Inequality Inquiry >> Category

Covid-19 in Prisons: Human Rights Violations and Inmate Exploitation

January 29, 2021

Heather Chang* The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020 required unprecedent changes. While business and individuals have adapted their policies and behaviors to reflect health and safety recommendations, the prison system remains rigid and dangerous.  As of January 12, 2021, The Marshall Project reports that at least 343,008 prisoners tested positive…

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Deadly Force: How George Floyd’s Killing Exposes Racial Inequities in Minnesota’s Felony-Murder Doctrine Among the Disenfranchised, the Powerful, and the Police

March 8, 2021

View/Download PDF Version Greg Egan[1] I. Equity in Peril: How Felony-Murder Charging Discretion and Widely Varying Punishments are Deployed Against White Defendants, Defendants of Color, and Peace Officers Minnesota’s second-degree felony-murder statute represents a unique and creative charging mechanism that affords wide discretion to prosecutors. This makes it ripe for inequitable application. It is the…

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Protecting Civil Liberties: Easier Said Than Done

April 1, 2022

by Julia Decker*   It is easy to say that voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, perhaps easier still to say that protecting the right to vote is paramount. There is nuance, however, in assessing those protections. In an era of what many perceive to be increasing political polarization, ostensibly neutral yet increasingly stringent…

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How We Got Here: Race, Police Use of Force, and the Road to George Floyd

April 1, 2021

Long before the killing of George Floyd, the United States has struggled to mitigate racially arbitrary use of force by the police. This article seeks to explain how we got to the killing of George Floyd. This article contends that that the law—especially the decisions of the Supreme Court and political choices made by politicians—has helped to enable the relatively unchecked use of force against people of color.

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Racism, Social Control, and the Regulation of Bar Admissions

April 14, 2022

By Professor David Schultz* Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. famously declared: “The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.” When it comes to admission to practice law, one could say that “The life of admission to practice law has not been fairness but exclusion.” From its birth, America was a racist…

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2020 Summit for Civil Rights – The State of American Apartheid

November 20, 2020

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  In “The State of American Apartheid”, scholars and on-the-ground activists discuss the history of school segregation, and, even six decades after Brown v. Board of Education declared “Separate is not equal”, how segregation exists and affects people today. This panel discusses the causes, results, and on-going impact of our society’s unwillingness to challenge racial…

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Gentrification, Displacement, and Disparate Impact Liability: How Gentrification Theory is Not Cognizable Under the Fair Housing Act

May 2, 2022

by Adam Mikell*   In the United States, the topic of housing has an ugly history comprised of decades of government-sanctioned discrimination and segregation carried out through racially-motivated practices such as “neighborhood composition” rules, racial covenants, steering, and redlining. In 1968—the tail end of the Civil Rights Movement—the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was passed to…

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JLI’s Statement Regarding Chauvin Verdict and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice

April 21, 2021

Gabrielle Maginn, Heather Chang, Navin Ramalingam, and the JLI Editorial Board Yesterday, twelve jurors found Derek Chauvin, a White former Minneapolis police officer, guilty on all counts—third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and second-degree manslaughter—for killing George Perry Floyd, Jr., on May 25, 2020. This was an extraordinary case, bolstered by the bravery of the witnesses…

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