Policy

Elimination of Racial Bias (2004)

Short Name: Elimination of Racial Bias Resolution
Year Adopted: 2004
Meeting Where Adopted: Annual
Policy Number: 2004 AM 121B
Subjects: Death Penalty, Racial Bias

Resolution Text:

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges states, territories and the federal government to strive to eliminate actual and perceived racial and ethnic bias in the criminal justice system by enacting measures that would:

  1. Establish Criminal Justice Racial and Ethnic Task Forces to:

    (a) include individuals and entities who play important roles in the criminal justice process, and invite community participation from interested groups such as advisory neighborhood commissions and local civil rights organizations; and

    (b) design and conduct studies to determine the extent of racial and ethnic disparity in the various stages of criminal investigation, prosecution, disposition and sentencing; make periodic public reports on the results of their studies; and make specific recommendations intended to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and unjustified racial and ethnic disparities.
  2. Require law enforcement agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures to combat racial and ethnic profiling, including education and training, data collection and analysis and other “best practices” that have been implemented throughout the country through voluntary programs and legislation.
  3. Require legislatures to conduct racial and ethnic disparity impact analyses to evaluate the potential disparate effects on racial and ethnic groups of existing statutes and proposed legislation; review the data gathered and recommendations made by Criminal Justice Racial and Ethnic Task Forces; and propose legislative alternatives intended to eliminate predicted racial and ethnic disparity at each stage of the criminal justice process.

View the full resolution and report.