United States Criminal Legal System

in America Existing racial inequities in healthcare, housing, work, education, and wealth accumulation have been made worse by the Covid-19 epidemic. Despite the fact that unemployment benefits and stimulus checks reduced overall poverty, the wealth disparity between Blacks and Whites is still as wide as it was in 1968. The entire House debated reparations for African Americans for the first time in 32 years after voting them out of subcommittee. When compared to 2019 levels, the number of hate crimes committed against Black and Asian persons dramatically increased in 2021 [1, 2].
The US continues to have the highest rates of incarceration for criminal charges in the whole world, with almost 2 million people incarcerated on any given day in state and federal jails and prisons. Nearly 19 million individuals had inadequate food in their households as of September 2021. Between March 2020 and July 2021, the collective fortune of American billionaires climbed from $2.9 trillion to $4.7 trillion [3, 4].
prison populations started to reach their pre-pandemic levels despite an increase in Delta variant cases. Over 2,700 individuals have died from the Covid-19 virus, which has infected one-third of all inmates in US jails. Black individuals are killed by police three times more frequently than white people. To abolish the life without parole punishment for juveniles, slow progress has been achieved [5, 6].
A drug overdose fatality affected more than 93,000 people in 2020, up 30% from 2019. These drug overdose deaths are a component of a rise in mortality linked to suicide, alcohol poisoning, and unemployment. Life-saving harm reduction interventions continue to be hampered by the persistent emphasis on criminalization in such legislation [7].
After the US authorities failed to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, more than 70,000 asylum applicants were returned to Mexico. Despite the administration’s intention to raise the ceiling to 62,500, only 11,445 refugees were admitted into the US for the fiscal year 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that racism poses a serious threat to the general public’s health [8, 9].
The United States has by far made the largest contribution to the global climate problem, which is having a growing negative impact on human rights. Higher rates of maternal and cervical cancer fatalities than in similar nations were caused by a lack of health insurance and care. Although the Biden administration has significantly reduced emissions, it is still not on schedule to meet its goal [10, 11].
To advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, the White House Gender Policy Council was established. States keep passing stricter and stricter bans on abortion. A new Texas law went into effect in September, essentially outlawing almost all abortions performed beyond six weeks of pregnancy. Mifepristone, a medication used in medical abortions, was permitted to be prescribed and supplied by mail for the length of the Ebola pandemic by the Food and Drug Administration in April [12, 13].
In 2021, violence against Black and Latinx persons with disabilities persisted, in part because there were few community-based resources for those experiencing mental health crises. Long-term residential institutions were the site of one-third of Covid-19 fatalities as of September. During the pandemic, there were significant worries about abuse and neglect in nursing facilities. Bills to improve nursing facility accountability were discussed in Congress [14, 15] .
The deadly targeting of suspected foreign terrorists was subject to legal and policy framework reviews, according to the Biden administration. Armed rioters entered the US Capitol on January 6 in an effort to obstruct the certification of the presidential election vote totals. White nationalists and militiamen opposed to the government were among the riots. Trials for the suspected September 11 conspirators are not anticipated until 2022 [16, 17].
The Paris Climate Accord was renewed, and the US was elected to another term on the UN Human Rights Council. The Biden administration authorized weapons sales to the Philippines for over $2.5 billion and requested $1.3 billion in security assistance for Egypt. While making a commitment to stop doing so, the US continues to pursue arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the UAE [18, 19].
[1]        J. Park, “Who is hardest hit by a pandemic? Racial disparities in COVID-19 hardship in the US,” International Journal of Urban Sciences, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 149-177, 2021.
[2]        L. Nassif Pires, L. B. d. Carvalho, and E. Lederman Rawet, “Multi-dimensional inequality and COVID-19 in Brazil,” Investigación económica, vol. 80, no. 315, pp. 33-58, 2021.
[3]        B. Berberoglu, America after Empire: The Vision for a New America in the 21st Century. Taylor & Francis, 2022.
[4]        K. Petrou, Engine of Inequality: The Fed and the Future of Wealth in America. John Wiley & Sons, 2021.
[5]        D. Wallace, J. M. Eason, J. Walker, S. Towers, T. H. Grubesic, and J. R. Nelson, “Is there a temporal relationship between COVID-19 infections among prison staff, incarcerated persons and the larger community in the United States?,” International journal of environmental research and public health, vol. 18, no. 13, p. 6873, 2021.
[6]        C. Gutierrez and E. J. Patterson, “Risk and implications of COVID‐19 among the community supervised population,” Criminology & public policy, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 437-461, 2021.
[7]        M. V. Kiang et al., “Sociodemographic and geographic disparities in excess fatal drug overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic in California: A population-based study,” The Lancet Regional Health-Americas, vol. 11, p. 100237, 2022.
[8]        J. Ramji-Nogales and I. Goldner Lang, “Freedom of movement, migration, and borders,” Journal of Human Rights, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 593-602, 2020.
[9]        R. Fabi, S. D. Rivas, and M. Griffin, “Not in Our Name: The Disingenuous Use of “Public Health” as Justification for Title 42 Expulsions in the Era of the Migrant Protection Protocols,”  vol. 112, ed: American Public Health Association, 2022, pp. 1115-1119.
[10]      J. H. Knox, “Climate change and human rights law,” Va. J. Int’l L., vol. 50, p. 163, 2009.
[11]      T. T. Duong, “When islands drown: The plight of climate change refugees and recourse to international human rights law,” U. Pa. J. Int’l L., vol. 31, p. 1239, 2009.
[12]      M. L. Goggin, “Understanding the new politics of abortion: A framework and agenda for research,” American Politics Quarterly, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 4-30, 1993.
[13]      J. O’Brien, Encyclopedia of gender and society. Sage, 2009.
[14]      M. Alegría, J. Zhen-Duan, I. S. O’Malley, and K. DiMarzio, “A new agenda for optimizing investments in community mental health and reducing disparities,” American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 179, no. 6, pp. 402-416, 2022.
[15]      D. P. Folsom et al., “Prevalence and risk factors for homelessness and utilization of mental health services among 10,340 patients with serious mental illness in a large public mental health system,” American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 162, no. 2, pp. 370-376, 2005.
[16]      J. Gurulé, “Criminalizing Material Support to Domestic Terrorist Organizations: A National Security Imperative,” J. Legis., vol. 47, p. 8, 2021.
[17]      K. Katzman, Iran: US concerns and policy responses. DIANE Publishing, 2010.
[18]      R. Haass, “Present at the disruption: How Trump unmade US foreign policy,” Foreign Aff., vol. 99, p. 24, 2020.
[19]      J. R. Biden Jr, “Why American Must Lead Again: Recusing US Foreign Policy after Trump,” Foreign Aff., vol. 99, p. 64, 2020.

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