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Criminal Law Conversations$
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Paul H. Robinson, Stephen Garvey, and Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199861279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199861279.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 June 2020

Race-Based Jury Nullification

Race-Based Jury Nullification

Black Power in the Criminal Justice System

(p.561) 26 Race-Based Jury Nullification
Criminal Law Conversations

Paul Butler

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an authoritative case for race-based jury nullification, with particular emphasis on the need for black power in the American criminal justice system. It argues that, for pragmatic and political reasons, the black community is better off when some nonviolent lawbreakers remain in the community rather than go to prison, and that the decision as to what kind of conduct by African Americans ought to be punished is better made by African Americans, based on their understanding of the costs and benefits to their community, than by the traditional criminal justice process, which is controlled by white lawmakers and law enforcers. It discusses racial critiques of American criminal justice and offers a primer on jury nullification. The chapter includes comments by some of the nation's top legal scholars from the field of criminal law, tackling topics such as the effect of race-based jury nullification on the Supreme Court case Batson v. Kentucky.

Keywords:   race-based jury nullification, criminal justice system, African Americans, criminal law, Batson v. Kentucky

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