Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights
Date: August 2021
Duration: 11 hours 45 minutes
Library Journal - 'Books and Authors to Know: Titles to Watch 2021'
Presumed Guilty reveals how the Supreme Court allows the perpetuation of racist policing by presuming that suspects, especially people of color, are guilty.
Presumed Guilty, like the bestselling The Color of Law, is a 'smoking gun' of civil rights research, a troubling history that reveals how the Supreme Court enabled racist policing and sanctioned law enforcement excesses. The fact that police are nine times more likely to kill Black men than other Americans is no accident; it is the result of an elaborate body of doctrines that allow the police and courts to presume that suspects are guilty before being charged.
Demonstrating how the prodefendant Warren Court was a brief historical aberration, Erwin Chemerinsky shows how this more liberal era ended with Nixon's presidency and the ascendance of conservative justices, whose rulings have permitted stops and frisks, limited suits to reform police departments, and even abetted the use of chokeholds. Presumed Guilty concludes that an approach to policing that continues to exalt 'Dirty Harry' can be transformed only by a robust court system committed to civil rights.