21H.319 | Fall 2014 | Undergraduate
Race, Crime, and Citizenship in American Law


Required Text

[WS] = Stuntz, William J. The Collapse of American Criminal Justice. Belknap Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780674051751. [Preview with Google Books]

Part One: History and Structure of Contemporary Criminal Justice
1 Introduction

Black and White and Blue: A Debate,” The New York Times, September 1, 2014.


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization (HBO).” August 17, 2014. YouTube. Accessed on June 17, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUdHIatS36A

2 In Search of Paradigms: History, Social Science, Politics, and Law

[WS] pp. 1–59.

Whitman, James Q. “What Happened to Tocqueville’s America?Social Research 74, no. 2 (2007): 251–68.

Steiker, Carol. “Why We’re So Tough on Crime.” Boston Review, October / November 2003.

3 The Question of Race and the Uses of History

Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorlindness. The New Press, 2010, pp. 1–57. ISBN: 9781595581037.

Forman, James, Jr. “Racial Critiques of Mass Incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow,” New York University Law Review 87, no. 21 (2012): 101–46.

4 From the Revolution to the Gilded Age

[WS] Chapters 3–6. (Get the gist of pp. 63–128 but read carefully pp. 74–85).

Allen, Ronald Jay, Joseph L. Hoffmann, et al. Comprehensive Criminal Procedure. 2nd ed. Aspen Publishers, 2011. pp. 1641–43. ISBN: 9780735587809. Selected provisions from the U.S. Constitution.

5 From the Gilded Age to the 1990s

[WS] Chapters 7–9.

Stevens, John Paul. “Our ‘Broken’ System of Criminal Justice.” New York Review of Books, November 2011.

Part Two: Case Studies
6 Making History Count: The Death Penalty and Felon Disenfranchisement

McKleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279 (1987).

The Sentencing Project. “Felony Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States.” 2013.

Johnson v. Governor of Florida, 405 F.3d 1214 (11th Cir. 2005).

Holloway, Pippa. Living in Infamy: Felon Disenfranchisement and the History of American Citizenship. Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 1–14. ISBN: 9780199976089. [Preview with Google Books]

7 The War on Drugs

State v. Pigford, 922 So. 2d 517 (La. 2006).

United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996).


PBS NewsHour. “Watch Attorney General Eric Holder Announce Major Changes to Criminal Justice System.” August 12, 2013. YouTube. Accessed on June 17, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oteyZs8Yvv4. (Speech on mandatory minimum drug sentences) (Approximately 30 minutes)

8 Controlling the Police

Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996).

Chicago v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41 (1999).

Maryland v. King, 133 S. Ct. 1958 (2013).

9 Plea Bargaining and Sentencing: The Role of Prosecutors and Judges

Israel, Jerold, and Yale Kamisar, eds. “Materials on Plea Bargaining.” In Criminal Procedure and the Constitution, Leading Supreme Court Cases and Introductory Text. West, 2012, pp. 618–43. ISBN: 9780314281234.

Kutateladze, Besiki Luka, and Nancy R. Andiloro. “Prosecution and Racial Justice in New York County.” Vera Institute of Justice Report (2014): iv–xvi.

Hornby, D. Brock. “Speaking in Sentences,” (PDF) 14 Green Bag 2d 141 (2011).

Press release on Madonna Say case

Unseal indictment in U.S. v. Cruz et al.

FBI affidavit in U.S. v. Mynor Garcia.

Class trip to Boston Federal Court

10 Judging Innocence and Guilt

Alvarez, Lizette, and Cara Buckley. “Zimmerman is Acquitted in Trayvon Martin Killing,” The New York Times, July 13, 2013.

Weiser, Benjamin. “5 Exonerated in Central Park Jogger Case Agree to Settle Suit for $40 Million,” The New York Times, June 19, 2014.

Katz, Jonathan M., and Erik Eckholm. “DNA Evidence Clears Two Men in 1983 Murder,” The New York Times, September 2, 2014.


The Central Park Five. Directed by Ken Burns. Color and Black & White, 119 min. 2012. (Followed by discussion)

Part Three: National Security Policing
11 Ferguson, Race, and the Militarization of Local Police Forces

Rakoff, Jed. “Why Innocent People Plead Guilty.” The New York Review of Books, November 2014.

Materials on the George Zimmerman / Travyon Martin case.

The Florida Self–defense Statute.

NY Times Q&A on the Ferguson case.

Coates, Ta–Nehisi. “Reparations for Ferguson.” The Atlantic, August 2014.

Gordon Reed, Annette. “U.S. has Yet to Overcome its Tortured Racial Past,” The Financial Times, August 2014.

MacGillis, Alec. “Those War–ready Cops in Ferguson Are 9 / 11’s Awful Legacy—and Your Taxes Are Paying for It.” The New Republic, August 2014.

Beavers, Elizabeth R., and Michael Shank. “Ferguson Shows the Risks of Militarized Policing,” The New York Times, August 14, 2014.

12 Are Illegal Aliens “Criminals”?

Ngai, Mae M. “The Strange Career of the Illegal Alien: Immigration Restriction and Deportation Policy in the United States, 1921–1956.” Law and History Review 21, no. 1 (2003): 69–108.

Sklansky, David. “Crime, Immigration and Ad Hoc Instrumentalism (PDF - 3.3MB).” 15 New Criminal Law Review 157 (2012).

Giovagnoli, Mary. “Overhauling Immigration Law: A Brief History and Basic Principles of Reform,” Immigration Policy Center White Paper.


Shear, Michael D. “For Obama, Executive Order on Immigration Would be a Turnabout,” The New York Times, November 17, 2014.

———. “Obama, Daring Congress, Acts to Overhaul Immigration,” The New York Times, November 20, 2014.

13 Legal Process and Civil Liberties – from WWII to the War on Terror

Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944).

Ex Parte Endo, 323 U.S. 283 (1944).

Cole, David. Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism. New Press, 2005, pp. 85–104. ISBN: 9781565849389.

Saito, Natsu Taylor. “Symbolism under Siege: Japanese American Redress and the ‘Racing’ of Arab Americans as Terrorists (PDF - 2.0MB).” Asian American Law Journal at Berkeley Law 8, no. 1 (2001).

14 Counter–Terrorism Law Today

United States v. El–Mezain, 664 F.3d 467 (5th Cir. 2011)

Malek, Alia, ed. Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post–9 / 11 Injustice. McSweeney’s, 2011, pp. 187–206. ISBN: 9781936365388.


Further background on the El–Mezain case.

15 Concluding Discussion

[WS] pp. 283–312.

Goode, Erica. “Internet Lets a Criminal Past Catch Up Quicker,” The New York Times, April 28, 2011.

Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2014