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Rand Paul: If you don't realize race skews the justice system, you're not paying attention

"Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth," criticizes the Kentucky Senator.
By Matt Bradwell   |   Aug. 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- In an op-ed for Time magazine, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul spoke to concerns about the role big government is playing in over-policing protestors in Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of Michael Brown's death at the hands of local police.

Paul, who has recently emerged as a vocal critic of the role race plays in the criminal justice system, continued to speak to his concerns about "big government" through the lens of police, writing,
"There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response."

Paul recalls his youth, and said if he could not predict his response if ordered by police to stop protesting, but would never anticipate violence as a reaction.

"If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off," writes Paul. "But, I wouldn't have expected to be shot."

Paul then spoke directly to the concerns of America's minority communities, observing that "Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them."

"Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth."




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