African Americans and other people of color are overrepresented in our nation's prisons compared with their numbers in the general population. A large number of factors are involved, including police practices, prosecution, and sentencing.
This year's Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (a meeting of judges and court staff) included a 90-minute panel on the issue (Aug. 15, 2012). The panel, What Color is Justice: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Process, is available on YouTube.
The moderator, who introduces the topic, is former district judge Nancy Gertner, who now teaches at Harvard Law School. The other speakers are:
- Judge Ruben Castillo (D. N. Ill.), who was the first Hispanic judge on the Federal Sentencing Commission
- Prof. Sonja Starr, Univ. of Michigan School of Law, and
- Prof. Bryan Stephenson who teaches at NYU and also serves at the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which he founded.