25th Anniversary of McCleskey v. Kemp
Jill L Francke
April 22nd marks the 25th anniversary of the US Supreme Court's decision in McCleskey v. Kemp. In this controversial decision the court ruled that it was “inevitable” that minorities would be treated worse by the criminal justice system and that the Constitution is only violated where it is proven that a specific person in a specific case intentionally discriminates against the defendant because of his or her race.
The Supreme Court’s decision protects criminal justice laws and policies from being challenged on the basis that they have a racially disparate impact. The decision set the stage for more than two decades of increased racial disparities within the criminal justice system by codifying the racial imbalance that has come to define criminal justice in America.
In recognition of the upcoming anniversary we invite you to learn more about the decision and it ongoing impact on the criminal justice system: