Race, Racism and the Law 
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Equality Before Tribunals

United States Report on Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
  Initial Country Report (Sept, 2000). 

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Vernellia R. Randall
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 Equality Before Tribunals. The right to equal treatment before tribunals and all other organs administering justice, as guaranteed by Article 5(a), is provided by U.S. law through the operation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which is binding on all governmental entities at all levels throughout the United States. This right has been reinforced by a number of constitutional decisions. For example, race may not be a criterion in the selection of jurors in criminal or civil cases. See Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 (1954); Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986). Nonetheless, the perception of unequal treatment in the criminal justice system is widespread among Blacks and Hispanics, and in many respects that perception is supported by data.

Some have raised concerns about the use of so-called "secret evidence" in legal proceedings against immigrants. Particularly, critics of the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which has been interpreted to permit use of this evidence, cite the disproportionate effect on Arab-Americans and American Muslims. The United States has taken the position that the limited use of such evidence, in the context of a system that includes procedural protections, does not violate due process or equal protection guarantees.

 

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[ Equality Before Tribunals ] Discrimination by Law Enforcement ] Overrepresentation in the criminal justice system ] Disparities in Sentencing ] Capital Punishment ] Prisons ] Article 5(b) Security of Person ] Article 5(c) Political Rights ] Article 5(d) Other Civil Rights ] Article 5(e) Economic Social and Cultural Rights ] Article 5(f) Access to Public Accommodations ]
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Home ] Up ]
Parent Level:
Introduction ] General Report ] Legal Prohibition ] U.S. Reservations, Understandings and Declarations ] Compliance with Specific Articles ] Article 1 - Racial Discrimination ] Article 2 ] Art 3 Condemn Racial Segregation and Apartheid ] Article 4 Eliminate Incitements or Acts of Discrimination ] Article 5 Equality Under the Law ] Article 6 Assure Effective Protection and Remedies ] Article 7 Adopt Measures ] Conclusion ]
Units:
[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]
 

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Last Updated:
Friday, October 05, 2001  

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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law
(1993).