Amanda Piccione

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This paper will show how the United States will fail to achieve a criminal “justice” system if money is involved. The cyclical impacts of poverty and marginalization on communities of color throughout our nation’s history will continuously perpetuate an unequal and unfair criminal system. Section II begins by delving into the history of poverty in the United States. It then analyzes poverty and its impacts today while specifically discussing the effects on communities of color and the intersections with crime. Section III examines the legal issue, exploring our monetized legal system and discussing how we can change our criminal legal system to reduce court and state economic reliance on fee and fine payments by looking at international and state comparisons and the work of progressive prosecutors throughout the country. Section IV will examine the counterargument of why the legal system will fail without monetary payments. Section V will offer a rebuttal exploring why the removal of fees and fines will better serve all communities and enhance public safety. Lastly, Section VI will conclude with a call to action to prevent additional injustice and rectify our nation’s wrongdoing.

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Criminal Law Commons



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