ERIC Number: ED044479
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1970-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Mexican Americans and the Administration of Justice in the Southwest.
Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, DC.
The Commission on Civil Rights undertook this study against a background of written complaints and allegations that Mexican Americans in the Southwest were being subjected to discrimination by law enforcement agencies, and in the process of administration of justice. The objective was to find what, if any, factual basis exists for these allegations. The Commission staff attorneys conducted field investigations in 1967-68, in which they interviewed 450 people. Two State Advisory Committee meetings were also held. California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., was contracted to study service by Mexican Americans on grand juries. In addition, law enforcement agencies in five states were sent questionnaires. The Commission reports that there is widespread evidence that equal protection of the law in the process of administration of justice is being witheld; Mexican Americans are reportedly subject to unduly harsh treatment by law enforcement officers, often arrested on insufficient grounds, and receive physical and verbal abuse and penalties which are considered disproportionately severe. The Commission also finds Mexican Americans are deprived of proper use of bail and of adequate representation by counsel. On grand and petit juries, they are substantially underrepresented and excluded from full participation in law enforcement agencies. The language problem is also held to contribute to difficulties in the equitable administration of justice to Mexican Americans. (JW)
Descriptors: Administrative Agencies, Bias, Court Litigation, Equal Protection, Federal Legislation, Law Enforcement, Mexican Americans, Racial Discrimination, Social Discrimination
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 ($1.25)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, DC.