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Minority Groups and the Court System
The debate on the interaction of minority groups with the justice system is the most
convoluted area of public discourse both within and outside the spheres of contemporary
criminal justice. This paper seeks to break down several dimensions of the discussion by
contributing to several themes as discussed within the available scholarly evidence on the subject
matter. First, the paper will elaborate on two issues that have been of significant import to the
debate, namely implicit and explicit stereotypes and biases, and the differences that exist among
them. Secondly, it shall demonstrate the potential influences of biased attitudes on courtroom
proceedings. Further, the treatise will explore how racial disparity in sentencing affects the
Explicit and Implicit Biases, Stereotypes, and Attitudes
Implicit bias is defined as the attitudes and beliefs that unconsciously influence an
individual’s actions, decisions, and comprehension. By being unconscious, implicit biases are
enacted involuntarily without an individual’s intent, control or awareness. In essence, they are
beyond the introspective power of the individual because they exist deep within the
subconscious. They, therefore, cannot be concealed or generated at will as social or political
situations may prompt. Several scholars posit that implicit biases result into unaware emotions or
attitudes towards different subjects based on characteristics such as ethnicity, race, and gender.
They further point out that implicit biases develop and are accumulated gradually over the course
of an individual’s lifetime as conditioned...