Throw the book at certain rapists in this #meToo era.

  Amber Rose Carlson wrote a piece about her rapist and his sentence for the New York Times recently. Besides dealing with rapists and sentencing, she covers many other timely topics in this #meToo era. Life without parole for rapists. These topics include  injustice, male privilege, life without parole, and several others. I've blogged and written about many of them  (for instance, in my forthcoming book,  Four Murders and a Funeral). I include Ms. Carlson's piece here in its entirety. … [Read more...]

To “Check your privilege,” watch Dominick Dunne on the Justice Network.

As I write my current book, I'm outraged at the light sentences given to several of the privileged murderers I've gotten to know over the years. (I'm a criminologist and embrace the "check your privilege" movement.) For these reasons I've developed an affinity for Dominick Dunne. He's the late American writer, investigative journalist, and producer who covered the trial of his  daughter's murderer. Like me, Dunne was incensed at the verdict (acquittal of  2nd-degree murder charge in favor of … [Read more...]

#MeToo blinding us to reverse discrimination in the justice system?

Women in the #MeToo movement calling out sexual assault is big news now. That's great. But is there reverse discrimination in the justice system that favors women? Clare Foges claims there is. She recently wrote about its presence in the crim justice system in Britain. Foges was a speechwriter for former PM David Cameron at 10 Downing Street. As a result, she earned the title  "The Prime Minister's larynx/voice." (Interesting factoid—After university studies, Foges drove an ice-cream truck . . … [Read more...]

Explaining White Privilege – visiting its historic origins.

Whether you agree with the concept of white privilege or not, it's worth explaining white privilege. Or trying to. To do this, I'll start by taking a look at the origins of the concept. By the way, I agree with the concept as a tool to understand unconscious biases in whites. But I disagree with using it to beat up on whites and lay guilt trips on them. Much of the guilt lays with people who set up social systems centuries ago in the US and even earlier in the case of slavery. Explaining white … [Read more...]

White economic privilege impacts crim justice system.

 White privilege statistics. I've been writing a memoir of late about how four murders seriously changed my career as a criminologist. So, how do white privilege statistics come into play? Well, among the many reasons the murders changed my worldview was the fact that the crim justice system treated the killers well. They were  all white and given remarkably light sentences  in comparison to black killers who committed similar crimes. This was back in the late 1960s and 1970s, … [Read more...]

Ending white privilege in the criminal justice system?

  In the process of writing my follow-up memoir to Cleft Heart, I've rediscovered the impact white privilege has on the crim justice system. Such privilege has become painfully clear in the four murders that struck amazingly close to home for me in my 30's. Some of the whites involved in these murders were supersmart, too, and got added privileges like superatheletes often do. And all  were male, too. So,let me start this blog with a parallel between male and white privilege. How male … [Read more...]

Rape, male privilege, sentencing, and punishment.

An essay about rape and male privilege that's been widely circulated lately got my attention for sure. Not because so many women have been Weinsteined by Harvey who had gatekeeping power or raped by everyday men who were intimidating. But because I've been addressing similar issues in a book I'm writing. Several  of the real-life murderers in my memoir got away easy just as Amber Rose Carlson's rapist did. Amber Rose Carlson is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Vanderbilt University who … [Read more...]