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University of Michigan Law School

Discrimination

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Criminal Law

Articles 1 - 8 of 8

Full-Text Articles in Law

A Failure Of The Fourth Amendment & Equal Protection's Promise: How The Equal Protection Clause Can Change Discriminatory Stop And Frisk Policies, Brando Simeo Starkey Sep 2012

A Failure Of The Fourth Amendment & Equal Protection's Promise: How The Equal Protection Clause Can Change Discriminatory Stop And Frisk Policies, Brando Simeo Starkey

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Terry v. Ohio changed everything. Before Terry, Fourth Amendment law was settled. The Fourth Amendment had long required that police officers have probable cause in order to conduct Fourth Amendment invasions; to administer a "reasonable" search and seizure, the state needed probable cause. But in 1968, the Warren Court, despite its liberal reputation, lowered the standard police officers had to meet to conduct a certain type of search: the so-called "'stop' and 'frisk.'" A "stop and frisk" occurs when a police officer, believing a suspect is armed and crime is afoot, stops the suspect, conducts an interrogation, and pats him ...


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 ...


Choosing Those Who Will Die: The Effect Of Race, Gender, And Law In Prosecutorial Decision To Seek The Death Penalty In Durham County, North Carolina, Isaac Unah Jan 2009

Choosing Those Who Will Die: The Effect Of Race, Gender, And Law In Prosecutorial Decision To Seek The Death Penalty In Durham County, North Carolina, Isaac Unah

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

District prosecutors in the United States exercise virtually unfettered power and discretion to decide which murder cases to prosecute for capital punishment. According to neoclassical theory of formal legal rationality, the process for determining criminal punishment should be based upon legal rules established and sanctioned by the state to communicate the priorities of the political community. The theory therefore argues in favor of a determinate mode of decision-making that diminishes the importance of extrinsic elements such as race and gender in the application of law. In the empirical research herein reported, I test this theory using death eligible cases in ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Policing Hatred: Police Bias Units And The Construction Of Hate Crime, Jeannine Bell Jan 1997

Policing Hatred: Police Bias Units And The Construction Of Hate Crime, Jeannine Bell

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Much of the scholarly debate about hate crime laws focuses on a discussion of their constitutionality under the First Amendment. Part of a larger empirical study of police methods of investigating hate crimes, this Note attempts to shift thinking in this area beyond the existing debate over the constitutionality of hate crime legislation to a discussion of how low-level criminal justice personnel, such as the police, enforce hate crime laws. This Note argues that, since hate crimes are an area in which police have great discretion in enforcing the law, their understanding of the First Amendment and how it relates ...


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.