The Tyranny of Small Things

16 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2016 Last revised: 8 Sep 2016

Date Written: March 8, 2016

Abstract

This legal-literary essay recounts a day I spent watching criminal sentencings in an Alhambra, California courthouse, emphasizing the sometimes quotidian, sometimes despairing, imports of those proceedings. I take leave of the courthouse marshaling arguments that resemble those of other scholars who tackle state overcriminalization and selective enforcement. My original addition exists in the granular attention I pay to the moment-by-moment effects of a sometimes baffling state power on poor and minority people. In this approach, I align myself with advocates of the law and literature school of thought who believe that the study (or, in this case, practice) of literature will aid the aims of justice by disclosing buried yet critical human experience and emotions.

Suggested Citation

Murray, Yxta Maya, The Tyranny of Small Things (March 8, 2016). Michigan Journal of Race & Law, Forthcoming, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-09, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2744999

Yxta Maya Murray (Contact Author)

Loyola Law School Los Angeles ( email )

919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1211
United States
(213)736-8169 (Phone)

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