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Full-Text Articles in Law

Rewriting Whren V. United States, Jonathan Feingold, Devon Carbado Apr 2022

Rewriting Whren V. United States, Jonathan Feingold, Devon Carbado

Faculty Scholarship

In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Whren v. United States—a unanimous opinion in which the Court effectively constitutionalized racial profiling. Despite its enduring consequences, Whren remains good law today. This Article rewrites the opinion. We do so, in part, to demonstrate how one might incorporate racial justice concerns into Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, a body of law that has long elided and marginalized the racialized dimensions of policing. A separate aim is to reveal the “false necessity” of the Whren outcome. The fact that Whren was unanimous, and that even progressive Justices signed on, might lead one to conclude that …


Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang Jan 2022

Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang

Articles

The concept and naming of “hate crime,” and the adoption of special laws to address it, provoked controversy and raised fundamental questions when they were introduced in the 1980s. In the decades since, neither hate crime itself nor those hotly debated questions have abated. To the contrary, hate crime has increased in recent years—although the prominent target groups have shifted over time—and the debate over hate crime laws has reignited as well. The still-open questions range from the philosophical to the doctrinal to the pragmatic: What justifies the enhanced punishment that hate crime laws impose based on the perpetrator’s motivation? …


Policing And "Bluelining", Aya Gruber Jan 2021

Policing And "Bluelining", Aya Gruber

Publications

In this Commentary written for the Frankel Lecture symposium on police killings of Black Americans, I explore the increasingly popular claim that racialized brutality is not a malfunction of policing but its function. Or, as Paul Butler counsels, “Don’t get it twisted—the criminal justice system ain’t broke. It’s working just the way it’s supposed to.” This claim contradicts the conventional narrative, which remains largely accepted, that the police exist to vindicate the community’s interest in solving, reducing, and preventing crime. A perusal of the history of organized policing in the United States, however, reveals that it was never mainly about …


Racial Profiling: Past, Present, And Future, David A. Harris Jan 2020

Racial Profiling: Past, Present, And Future, David A. Harris

Articles

It has been more than two decades since the introduction of the first bill in Congress that addressed racial profiling in 1997. Between then and now, Congress never passed legislation on the topic, but more than half the states passed laws and many police departments put anti-profiling policies in place to combat it. The research and data on racial profiling has grown markedly over the last twenty-plus years. We know that the practice is real (contrary to many denials), and the data reveal racial profiling’s shortcomings and great social costs. Nevertheless, racial profiling persists. While it took root most prominently …


The Troubling Alliance Between Feminism And Policing, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

The Troubling Alliance Between Feminism And Policing, Aya Gruber

Publications

No abstract provided.


Profiling And Consent: Stops, Searches, And Seizures After Soto, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Amanda Geller Jan 2020

Profiling And Consent: Stops, Searches, And Seizures After Soto, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

Following Soto v. State (1999), New Jersey was the first state to enter into a Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice to end racially selective enforcement on the state’s highways. The Consent Decree led to extensive reforms in the training and supervision of state police troopers, and the design of information technology to monitor the activities of the State Police. Compliance was assessed in part on the State’s progress toward the elimination of racial disparities in the patterns of highway stops and searches. We assess compliance by analyzing data on 257,000 vehicle stops on the New Jersey Turnpike …


A Genealogy Of Programmatic Stop And Frisk: A Discourse-To-Practice-Circuit, Frank Rudy Cooper Jan 2018

A Genealogy Of Programmatic Stop And Frisk: A Discourse-To-Practice-Circuit, Frank Rudy Cooper

Scholarly Works

President Trump has called for increased use of the recently predominant policing methodology known as programmatic stop and frisk. This Article contributes to the field by identifying, defining, and discussing five key components of the practice: (1) administratively dictated (2) pervasive Terry v. Ohio stops and frisks (3) aimed at crime prevention by means of (4) data-enhanced profiles of suspects that (5) target young racial minority men. Whereas some scholars see programmatic stop and frisk as solely the product of individual police officer bias, this Article argues for understanding how we arrived at specific police practices by analyzing three levels …


Whren's Flawed Assumptions Regarding Race, History, And Unconscious Bias, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Whren's Flawed Assumptions Regarding Race, History, And Unconscious Bias, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article is adapted from remarks presented at CWRU Law School's symposium marking the 20th anniversary of Whren v. United States. The article critiques Whren’s constitutional methodology and evident willful blindness to issues of social psychology, unconscious bias, and the lengthy American history of racialized conceptions of crime and criminalized conceptions of race. The article concludes by suggesting a possible path forward: reconceptualizing racially motivated pretextual police encounters as a badge or incident of slavery under the Thirteenth Amendment issue rather than as abstract Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment issues.


