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Hubbard: Criminal justice system must face
its own racial biases

February 11, 2015
William C. Hubbard

From the Houston Chronicle

As the American Bar Association gathers in Houston for its midyear meeting, recent news events have raised questions about the fairness of criminal justice, a topic of critical importance to ABA members and the public.

The ABA has a long history of support for the safety of the public and the safety of law enforcement officials. Violence is not an acceptable course. We have the utmost respect for the challenging, often life-threatening work of our nation's police officers and the need for diligent law enforcement in our communities. The safety and protection of both the public and our frontline officials are responsibilities we all share.

The ABA also has a history of concern about racial disparities in the legal system and has a track record of pursuing meaningful reforms in the criminal justice system to reduce these disparities. Inequalities based on race are reflected in some law enforcement conduct, jury decision-making and judicial sentencing, as demonstrated by empirical studies.

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