the mismatching of blood. Furthermore, they didn't even consider the fact Barbour could be a nonsecretor. If this crime were to happen today as is told in the scenario, the evidence would have been looked at more thoroughly. The assailant's blood type would be tested, and any other evidence collected would have been tested for DNA, as well.

Scenario 2

A 20 years old African-American, John Doe, is charged with rape of a 16 years old Caucasian girl. A 16-year-old girl was walking from her bus stop to her house. At that time, she was being followed by an African-American male with frizzy hair and baggy clothes. She reported that she was taken into the bushes and raped and the assailant ran away after that. She reported to the police exactly was she remembered about the perpetrator. Even though there were no other eyewitnesses, the teenager was very confident about her memory. She identified him in the lineup persisted by the police. The semen found in the investigation was tested for DNA, and it confirmed that the attacker was John Doe.

A case that is similar to the case mentioned above involves interracial rape carried out by a mob of three men. Flaherty (2013) reported that a mob of three men is involved in the kidnapping and raping of teenage girls. In this case also, the witnesses survived and went on to report whatever they say to the police station. The girls gave them information about the appearance of the assailant and therefore the only evidence that the police had was eye witness information. It should be known that these persons have a criminal history from before. This event did happen today and even know the attackers are suspected to be a minority because of their crime history.

As opposed to the previous case, the neighbor that was being suspected had a clean crime history. He was a respectable man, and there was no evidence that supported his conviction.

In conclusion, it is noted that minorities are targeted more when it comes to conviction of crimes. It has also been proposed that many police officers are convinced that black males are likely to commit a crime due to the way they were brought up in their childhood. They automatically assign deep seated character traits to these men even if they are innocent. Either it is previous bias or misidentification, a lot of African-American men and women are still in jail because of a wrong conviction. Thanks to improved forensics techniques…

Sources Used in Document:


Flaherty, C. (2013). Cops: black mob kidnaps, rapes teen girls. [online] Retrieved from: / [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].

Gross, S.R., Jacoby, K., Matheson, D.J., Montgomery, N. & Patil, S. (2005). Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003. The journal of criminal law and criminology (1973-), 95 (2), pp. 523 -- 560. (2014). The innocence project - know the cases: browse profiles:bennett barbour. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].

Johnson, S. (1984). Cross-Racial Identification Errors in Criminal Cases. CORNELL L. REV., 69 (934), 935-36.

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