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How Race Interacts with Justice

How Race Interacts with Justice

Salon has an excellent interview with American law scholar Kenneth Mack on the way race and the law intersect and define each other. Here’s a quote on civil rights lawyers and their personal experience in the black community at the time.

“What did you learn about the relationship between race and the law by writing it?

By looking at the civil rights struggle through the lives of black civil rights lawyers we learn about the contested nature of racial identity, even in an era where segregation was supposed to make race into something fixed, not fluid.”

I think this speaks to how we think of race as an unchanging dynamic today even though it’s been in fluctuation since the concept was created. Also it works to disabuse people of the notion that there was an overwhelming consensus in the Civil Rights Era as it’s been properly defined when our heroes of yesteryear had many of the intra-community pressures and differences that people still hold today. The interview is great and I’d recommend folks to go read the whole thing.

The color-blind scales of justice?

x-posted @ theybc

– C.S.

 

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Study: All-White Jury Pools More Likely To Convict Black Defendants

Study: All-White Jury Pools More Likely To Convict Black Defendants

Duke University released a study on Tuesday that showed that juries are significantly more likely to convict a black man if they are all-white. While this news doesn’t constitute as shocking the good news is that the presence of one black person mitigates the affect in a significant fashion as well. The news comes as no surprise historically or psychologically we line in a nation that trusts law enforcement and the criminal justice system without question. Many people seem to believe that if someone is arrested then they are probably guilty. People feel as if innocent people just aren’t harassed or falsely accused by the law. Combine this with a group of people all judging someone that they feel is “other” than them and the high rate of convictions seems to be an obvious consequence. The presence of one black juror mitigating the effects is encouraging but when you have prosecutors who push for all white jury pools then the hope from this news is muted.

cross-posted @ theybc

 

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