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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Two-Tiered Justice System


*All persons alluded to herein are presumed innocent unless otherwise proven guilty.


On February 15, 2024, I posted a blog entry entitled Make it Make Sense, in which I addressed a Kansas City, Missouri mass shooting that took place on February 14, 2024. In the post, I issued a number of critiques concerning the reporting of and justice pertaining to how some issues are handled in the United States (U.S.).


In specific, I examined the ideological inconsistencies with social justice sloganeering related to “black lives matter.” Rather than advocating equality, this logically inconsistent mantra actually supports the notion of black life valuation, mainly when such life is lost to white people or regarding encounters with law enforcement.


Also within the post, I demonstrated how Mockingbird media sources maintain a disparate standard of reporting when it comes to white versus black crime. This occurs regardless of whether or not a suspect of alleged criminal activity is of the age of minority or majority.


To date, two minor-aged suspects accused of the Kansas City shooting event have reportedly been apprehended and charged, though their identities remain concealed. From photographic evidence, they appear to be non-white.



As addressed in my aforementioned blogpost, similar concern for Kyle Rittenhouse, a non-black individual who was a minor at the time of his alleged crime—for which he was found not guilty, wasn’t demonstrated by legacy media outlets or the justice system. Rittenhouse’s identity was plastered across the Internet and he was tried as an adult.


A two-tiered justice system is the concept of differential enforcement of legal standards based on one’s identity, access to resources, sociopolitical affiliations, and other indicators which produce unequal opportunities in criminal and civil proceedings within the U.S.


Given the Rittenhouse example, he was 17-year-old at the time he discharged a weapon which resulted in loss of life and injuries to others. Within hours of the incident, he was smeared by mainstream media sources as a rightwing shooter, his identity was revealed, and Rittenhouse was subsequently charged as an adult for alleged crimes.


Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. He wasn’t guilty for the crimes alleged against him. No matter what one’s personal beliefs are regarding these facts, that’s the reality of his situation and the truth of the matter.


Although they’ve enjoyed the privilege of anonymity thus far, and will apparently be arraigned on charges as minors, the Kansas City alleged shooters haven’t been held to an equal standard of treatment similar to Rittenhouse thus far. Nevertheless, one is open to consideration of evidence that may exonerate them of alleged criminal activity.


All the same, people can delude themselves into believing that the matter addressed herein is little more than conspiracy theory nonsense. Setting aside colloquial misuse of the word “theory,” people can test the proposed hypothesis regarding a two-tiered justice system.


For instance, at age 15, Ethan Crumbley—a white individual—reportedly “murdered four students and injured seven people, including a teacher.” Subsequently, one corporate media source reports he was “sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing 4 students in Michigan school shooting.”


Additionally, a separate lamestream media source reports of Ethan’s mother, “Jury finds Jennifer Crumbley guilty of involuntary manslaughter in son’s school shooting.” For the record, I oppose a standard of justice whereby a parent is automatically deemed responsible and accountable for the actions of a child, such as what occurred in the Crumbley cases.


Although Jennifer may’ve demonstrated objectionable parenting choices, one maintains that holding her accountable for the loss of lives when she wasn’t even present for the crime is a burdensome standard of justice. Perhaps the reader disagrees.


It very well may be that the reader will one day face incarceration if a minor-aged child is convicted of a crime. Nevertheless, if this questionable system of justice is one under which U.S. citizens are to live, the proposed hypothesis concerning the current blog entry may be tested.


Will presumably non-white parents of the Kansas City shooting suspects also suffer the consequences of the actions for which their minor-aged children are alleged to have committed, as was the case for Jennifer Crumbley? One is open to altering the hypothesis with the receipt of additional data.


Personally, I reject two-tiered systems of justice. Arguably, this is one element that was so egregious about Jim Crow laws. The state advocated a two-tiered system whereby group B was treated unequally to group W.


While some may irrationally believe that the U.S. has progressed since such laws were essentially eradicated, group B now enjoys the privilege of supposed social justice while group W is the recipient of a two-tiered justice system. If it was wrong in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it remains unjust in the 21st century.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW




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Richmond, T. (2021, November 19). Explainer: What charges did Kyle Rittenhouse face? The Associated Press. Retrieved from

Sanchez, R., Brown, N., and Sangal, A. (2023, December 8). Ethan Crumbley sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing 4 students in Michigan school shooting. CNN. Retrieved from

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