Race, Crime, and the Law
A comprehensive, provocative examination of the embattled crossroads at which race relations in America intersect the criminal-justice system.
In this powerfully reasoned, lucidly written work -- destined to be in its own way as controversial as The Bell Curve -- Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy takes on a highly complex issue as no one has before. Kennedy not only uncovers the long-standing failure of the justice system to protect blacks from criminals, he also engages the debate over the wisdom and legality of using racial criteria in jury selection; analyzes the responses of the legal system to accusations that appeals to racial prejudice have rendered countless trials unfair; examines the idea that, under certain circumstances, members of one race are statistically more likely to be involved in crime than members of another; and probes allegations that blacks are victimized on a widespread basis by racially discriminatory prosecutions and punishments.
Free of ideological biases, Kennedy reveals difficult truths about race, crime, and law in the United States. Few books published this year will be as path-breaking and as important.
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With respect to the third prong of Congress's asserted justification, Cahill
maintained that "crack is no cheaper than cocaine powder because cocaine is
the essential product of crack."56 In sum, according to Judge Cahill, Congress
had no reasonable basis to distinguish sharply the penalties for powder and
crack cocaine. In the most impassioned section of his opinion, Judge Cahill
declared: It would be far more fair and just, in keeping with the "get tough"
rhetoric ... to require that both ...
Another was that the existing crack- powder distinction created undesirable
anomalies. "One premise of the mandatory minimum sentencing structure," the
Commission noted, "is that, all other things being equal, a drug dealer's danger to
society is in direct proportion to the quantity of the drug in which he/she deals. Yet
, as a result of the [crack-powder] differential, a large-scale powder cocaine
dealer who traffics in 500 grams (2,500-5,000 dosage units) of powder cocaine
will receive ...
By contrast, the Commission's subsequent statement to Congress clearly
suggests that the Commission had been won over by those advancing a racial
critique of the crack-powder distinction. Race took center stage, with the
Commission averring that it "was deeply concerned that almost ninety percent of
offenders convicted of crack cocaine offenses in the federal courts are blacks"
and that in its view an insufficient policy basis existed to justify a penalty
differential that was having a ...
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RACE, CRIME, AND THE LAWUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
``The most salient feature of race relations in America at the end of the twentieth century is its complexity,'' writes Kennedy. And he proves his point here. Harvard law professor Kennedy takes full ... Read full review
Race, crime, and the lawUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Kennedy (law, Harvard) has penned a balanced historical analysis of the state of race relations in the administration of criminal justice. He forcefully argues that many characteristics of the justice ... Read full review
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