Home / WSSN Stories (page 11)

WSSN Stories

Black, Hispanic Minors Are More Likely to be Tried as Adults Than Whites

By Frank Kineavy 

Black and Hispanic minors in New Jersey are far more likely to be prosecuted as adults than those in other groups, according to a new analysis of court records by WNYC. Further, far more Black and Hispanic youths are given adult sentences or, in some cases, sent to adult prisons.

Over the past five years, state prosecutors were asked to try 1,251 minors as adults. According to the data, 87.6 percent of those minors were Black or Hispanic.

Race Number of Minors Requested to be Tried as Adults Percent of Total
Black 849 67.9%
Hispanic 247 19.7%
Caucasian 139 11.1%
Other/Unknown 10 0.8%
Asian 5 0.4%
Native American 1 0.08%

Roughly half — 692 — of those requests were granted, and those minors were all tried as adults. Of those minors, 87.4 percent were Black or Hispanic.

Race Number of Minors Tried as Adults Percent of Total
Black 460 66.5%
Hispanic 145 20.9%
Caucasian 76 10.9%
Other/Unknown 7 1.0%
Asian 3 0.4%
Native American 1 0.1%

According to the U.S. Census’ QuickFacts, New Jersey is 56.2 percent white, 14.8 percent Black, 19.7 percent Hispanic, 9.7 percent Asian, 2.1 percent two or more races and less than one percent American Indian and Native Hawaiian.

WNYC went through New Jersey prison records for everyone currently incarcerated who was a minor at the time they committed a crime and found:

“• At least 152 inmates are still in prison today for crimes they committed as kids in the past five years

• 93 percent of them are Black or Latino

• The most common crime they committed was robbery

• 20 percent of them have sentences of 10 or more years

• 2 are female inmates”

If a minor is convicted as an adult, they are subjected to adult sentences, which are longer than juvenile sentences. Adult sentences also give the minor a permanent record, rather than juvenile records that usually end up sealed. The minors are also sent to adult prisons. A minor is only tried as an adult if a prosecutor makes a special request, and then the judge either accepts or denies that request.

The study also showed that some county prosecutors are more likely than others to make special requests, and some counties are more likely to accept these requests for Black minors to be tried as adults compared to their white counterparts. Hunterdon County’s prosecutor has not requested to have a minor tried as an adult in the last five years, and their minor population is 80 percent white.

“Controlling for nature of offense, controlling for family background, controlling for educational history — all of the things that go into a prosecutor’s decision, there are still disparities, significant disparities, that cannot be explained by anything other than race,” says Laura Cohen, the director of the Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic at Rutgers Law School.

The data from New Jersey matches up with trends nationally, as an estimated 60 percent of those under 18 serving life sentences without parole are Black.

Psychological research also supports these statistics. In 2014, the American Psychological Association published a study, “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children.” The study concluded that Black children are less likely to be seen as children or “childlike” than white children:

“We find converging evidence that Black boys are seen as older and less innocent and that they prompt a less essential conception of childhood than do their White same-age peers. Further, our findings demonstrate that the Black/ape association predicted actual racial disparities in police violence toward children. These data represent the first attitude/behavior matching of its kind in a policing context. Taken together, this research suggests that dehumanization is a uniquely dangerous intergroup attitude, that intergroup perception of children is underexplored, and that both topics should be research priorities.”

According to the study’s authors, white children are more often perceived as innocent than Black children.

“The evidence shows that perceptions of the essential nature of children can be affected by race, and for Black children, this can mean they lose the protection afforded by assumed childhood innocence well before they become adults,” said co-author Matthew Jackson, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles. “With the average age overestimation for Black boys exceeding four-and-a-half years, in some cases, Black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old.”

“Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection. Our research found that Black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent,” noted author Phillip Atiba Goff, PhD, also from UCLA.

In March of 2016 New Jersey signed into law that minors who are tried as adults will no longer be sent directly to adult prisons until they are the appropriate age. However, this law is not retroactive, meaning minors already serving sentences in adult prisons will not be moved to a juvenile facility.

