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Black Law Students Welcome Former U.S. Attorney

Date: Jan. 29, 2001
By: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Archive: General News

The Black Law Student Association at the University of Cincinnati will recognize Black History Month with a special lecture by George Washington University Professor Paul Butler at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12 in Room 114 of the College of Law.

Butler has drawn national attention for his controversial theories on jury nullification as a method for addressing criminal injustices. He argues that the race of a black defendant is sometimes a legally and morally appropriate factor for jurors to consider.

Butler's theories were shaped during his time as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia. He learned that some black jurors would refuse to send black defendants who they knew were guilty to prison because they were hesitant to send yet another black man to jail.

In a celebrated essay Butler wrote for the Yale Law Journal called "Racially Based Jury Nullification: Black Power in the Criminal Justice System," he argued that "the decision as to what kind of conduct by African-Americans ought to be punished is better made by African-Americans themselves, based on the costs and benefits to their community, than by the traditional criminal justice process, which is controlled by white lawmakers and white law enforcers."

Butler's views have gained extensive coverage in the national media, and he is a frequent commentator for CNN and National Public Radio. His lecture at UC is free and open to the public. For more information, call the College of Law at (513) 556-6805.

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