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Full-Text Articles in Law

Pressing Charges, Zohra Ahmed Jan 2017

Pressing Charges, Zohra Ahmed

Scholarly Works

There is a prosecutor in Manhattan Criminal Court who wears a Black Lives Matter button on the job. One day, a group of public defenders, myself included, found him alone in a courtroom where only quality of life offenses are heard, authorizing plea bargains more lenient than the standard recommendations of the New York County District Attorney’s office: reducing fines, reducing community service, even avoiding convictions. The button seemed a puzzling appropriation for a prosecutor. At the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2015, after all, public defenders had worn the same pins in court only to face …

Criminal Law As Family Law, Andrea L. Dennis Jan 2017

Criminal Law As Family Law, Andrea L. Dennis

Scholarly Works

The criminal justice system has expanded dramatically over the last several decades, extending its reach into family life. This expansion has disproportionately and negatively impacted Black communities and social networks, including Black families. Despite these pervasive shifts, legal scholars have virtually ignored the intersection of criminal, family, and racial justice. This Article explores the gap in literature in two respects. First, the Article weaves together criminal law, family law, and racial justice by cataloging ways in which the modern criminal justice state regulates family life, particularly for Black families. Second, the Article examines the depth of criminal justice interference in …

Decriminalizing Childhood, Andrea L. Dennis Jan 2017

Decriminalizing Childhood, Andrea L. Dennis

Scholarly Works

Even though the number of juveniles arrested, tried and detained has recently declined, there are still a large number of delinquency cases, children under supervision by state officials, and children living in state facilities for youth and adults. Additionally, any positive developments in juvenile justice have not been evenly experienced by all youth. Juveniles living in urban areas are more likely to have their cases formally processed in the juvenile justice system rather than informally resolved. Further, the reach of the justice system has a particularly disparate effect on minority youth who tend to live in heavily-policed urban areas.

The …