Stops And Stares: Street Stops, Surveillance, And Race In The New Policing, Jeffrey Fagan, Anthony A. Braga, Rod K. Brunson, April Pattavina Jan 2016

Stops And Stares: Street Stops, Surveillance, And Race In The New Policing, Jeffrey Fagan, Anthony A. Braga, Rod K. Brunson, April Pattavina

Faculty Scholarship

The use of proactive tactics to disrupt criminal activities, such as Terry street stops and concentrated misdemeanor arrests, are essential to the "new policing." This model applies complex metrics, strong management, and aggressive enforcement and surveillance to focus policing on high crime risk persons and places. The tactics endemic to the "newpolicing"gave rise in the 1990s to popular, legal, political, and social science concerns about disparate treatment of minority groups in their everyday encounters with law enforcement. Empirical evidence showed that minorities were indeed stopped and arrested more frequently than similarly situated Whites, even when controlling for local social and …


Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2016

Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

In this Article, I explore why measuring disparate-treatment discrimination by police is so difficult, and consider the ways that researchers' existing tools can make headway on these challenges and the ways they fall short. Lab experiments have provided useful information about implicit racial bias, but they cannot directly tell us how these biases actually affect real-world behavior. Meanwhile, for observational researchers, there are various hurdles, but the hardest one to overcome is generally the absence of data on the citizen conduct that at least partially shapes policing decisions. Most crime, and certainly most noncriminal "suspicious" or probable-cause-generating behavior, goes unreported …


Always Already Suspect: Revising Vulnerability Theory, Frank Rudy Cooper Jan 2015

Always Already Suspect: Revising Vulnerability Theory, Frank Rudy Cooper

Scholarly Works

Martha Fineman proposes a post-identity "vulnerability" approach that focuses on burdens we all share; this article argues that theory needs to incorporate recognition of how invisible privileges exacerbate some people's burdens. Vulnerability theory is based on a recognition that we are all born defenseless, become feeble, must fear natural disasters, and might be failed by social institutions. It thus argues for a strong state that takes affirmative steps to insure substantive equality of opportunity. While vulnerability theory might help explain and remedy situations like Hurricane Katrina, it also might be susceptible to an argument that racial profiling is a necessary …


Racial Profiling As Collective Definition, Trevor G. Gardner Jan 2014

Racial Profiling As Collective Definition, Trevor G. Gardner

Articles

Economists and other interested academics have committed significant time and effort to developing a set of circumstances under which an intelligent and circumspect form of racial profiling can serve as an effective tool in crime finding–the specific objective of finding criminal activity afoot. In turn, anti-profiling advocates tend to focus on the immediate efficacy of the practice, the morality of the practice, and/or the legality of the practice.

However, the tenor of this opposition invites racial profiling proponents to develop more surgical profiling techniques to employ in crime finding. In this article, I review the literature on group distinction to …


Probabilities, Perceptions, Consequences And "Discrimination": One Puzzle About Controversial "Stop And Frisk", Kent Greenawalt Jan 2014

Probabilities, Perceptions, Consequences And "Discrimination": One Puzzle About Controversial "Stop And Frisk", Kent Greenawalt

Faculty Scholarship

A troubling aspect of the practice of "stop and frisk" in New York and other cities is the evidence that this police tactic is employed predominantly against young men in racial minorities. On August 12, 2013, the federal district court ruled in Floyd v. City of New York that New York's practices and policies regarding stop and frisk violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and its Due Process Clause, which makes the Fourth Amendment ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures" applicable against the states. Judge Shira A. Scheindlin found that a number of specific stops and subsequent …


We Are Always Already Imprisoned: Hyper-Incarceration And Black Male Identity Performance, Frank Rudy Cooper Jan 2013

We Are Always Already Imprisoned: Hyper-Incarceration And Black Male Identity Performance, Frank Rudy Cooper

Scholarly Works

In this Essay, Professor Frank Rudy Cooper recenters the experiences of men of color, particularly those of black men, in light of Reagan's War on Drugs and recent scholarship illustrating the over-representation of men of color in prison for petty drug use. The mainstream's depiction of black men as always already imprisoned disciplines us into the never-finished quest to prove we are a "Good Black Man," rather than a "Bad Black Man." In order to propose greater empathy for black men's imprisonment, this article proceeds in the following manner. In Part I, Professor Cooper sets the stage for considering the …


Across The Hudson: Taking The Stop And Frisk Debate Beyond New York City, David A. Harris Jan 2013

