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February 19, 2011

Upcoming MSU symposium to examine North Carolina Racial Justice Act

As detailed here, in early April 2011 the Michigan State University College of Law is having a symposium entitled "Moving Beyond 'Racial Blindsight'? The Influence of Social Science Evidence after the North Carolina Racial Justice Act."  This webpage includes an introduction and an invitation for this upcoming event:

The North Carolina Racial Justice Act of 2009 (RJA) broke new ground in its recognition of the role that social science research can play in identifying racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

The RJA expressly authorizes a claimant to rely on statistical evidence of race of defendant discrimination, race of victim discrimination, or racial discrimination in jury selection.  This directly confronts the legacy of McCleskey v. Kemp(1987), which foreclosed the possibility of meaningful analysis of the role of race in death penalty systems by denying claimants the possibility of bringing claims based on social science research.  McCleskey left defendants in search of the ever-elusive smoking gun....

By allowing capital defendants to assert race discrimination through statistical evidence encompassing more than a single defendant’s case, the North Carolina legislature demonstrated a willingness to move beyond the McCleskey straightjacket when addressing claims of race discrimination.  This symposium addresses not only the implication of such a remarkable shift for the death penalty in North Carolina, but also the possibility that the RJA heralds a new openness to the use of social science research to inform questions obscured through exclusive reliance on direct evidence.

The exact contours of the symposium are still taking shape. We are delighted to have confirmed participation from a number of scholars already, including David Baldus, Jeffrey Fagan, Sam Gross, and Michael Radelet.  If you have work that would contribute to this discussion, please consider participating.

Some related posts on the North Carolina Racial Justice Act:

February 19, 2011 at 12:07 PM | Permalink


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"By allowing capital defendants to assert race discrimination through statistical evidence encompassing more than a single defendant’s case..."


"By allowing capital defendants to assert race discrimination through showing that it might have existed in past, unrelated cases, even if there's no evidence it existed in theirs..."

And here I thought that each case was to be decided on its own, individual facts! How quaint of me!

Yes, indeed, welcome to the world of collective mitigation. Can collective guilt be far behind?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 19, 2011 1:51:16 PM

No lawyer is demanding more death penalties in cases with black victims to end statistical discrimination.

But this discrimination, where the murderers of black victims are coddled, is a factor in the 3 fold heavier burden of murder carried by mostly black males. It must please the feminist lawyer, the vile feminist lawyer. This disparity in murder rates has eradicated an excess of 250,000 male people, in the last 50 years, where KKK lynchings killed 5000 people from 1876 to 1926. There are 7000 black murder victims each year, when we expect 2000, from their fraction of the population. So the feminist lawyer, the vile feminist lawyer, achieves in one year, each year, what it took the Klan 50 years to achieve.

One must also admit, the other factor in the rate of murder victimization is the destruction of the black family, something only the vile feminist lawyer could achieve. The 70% rate of bastardy is the other factor, where adolescent males are not well controlled by single mothers. The black family withstood kidnapping, slavery, war, poverty, lawyer enacted de jure discrimination. It could not withstand the onslaught of the vile feminist lawyer.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Feb 20, 2011 8:29:21 AM

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