Double Jeopardy is the prosecution of a person twice for the same offense. We’ve seen this brought up in the courtroom many times. It was created to stop the arresting and prosecution of men for the same crimes using the same evidence. However, it’s shifted into a facade, or front. Black men and minorities of this country are facing the same accusations/offenses with nearly the same evidence, in an instance, for nearly all of the crimes that we’re witnessing on the news or the media. Not only do they go to jail for the same reasons, but their brothers and cousins are all doing the same. We’ve failed to give them the benefit of the doubt and immediately think they deserve this. Our country has crucified minorities to the prison systems that have now created mass incarceration. When we really sit to think what may cause this, we blame it on the hoods. We blame the minorities who aren't given a way out for their actions. We blame the weed and the drugs for playing a role in these harsh environments. We do all, but blame the government, the police, and inequality itself. There's a clear role on how white supremacy plays into the ideologies police officers are told to heed by.
Minority men are not given the same privileges to maintain jobs or create careers for themselves. It’s a generational cycle that has been created by the white man during the 1900’s. A system where the black man has to fight ten times harder to make something out of themselves for their families. Although one man does it, it does not change the fate of the rest of their families. It’s all tied down to the government having their own preferences to who they seem to want and not want in their fancy housing developments or their private schools. These ideas of the black man being dangerous is the evidence being used against them in their everyday trials. When a black man applies to a job, he is being tried for the offenses of previous black men. When a black man applies to college, he is being tried for the offenses of not being smart enough or not having the capabilities to succeed. When a black man puts his hand in this pocket, he is being tried for the offenses of fear initiating the death of the black man. “You’re guilty until proven innocent” is a systematic phrase that’s being used to create excuses to keep them incarcerated until finally evidence is found. There’s over a hundred cases of men who have been in prisons or jails for more than 3 years over a false accusation. The list goes on with evidence tampering that affected these trials just to get a conviction. Not to mention the amount of money they have to pay for a good lawyer, but are stuck with a half ass public defender. Don’t get me wrong public defenders can do their jobs to the best of their ability, but imagine the amount of cases they are facing with minority men that are all facing the same charge; drugs, assault, attempted murder, etc. All of these cases are immediately attached to a black man. These ideas that are put into their heads to believe that it’s a black man who must of done this proves the double jeopardy that has been placed on their backs.
We see crime and we cry for our cities. All of America is fighting for this big change that can somehow make our cities and our neighborhoods safe again, but are not fighting the oppression that is being placed within our cities. We fail to realize that as minorities, we are being tried for the same offenses as our ancestors and will continue to fall short on the pedestal. Steve Early wrote, “1. Rewarding cops for connecting with the community, 2. Hiring for Diversity, 3. Partnering with activists and city groups, and 4. Staying away from guns” as steps in his article on police violence. (2014) As America, there should never be steps that we have to take to stop police violence. In the face of double jeopardy, black men are all convicted with one piece of evidence. Police? All seen innocent against the killings of black men. Why? Double jeopardy. White policemen have seen black men as a threat since the beginning, as soon as they attempt to put their hand out or make a movement it falls under “I thought they were grabbing a weapon”. Not only do we justify the killings with this one phrase, but Philadelphia has created Stop-and-Frisk allowing policemen to stop a car basically by preference. “As many as 20,000 people were stopped in 2017 without a justifiable reason,” is one of many statistics taken over the years since this has started. All statistics that prove to why we should not continue to allow this form of double jeopardy. They’re all being stopped from previous offenses.
To conclude, America has failed to stop their cities from conducting these malpractices and overlook the convictions that took a little too much like the other.