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Systemic Racial Bias in RICO Act

Updated: Aug 17

#justicesystem

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.

RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970


Articles that prove racial bias in RICO Act


Systemic Racial Bias and RICO's Application to Criminal Street and Prison Gangs

  • Based on the study findings, the Article argues that this labeling may be driven by systemic racial biases that marginalize entire racial minority groups and privilege mainstream nonimmigrant White communities. These systemic biases are characterized by converging constructions of race and crime, which fuse perceptions of gang-related crime with images of racial minorities. Source

Systemic Racial Bias and RICO's Application to Criminal Street and Prison Gangs

  • Conflating racial minorities with criminal activity enables the government to rely upon denigrating racial stereotypes in order to engage in invidious practices of racial profiling and to conduct sweeping arrests of racial minorities under RICO. This conflation also shields groups of nonimmigrant White criminal offenders from being conceptualized as gangs and shields nonimmigrant White neighborhoods from the stigma of having gang problems. In practice, this may harm communities that have White gang problems by preventing the government from executing gang-specific interventions within those communities. Source

Race and the Elements of the Federal RICO

  • RICO's legislative history suggests that Congress was specifically concerned about the ability of Mafia members to infiltrate legitimate business practices and obtain economic and political power. But the KKK had similar extraordinary influence within the economic and political spheres. Many politicians and business leaders, both national and local, were affiliated with the Klan.

  • Like the Mafia, KKK members often conducted clandestine operations and hid their affiliations with the organization from the public. Despite these parallels between the KKK and the Mafia, Congress never felt compelled to pass federal legislation to address mob violence against African Americans. Organized violence against African Americans was not considered "organized crime" in the way that we think of the term today. Source

Other articles of racial bias in RICO Act click here:

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