In 2015, 95% of prosecutors elected to their positions in Florida and throughout the country were white. This is in spite of the fact that 39% of the population nationwide are considered to be people of color. Furthermore, in 2016, fewer than 20% of state trial judges were people of color, and those individuals are the ones who are generally responsible for making decisions throughout the legal process.
According to a professor from Vanderbilt University, this lack of representation calls into question the legitimacy of the legal system. This is because many judges tend to make decisions based on their upbringing. According to a representative from Prosecutor Impact, this problem has existed for much of the country’s history. One reason for a lack of minority judges or prosecutors may be that there are few minority attorneys.
A survey conducted by the American Bar Association found that only 5% of attorneys practicing in 2019 were black. Minorities may have a harder time qualifying for law school compared to white students who wish to pursue a career in the legal field. In some cases, this may be true even when they have LSAT scores that are similar to their white peers. Black and brown individuals who are admitted to law school are more likely to drop out of their programs.
Those who have been charged with misdemeanor or felony crimes might face a variety of penalties if convicted of those charges. These penalties may include jail time, a fine or a loss of a professional license. A criminal law attorney might be able to help a person avoid some or all of these penalties. This may be done by casting doubt on witness testimony or physical evidence used as the basis to charge an individual.