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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander

787 words - 4 pages

The book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” (“The New Jim Crow”) hits on many significant points concerning the criminal justice system and the systemically racial elements that have been perpetuated through various laws. As argued in the book, the “War on Drugs” has been used to perpetuate racial discrimination against African Americans since the 1980s and the Reagan Administration.
My personal reflection on the book comes from a legal perspective. Within the world of legal education little if any discussion is had concerning the impact of the law. There is intense discussion on what the law is and where the law could go but in terms of the impact of ...view middle of the document...

It was a notable point that the vast majority of persons would not feel comfortable denying police access to their belongings or property. In the discussion of these 4th amendment protections I remember little consideration being given to the context in which consent was given. There was no mention of a racial or socioeconomic element to police searches or stops.
Interesting as well was the use of all-white juries in perpetuating the racial element of the “War on Drugs”. A vast majority of the cases involving the use of all-white juries, the line which led to Batson v. Kentucky, started immediately after the first Jim Crow laws were passed. Jim Crow laws were passed in reaction to the newly emancipated slaves and the ending of the institution. Mass incarceration started around the time that Batson v. Kentucky was heard and also around the time that the “War on Drugs” started. I thought that Alexander made very interesting connections between slavery, Jim Crow and the new trend of mass incarceration. All three institutions on closer examination appear to be related to race rather explicitly even in the case of mass incarceration. No matter the racially-neutral language of the various statutes involved the fact remains that the majority of those imprisoned are African Americans. Yet persons opposed to mass...

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