Race, Justice, Freedom and Paul Butler

A law professor says the public must take on a broken criminal justice system

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Paul Butler was on track for the American dream. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, he was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice specializing in public corruption. All that changed when he was arrested on charges he claims are false. That's when he decided the system simply didn't work. He is now a law professor at George Washington University and author of Let's Get Free: A Hip Hop Theory of Justice and advocates that the public force major changes in the criminal justice system.


Paul Butler

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Farai Chideya


Sitara Nieves and Nadia Zonis

Comments [5]

John D. Miller from Cleveland, Oh

what were the criminal against Paul Bulter.

Jul. 17 2010 04:53 PM

Racism is political, economical, and militarily based. Collectively, speaking, Black people and other people of color cannot be racist for they cannot , and they do not affect white people's very existence. Black people who sound racist are reactionists. What else can they be in a country which is still controlled by whites for whites in a culture which essentially defines itself as European. Have you counted the imprisoned black population or the unemployment level for blacks in this country? Do I have to talk about housing, education, and health care for blacks? How many people of color sit on the Supreme court or are Senators? There's a difference even between an extreme reactionist and a racist. Prof Butler may be an extreme reactionist, but he cannot be a racist in the U.S. He is not a member of the empowered group, and mass media has and will continue to marginalize him. He may be a racist in South Africa, Jamaica, Haiti or Kenya, but he is not a racist in the United States.

Jun. 07 2010 03:31 AM

Prof. Butler isn't easy to like, but he's fascinating.

Nov. 19 2009 04:48 PM

Racism is endemic to white people; they are incapable of discussing it rationally.

Jun. 25 2009 01:44 PM

Prof. Paul Butler was an unabashed racist when I first encountered him in law school 15 years ago. I hope his views have matured since then. I won't pretend to be offended by the term, but I do question the judgment of a law professor who thinks the term "Whitey" is appropriate (n.b., Wa. Post article, 1995). Jury nullification was another novel idea proffered by Prof. Butler, but only as applied to racial groups he deemed worthy.

I do not doubt that the US legal system is biased against minorities, but to impute the bias endemic in the system to me because I am Caucasian IS the definition of racism.

As I say, it's been many years and I hope Prof. Butler has grown up since then.

May. 13 2009 06:45 PM

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