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Death by Stereotype: Race, Ethnicity, and California’s Failure to Implement Furman’s Narrowing Requirement

Abstract The influence of race on the administration of capital punishment had a major role in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1972 decision in Furman v. Georgia to invalidate death penalty statutes across the United States. To avoid discriminatory and capricious application of capital punishment, the Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment requires legislatures to narrow the scope of capital...

Trump’s Latinx Repatriation

Abstract Two historical episodes have indelibly influenced the development of Latinx identity and sense of belonging in the United States. During the Great Depression, state and local governments, with the support of the U.S. government, repatriated approximately one million persons of Mexican ancestry, including many U.S. citizen children and immigrant parents, to Mexico. Similarly, in 1954, the...

Race, Intellectual Disability, and Death: An Empirical Inquiry Into Invidious Influences on Atkins Determinations

Abstract In Atkins v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the execution of a person with intellectual disability violates the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause. After more than a decade of Atkins litigation, we perceived there to be a substantial risk that race influences intellectual disability—and consequently, life and death—determinations. Due to the difficulty of...

Growing Up in Authoritarian 1950s East LA

Abstract By the 1950s, the criminal justice system had long combined with other systems, institutions, and individuals to target all the residents of East LA—particularly Mexicans—as criminals. In equating Mexicans with criminality, these networked forces and actors regarded and treated these residents as exceptions—as morally requiring and legally meriting authoritarian rather than...

Were Mexican American Communities Safer Than Others? Some Surprising Findings From San Antonio, 1960–1980

Abstract Contradicting widespread belief, scholarly research has confirmed that Mexican American (Latino/a/x) communities have lower levels of homicide than expected, given their high levels of economic disadvantage, residential instability, and rapid population change. But scholars are just beginning to explore the various social dynamics underlying this relationship at the community level for...

Prison Row: A Topographical History of Carcerality in California

Abstract U.S. Highway 99 is often coined the Golden State Highway and the Main Street of California. The road originally extended from the U.S.–Mexico border all the way to the Oregon border while passing through the Central Valley. When you travel along this route, you pass a little over half of all California prisons. By using U.S. Highway 99 as an entry point, this Article is a topographical...

Bordering Circuitry: Crossjurisdictional Immigration Surveillance

Abstract This Article builds upon literature on immigration surveillance, border control, and policing to explore the role of interoperable information systems and data sharing practices in the social control of immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Based upon an analysis of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents and statistical data, this Article examines two DHS...

Latinx Defendants, False Convictions, and the Difficult Road to Exoneration

Abstract The National Registry of Exonerations (the Registry) reports all known exonerations in the United States since 1989. Of the more than 2,400 exonerated defendants currently in the database, 281 are classified as Latinx. In many ways, their cases resemble those of other exonerees. The same factors that produced false convictions of non-Latinx defendants—including mistaken eyewitness...

Sentencing the “Other”: Punishment of Latinx Defendants

Abstract Some recent state and federal sentencing studies have turned up an interesting puzzle: Contrary to a prominent sociological group threat theory, Latinx defendants seem to be punished most harshly relative to white defendants in court jurisdictions where Latinx populations are smallest. In this Article, we briefly review literature on punishment disparities between Latinx and white...

Capital Punishment, Latinos, and the United States Legal System: Doing Justice or an Illusion of Justice, Legitimated Oppression, and Reinforcement of Structural Hierarchies

Abstract As the twenty-first century progresses, the influence of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in crime and punishment continues to be a pressing and polemic issue. With various antisocial control movements taking place, particularly in response to the Trump administration, the nature of crime and punishment is once again being redefined nationally and abroad. As in the past, this new...

The Direct and Indirect Effects of Immigration Enforcement on Latino Political Engagement

Abstract How does having a loved one threatened by detention and deportation impact political participation? Drawing on extant research demonstrating the mobilizing power of a threatening immigration environment, we develop a dynamic theory of what scholars elsewhere refer to as proximal contact. We argue that individuals with proximal connections to punitive immigration policy may be politically...