January 23, 2007
Major conference on race and criminal justice
As detailed in this flyer and full program, an extraordinary group is coming together in early March at Columbia Law School for a symposium entitled Pursuing Racial Fairness in Criminal Justice: Twenty Years After McCleskey v. Kemp. Here is part of the pitch from the full program:
The 20th anniversary of the McCleskey decision presents a unique opportunity for the racial justice community to renew and reinvigorate the struggle to achieve balance and fairness in the administration of justice in the United States. With the "Pursuing Racial Fairness in Criminal Justice" Symposium, LDF and Columbia Law School are bringing together leading scholars on race, crime and law, as well as activists and practitioners to discuss new ways of challenging, and ultimately reversing, McCleskey's reach through legislative advocacy, institutional reform, and litigation.
As I have detailed in some posts below, I think this should be the next frontier for a modern civil rights movement.
- New California study on race and death penalty
- Race and reform
- Racial disparity and sentencing reform
- New (depressing) report on race and increased incarceration
- Drugs and racial discrimination
- A call for USSC to focus on racial disparity
January 23, 2007 at 06:31 AM | Permalink
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From the program: "And race continues to influence the decision between who lives and who dies at the hands of the criminal justice system: race of defendant and/or race of victim are dominant factors in the decision to seek death in numerous jurisdictions including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, and North Carolina."
The studies I'm most familiar with are the ones in Maryland and New Jersey. In the Maryland study, "we have found no evidence that the race of the defendant matters in the processing of capital cases in the state." As for race of the victim, "When the prosecuting jurisdiction is added to the model, the effect for the victim’s race diminishes substantially, and is no longer statistically significant." Again, not even significant, much less "dominant." The results in New Jersey are similar.
Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Jan 23, 2007 9:12:33 AM
Kent, your invitation to the conference just got cancelled.
Posted by: Mark | Jan 23, 2007 11:27:35 AM