Category Archives: Criminal Justice

Black Police Officers Feel the Inner Tug of a Dual Role

The day after five Dallas police officers were killed in an ambush, Montrell Jackson, a black police officer in Baton Rouge, La., took to Facebook to voice his frustration. “I’m tired physically and emotionally,” he wrote, questioning the “nasty hateful looks” he received as a police officer and the “threat” he felt when he was… Read More »

The gobsmacking racism of America’s criminal justice system

Earlier this week the Supreme Court issued a near-unanimous ruling that the state of Georgia must retry Timothy Foster, a black death-row inmate convicted by an all-white jury of the murder of Queen Madge White, a 79-year-old white woman. Four potential African-American jurors were excluded from consideration by prosecutors, who happen to have recorded their… Read More »

Black Americans Supported the 1994 Crime Bill, Too

In a pair of essays published this week, law professor Michelle Alexander and historian Donna Murch examined Hillary Clinton’s role in making the American criminal justice into the hyperpunitive monster that it is today. Both essays focused in part on the 1994 crime bill that Clinton championed during the first term of her husband’s presidency—a… Read More »

We can create a smarter criminal-justice system

In his final State of the Union Address, President Obama called for criminal-justice reform — one of the most important issues facing the country. The cornerstones of the criminal-justice system have been punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation. For too long, the focus has been on the first, with some mention of the second. Rehabilitation has barely… Read More »