Sunday, October 16, 2016
What Is Highest Priority For Fixing The U.S. Justice System ?
Both sides of the political spectrum thinks our justice system is flawed and needs to be fixed. For one side, the answer is to strengthen law and order, while the other side the answer is to reduce the system's bias against minority citizens. Which should be our highest priority?
The nation seems to be split between those two answers. A plurality of 49% says we need to strengthen law and order, but a substantial 43% says we should instead reduce the bias against minorities.
The groups wanting to strengthen law and order are Republicans (+60), Whites (+18), and rural citizens (+28).
The groups wanting to reduce bias against minorities are Democrats (+28), Independents (+11), Non-whites (+24), urban citizens (+3), and suburban citizens (+15).
I have to come down on the side of reducing bias against minorities. The Constitution guarantees that all citizens will be treated equally under the law, and that is simply not happening right now. If we strengthen law and order without addressing the bias, we will just make that bias even stronger.
While the law and order folks may not realize it (or want to admit it), crime has actually been falling for many years now. But what has not been falling is the bias against minorities. If we fix that bias, the police and courts can be respected by all communities, and that will also help to further reduce crime (because there will be greater cooperation with law enforcement officials.
Law enforcement is not an "us against them" game. We are all in this together, and all groups should be treated equally by our police and our courts. That's not just the right thing to do -- it's the constitutional thing to do.
The chart above reflects the results of a recent Gallup Poll -- done between October 5th and 9th of a random national sample of 1,017 adults, with a margin of error of 4 points.