Across The Hudson: Taking The Stop And Frisk Debate Beyond New York City, David A. Harris

Articles

This article presents the results of a survey conducted by the author of 56 police departments across the country concerning the practice of data collection on stop and frisk practices of those police departments. These results are discussed against the backdrop of the debate on stop and frisk, examined in this article through a review of the legal basis for the practice and its use by police departments. The article then argues that greater data collection efforts in places other than New York City, where such efforts have been more robust than elsewhere, could broaden and deepen the debate on …


Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2013

Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter identifies the origins of contemporary preventive endeavour in the work of the RAND Corporation in America, which developed highly technical studies of crime prevention based upon systems analysis. It suggests that RAND promoted a decidedly punitive style of prevention based upon policing and punishment that is replicated in modern ‘punitive preventive measures’. It criticizes these measures, emphasizing the perils they pose and the weakness of their empirical foundations. Most worryingly, these measures typically claim an apolitical, neutral emphasis on efficiency that fails to engage with the political values underlying them. In so doing, it tends to displace much …


Why Care About Mass Incarceration?, James Forman Jr. Jan 2010

Why Care About Mass Incarceration?, James Forman Jr.

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. Paul Butler’s Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hip Theory of Justice makes an important contribution to the debate about the crime policies that have produced this result. Butler began his career as a federal prosecutor who believed that the best way to serve Washington, D.C’s low-income African-American community was to punish its law-breakers. His experiences—including being prosecuted for a crime himself—eventually led him to conclude that America incarcerates far too many nonviolent offenders, especially drug offenders. Let’s Get Free offers a set of reforms for reducing …


Dispute Resolution Lessons Gleaned From The Arrest Of Professor Gates And "The Beer Summit", Elayne E. Greenberg Jan 2010

Dispute Resolution Lessons Gleaned From The Arrest Of Professor Gates And "The Beer Summit", Elayne E. Greenberg

Faculty Publications

America's fantasy of a post-racial society was shattered on July 16,2009, when a white police officer arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, a well-respected African-American academic, in his own home. Our historical racial fissure was widened. Once again, our thoughts were plagued with tortured images of our system of racialized law enforcement: the torture of Abner Louima, the beating of Rodney King, the killing of Amadou Diallo. Predictably, Americans became further polarized, as they simultaneously blamed and defended responses to racism.

In what was perceived by some as a dramatic and unanticipated turn of events, and perceived by others as …


Henry Louis Gates And Racial Profiling: What's The Problem?, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Henry Louis Gates And Racial Profiling: What's The Problem?, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

A string of recent studies has documented significant racial disparities in police stops, searches, and arrests across the country. The issue of racial profiling, however, did not receive national attention until the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., at his home in Cambridge. This raises three questions: First, did Sergeant Crowley engage in racial profiling when he arrested Professor Gates? Second, why does it take the wrongful arrest of a respected member of an elite community to focus the attention of the country? Third, why is racial profiling so pervasive in American policing?

The answers to these questions are …


The Importance Of Research On Race And Policing: Making Race Salient To Individuals And Institutions Within Criminal Justice, David A. Harris Jan 2007

The Importance Of Research On Race And Policing: Making Race Salient To Individuals And Institutions Within Criminal Justice, David A. Harris

Articles

For years, criminologists have directed research efforts at questions at the intersection of race and law enforcement. This has not always been welcomed by practitioners, to put it mildly; rather, many police officers view research focused on race and policing as nothing short of an attempt to paint the policing profession and police officers as racist.

This commentary argues that, to the contrary, research into race and policing can still impart to everyone in our society, including police officers and their law enforcement institutions, much that they do not know about how race plays a role in both routine and …


Against Prediction: Sentencing, Policing, And Punishing In An Actuarial Age, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2005

Against Prediction: Sentencing, Policing, And Punishing In An Actuarial Age, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Actuarial methods – i.e., the use of statistical rather than clinical methods on large datasets of criminal offending rates to determine different levels of offending associated with one or more group traits, in order to (1) predict past, present or future criminal behavior and (2) administer a criminal justice outcome – now permeates the criminal law and its enforcement. With the single exception of racial profiling against African-Americans and Hispanics, most people view the turn to the actuarial as efficient, rational, and wealth-maximizing. The fact is, law enforcement agencies can detect more crime with the same resources if they investigate …


A Thirteenth Amendment Framework For Combating Racial Profiling, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2004

A Thirteenth Amendment Framework For Combating Racial Profiling, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

Law enforcement officers’ use of race to single persons out for criminal suspicion (“racial profiling”) is the subject of much scrutiny and debate. This Article provides a new understanding of racial profiling. While scholars have correctly concluded that racial profiling should be considered a violation of the Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, and existing federal statutes, this Article contends that the use of race as a proxy for criminality is also a badge and incident of slavery in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment.

