On HBO's new series, a young Muslim is accused of murder. But whether he's guilty isn't the point.
As we make laws and try to adjudicate justice, we often lose sight of the human faces affected.
A justice system oriented mainly toward punishing offenders can have tragic consequences.
The Enlightenment view of autonomous human subjects is built into the law, so the criminal justice system floats on myths and superstitions.
Black people can eat at most lunch counters and travel across state lines without being consigned to the back of the bus. But the fundamental right to life continues to be haunted by white supremacy.
"The U.S has created a vast legal system for racial and social control, unprecedented in world history. Yet we claim to be colorblind."
Forensics television is more than gory titillation and casual senationalism. These programs scratch at religious itches: they try to see beyond death and long for ultimate justice.
Seventeen-year-old Liam Q. joined the U.S. Navy to see the world. His test scores marked him for further training in a technical specialty, but Liam wanted to steer an aircraft carrier, so the navy made him a helmsman. As every sailor knows, shore leave is the most dangerous part of any cruise, and this turned out to be true for Liam. He fell in love with an older woman and was convicted of shooting her husband. In 1983, at the age of 19, he embarked on a different kind of cruise: a life sentence “up the river.”