Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Law

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


Race And Wrongful Convictions In The United States, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens Mar 2017

Race And Wrongful Convictions In The United States, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens

Other Publications

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large-scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.” We see this racial disparity for all major crime categories, but we examine it in this report in the context of the three types of crime that produce the ...


The Tyranny Of Small Things, Yxta Maya Murray Oct 2016

The Tyranny Of Small Things, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In this legal-literary essay, I recount a day I spent watching criminal sentencings in an Alhambra, California courthouse, highlighting the sometimes mundane, sometimes despairing, imports of those proceedings. I note that my analysis resembles that of other scholars who tackle state over-criminalization and selective law enforcement. My original addition exists in the granular attention I pay to the moment-by-moment effects of a sometimes baffling state power on poor and minority people. In this approach, I align myself with advocates of the law and literature school of thought, who believe that the study (or, in this case, practice) of literature will ...


Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Dec 2014

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through to sentencing, we find that initial case and defendant characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain most of the large raw racial disparity in federal sentences, but significant gaps remain. Across the distribution, blacks receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than those of comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. Most of this disparity can be explained by prosecutors’ initial charging decisions, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Ceteris paribus, the odds of black arrestees facing such a charge are 1.75 times higher ...


Systemic Racial Bias And Rico's Application To Criminal Street And Prison Gangs, Jordan Blair Woods Jan 2012

Systemic Racial Bias And Rico's Application To Criminal Street And Prison Gangs, Jordan Blair Woods

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article presents an empirical study of race and the application of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to criminal street and prison gangs. A strong majority (approximately 86%) of the prosecutions in the study involved gangs that were affiliated with one or more racial minority groups. All but one of the prosecuted White-affiliated gangs fell into three categories: international organized crime groups, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and White supremacist prison gangs. Some scholars and practitioners would explain these findings by contending that most criminal street gangs are comprised of racial minorities. This Article challenges and problematizes this ...


Urgent Reform 'In The Name Of Our Children': Revamping The Role Of Disproportionate Minority Contact In Federal Juvenile Justice Legislation, Atasi Satpathy Apr 2011

Urgent Reform 'In The Name Of Our Children': Revamping The Role Of Disproportionate Minority Contact In Federal Juvenile Justice Legislation, Atasi Satpathy

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Disproportionate minority contact ("DMC") has plagued the United States juvenile justice system for decades, but federal legislation has lacked the clarity and guidance to battle this affliction. A strong partnership must exist between state and federal entities in order to directly target DMC and thereby decrease the appallingly disproportionate number of minority children who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. This Note discusses the problem of DMC, identifies state and private efforts to combat the crisis, and indicates deficiencies in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act as well as its reauthorization bill, S. 678. The Note urges ...


Vindicating The Matriarch: A Fair Housing Act Challenge To Federal No-Fault Evictions From Public Housing, Melissa A. Cohen Jan 2009

Vindicating The Matriarch: A Fair Housing Act Challenge To Federal No-Fault Evictions From Public Housing, Melissa A. Cohen

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Pearlie Rucker, sixty-three years old, had been living in public housing in Oakland, California for thirteen years. Ms. Rucker lived with her mentally disabled adult daughter, Gelinda, as well as two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Ms. Rucker regularly searched Gelinda's room for signs of drugs, and had warned Gelinda that any drug activity on the premises could result in eviction. Nevertheless, Gelinda was caught with drugs three blocks from the apartment. Despite the fact that Ms. Rucker had no knowledge of Gelinda's drug activity, and in fact had been carefully monitoring what happened in her apartment, the Oakland ...


Separate And Unequal: Federal Tough-On-Guns Program Targets Minority Communities For Selective Enforcement, Bonita R. Gardner Jan 2007

Separate And Unequal: Federal Tough-On-Guns Program Targets Minority Communities For Selective Enforcement, Bonita R. Gardner

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article examines the Project Safe Neighborhoods program and considers whether its disproportionate application in urban, majority- African American cities (large and small) violates the guarantee of equal protection under the law. This Article will start with a description of the program and how it operates-the limited application to street-level criminal activity in predominately African American communities. Based on preliminary data showing that Project Safe Neighborhoods disproportionately impacts African Americans, the Article turns to an analysis of the applicable law. Most courts have analyzed Project Safe Neighborhoods' race-based challenges under selective prosecution case law, which requires a showing by the ...


Appellate Review Of Racist Summations: Redeeming The Promise Of Searching Analysis, Ryan Patrick Alford Jan 2006

Appellate Review Of Racist Summations: Redeeming The Promise Of Searching Analysis, Ryan Patrick Alford

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article addresses the question of the appropriate response of appellate counsel for Black defendants tarred at trial by the indirect deployment of powerful racial stereotypes. The crux of the problem is that even now, the courts only take exception to blatant racist appeals, even though indirectly racist summations can have a determinative impact at trial. In laying out the contours of the problem, we must draw upon the discipline of rhetoric, or persuasion through oration, to describe various techniques of intentional indirectness that prosecutors use to obviate the possibility of appellate review under the stringent standards of the Fourteenth ...


