From the Harvard Law Bulletin

Trauma Team (HLB Fall 2014)

For the Children Who ‘Fell Through the Cracks’

From the statehouse to the schoolhouse, an HLS initiative changes the paradigm for educating young people who have experienced trauma.Continue Reading »

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In the News

HLS faculty weigh in on recent legal news

A selection of analyses and opinions from Harvard Law School experts.

More than ‘enough is enough’

An op-ed by Charles J. Ogletree Jr. and David J. Harris. Last week thousands of demonstrators in Greater Boston and throughout the nation voiced their outrage at the decision of two grand juries not to indict white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men, as well as the corruption and bias embedded in our law enforcement system. As veterans of civil rights struggles spanning nearly a half century, we felt heartened by the reemergence of young people as a force for change. Indeed, we experienced the collective refrain of “Enough is enough” as sweet music. But even as we nodded in agreement, we found ourselves asking a few follow-up questions: When is enough not enough? When are rage and protest necessary, but not sufficient? How do we transform “enough is enough” into “we demand more?”Continue Reading at The Boston Globe »

The Silence of the Lawyers

An op-ed by Bruce Hay. As another grand jury has let a cop walk away for gratuitously killing an unarmed black man, a loud silence reverberates through the country, just at it has for many years. It is the silence of the nation’s lawyers. The fact is, we operate two criminal justice systems in the United States. One is for affluent white people, who when accused of crime are treated as citizens, as people with rights. They get the benefit of the constitutional protections we boast about in textbooks and television shows, protections like due process and trial by jury and proof beyond reasonable doubt. And they are often shown great leniency for very serious crimes, including homicide. The other system is for poor people and racial minorities, who are treated more like trash to be removed from the streets.Continue Reading at City Watch »

Trust in the legal system must be regained

An op-ed by Martha Minow and Robert Post. In the wake of the recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island, outrage and despair are reverberating across the nation, including at the law schools where we teach. Many of our students are struggling to reconcile their ideals of justice with what they perceive as manifest injustices in the criminal law system. Law establishes its legitimacy through procedures that are open and fair. Legal procedures create accountability for those who wield power. We ought to determine the law’s legitimacy at least in part from the perspective of those who suffer its coercion. When the law’s blows fall persistently on the lives and bodies of identifiable groups, and when the procedures we have designed to create legal accountability are short-circuited or fail, our aspiration for a legitimate social order is put at risk.

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