yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.
It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all. I'd certainly prefer the latter. It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.
But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could). Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous. Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man." If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people. Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.
The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so. Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues.
I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.
to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?