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Race, Crime and Law Preparations

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: June 22, 2003
Latest Update: October 20, 2005

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Site Teaching Modules CRMJ/SOCA 365: Race, Crime and Law
Week 8: Justice on the Bench?
You will be held accountable for purposes of grading for the readings and exercises listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition, you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.

* * * * *

Week 8: Week of October 23, 2005

  • Topic: Justice on the Bench?

    LAST DAY TO DROP CLASS is Friday, October 28th.

    Last day for Required Midterm Meeting is Friday, October 28th. Please see me ASAP if you have not scheduled your meeting.

  • Preparatory Readings:
    --- Fellman. Rambo and the Dalai Lama. entirety
    --- Kennedy. Race, Crime and the Law. ch. 6
    --- Walker, et. al The Color of Justice. ch. 6
    --- Documentary, "The Spirit of Crazy Horse" (to be shown in class)

  • Links to Lecture Notes and Other Things

    Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. An excellent resource for juvenile justice related issues.

    Evaluating Authority

    National Criminal Justice Resource Service. Administered by the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

    Join the Yahoo Discussion Group . Discuss topics beyond the classroom and with students from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

    Gordon Fellman related materials on the Dear Habermas site.

  • Lecture: in class

  • Concepts:
    • peremptory challenge
    • contextual discrimination
    • playing the "race card"
    • Swain v. Alabama
    • Batson v. Kentucky
    • voir dire
    • jury nullfication

  • Discussion Questions:

      Special Note: For the complete question, refer to Walker's The Color of Justice, pages 198-199.

    1. ... Some have suggested that the names of majority race jurors be removed from the jury list (thus ensuring a larger number of racial minorities); others have suggested that a certain number of seats on each jury be set aside for racial minorities. How would you justify these reforms to a state legislature? How would an opponent of these reforms respond? Overall, are these good ideas or bad ideas? What would Fellman and Kennedy say about such reforms? Why. [Question 1 from Walker book]
    2. Evidence suggests that prosecutors use their peremptory challenges to preserve all-white juries in cases involving African-American and Hispanic defendants has led some commentators to call for the elimination of the peremptory challenge. What do you think is the strongest argument in favor of eliminating the peremptory challenge? In favor of retaining it? What would Fellman's stance be? Why. [Question 2 from Walker book]
    3. . . . But what about defense attorneys representing African American defendants who attempt to appeal to the racial sentiments of African American jurors? Does this represent misconduct? How should the judge respond? What would Kennedy say about this issue? Why. [Question 5 from the Walker book]
    4. Why does Paul Butler advocate "racially based jury nullification?" Why does Randall Kennedy disagree with him? [Question 6 from the Walker book]

  • Ideas and Suggestions for Creative Measures
    • Compare and contrast the PBS documentary, "The O.J. Verdict" with the readings in this class.
    • Research the following cases: Swain v. Alabama, and Batson v. Kentucky.
    • Examine one or more of the following issues relating to racial minorities and:

      --- peremptory challenges and more recent options/directions.
      --- jury nullification.
      --- voir dire.
      --- playing the "race card".

    • Study the issue of racial minorities and jury selection. What are some of the major issues and challenges? Why.

    • Make A Box a Week focusing on the week's topic or issues.

  • Recommended Readings:

      --- Seymour Wishman. Anatomy of a Jury: The System on Trial.
      --- David Cole. No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System.
      --- Paula DiPerna. Juries on Trial.
      --- Dan T. Carter. Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South.
      --- Anthony Lewis. Gideon's Trumpet.
      --- Harriet Ziskin. The Blind Eagle.
      --- Jonathan Casper. Criminal Courts: The Defendant's Perspective.
      --- Samuel Walker. Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System.
      --- Kenneth Culp Davis. Discretionary Justice.
      --- James P. Levine. Juries and Politics.

      --- Mary Crow Dog. Lakota Woman.
      --- Dee Brown. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
      --- Leonard Peltier. Prison Writings.

      --- Milton Gordon. Assimilation in American Life.
      --- Robert Blauner. Still the Big News: Racial Oppression in America.
      --- William Julius Wilson. The Declining Significance of Race.
      --- William Julius Wilson. The Truly Disadvantaged.


    • The Dalai Lama. The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality.
    • The Dalai Lama. Ethics for the New Millennium.
    • The Dalai Lama. An Open Heart.
    • The Dalai Lama. Live in a Better Way.
    • Paul Loeb. The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear.
    • Paulo Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

    • Alfie Kohn. No Contest. The Case Against Competition. Alfie Kohn's website
    • Jurgen Habermas. Between Facts and Norms.
    • Martha Minow. Making All the Difference: Exclusion, Inclusion and American Law. Check out this link Martha Minow on the Dear Habermas site.





  • Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, June 2003.
    "Fair use" encouraged.