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Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Criminal Law

Racism

Articles 1 - 7 of 7

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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 ...


Discrimination In Sentencing On The Basis Of Afrocentric Features, William T. Pizzi, Irene V. Blair, Charles M. Judd Jan 2005

Discrimination In Sentencing On The Basis Of Afrocentric Features, William T. Pizzi, Irene V. Blair, Charles M. Judd

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article does not challenge the prior research on sentencing discrimination between racial categories that found no significant difference in sentences given to similarly-situated African Americans and Whites. In fact, in the jurisdiction investigated- Florida- no discrimination between African Americans and Whites was found in the sentences imposed on defendants, looking only at racial category differences. Rather, the research suggests that in focusing exclusively on discrimination between racial groups, the research has missed a type of discrimination related to race that is taking place within racial categories: namely, discrimination on the basis of a person's Afrocentric features. By Afrocentric ...


Breaking The Camel's Back: A Consideration Of Mitigatory Criminal Defenses And Racism-Related Mental Illness, Camille A. Nelson Jan 2003

Breaking The Camel's Back: A Consideration Of Mitigatory Criminal Defenses And Racism-Related Mental Illness, Camille A. Nelson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This article will examine the concept of racist words, symbols, and actions that are used as weapons to "ambush, terrorize, wound, humiliate, and degrade,” as psychological and physiological violence. The implications of such violence are relevant to several affirmative defenses and, indeed, to the initial formulation of mens rea. The historical and contextual legacy that is intentionally invoked by the utilization of racialized violence is what separates the racial epithet or racially violent symbolism from other distressing insults and slurs. While First Amendment protection extends to offensive or insulting speech, the mental and physical sequelae of such speech, even absent ...


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 ...


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.


Cracking The Code: "De-Coding" Colorblind Slurs During The Congressional Crack Cocaine Debates, Richard Dvorak Jan 2000

Cracking The Code: "De-Coding" Colorblind Slurs During The Congressional Crack Cocaine Debates, Richard Dvorak

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This article proposes "de-coding" as a method for unveiling the racist purpose behind the enactment of race-neutral legislation. Through the use of "code words," defined as “phrases and symbols which refer indirectly to racial themes, but do not directly challenge popular democratic or egalitarian ideals,” legislators can appeal to racist sentiments without appearing racist. More importantly, they can do so without leaving evidence that can be traced back as an intent to discriminate. This article proposes to use "de-coding" as a method to unmask the racist purpose behind the enactment of the 100:1 crack versus powder cocaine ratio for ...


The Social Construction Of Identity In Criminal Cases: Cinema Verité And The Pedagogy Of Vincent Chin, Paula C. Johnson Jan 1996

The Social Construction Of Identity In Criminal Cases: Cinema Verité And The Pedagogy Of Vincent Chin, Paula C. Johnson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This article will discuss the use of the film, Who Killed Vincent Chin?, as a method: (1) to analyze the relationship of social constructions of identity, particularly race, on the rules and discretionary application of criminal jurisprudence; (2) to provide an interactive pedagogical tool for law teachers, especially criminal law teachers, to examine the social contexts of criminal jurisprudence from multiple perspectives; and (3) to examine the ability of criminal law doctrine to address issues of race.