Here's the Baltimore Sun story by Julie Bykowicz.
People talk about how the criminal justice system is biased against blacks. And it is. If it weren't, nearly half the people in prison wouldn't be black.
But, dot dot dot, if you are going to be arrested for drugs, it's far better to be arrested in Baltimore City (where most people are black) than in the surrounding counties (where most people are white).
I talked about this in my book (which by now I hope you've read). This is from the Sun's story:
Among the findings: In the three counties, 45 percent of defendants were convicted and 27 percent acquitted. The remaining 28 percent were convicted of some charges and acquitted of other charges. Those numbers were different in Baltimore, where 23 percent were convicted, 43 percent acquitted and 34 percent given "combination verdicts."Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy doesn't like the report. But I, like any Baltimore City Police Officer, don't like Patricia Jessamy.
Conviction rates also vary between the city to the counties depending on the charges. In the city, 57 percent of drug defendants and 57 of defendants charged with personal offenses (such as murder, assault or robbery) were convicted. Those numbers in the counties were 95 percent and 69 percent, respectively.
The "starkest difference," [...] was that jurors in nearby counties are 30 times more likely than their city counterparts to convict a defendant of the most serious charge against him. The probability of a conviction on the top count is 2 percent in the city and 63 percent in the counties, the report says.
Why won't Baltimore City juries convict criminals? There are three basic reasons:
1) People who make up Baltimore City juries don't like or trust police because they've had bad experiences with Baltimore City police.
2) People who make up Baltimore City juries have friends and/or relatives who have been accused of crimes and the jury members they simply refuse to believe are guilty. So they are quick to give the benefit of the doubt to the suspect. It's not "us" versus "them." It's us versus us.
3) Some members of Baltimore City juries are simply stupid.