Discussions on the unfairness of The United States criminal justice system have been brewing for years now. Time after time again, another news story will unfold on the unjust punishments that poor or colored person has received. Along with hearing about the unjust acts of wealthy people paying their way out of a prison. Money and race have been identified to be the key factors in place for determining punishment. However, representatives to the public cannot stay quiet. Celebrities with large platforms and the following they have, begun to inform themselves and speak out against the unjust acts that our criminal justice system have forced upon society.
Celebrities who have spoken on Criminal Justice
Kim less than a year ago had helped drawn attention to the Alice Marie Johnson case while visiting the White House. Kim had visited various prisons, spoken to many men and women who had been incarcerated for most of their whole lives and aided in individual injustice cases, including two death penalty cases. Kim’s help on these cases had caused California governor Gavin Newsom to issue a moratorium on executions or essentially take a break from executions to evaluate the morals of the law. Kim’s belief is that death is too cruel for a punishment and that regardless of crime, a person should be able to work towards forgiveness.
“And we should not be okay with the risk that an innocent person could be executed. I hope we can turn toward better solutions that focus more on healing victims of trauma and prioritizing fairness and justice.”- Kim Kardashian
Kevin had not taken a look into the criminal justice system until his friend, Meek Mill was given unjust punishment. Mill was a representative of reform after a judge in Pennsylvania sentenced him to two to four years in prison for minor violations of his probation in a decade-old gun and drug possession case. He spent months in prison before a court ordered him released. Once Kevin visited Mill he understood the unfair struggles these prisoners were going through.
“He had to go back, and they put them in for this crazy amount of time. So, seeing that, going and visiting firsthand, we realize that there is a large portion of people that have been convicted that are set up to get convicted again regardless of their good behavior,” – Kevin Hart
Hussle had served a prison sentence himself and was raising awareness until he was shot to death on March 31st. Hussle had held events for awareness like his #TimeDone campaign concert dedicated to the 70 million Americans with a past conviction. He also was on the advisory board of WordsUncaged, a nonprofit where prisoners serving life sentences learn to reclaim their voices and reflect upon the harm they have caused through narrative therapy and creative writing workshops.
“I grew up in South Central Los Angeles. You know we come from gang culture so we dealt with the system a lot,” – Nipsey Hussle
“We saw firsthand over-sentencing, unfair probation, the policies and stuff, so to see people putting energy into reforming that and just making it a little closer to what’s fair, you know what I mean? I think that it’s an important subject. It’s an important movement that we should all support.” – Nipsey Hussle
Celebrities are creating awareness, however many government and White House officials don’t agree with their method of advocating for prisoners in the long-run. White House council officers are looking for better solutions to “overhaul the system”. Rachel Barkow from the Justice Department says in an article for USA Today, that the idea of having “one-offs” getting out of prison due to celebrity endorsement is not going to create a lasting change. Above all it won’t open a gateway for the masses of deserving people who demand prison reform.