• Course ID: 050:300:90
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor Name: Furman

Is justice blind?  The course will focus on the impact of "race" on the American civil and criminal justice from the early 20th century to the present.  We will explore the elastic meaning of race in 20th century American culture and look at many cases through a cultural and legal lens including but not limited to Leo Frank, the Rhinelander case (1920s), the Osage murders. the Tulsa massacres, the Scottsboro Boys (1930s), Emmett Till (1950s), the Vincent Chin case, the Central Park Jogger, Bernhard Goetz and vigilante justice (1980s), O.J. Simpson and Rodney King (1990s), Trayvon Martin, recent cases of police shootings and "stand your ground."  Along the way, we will consider such issues as jury selection, plea bargaining, sentencing, capital punishment, profiling, public defenders, gun policies, white privilege, immigration, citizenship and racial exclusion, Japanese internment as well as civil claims of de jure and de facto discrimination over time- all in relation to broad perceptions of race.  Expect a class that incorporates materials from multiple disciplines and encourages spirited discussion.