The Crime of Criminal Justice
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The Crime of Criminal Justice

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Powerpoint of talk given by Bill Quigley on March 25, 2010 at Univ. of Pittsburgh Law School.

Powerpoint of talk given by Bill Quigley on March 25, 2010 at Univ. of Pittsburgh Law School.

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The Crime of Criminal Justice The Crime of Criminal Justice Presentation Transcript

  • The Crime in Criminal Justice Lawyering for Social Change
  • 100 Year Rule
  • What was legal but unjust 100 years ago?
  • Women won right to vote in 1920
  • Child labor was outlawed in 1938 with Fair Labor Standards Act
  • 1935 Right of Workers to Organize Protected by Wagner Act
  • 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Segregation legal in US until 1960s
  • Voting Rights Act 1965
  • 1965 Medicare and Medicaid
  • 1970 Clean Air Act
  • 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Analyze Criminal Justice System
  • Key Question: Are these facts mistakes of an otherwise good system or Is the system working exactly as intended?
  • Last Several Decades Explosion in Criminal Justice System
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  • One in every 31 adults (more than 7 million people) were behind bars on probation or on parole. Pew Center on States
  • In Pennsylvania 1 in 28 adults is under correctional control. PA ranks 13 th in adults in probation and parole – 258,000 PA ranks 31 st in adults in prison and jails – 87,000 pew
  • U.S. Criminal Justice in International Context
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  • What is going on?
  • Violent crime going up?
  • Gun crimes from 1973-2006 USDOJ key facts
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  • Is this race neutral crime?
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  • Process for Putting People into Criminal Justice System
  • Review the system : Use of Drugs Police Stops Arrest Bail Bond Representation Trial Sentencing Prison Parole Freedom
  • Drug Use
  • “ blacks and whites engage in drug offenses-possession and sales- at roughly comparable rates” May 2008 Targetting Blacks: Drug Law Enforcement and Race in the US - HRW
  • Police Stops
  • Driving while black? California ACLU found blacks three times more likely to be stopped than whites. Ian ayres, aclu s cal LA stops july 2003-june 2004
  • DOJ reports similar percentages stopped. But percentage of drivers stopped whose vehicles were searched: Hispanic 10%; Black 7%; White 1% 2005 April US DOJ Bureau of Justice statistics report
  • From 2005 to 2008, 80% of NYPD Stop and Frisk actions were of Blacks and Latinos (who make up 53% of population). Once stopped 85% of Blacks and Latinos were frisked compared to 8% of whites.
  • Results of Stop & Frisk?
  • Arrest
  • “ State-by-state data from 2006 show that blacks were arrested for drug offenses at rates in individual states that were 2 to 11.3 times greater than the rate for whites” March 2, 2009 Decades of Disparity HRW
  • African Americans comprise 13% of population and 14% of monthly drug users but 37% of persons arrested for drug offenses. May 21 2009 testimony before Congress of Marc Mauer The Sentencing Project
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  • So blacks, who use drugs at same rate as whites, are arrested 200% to 1110% more.
  • Result?
  • Bail Bond
  • Blacks are 33% more likely to be detained awaiting felony trials than whites facing felony trials in some parts of NY state. NYState division of criminal justice services, 1995 study in disparities in processing felony arrests.
  • Representation
  • Once arrested, 80% get
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  • “ All too often, defendants plead guilty, even if they are innocent, without really understanding their legal rights or what is occurring… The fundamental right to a lawyer that America assumes applies to everyone accused of criminal conduct effectively does not exist in practice for countless people across the United States.”
  • American Bar Association 2004 Gideon’s Broken Promise
  • Trial
  • Only 3-5% of criminal cases go to trial – rest are plea bargained.
  • “Who wouldn’t rather do three years for a crime they didn’t do than risk 25 years for a crime they didn’t do?”
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  • Sentencing? Since 2005 (US v Booker) Black and Latino men receive federal sentences 10-23% longer than whites. Report - March 2010
  • African Americans are: 21% more likely to receive mandatory minimum than white defendants; and 20% more likely to be sentenced to prison than white drug defendants. May 21, 2009 testimony to congress of Marc Maurer on unfairness of federal cocaine senetencing.
  • Two-thirds of crack cocaine users are white or Latino. But 80% of the people sentenced for crack cocaine in US federal system are African American. may 21, 2009 testimony of Mar Maurer to Congress on unfairness of federal cocaine sentencing. Sentencing project.
  • ? 100-1 Disparity between sentencing for crack cocaine and powder cocaine reduced to 18-1 ratio. March 2010. ?
  • Two-thirds of people in US with life sentences are non-white. In NY, it is 83%. sentencing project – july 2009 – no exit
  • Result?
  • Prison
  • African Americans comprise 13% of population and 14% of monthly drug users but 37% of persons arrested for drug offenses, and 56% of people in state prisons for drug offenses. May 21 2009 testimony before Congress of Marc Mauer The Sentencing Project
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  • Two-thirds of people in state prisons for drug offenses are African American or Latino. 2009 April Sentencing Project – changing racial dynamics of the war on drugs
  • Mental illness is 200% to 600% higher among prisoners than outside. National reentry resource center facts
  • Chance of Black male born in 2001 of going to prison – 32%; Hispanic male has a 17%; white male has 6% chance. bonczar, T.P. (2003) Bureua of Justice Statistics, Prevalence of Imprisonment in US population 1974-2001.
