Confusing Cause and Effect

CRIMINAL LAW CONVERSATIONS, Paul H. Robinson, Kimberly Ferzan & Stephen Garvey, eds., 2009

Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 09-05

3 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2008 Last revised: 23 Jan 2009

See all articles by Lawrence Rosenthal

Lawrence Rosenthal

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

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

Suggested Citation

Rosenthal, Lawrence, Confusing Cause and Effect (December 4, 2008). Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 09-05; Chapman University Law Research Paper No. 09-05. Available at SSRN:

Lawrence Rosenthal (Contact Author)

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States

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