The specter of summer 2020 still haunts us. We are immersed in two trials, separated by hundreds of miles, both telling the tale of complicated justice systems.
Recently, the Indiana Supreme Court created the Indiana Commission on Equity and Access seeking to build trust and increase the average citizen’s ability to navigate the complicated legal system. These efforts not only are commendable, but they are also forcing an examination of uncomfortable issues while creating opportunities for rich discourse in settings that have in large part avoided these critical issues.
Greater access to the ballot, fair voting systems and inclusion in the process does not mean allegiance to a particular party — it should be a universal concept that brings about reasoned, well-informed participation in a system that affords citizens the opportunity to express policy and political preferences.
Ahmed Young discusses critical race theory and how he sees it as a tool to benefit more Americans.
The relevance of “Strange Fruit” today is disconcerting, but signs are popping up pointing us toward justice. Will we follow them?
May 2011 was a magical time for me, personally and professionally. I completed all course work and passed exams required to participate in the annual commencement at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. The words from the speaker a decade ago — and his legacy — reverberate to this day.
I’ve been wrestling with the idea of a more just Indiana and what that really means and looks like for the millions of Hoosiers impacted by COVID-19, unemployment, racism and in some instances bad luck. COVID has wreaked havoc on customary ways of conducting business, all the while intensifying political divides in an already divided country. Is that disruption of “normalcy” a bad thing?
Inserting race elevates the question of the efficacy of grand juries, whether they can truly be a fair process that seeks to evaluate the weight of evidence or whether it is simply a prosecutor’s tool to advance or diminish a case before it can take on a life of its own.
A core tenet of American citizenship is access to the ballot. Defining who is and is not a citizen has been used as a chess piece in many partisan and nonpartisan fights. Again the voting ritual is upon us, and I challenge voters to mark their ballots then plan to hold those they voted for or against accountable.
A collective approach to evaluate, critique, plan and deconstruct inequities within the legal system is the only way we can improve a legal construct created more than 240 years ago. How do we, in the state of Indiana, synthesize our efforts into a coordinated plan of action that addresses statewide and local issues of inequity?