At a time when the nation is riveted by racial imbalances in the criminal justice system after dozens of high-profile police-related deaths of Blacks, a new study reveals a paucity of diversity in the ranks of elected prosecutors who bring criminal charges and negotiate prison sentences, according to The New York Times.
The study, scheduled to be released on Tuesday by the San-Francisco-based Women Donors Network, reveals that about 95 percent of the 2,437 elected state and local prosecutors across the country in 2014 were White, and 79 percent were White men. By comparison, White men make up 31 percent of the population of the United States.
The Times notes that the absence of diversity among prosecutors, who many law enforcement experts say wield a lot of influence over the legal system, has not received the same scrutiny as the nation’s mostly White police forces.
“What this shows us is that, in the context of a growing crisis that we all recognize in criminal justice in this country, we have a system where incredible power and discretion is concentrated in the hands of one demographic group,” Brenda Choresi Carter of the Women Donors Network, who led the study, told The Times.
While we’re glad the numbers have been documented, we’re not surprised by the findings. Are you? The big question is, can anything be done about it? Sound off in the comments.
SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty