Multiculturalism in the courtroom creates an atmosphere in which diverse groups of people interact. Interpersonal communications may be misunderstood because of differences in cultural norms. Accordingly, minority groups may not be represented properly during courtroom proceedings.
After completing this week, you will be familiar with the following elements of ethnicity and the courts:
· Right to counsel
· Prosecutor’s charging decisions
· Plea-bargaining decisions
· Jury selection
This Week in Relation to the Course
In Week Three, ethnicity and the courts are the focus of study. Some community activists charge that the courtroom process discriminates against minorities. In addition, courtroom personnel are not diverse and this lack of diversity further perpetuates discrimination. Having a solid understanding of how courtroom proceedings and personnel may play a role in disparity and discrimination provides a fuller picture of the relationship between cultural diversity and the criminal justice system.