Thursday, August 25, 2005

"Niggers by the pound"

I've been meaning to blog about something that has been bothering me for the past few days. One of my clients sent me an internet news article about institutionalized racism in Cook County, IL. Here's the article.

The article talks about how there was a contest to see who would be the first to convict defendants who weighed a total of 4,000 pounds. Because most of the codefendants were African-American, this contest was referred to behind closed doors as "niggers by the pound." Formally, it was called the "two-ton contest." According to a study by the Chicago Tribune, since 12/31/77 there have been 326 state court convictions (207 of them in Cook County) reversed because of prosecutorial misconduct. One of the former prosecutors who was interviewed for the story has had six convictions reversed because of his misconduct - according to the article - no prosecutor in Cook County has had more reversals in the last 20 years. His comment? "I didn't do anything wrong."

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