Hammurabi’s Code seems savage…but is it that different?

The code of Hammurabi appears as a barbaric code that ruled the early humans but after deeper examination, their laws were jaded and biases towards higher standing people in society, similar to the current status of the law in the United States of America. America loves to project the image that the law is black and white and justice is always served to those who deserve it but the punishments are often unproportioned. Minorities and those of a lower economic status are the ones who suffer from this form of injustice. Recently, Amber Guyger a former Dallas police officer shot and killed a man in his own home. Her claim was that she believed that he was intruding into her home. Guyger fired two shots and killed Botham Jean who was watching TV and eating ice cream. The facts of the trial were that an armed woman intruded the home that was not hers, fired two shots, and killed a man who was watching TV. She was found guilty, which was monumental victory because when cops kill unarmed black people, they usually get off by making a case of self-defense. Her sentence is when things become unjust. She was only sentenced to 10 years of prison and is up for parole after 5 years for first degree murder. Even her lawyer was quoted saying, “he expected a longer sentence but he would respect the decision of the jury.” The judge gave Guyger a hug and a bible and told her to work for forgiveness. If the roles were reversed and an armed black man walked into a house that he believed to be his and shot and killed the occupant, he would be facing the death penalty. This is not an exaggeration. It is a fact that black people are judged unfairly in court and even targeted by police. There have been numerous documentaries about how the 13th amendment is a loop hole for slavery. The war on drugs, stop and frisk, are more examples of unfair treatment by police towards black people. In 2019, a black man was sentenced 10 days to jail for oversleeping and missing his jury duty. Little things like this make it very clear to those who are paying attention that the law can always been interpreted to do harm towards someone but at the same time, be lenient to others. We are not that much different than Hammurabi’s law code. 

Tj Salu

Word Count: 407


 McLaughlin, Eliott C. “Amber Guyger Gets 10-Year Murder Sentence for Fatally Shooting Botham Jean.” CNN, Cable News Network, 3 Oct. 2019, www.cnn.com/2019/10/02/us/amber-guyger-trial-sentencing/index.html.

Lockhart, P.R. “A Black Man Went to Jail for Missing Jury Duty. After Public Outrage, the Judge Cleared His Record.” Vox, Vox, 8 Oct. 2019, http://www.vox.com/identities/2019/10/8/20904974/deandre-somerville-jail-sleep-jury-duty-florida-kastrenakes.

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