Book Review: 'Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,' by Paul Butler (The New Press, 2009)

Criminal Justice, Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter 2010

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-01

4 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2010  

David A. Harris

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: January 13, 2010

Abstract

For the first time in a generation, real reform in the criminal justice system seems within reach. Five bills were introduced in Congress in 2009 to address the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder forms of cocaine. The proposed Justice Integrity Act would "address any unwarranted racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal process." Many states are re-examining their strategies of mass incarceration, if for no other reason than the gigantic and growing expenses they must shoulder to lock up so many of their own citizens. Paul Butler's "Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice" is the right book for these times: a clear, fresh, straightforward look at all of the most difficult issues we must try to remedy in the criminal justice system. The idea, according to Butler, is not to be tough on crime, but to be smart on crime.

Keywords: criminal, criminal justice, criminal law, incarceration, prison, drugs, arrest, arrests, policy, prosecution, jury, nullification, snitch, stop snitching, punishment

Suggested Citation

Harris, David A., Book Review: 'Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,' by Paul Butler (The New Press, 2009) (January 13, 2010). Criminal Justice, Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter 2010; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1536007

David A. Harris (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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