On the website for the British publication “The Guardian,” Professor Randolph McLaughlin published an op-ed about the George Zimmerman trial, drawing comparisons to the 1985 trial of Bernard Goetz. In the earlier case, Goetz was acquitted of shooting four unarmed black teenage boys, saying he feared for his life– the same outcome in the Zimmerman trial. A civil rights attorney, Professor McLaughlin represented one of the young men in the Goetz case.
“But from the duration of prison sentences and rates of conviction for non-violent offenses, to the disparities in application of the death penalty, to the hundreds of thousands of stops-and-frisks that are documented in New York each year, evidence of racial bias in our criminal justice system is impossible to overlook, absent willful blindness. Race is a factor in the courts whether we acknowledge it or not,” writes Professor McLaughlin.
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