Article Title

Prosecuting Race


Theoreticians and practitioners in the American criminal justice system increasingly debate the role of racial identity, racialized narratives, and race-neutral representation in law, lawyering, and ethics. This debate holds special bearing on the growing prosecution and defense of acts of racially motivated violence. In this continuing investigation of the prosecution and defense of such violence, Professor Alfieri examines the recent federal prosecution of five white New York City police officers charged with assaulting Abner Louima, a young male Haitian immigrant, in 1997. Professor Alfieri presents a raceconscious, community-oriented model of prosecutorial discretion guided by constitutional precepts, citizenship ideals, professionalism values, racial traditions, and moral customs. This model provides an alternative to the dominant colorblind prosecutorial canon of race reutrality in cases of racially motivated violence.

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