Why Disability Studies in Criminal Law and Procedure?

Journal of Legal Education, 2021 Forthcoming

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2021-39

15 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2021 Last revised: 29 Oct 2021

Date Written: July 15, 2021

Abstract

In recent years, police violence against disabled people has been a source of increased public attention and alarm. By some accounts, anywhere from twenty percent to over half of the people killed each year by law enforcement have at least one disability. Disabled people comprise a high proportion of incarcerated people, making up at least thirty percent of state prisoners and forty percent of detainees in jails. Yet, despite these vulnerabilities to criminalization, police violence, and incarceration, in-depth discussions on disability are relatively limited in law school courses on criminal law and criminal procedure. In this essay, I offer some ideas for how law professors can incorporate critical discussions of disability into their substantive criminal law and criminal procedure courses. Drawing from insights from Disability Studies and Critical Disability Theory, I show how law professors seeking to equip their students with tools for examining the limits of legal protections and provide students with a broader scope of the harms of the criminal legal system can incorporate disability as a lens for legal analysis.

Keywords: disability, Fourth Amendment, policing, criminal procedure, criminal law

Suggested Citation

Morgan, Jamelia, Why Disability Studies in Criminal Law and Procedure? (July 15, 2021). Journal of Legal Education, 2021 Forthcoming , UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2021-39, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3887139

Jamelia Morgan (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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