Presumed Punishable: Antiracism at Sentencing
Black Americans and other minorities are disproportionally represented in the numbers of those charged, the kinds of charges they face, and the length of sentences imposed. The question is WHY? The answer is far from simple, but it’s one that everyone needs to better understand.
Helping us get Set for Sentencing, Dean of the Detroit Mercy School of Law, Jelani Jefferson-Exum. Dean Jefferson-Exum focuses her research, writing, and teaching on sentencing and systemic racism. She is dedicated to introducing new ways to think about the goals of punishment in order to alleviate the consequences of built-in bias in our American system of justice.
IN THIS EPISODE:
- What we really mean when we talk about systemic racism;
- How the undeniably racist origins of policing render African Americans “presumed punishable”;
- The important difference between crime “bolstering” vs. crime “revealing” statistics;
- Empathy and connection as a first step towards antiracism;
- The opioid crisis and the “de-otherization” of drug addiction;
- Taking control of the “defund the police” narrative;
- Some examples of putting antiracism into practice at sentencing;
- Practical takeaways from Dean Jefferson-Exum’s research interviewing judges about what influences their sentencing decisions;
- How Dean Jefferson-Exum can serve as an expert at sentencing to put guidelines and other issues in the proper context.