Criminal Justice: Are Courts More Severe With Black Defendants?

A common complaint among many Negroes—and more than a few whites —is that U.S. justice is all too often far from colorblind. Three recent criminal cases, all involving youthful Negro defendants and all leading to harsh sentences, have prompted black and white citizens alike to protest the severity of the courts.

> In Harrisburg, Pa., three Negro teenagers pleaded guilty to the charge of shooting a 64-year-old man to death during a bank robbery last December. Despite the guilty

plea, which normally enables the accused to avoid the death penalty, Samuel Barlow,...

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