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White Supremacy, Police Brutality, And Family Separation: Preventing Crimes Against Humanity Within The United States, Elena Baylis Jan 2022

White Supremacy, Police Brutality, And Family Separation: Preventing Crimes Against Humanity Within The United States, Elena Baylis

Articles

Although the United States tends to treat crimes against humanity as a danger that exists only in authoritarian or war-torn states, in fact, there is a real risk of crimes against humanity occurring within the United States, as illustrated by events such as systemic police brutality against Black Americans, the federal government’s family separation policy that took thousands of immigrant children from their parents at the southern border, and the dramatic escalation of White supremacist and extremist violence culminating in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. In spite of this risk, the United States does ...


Wage Theft Criminalization, Benjamin Levin Jan 2021

Wage Theft Criminalization, Benjamin Levin

Articles

Over the past decade, workers’ rights activists and legal scholars have embraced the language of “wage theft” in describing the abuses of the contemporary workplace. The phrase invokes a certain moral clarity: theft is wrong. The phrase is not merely a rhetorical flourish. Increasingly, it has a specific content for activists, politicians, advocates, and academics: wage theft speaks the language of criminal law, and wage theft is a crime that should be punished. Harshly. Self-proclaimed “progressive prosecutors” have made wage theft cases a priority, and left-leaning politicians in the United States and abroad have begun to propose more criminal statutes ...


Policing And "Bluelining", Aya Gruber Jan 2021

Policing And "Bluelining", Aya Gruber

Articles

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 ...


What's Wrong With Police Unions?, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

What's Wrong With Police Unions?, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In an era of declining labor power, police unions stand as a rare success story for worker organizing—they exert political clout and negotiate favorable terms for their members. Yet, despite broad support for unionization on the political left, police unions have become public enemy number one for academics and activists concerned about race and police violence. Much criticism of police unions focuses on their obstructionist nature and how they prioritize the interests of their members over the interests of the communities they police. These critiques are compelling—police unions shield officers and block oversight. But, taken seriously, they often ...


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

The Troubling Alliance Between Feminism And Policing, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


#Metoo And Mass Incarceration, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

#Metoo And Mass Incarceration, Aya Gruber

Articles

This Symposium Guest Editor’s Note is an adapted version of the Introduction to The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration (UC Press 2020). The book examines how American feminists, in the quest to secure women’s protection from domestic violence and rape, often acted as soldiers in the war on crime by emphasizing white female victimhood, expanding the power of police and prosecutors, touting incarceration, and diverting resources toward law enforcement and away from marginalized communities Today, despite deep concerns over racist policing and mass incarceration, many feminists continue to assert ...


Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In this Essay, I offer a brief account of how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the realities and structural flaws of the carceral state. I provide two primary examples or illustrations, but they are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list. Rather, by highlighting these issues, problems, or (perhaps) features, I mean to suggest that this moment of crisis should serve not just as an opportunity to marshal resources to address the pandemic, but also as a chance to address the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal system. Further, my claim isn’t that criminal law is in ...


Do Abolitionism And Constitutionalism Mix?, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

Do Abolitionism And Constitutionalism Mix?, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


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 ...


Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin Jan 2019

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article examines the debates over recent proposals for “mens rea reform.” The substantive criminal law has expanded dramatically, and legislators have criminalized a great deal of common conduct. Often, new criminal laws do not require that defendants know they are acting unlawfully. Mens rea reform proposals seek to address the problems of overcriminalization and unintentional offending by increasing the burden on prosecutors to prove a defendant’s culpable mental state. These proposals have been a staple of conservative-backed bills on criminal justice reform. Many on the left remain skeptical of mens rea reform and view it as a deregulatory ...