  • Impact of Mass Incarceration
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  • Exempted from the prohibition on slavery, prisoners are on way to being non-human objects
  • Rights of Prisoners?
  • ?Private for profit prisons?
  • ?Impact of increased costs for Incarceration?
  • Parole
  • 5,095,200 people were on Probation or Parole in 2008. 38% African American 19% Hispanic 41% white. Glaze and Bonczar – Probation and Parole in the US 2008, US DOJ, BJS, 12-09
  • Nearly one in three young black males is under correctional supervision. 2009 Criminal justice primer – Sentencing Project
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  • YOUTH Black youth are 16% of population, 28% of juvenile arrests, 37% of youth in juv jail, and 58% of youth sent to adult prisons. Sentencing project, criminal justice primer 2009
  • The US Department of Justice reported that in 2008 7.3 million people were under “correctional supervision” jail or prison, parole or probation. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/ppus08.pdf
  • African Americans are nearly three times as likely to get their probation revoked as whites, especially for drug offenses. http://www.wi-doc.com/PDF_Files/Revocation%20Study_Exec%202-Pg%20-%20FINAL.pdf
  • Freedom
  • Even after release, Prisoners never regain full human and civil rights
  • Ex-offender employment? Among applicants with criminal records, employers called back 17% of white applicants and 5% of black applicants. Devah Pager Study 2002
  • Consequences for Drug Felons
    • No public housing
    • OK to discriminate against in private housing
    • OK to yank right to vote
    • OK to discriminate in employment
    • No food stamp assistance
    • No jury service
    • Prohibitions on associating with others
  • ?IMPACT ON DRUG USE? More than two decades of incarcerating drug offenders has apparently had little impact on the demand for illicit drugs. In surveys carried out during the years 1991-1993, an average of 5.8 percent of persons surveyed reported using an illicit drug during the previous month. In the same survey carried out in 2006, 8.3 percent of persons said they had used an illicit drug in the previous month. HRW – Targetting Blacks 2008
  • What will people think 100 years from now about our criminal justice system?
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  • Analysis of System
  • Key Question: Are these facts mistakes of an otherwise good system or Is the system working exactly as intended?
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  • 1700s - Birth of Slavery 1863 - Death of Slavery 1877 - Birth of Jim Crow withdrawl of federal troops 1950s-60s - Death of Jim Crow 1980s - Birth of Mass Incarceration
  • From 1981 to 1991 – War on Drugs FBI Antidrug $ increased from $38 m to $181 m DOD Antidrug $ increased from $33m to $1042m DEA anti-drug spending increased from $86m to $1026m source: p 49 The New Jim Crow
  • Criminal Justice is: Racialized System of Social Control
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  • Stigma of criminality functions in much the same way as Jim Crow:
    • Legal boundaries between them and us;
    • Social and economic boundaries between them and us;
    • Cannot vote;
    • Can legally discriminate in jobs and housing;
    • Warehouse a disposable population;
  • Poor whites and people of other ethnicity are also subjected to this system of social control because if they are out of line they are treated just like poor blacks – the worst possible treatment
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  • Criminal Justice System is Integral Part of the Domestic War on Marginalized
  • Because of globalization there is an excess of people. Those people are not productive, not needed, not wanted, and are not human beings entitled to the same rights as us. Essentially, the must be controlled and dominated. They must be either intimidated into compliance with their inferior status or removed.
  • Criminal Justice System is Part of the White Supremacist Domestic War on Marginalized
  • Domestic War relies on Technology of Domination (Criminal Justice System) for Capture Immobilization Punishment Liquidation
  • Criminal Justice System is working just fine doing its part in the Domestic Racist State Violence or War at Home
  • Thus Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, US jails & prisons are all the same – domestic & international versions of domination
  • So, what to do?
  • Adopt a 100 year perspective on law and justice
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  • A radical approach to injustice means to go to the root of the problem not trimming the leaves not pruning the branches but ripping up by the roots the injustice.
  • First, open our hearts and liberate our minds
  • We are all entitled to be safe but is that what this criminal justice system is? Find and support alternatives.
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  • “Nothing short of a major social movement can dismantle this new caste system.”
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  • What about President Obama?
  • If the system is broken perhaps the administration can help fix small parts of it. But is there evidence that this administration intends to reverse the explosion of the criminal justice system?
  • Join the Movement
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  • Restorative Justice
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  • Study Prisons in Criminal Law?
  • Support Prisoner Organizing and Resistance
  • Resist in Place: Prosecutors, Defenders, Judges
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  • If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
  • Seek Out Hope Joy Love
  • Wherever you find tragedy and injustice You will also find resistance and inspiration
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  • Liberation is up to us.
  • [email_address]