Fighting racial bias in the federal judicial process
Jun. 13, 2013 8:40 PM
by Sen. Rand Paul
Here are two statistics that disturb me, and should startle everyone:
• African Americans in Kentucky are six times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
• While African Americans are 13 percent of the total U.S. population, they make up 37 percent of the prison population.
What is the reason for these disparities?
In both cases, using a federal government, one-size-fits-all approach to address these issues is a primary culprit. The problem is Washington’s habit of undermining the system our Founding Fathers created, which left as much power as possible in the hands of local and state officials, and sought to treat people as individuals, not as groups or classes of people.
In the case of arrests, federal agencies have hamstrung local law enforcement agencies by requiring them to meet numerical arrest goals in order to secure funding. Morally, this is troubling. In practical terms, instead of local enforcement agencies spending their time investigating serious felony crimes, they concentrate on minority and depressed neighborhoods to increase their drug arrest statistics.