California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: July 27, 2003
Latest Update: October 9, 2007
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.
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Week 7: Week of October 14, 2007
- October 15 through October 22nd - First Meetings. If you do not have your First Meeting scheduled, see me ASAP!!
- Wednesday, October 24th - Midterm Visual Projects due at the beginning of class
- Friday, October 26th - Last Day to Drop a Semester-long Course
Topic: The Courts
- Gordon Fellman. Rambo and the Dalai Lama. -- entire book.
- Samuel Walker and others. The Color of Justice. Chapter 5.
- Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic. The Derrick Bell Reader . Chapter 7.
- Documentary: "----- " (to be shown in class)
Lecture related links:
- Critical Race Theory Resource Page
- Other Gordon Fellman related materials on the Dear Habermas site.
- National Criminal Justice Resource Service. Administered by the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
- "Who's Habermas? Why Habermas?"
- W.I. Thomas "Definition of the Situation
- Those Infamous Grades and Letters of Recommendation
- "The Case Against Gold Stars" by Alfie Kohn.
Concepts to be covered:
- the Scottsboro case
- Gideon v. Wainwright
- public defender
- pretrial detention
- plea bargaining
- prosecutorial discretion
- due process
- equal protection
Note: In order to answer these discussion questions, you will need to view "-----" and do the assigned readings for this week.
- . . . Are racial minorities represented by public defenders or assigned counsel treated more harshly than those represented by private attorneys? How would Fellman and Derrick Bell answer the previous question? Why. If you were an African American, Hispanic or Native American defendant and could choose whether to be represented by a public defender or a private attorney, which would you choose? Why. [ For the complete question, refer to Walker, p. 194, Q. 1]
- Racial minorities make up a very small proportion of the lawyers and judges in the United States. What accounts for this? What difference, if any, would it make if more of the lawyers representing criminal defendants were racial minorities? What do you think Derrick Bell's response would be? Why. [from Walker, p. 194, Q.2]
- . . . But he [Randall Kennedy] asks, "on balance, are black communities hurt by prosecutions of pregnant women for using illicit drugs harmful to their unborn babies or helped by intervention which may at least plausibly deter conduct that will put black unborn children at risk?" How would you answer this question? What might Fellman's reaction be? Bell's reaction? Why. [For the complete question, refer to Walker, p. 194, Q.5]
- Should the black community look to whites for support, or learn to tend its own garden? When whites are the main architects of a civil rights breakthrough, is it likely to endure? [from D & S, page 217]
Suggested Creative Measures/Visual Projects:
Note: Start thinking about ideas for your creative measures. Must relate to "race, crime, law." Must be approved before starting your creative measure. Cannot be something that you are doing or have done for another course. Research cannot be 100% online (i.e., google, askjeeves). Must conduct library research using scholarly works, (not the popular press -- Time Magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated). You are expected to turn in a bibliography with each visual project. No term papers! Allow time to dialogue and present your creative measure in class. Email me your ideas ASAP.
- Make A Box a Week focusing on this week's topic or related issues.
- Go to the county courthouse, and observe "law in action." Relate your observations to this week's readings.
- View the movie, "Gideon's Trumpet." How does this movie relate to "race, crime, law"?
- Find out nationally, statewide, and/or locally, the number and proportion of practicing attorneys of color.
- Research the Scottsboro case.
- Examine one or more of the following issues relating to racial minorities and:
--- the right to counsel.
--- pretrial detention.
--- plea bargaining.
- Study the issue of racial minorities in the legal profession. What are some of the major issues and challenges? Why.
--- Paula DiPerna. Juries on Trial.
--- Alan Dershowitz. The Best Defense.
--- Steve Bogira. Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Courthouse.
--- Deborah L. Rhode. Access to Justice.
--- Mark Weiner. Black Trials.
--- 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.
--- 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.
- 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.
- Desmond Tutu. No Future Without Forgiveness.