Dignity Transacted, Lu-In Wang, Zachary W. Brewster Jan 2019

Dignity Transacted, Lu-In Wang, Zachary W. Brewster

Articles

In interactive customer service encounters, the dignity of the parties becomes the currency of a commercial transaction. Service firms that profit from customer satisfaction place great emphasis on emotional labor, the work that service providers do to make customers feel cared for and esteemed. But performing emotional labor can deny dignity to workers, by highlighting their subservience and requiring them to suppress their own emotions in an effort to elevate the status and experiences of their customers. Paradoxically, the burden of performing emotional labor may also impose transactional costs on some customers by facilitating discrimination in service delivery. Drawing on ...


Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin

Articles

This review of The New Criminal Justice Thinking (Sharon Dolovich & Alexandra Natapoff, eds.) tracks the shifting and uncertain contours of “criminal justice” as an object of study and critique.

Specifically, I trace two themes in the book:

(1) the uncertain boundaries of the “criminal justice system” as a web of laws, actors, and institutions; and

(2) the uncertain boundaries of “criminal justice thinking” as a universe of interdisciplinary scholarship, policy discourse, and public engagement.

I argue that these two themes speak to critically important questions about the nature of criminal justice scholarship and reform efforts. Without a firm understanding of what constitutes the “criminal justice system,” it is difficult to agree on the proper targets of critique or to determine what legal, social, and political problems are properly the province of “criminal justice thinking.” And, deciding which voices to accept and privilege in these ...


Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article diagnoses a phenomenon, “criminal employment law,” which exists at the nexus of employment law and the criminal justice system. Courts and legislatures discourage employers from hiring workers with criminal records and encourage employers to discipline workers for non-work-related criminal misconduct. In analyzing this phenomenon, my goals are threefold: (1) to examine how criminal employment law works; (2) to hypothesize why criminal employment law has proliferated; and (3) to assess what is wrong with criminal employment law. This Article examines the ways in which the laws that govern the workplace create incentives for employers not to hire individuals with ...


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Articles

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


The Effect Of Criminal Records On Access To Employment, Amanda Agan, Sonja B. Starr May 2017

The Effect Of Criminal Records On Access To Employment, Amanda Agan, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This paper adds to the empirical evidence that criminal records are a barrier to employment. Using data from 2,655 online applications sent on behalf of fictitious male applicants, we show that employers are 60 percent more likely to call applicants that do not have a felony conviction. We further investigate whether this effect varies based on applicant race (black versus white), crime type (drug versus property crime), industry (restaurants versus retail), jurisdiction (New Jersey versus New York City), local crime rate, and local racial composition. Although magnitudes vary somewhat, in every subsample the conviction effect is large, significant, and ...


Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2017

Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

This Article considers firearms prohibitions for domestic violence offenders, in light of recent Supreme Court decisions and the larger, national debate about gun control. Unlike other scholarship in the area, it confronts the costs of ratcheting up the scope and enforcement of such firearms bans and argues that the politicization of safety has come at the expense of a sound approach to gun control in the context of intimate-partner abuse. In doing so, it expands scholarly arguments against mandatory, one-size-fits-all criminal justice responses to domestic violence in a direction that other critics have been reluctant to go, perhaps because of ...


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 ...


Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Response to Andrew Manuel Crespo's Systemic Facts: Toward Institutional Awareness in Criminal Courts proceeds in two Parts. In Part I, I argue that Crespo presents a compelling case for the importance of systemic factfinding to the task of criminal court judges. If, as a range of scholars has argued, criminal courts are increasingly serving a quasi-administrative function, then shouldn’t they at least be administrating accurately? Systemic Facts provides a novel account of how — with comparatively little institutional reform — courts might begin to serve as more effective administrators. However, in Part II, I also argue that Crespo’s ...


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.


Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

As part of a symposium marking the sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment, this Article briefly explores whether the Thirteenth Amendment applies to class-based subordination. While recognizing that the increasingly rigid class-based stratification of our society, rampant discrimination against the poor, increasing income inequality, and the concentration of enormous wealth in the hands of so few are all pressing social challenges that the legal system must address, this Article concludes that generalized class-based discrimination likely would not fall within the scope of the “badges and incidents of slavery” that the Amendment prohibits.