Vigilante Racism: The De-Americanization Of Immigrant America, Bill Ong Hing Jan 2002

Vigilante Racism: The De-Americanization Of Immigrant America, Bill Ong Hing

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Sadly, the de-Americanization process is capable of reinventing itself generation after generation. We have seen this exclusionary process aimed at those of Jewish, Asian, Mexican, Haitian, and other descent throughout the nation's history. De-Americanization is not simply xenophobia, because more than fear of foreigners is at work. This is a brand of nativism cloaked in a Euro-centric sense of America that combines hate and racial profiling. Whenever we go through a period of de-Americanization like what is currently happening to South Asians, Arabs, Muslim Americans, and people like Wen Ho Lee-a whole new generation of Americans sees that exclusion ...


Racial Profiling Under Attack, Samuel R. Gross, D. Livingston Jan 2002

Racial Profiling Under Attack, Samuel R. Gross, D. Livingston

Articles

The events of September 11, 2001, have sparked a fierce debate over racial profiling. Many who readily condemned the practice a year ago have had second thoughts. In the wake of September 11, the Department ofJustice initiated a program of interviewing thousands of men who arrived in this country in the past two years from countries with an al Qaeda presence-a program that some attack as racial profiling, and others defend as proper law enforcement. In this Essay, Professors Gross and Livingston use that program as the focus of a discussion of the meaning of racial profiling, its use in ...


Road Work: Racial Profiling And Drug Interdiction On The Highway, Samuel R. Gross, Katherine Y. Bames Jan 2002

Road Work: Racial Profiling And Drug Interdiction On The Highway, Samuel R. Gross, Katherine Y. Bames

Articles

Hypocrisy about race is hardly new in America, but the content changes. Recently the spotlight has been on racial profiling. The story of Colonel Carl Williams of the New Jersey State Police is a wellknown example. On Sunday, February 28, 1999, the Newark Star Ledger published a lengthy interview with Williams in which he talked about race and drugs: "Today... the drug problem is cocaine or marijuana. It is most likely a minority group that's involved with that."4 Williams condemned racial profiling - "As far as racial profiling is concerned, that is absolutely not right. It never has been ...


The Profiling Of Threat Versus The Threat Of Profiling, Frank H. Wu Jan 2001

The Profiling Of Threat Versus The Threat Of Profiling, Frank H. Wu

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This speech covers three points. First, a brief summary of the failed federal criminal prosecution of Wen Ho Lee is given. Second, Wu talks about the racial profiling used in this case. Third, Wu talks about the possibilites for Asian Americans and other racial minorities to engage in principled activism to overcome these unfortunate trends.


The Color Line Of Punishment, Jerome H. Skolnick May 1998

The Color Line Of Punishment, Jerome H. Skolnick

Michigan Law Review

If "the color line," (in W.E.B. Du Bois's 1903 phrase and prophecy) was to be the twentieth century's greatest challenge for the domestic life and public policy of the United States, the law has had much to do with drawing its shape. No surprise, this. By now, legal theorists accept that law does not advance in preordained fashion, immune from the sway of political interest, belief systems and social structure. Still, it is hard to exaggerate how powerfully the law has shaped the life chances of Americans of African heritage, for good or ill, and in ...


True Lies: The Role Of Pretext Evidence Under Batson V. Kentucky In The Wake Of St. Mary's Honor Center V. Hicks, David A. Sutphen Nov 1995

True Lies: The Role Of Pretext Evidence Under Batson V. Kentucky In The Wake Of St. Mary's Honor Center V. Hicks, David A. Sutphen

Michigan Law Review

In the process of determining whether a peremptory strike is valid, lower courts rely on the TI.tie VII burden-shifting framework originally laid out by the Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green As a result, the order and presentation of proof in Batson cases deliberately parallels the order and presentation of proof in TI.tie VII intentional discrimination suits. In light of this similarity, the Supreme Court's recent TI.tie VII ruling in St. Mary's Honor Center v. Hicks - that proof of pretext under the McDonnell Douglas framework is not the legal equivalent to proof of ...


Postconviction Review Of Jury Discrimination: Measuring The Effects Of Juror Race On Jury Decisions, Nancy J. King Oct 1993

Postconviction Review Of Jury Discrimination: Measuring The Effects Of Juror Race On Jury Decisions, Nancy J. King

Michigan Law Review

In Part I, I review the empirical evidence concerning the effect of jury discrimination on jury decisions. Using the work of social and cognitive psychologists, I argue that the influence of jury discrimination on jury decisions is real and can be measured by judges in certain circumstances. The empirical studies suggest criteria that courts could use to identify the cases in which jury discrimination is most likely to affect the verdict. I also refute the argument that white judges can never predict the behavior of jurors of racial backgrounds different than their own and conclude that judicial estimates of the ...