The high end retail store in China were facing an uphill battle in their quest for justice, if history was any indication. Not only could freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley be sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison for shoplifting, but the overt racism Black people experience in Chinese society could also be carried over into the courtroom.
It was not immediately clear if the case, which is being investigated by Chinese authorities, would advance to a trial. However, in China, “Black people are often regarded suspiciously, too, and considered as all coming from Africa, regardless of their actual origin,” according to a report by InterNations, a nonprofit organization that serves as a network and guide for Americans in cities around the world.
Beyond the very real prospects of racism, China also has a “deeply flawed criminal justice system,” according to the South China Morning Post. When pairing the two factors of discrimination against Blacks with a shaky legal experience, the outlook seems grim for the student-athletes.
So shaky, in fact, it would seem that judges in China don’t have much discretion, as Chinese courts have a 99 percent conviction rate against all defendants, the Telegraph reported. Perhaps worse yet, Chinese politicians and academics have previously referred to China’s criminal justice system as being “typically Marxist,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.