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Research shows split opinions on criminal justice system

Black and white Americans in Ohio and around the country tend to have differing opinions about various facets of the criminal justice system. For instance, black Americans are more likely to believe that minorities have a greater chance of being sentenced to death for murder than white Americans. They also have a less favorable attitude toward police as well as greater concerns about crime both nationally and in the own communities.

Furthermore, black Americans and white Americans also had differing opinions about whether or not felons should be allowed to vote after completing their sentences. In a 2018 survey, 83% of black respondents agreed with this approach compared to 68% of white respondents. Currently, 12 states restrict the right of felons to vote even after they have finished their sentences. Maine and Vermont are on the other end of the spectrum as they don't take away voting rights from felons at all.

Finally, race can play a role in whether a person agrees with the way parole decisions are made. In many cases, people are granted parole based on their risk assessment score. The score is created after analyzing data about their crime and other characteristics and comparing them to others with similar characteristics. Depending on the score a person receives, he or she may or may not be allowed to leave prison early.

Whether a person is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, a conviction could result in serious consequences if convicted. Jail or prison time may be included in a sentence in addition to probation, a fine or other penalties. An individual who is charged with a crime may be at risk of losing a job or custody of his or her children. A criminal defense attorney may help a defendant during the legal process.

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