Our Racist Criminal Justice System (Part One)

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Lauren and Nathan discuss the racial disparities in the United States criminal justice system and the Supreme Court’s role in supporting and perpetuating this unequal system, which many have justifiably deemed as racist.
Books Referenced:

Frank R. Baumgartner, Derek A. Epp, & Kelsey Shoub, Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tell Us About Policing and Race (2018).

Klarman, Michael J., From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (2005).

Michael Tonry, Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma (2011).

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2011).

Cases Referenced:

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (overruling Plessy and ruling that separate is inherently unequal).

McCleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279 (1987) (reinforcing the purposeful discriminatory intent rule despite extremely strong evidence of disparate racial impact – virtually closing off all equal protections claims to sentencing).

Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106 (1977) (allowing police to make drivers leave their cars during routine stops for officer safety).

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) (establishing the doctrine of separate-but-equal which upheld the Jim Crow system for over fifty years).

Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229 (1976) (establishing the “purposeful discriminatory intent” requirement under equal protection law, largely ignoring disparate racial impact).

Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996) (accepting police pre-textual stops as constitutional under the Fourth Amendment and pointing to the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause as recourse for racially discriminatory stops).

Other Sources Referenced:

Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic, WHITEWASHING THE JURY BOX: HOW CALIFORNIA PERPETUATES THE DISCRIMINATORY EXCLUSION OF BLACK AND LATINX JURORS (June 2020): HTTPS://WWW.LAW.BERKELEY.EDU/EXPERIENTIAL/CLINICS/DEATH-PENALTY-CLINIC/PROJECTS-AND-CASES/WHITEWASHING-THE-JURY-BOX-HOW-CALIFORNIA-PERPETUATES-THE-DISCRIMINATORY-EXCLUSION-OF-BLACK-AND-LATINX-JURORS/

Bureau of Justice Statistics: https://www.bjs.gov/

Harris, David A., Driving While Black: Racial Profiling On Our Nation's Highways, ACLU (1999): https://www.aclu.org/report/driving-while-black-racial-profiling-our-nations-highways

Jess Bravin, Breaking With Tradition, Some Judges Speak Out on Racial Injustices, WALL STREET JOURNAL, (June 13, 2020), https://www.wsj.com/articles/breaking-with-tradition-some-judges-speak-out-on-racial-injustices-11592060400

Police Shooting Database 2015-2020, THE WASHINGTON POST, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/

Project Implicit, https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/aboutus.html

Ray Sanchez, Who was Sandra Bland, CNN (July 23, 2015), https://www.cnn.com/2015/07/22/us/sandra-bland/index.html

Representative John Lewis, Address at the 2013 American Constitution Society Convention (Nov. 21, 2013), available at: https://www.acslaw.org/video/highlights-of-rep-john-lewis-speech-to-2013-acs-national-convention/ (last visited 8/5/2020). (Source of our introduction).

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