Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No racial discrimination in Bush pardons

Big fake news story: Whites get pardons at 4 times the rate as blacks

This is sad that a news story ran with an unproven premise.

For instance:

Bush  issued 1918 decisions.  189 pardons granted.  That means 90% of all were rejected

Of the 189 only 13 went to "non-whites" including 4 to blacks. But how many African Americans applied in the first place?  How many submitted a proper application?  How many pursued it vigorously?

We don't know.  Since we don't, people should find out before making negative judgements.

For instance, what if there were only 50 "properly" submitted applications from African Americans. By "properly" I mean done in the way that would maximize success politically.  And furthermore, what if there were 500 "properly" submitted from whites.

Then the story would be about what has typically happened in the past decades between the races.
A problem of access, due dilligence, and most of money.

Furthermore from the article:

The ProPublica data show that applicants whose offense was older than 20 years had the best odds of a pardon. Married people, those who received probation rather than prison time, and financially stable applicants also fared better. When the effects of those factors and others were controlled using statistical methods, however, race emerged as one of the strongest predictors of a pardon

This shows that the issue of  race being involved was a reflection of  sociological issues that we all know exist.

With this being said, I think we should change the process to make it more sensible.  While in most cases, I would love for society to value marriage (I talk about it all the time!), doing so here penalizes certain classes of people when they shouldn't be.  Likewise, percentage wise African Americans are more apt to have "bad credit", and the lack of financial resources often lands blacks in jail rather than probation.  On top of simple racism throughout our country.  So we should develop a system that is fair and just based on the merits of the crime.  But don't cry racism.  You can cry racialism, though.

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