Race, Crime & the Law
This course examines the interplay between race, crime and the law in the US. There are two interrelated, underlying themes. First, the role of history as context for understanding contemporary laws that govern the criminal justice system. Second, how existing laws, their applications, and justice system practices, could be restructured and re-imagined to further racial justice. Course readings and discussion will examine a variety of topics including legally sanctioned segregation (e.g., slave codes and Jim Crow), racial profiling, jury nullification, hate crime, prosecution, and incarceration. Though the assigned readings primarily focus on the Black/White racial dynamic, the course will also include material on other racial groups, including American Indians, Latino/as, and Asian Americans.