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The Essays and the Authors


Introduction – Angela J. Davis


Angela J. Davis is a Professor of Law at American University and a former director of the D.C. Public Defender Service. She is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor, the co-author of several books on criminal law, and the author of numerous articles and book chapters on prosecutorial power and criminal justice.


A Presumption of Guilt: The Legacy of America’s History of Racial Injustice – Bryan Stevenson


Bryan Stevenson is the Director of the Equal Justice Initiative.  He has represented the poor and disadvantaged for over 30 years, winning several important criminal cases in the United States Supreme Court.  He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy and is leading a national project to address the history of racial injustice in America.


The Endurance of Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System – Marc Mauer


Marc Mauer is the Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, a national non-profit organization engaged in research and advocacy on criminal justice policy. He is the author of Race to Incarcerate, which was named a semifinalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and the co-editor of Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment.


Boys to Men: The Role of Policing in the Socialization of Black Boys – Kristin Henning


Kristin Henning is the Agnes N. Williams Research Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Georgetown Law. Her scholarship has appeared in the Cornell Law Review, California Law Review, and NYU Law Review and in books such as Punishment in Popular Culture. She is currently writing a book on the criminalization of black adolescence.


Racial Profiling: The Law, the Policy, and the Practice – Renée McDonald Hutchins


Renée McDonald Hutchins is the Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program and the Jacob A. France Professor of Public Interest Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.  She is the author of several scholarly works, including two books LEARNING CRIMINAL PROCEDURE and DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL SKILLS: CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.


Black Men and the Police: Making Implicit Bias Explicit – Katheryn Russell-Brown


Katheryn Russell-Brown is a Professor of Law and Director of the Race Center at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law.  She received a Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship in 2009.   Her books include The Color of Crime, Protecting Our Own, Underground Codes, and a children’s book, Little Melba and Her Big Trombone.


Policing: A Model for the Twenty-First Century – Tracey Meares and Tom Tyler


Tracey Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law and Yale University.  Together with Tom Tyler she directs the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School.  In December 2015, President Obama appointed her to serve on his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.


Tom R. Tyler is the Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School. He is the author of several books, including Why People Cooperate, Legitimacy and Criminal Justice, Why People Obey the Law, Trust in the Law, and Cooperation in Groups.


The Prosecution of Black Men – Angela J. Davis

The Grand Jury and Police Violence Against Black Men – Roger A. Fairfax, Jr.


Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. is Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at George Washington University, where he teaches courses in criminal law, procedure, and policy.  An elected member of the American Law Institute, his scholarship appears in leading journals and in his edited volume, Grand Jury 2.0: Modern Perspectives on the Grand Jury. 


Elected Prosecutors and Police Accountability – Ronald F. Wright


Ronald Wright is a Professor of Law at Wake Forest University. He is the co-author of two casebooks in criminal procedure and sentencing. His empirical research concentrates on the offices of criminal prosecutors, along with the people, institutions, and habits that shape the work of prosecutors. 


Do Black Lives Matter to the Courts? – Sherrilyn A. Ifill and Jin Hee Lee


Sherrilyn Ifill is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.  She was a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland and Chair of the Board of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Institute. Ms. Ifill is the author of On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century.



Jin Hee Lee is the Deputy Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where she supervises criminal justice and education matters.  She also litigates death penalty, juvenile life without parole, and police reform cases, and speaks regularly on issues pertaining to the criminal justice system and racial justice.


Poverty, Violence, and Black Incarceration – Jeremy Travis and Bruce Western


Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has published widely on a variety of criminal justice topics.  He co-edited the landmark NRC report on U.S. incarceration rates.  Travis served as director of the National Institute of Justice, general counsel of the NYPD, and senior fellow at the Urban Institute.  


Bruce Western is Professor of Sociology and the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy at Harvard University. He was the Vice Chair of the National Academy of Sciences consensus panel on the causes and consequences of high incarceration rates in the United States and is the author of Punishment and Inequality in America.

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