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Criminal Justice and the Mattering of Lives

Michigan Law Review, Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2017 Last revised: 11 Nov 2017

Date Written: October 27, 2017

Abstract

James Forman Jr.'s "Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America" is an extraordinary book, and it arrives at a pivotal juncture for criminal justice reform. This Essay builds on Forman's rendition of "a central paradox of the African American experience: the simultaneous over- and under-policing of crime." It describes three areas in which legally marginalized groups currently struggle for state recognition of their injuries: gun violence, sexual violence, and hate crimes. It then offers a conceptual framework for future reform efforts that, by centering structural inequality, aspires to concurrently rectify the over- and under-enforcement of crime highlighted by Forman's careful work. I refer to this inversion of the traditional criminal justice paradigm as an anti-subordination approach to criminal justice — one that makes salient the interplay between crime and entrenched social inequalities while pressing for a state response that alleviates, rather than exacerbates, the disempowerment of vulnerable populations.

Suggested Citation

Tuerkheimer, Deborah, Criminal Justice and the Mattering of Lives (October 27, 2017). Michigan Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3060877

Deborah Tuerkheimer (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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