This Article argues, however, that the Thirteenth Amendment's ...


"Driving While Black" Redux: Illuminating New And Myriad Aspects Of Auto(Matic) Inequality, Mario Barnes Jan 2015

"Driving While Black" Redux: Illuminating New And Myriad Aspects Of Auto(Matic) Inequality, Mario Barnes

Articles

Reviewing Charles R. Epp, Steven Maynard-Moody, and Donald Haider-Markel, Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship (2014).


Book Review, Mario L. Barnes Jan 2015

Book Review, Mario L. Barnes

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Reviewing Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship by Charles Epp, Steven Maynard-Moody, and Donald Haider (2014).


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 ...


Prison Segregation: Symposium Introduction And Preliminary Data On Racial Disparities, Margo Schlanger Jan 2013

Prison Segregation: Symposium Introduction And Preliminary Data On Racial Disparities, Margo Schlanger

Articles

For this Introduction, I undertake to look a bit more broadly at recent data. The best sources of demographic information about prisoners are the various surveys and censuses conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). While no BJS publication directly addresses the issue, and no BJS dataset allows its full analysis, it is possible to glean something from the most recent BJS prison census, the 2005 Census of State and Federal Adult Correctional Facilities.


Law Enforcement And Intelligence Gathering In Muslim And Immigrant Communities After 9/11, David A. Harris Jan 2010

Law Enforcement And Intelligence Gathering In Muslim And Immigrant Communities After 9/11, David A. Harris

Articles

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, law enforcement agencies have actively sought partnerships with Muslim communities in the U.S. Consistent with community-based policing, these partnerships are designed to persuade members of these communities to share information about possible extremist activity. These cooperative efforts have borne fruit, resulting in important anti-terrorism prosecutions. But during the past several years, law enforcement has begun to use another tactic simultaneously: the FBI and some police departments have placed informants in mosques and other religious institutions to gather intelligence. The government justifies this by asserting that it must take a pro-active stance in ...


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 ...


Criminal Justice And The 1967 Detroit 'Riot', Yale Kamisar Jan 2007

Criminal Justice And The 1967 Detroit 'Riot', Yale Kamisar

Articles

Forty years ago the kindling of segregation, racism, and poverty burst into the flame of urban rioting in Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, and other U.S. cities. The following essay is excerpted from a report by Professor Emeritus Yale Kamisar filed with the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Commission) regarding the disorders that took place in Detroit July 23-28, 1967. The report provided significant material and was the subject of one article in the series of pieces on the anniversary of the disturbances that appeared last summer in The Michigan Citizen of Detroit. Immediately after the disturbances ...


The War On Terror, Local Police, And Immigration Enforcement: A Curious Tale Of Police Power In Post-9/11 America, David A. Harris Jan 2006

The War On Terror, Local Police, And Immigration Enforcement: A Curious Tale Of Police Power In Post-9/11 America, David A. Harris

Articles

In post-9/11 America, preventing the next terrorist attack ranks as law enforcement's top priority. This is as true for local police departments as it is for the FBI. This has led many advocates of stronger enforcement of U.S. immigration law to recast their efforts as anti-terrorism campaigns. As part of this endeavor, these advocates have called for local police to become involved in enforcing immigration law, and their allies in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government have taken a number of actions designed to force local police to do this. Surprisingly, local law ...


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

Articles

For a long time, social scientists have worried about possible racial discrimination in sentencing in the United States. With a prison population that exceeds two million inmates of whom approximately 48% are African American, the worry over the fairness of the sentencing process is understandable. This article is not about discrimination between racial categories as such, but about a related form of discrimination, namely, discrimination on the basis of a person's Afro-centric features. Section I of the article describes a line of social science research that shows that a person's Afro-centric features have a strong biasing effect on ...


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 ...