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University of Michigan Law School

Racial discrimination

Criminal Law

Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Did Booker Increase Sentencing Disparity? Why The Evidence Is Unpersuasive, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2013

Did Booker Increase Sentencing Disparity? Why The Evidence Is Unpersuasive, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

The Sentencing Commission’s recent report on the effects of United States v.Booker makes a number of very worri- some claims.The most alarming is that the gap in sen- tences between otherwise similar Black and White men has nearly quadrupled: from 4.5 percent before Booker, to 15 percent after it, to 19.5 percent after United States v. Kimbrough and United States v.Gall. 1 The Commission further claims that interjudge disparity has increased in two-thirds of the federal districts, and that interdistrict variation has also increased.2 If its findings were accurate, and if these changes ...


David Baldus And The Legacy Of Mccleskey V. Kemp, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2012

David Baldus And The Legacy Of Mccleskey V. Kemp, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

The first major empirical challenge to racial discrimination in the use of the death penalty in the United States was presented in federal court in the case of William L. Maxwell, who was sentenced to death in Arkansas in 1962 for the crime of rape.1 It was based on a landmark study by Marvin Wolfgang, a distinguished criminologist who had collected data on some 3000 rape convictions from 1945 through 1965 in selected counties across eleven southern states.2 He found that black men who were convicted of rape were seven times more likely to be sentenced to death ...


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 ...


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 ...


Still Unfair, Still Arbitrary - But Do We Care?, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2000

Still Unfair, Still Arbitrary - But Do We Care?, Samuel R. Gross

Other Publications

Welcome. It is a pleasure to see everybody at this bright and cheery hour of the morning. My assignment is to try to give an overview of the status of the death penalty in America at the beginning of the twenty-first century. I will try to put that in the context of how the death penalty was viewed thirty years ago, or more, and maybe that will tell us something about how the death penalty will be viewed thirty or forty years from now.


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.