Confusing Cause and Effect
CRIMINAL LAW CONVERSATIONS, Paul H. Robinson, Kimberly Ferzan & Stephen Garvey, eds., 2009
3 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2008 Last revised: 23 Jan 2009
Date Written: December 4, 2008
This brief essay commenting on Paul Butler's article, "Race Based Jury Nullification: Black Power in the Criminal Justice System," prepared for the Criminal Law Conversations project, argues that Professor Butler's proposal of race-based jury nullification to address the African-American community's perception of racial injustice in the administration of the criminal laws, particularly the drug laws, confuses cause and effect. The most important cause of African-American dissatisfaction with the criminal justice system is its inability to keep inner-city communities safe. A regime of race-based jury nullification, in turn, would aggravate rather than ameliorate this serious problem.
Keywords: jury nullification, racial discrimination, police, paul butler
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