Autumn Keynote Lecture - Ekow Yankah

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The Rik Medlik Building Auditorium

University of Surrey

Guildford

GU2 7XH

United Kingdom

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Prof Ekow Yankah, Cardozo Law School (Yeshiva University), 'Punishing the Polity: Mass Incarceration, Racial Justice, and Community Impact'

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A wine reception will follow the talk.

Prof Yankah offers the following description of his talk:

The piece returns to my earlier challenges of retributivism as the basis of contemporary criminal law advancing my work on Aristotelian republican political justifications which make central the effect of punishment on citizenship. In short, the justification of punishment should eschew individual retributivist “desert” and focus primarily on the effects of punishment on the entire polity. In particular, this would mean that the effects of mass incarceration would be explicitly a part of justification of punishment. Concretized, members of communities where widespread punishment (incarceration) has damaged civic health should explicitly receive discounts on otherwise retributively justified punishment. Most obviously, a regime focused on the effect of punishment on civic bonds would explicitly target the vast racial disparities in contemporary punishment regimes, grounding an explicit claim that an African-American or Hispanic defendant from overly punished communities should be punished less and requiring other state resources to secure the safety of the community. While critical, this regime is not solely aimed at racial disparities. This principle would be equally address the concentration of punishment in poor, white communities often battered by punishment and policing. Thus, the policy shows a way of building allies across racial lines.

Comments in reply will be delivered by Dr Eddie Bruce-Jones, Deputy Dean of the Law School of Birkbeck College, London.

Date and Time

Location

The Rik Medlik Building Auditorium

University of Surrey

Guildford

GU2 7XH

United Kingdom

View Map

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