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University of Michigan Law School

Racial discrimination

Criminal Procedure

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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 ...


Performing Discretion Or Performing Discrimination: Race, Ritual, And Peremptory Challenges In Capital Jury Selection, Melynda J. Price Jan 2009

Performing Discretion Or Performing Discrimination: Race, Ritual, And Peremptory Challenges In Capital Jury Selection, Melynda J. Price

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Research shows the mere presence of Blacks on capital juries-- on the rare occasions they are seated--can mean the difference between life and death. Peremptory challenges are the primary method to remove these pivotal participants. Batson v. Kentucky developed hearings as an immediate remedy for the unconstitutional removal of jurors through racially motivated peremptory challenges. These proceedings have become rituals that sanction continued bias in the jury selection process and ultimately affect the outcome of capital trials. This Article deconstructs the role of the Batson ritual in legitimating the removal of African American jurors. These perfunctory hearings fail to meaningfully ...


Race, Peremptories, And Capital Jury Deliberations, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2001

Race, Peremptories, And Capital Jury Deliberations, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

In Lonnie Weeks's capital murder trial in Virginia in 1993, the jury was instructed: If you find from the evidence that the Commonwealth has proved beyond a reasonable doubt, either of the two alternative aggravating factors], and as to that alternative you are unanimous, then you may fix the punishment of the defendant at death or if you believe from all the evidence that the death penalty is not justified, then you shall fix the punishment of the defendant at life imprisonment ... This instruction is plainly ambiguous, at least to a lay audience. Does it mean that if the ...


The Adversity Of Race And Place: Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence In Illinois V. Wardlow, 528 S. Ct. 673 (2000), Adam B. Wolf Jan 2000

The Adversity Of Race And Place: Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence In Illinois V. Wardlow, 528 S. Ct. 673 (2000), Adam B. Wolf

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Case Note lays out Wardlow's pertinent facts, describes the decisions of the Court and lower courts, and then analyzes the ramifications of the Court's holding. In particular, this Case Note argues that the Court's ruling recognizes substantially less Fourth Amendment protections for people of color and indigent citizens than for wealthy Caucasians. This perpetuates a cycle of humiliating experiences, as well as fear and mistrust of the police by many poor people of color.