Racial profiling is not only a denial of the right to equal treatment, but …


Rethinking Racial Profiling: A Critique Of The Economics, Civil Liberties, And Constitutional Literature, And Of Criminal Profiling More Generally, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2004

Rethinking Racial Profiling: A Critique Of The Economics, Civil Liberties, And Constitutional Literature, And Of Criminal Profiling More Generally, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

New reporting requirements and data collection efforts by over four hundred law enforcement agencies across the country – including entire states such as Maryland, Missouri, and Washington – are producing a continuous flow of new evidence on highway police searches. For the most part, the data consistently show disproportionate searches of African-American and Hispanic motorists in relation to their estimated representation on the road. Economists, civil liberties advocates, legal and constitutional scholars, political scientists, lawyers, and judges are poring over the new data and reaching, in many cases, quite opposite conclusions about racial profiling.


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 con-doned …


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 …


'Suitable Targets'? Parallels And Connections Between 'Hate Crimes' And 'Driving While Black', Lu-In Wang Jan 2001

'Suitable Targets'? Parallels And Connections Between 'Hate Crimes' And 'Driving While Black', Lu-In Wang

Articles

While hate crimes may tend to be less routine and more violent than discriminatory traffic stops, closer examination of each shows the need to complicate our understanding of both. The work of social scientists who have studied racial profiling reveals striking similarities and connections between these two practices. In particular, both hate crimes and racial profiling tend to be condemned only at extremes, in situations where they appear to be irrational and excessive, but overlooked in cases where they seem logical or are expected. The tendency to see only the most extreme cases as problematic, however, fails to recognize that …


Racial Profiling: A Status Report Of The Legal, Legislative, And Empirical Literature, Katheryn Russell-Brown Jan 2001

Racial Profiling: A Status Report Of The Legal, Legislative, And Empirical Literature, Katheryn Russell-Brown

UF Law Faculty Publications

In recent years, there have been several widely-publicized cases in which racial profiling became police brutality. As well, there have been scores of famous Black men who have offered their personal accounts as victims of racial profiling. All of these have helped to propel the issue onto the nation's front burner. The varied responses to racial profiling indicate the range of groups affected by and concerned about the practice. Notably, this includes former President Bill Clinton, who shared his belief that racial profiling is a national problem. The issue of racial profiling has evoked a wide range of policy responses, …


Guns, Crime, And Punishment In America, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2001

Guns, Crime, And Punishment In America, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

There are over 200 million firearms in private hands in the United States, more than a third of which are handguns. In 1993 alone, it is estimated that 1.3 million victims of serious violent crime faced an offender with a gun. In 1999, there were approximately 563,000 such victims. Estimates of defensive uses of firearms – situations where individuals used a gun to protect themselves, someone else, or their property – range from 65,000 to 2.5 million per year. Punishments for crimes committed with a firearm are severe: under the federal firearms enhancement statute, the mandatory minimum sentence for use …


Street Stops And Broken Windows: Terry, Race And Disorder In New York City, Jeffery Fagan, Garth Davies Jan 2000

Street Stops And Broken Windows: Terry, Race And Disorder In New York City, Jeffery Fagan, Garth Davies

Faculty Scholarship

Patterns of "stop and frisk" activity by police across New York City neighborhoods reflect competing theories of aggressive policing. "Broken Windows" theory suggest that neighborhoods with greater concentration of physical and social disorder should evidence higher stop and frisk activity, especially for "quality of life" crimes. However, although disorder theory informs quality of life policing strategies, patterns of stop and frisk activity suggest that neighborhood characteristics such as racial composition, poverty levels, and extent of social disorganization are stronger predictors of race- and crime-specific stops. Accordingly, neighborhood "street stop" activity reflects competing assumptions and meanings of policing strategy. Furthermore, looking …


The Stories, The Statistics And The Law: Why 'Driving While Black' Matters University Of Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 84, No. 2, 1999, David A. Harris Jan 1999

The Stories, The Statistics And The Law: Why 'Driving While Black' Matters University Of Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 84, No. 2, 1999, David A. Harris

Articles

Racial profiling of drivers - often called "driving while black" - has taken an increasingly important role in the public debate on issues of race and criminal justice. It is one of the few such issues that has penetrated not only the public discourse, but the legislative process as well. This article takes three different approaches in attempting to explain that racial profiling is important not only for its own sake, but because it is a manifestation - both a symbol and a symptom - of all of the most difficult problems that we face at the intersection of race …