Read more @ DiversityInc.com

What It Do With The LUE: Producer DCOFFXTOP



By Lue Dowdy

We like the cars, the cars that go boom with a dope beat that is! This week producer DCOFFXTOP is What It Do! The beat is everything some artist would say. It sets the stage for the right lyrics to come forth; a mixture of the right beat and lyrics can make for a hit record.

Born right here in San Bernardino, CA, DCOFFXTOP first started rapping around 2008/2009 in a home-based recording studio (now Defunct Blaqhouse ENT). As he mastered his craft of rapping over industry beats, he ventured into making his own beats, full blown production.         Making major moves he’s now currently a member of J.A.N.K MOBB, who’s acronym stands for, Just Aktive No Kuts Money Over Banging Boundaries. Just recently he attended the art institute where he majored in Music Arts.

Still mastering his craft, this producer is an active member of the j.a.n.k mobb(jme). The team has utilized his beats and has set the stage on fire with their performances. His beats are featured on many artists’ compilations and singles being distributed on the Hip-hop circuit. Make sure you check out this talented King. Hit him up for your next slapper.

Until next week L’zzzzzz!

“Kant Get Right!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

You got to be kidding right? Even little children understand that there are some things you had better get right and understand to be true, or you can get yourself into big trouble. There are some things you had better get right if you’re going to be rightly related to God, both in this life and in the life to come. To know God and to choose to think, act, or behave outside of the Word, Will, and Way of God is very dangerous. The challenge; getting it right simply means getting right with God. Listen, you are old enough to know right from wrong. You are old enough to learn, old enough to love, old enough to really live. If you could ask the Lord how to make the rest of your life the best of your life, what do you think He would say? I don’t think we have to wonder, I think I know. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Mt. 6:33] I think we can summarize what Jesus said here in three words: “First things first!”

Now I know that sounds simple, but I want to tell you that if you, beginning today, would consciously, continuously, constantly, and consistently put first things first, it would absolutely transform your life. Everything rises and falls right here. You see, if your priorities are not in order, your life will not be in order. It will be all wrong. Therefore, it is imperative that you prioritize your life. And the beauty of it all is that you don’t have to pray about what your number one priority in life ought to be. You don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to discuss it. You don’t have to look for it. You just have to do it. Because Jesus has already told us what our first priority ought to be, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” Your problem is that there is a part of you that is still under bondage to sin! The old nature, that is to be reckoned dead indeed unto sin, is in fact alive and well! Tell me I’m wrong….. You can’t eat, you can barely sleep. You have new acquaintances, Jimmy Bean, Johnny Walker Red and his cousin Johnny Walker Black. Ronnie Bacardi; Mr. Vodka & Orange. Miller, Buddy Weiser. Mic E Lobe or maybe Dr. Gin & Tonic. Or how about Mary J Juana, Prozac, Valium and a host of other friends that help you to temporarily escape from the reality of your pain. The problem is when you sober up you are still broken, battered, bruised and bent over, that’s why you “Kant get right!

As the Spirit gives utterance, there is something that you have experienced in your past that continues to haunt you in your present, “a spirit of infirmity” that has plagued your life for all of these years. You have fallen and this spirit has convinced you that you can’t get up. You are the victim of past abuse and you are still hurting because the sores in your spirit have become the scabs in your soul. You are now a walking zombie. There’s an outward appearance that says “I’m alive but on the inside I’m dead, battered and beaten by this life’s experiences and disappointments”. You are so demoralized by living a life and you continue to add to your own suffering by the choices that you make. No wonder you “Kant get right!” You can no longer even see or think straight. Because this spirit has affected and infected your thinking concerning the situation you find that you are so broken in your soul and bent over from the burden of the whole matter that you can’t even look up.

I want you to know that there’s always going to be a spirit that will come around you to usher your thinking into a situation. But thank God for Jesus. DO YOU KNOW HIM? He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick and cleans the lepers. He forgives sinners. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. And He beautifies the meager. He’s able to bring you out! God has a prescription for your “Kant get right! Call Him up and tell him what you want…..