To the Editor:

May 062004

I’ve no doubt Joe Marshall’s sympathetic article (Thursday) is

accurate, displaying America’s partiality in dispensing justice to

minorities. Marshall gives irrefutable, statistical evidence for

disproportion. My buddy attained African-American studies minor

because of benefits in the criminal justice are not indication of

bias, he simply knows how the system works. Marshall presents the

case of Marcus Dixon, a black sex offender, and inequalities

arising therein. Sympathetic myself to the unjustly punished, I see

first Marshall’s inconsistencies.

There’s no correlation between stated “unjust” mandatory minimum

sentences and racial bias. Mandatory minimum sentencing has no

clause referring to skin color. Yet Marshall considers Dixon’s case

“extraordinary.” Because he’s black? Because he’s an exceptional

student-athlete? Because this has taken place countless times since

the beginning of time? Mankind practices innumerable wrongdoings,

common as dirt, remaining unjustifiable, despite one’s


Marshall argues against injustices of

“industrialization/slavery” in prisons, stating rehabilitation is

better than incarceration for drug offenders. He’s strayed from his

original point, in this article “Manditory Minimum Sentencing

Unjust and Racist,” in that the prison problem is loosely connected

to the sentencing problem and even farther from the racial


Marshall’s case using Dixon’s “unjust” punishment as evidence is

flawed. Supposedly avoiding pondering whether justice was served,

he says Dixon’s decade sentence is too harsh? He hardly thinks

Dixon’s assault on a teenage girl to be “criminal” despite the long

list of other sexual offenses. Perhaps Marshall will have a little

girl someday, consider the ramifications of incidents alike and

change his views.

Chris Martinez

Sophomore, English

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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