A former Stanford swimmer named Brock Turner who was discovered raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster last January was sentenced to just six months in county jail and probation in early June. Although prosecutors recommended that Turner receive a six year sentence, judge Aaron Perksy sentenced him to six months in county jail and probation because "a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him."
Turner's severely shortened sentence caused widespread outrage and forced many to take a deeper examination of the justice system that allowed this to happen.
There have been many comparisons of Brock Turner's case to the case of Corey Batey, a Vanderbilt football player who raped an unconscious woman on his college campus. Batey was found guilty of one count of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery and must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison. Turner was found guilty of two charges of sexual assault and one charge of assault with intent to rape and sentenced to six months in county jail. Batey is black and Turner is white.
A recent report by The Sentencing Project discovered that in state prisons, blacks are incarcerated at 5.1 times the rate of whites. Not only are black people being incarcerated at higher rates, but they are receiving longer sentences according to an analysis by the U.S. Sentencing Commission Prison that discovered sentences of black men were about 20% longer than those of white men who committed similar crimes.
Although the comparison to Corey Batey shows how race can affect a prison sentence, what's even more revealing is the amount of innocent black men who have served more time in jail than Brock Turner - the convicted rapist - will serve for his crime.
According to an analysis of 297 DNA exonerations by The Innocence Project,minorities make up approximately 70% of those proven innocent through DNA testing.Black people make up the majority of exonerations , accounting for 63% of those exonerated by DNA testing.
While these facts show a glaring racial disparity in America's criminal justice system, nothing more shows this than the stories of innocent people who have served time in jail for crimes they did not commit.
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