California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: July 27, 2003
Latest Update: October 23, 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 9: Week of October 28, 2007
- Friday, October 26th - Last Day to Drop a Semester-long Course
Topic: Justice on the Bench?/Race and the Composition of Juries
- Index on Structural Violence
- Metaphor and Theory links to "The Blind Men and the Elephant." Relates to theoretical concepts discussed throughout the course.
- Gordon Fellman. Rambo and the Dalai Lama. -- entire book.
- Samuel Walker and others. The Color of Justice. Chapter 6.
- Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic. The Derrick Bell Reader . Chapters 8, 9 & 10.
- Documentary: "The O.J. Verdict " (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:
- structural violence
- peremptory challenge
- contextual discrimination
- "race card"
- Swain v. Alabama
- Batson v. Kentucky
- voir dire
- jury pool
- jury nullfication
- race dependent jury selection
- prosecutorial racial misconduct
Note: In order to answer these discussion questions, you will need to view "The O.J. Verdict" and do the assigned readings for this week.
- ... 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 Bell say about such reforms? Why. [Walker, p. 226, Question 1]
- 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. What would Bell's position be? Why. [Walker, p. 226-227, Question 2]
- . . . 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 Bell say about this issue? Why. [Walker, p. 227, Question 6]
- What is meant by "playing the race card?" How would you describe Johnnie Cochran's strategy in the O.J. Simpson case? Why. What would Bell and Fellman say about "playing the race card"? Why.
- If a black accepts a high-visibility position in a white institution is he or she just a token who legitimizes a probably racist institution, or may he or she do some good by working from within? What should the civil rights community do about conservative blacks who embrace individualism, disavow affirmative action, and reassure whites by preaching that racism is dead and anyone can make it in America? [D&S, p. 297] Be sure to apply D&S, Chapters 8, 9 and 10 into your answer.
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.
- 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".
- Examine racial minorities and jury selection. What are some of the major issues and challenges? Why.
- 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.
- 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.
--- Seymour Wishman. Anatomy of a Jury: The System on Trial.
--- 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.