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January, 2011 Cardozo Law Review 32 Cardozo L. Rev. 791


For many of this symposium's panelists, the event's very titleAcknowledging Race in a ((Post-Racial" Era-presented a challenge. Numerous panelists criticized the term "post-racial," arguing that race remains central to understanding how America operates. By contrast, members of the criminal justice panel did not even feel the need to ask whether we are post-racial. Few people would assert that our criminal system is anywhere near the point that race no longer matters. This is not to say that racism infects our criminal system to the extent it once did. Our criminal system-like the rest of American society-has been profoundly transformed. Blacks accused of crimes are no longer lynched without trial or worked to death on plantation-like settings; black victims are no longer systematically ignored by police and courts. Yet despite this progress there is no serious argument to be made that our criminal system is post-racial. Why not?

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