Snapshot: Michelle VanNatta at Dominican University

In my Law and Society class, with college juniors, over two days, we watched the Amnesty International four part videos on the case. These led to a useful discussion about human rights, the clemency process, the trial process, the way the appeals system (does not) work in the United States, problems with eye witness testimony, and the role of execution in the US. We discussed how racism manifests in the criminal legal system through exploitation of and intimidation of witnesses of color, use of “code words” in the prosecution process to draw on racist constructs from the media and popular culture to create an impression of guilt, the criminalization of entire communities of color, and the assumption of guilt of defendants of color.

If these videos are not posted elsewhere on this site, you may access them at where they are posted to youtube.


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