Weekly Writers Round-Up: Perspectives on Criminal Justice Reform - America's Future

June 10, 2020

AF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Perspectives on Criminal Justice Reform

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career.

Why blacks don’t need violence to achieve justice by Christian Watson (Spring 2020) in the Washington Times
The past week has been a dark chapter for the American experiment. Since the unjust killing of George Floyd, millions of Black Lives Matter activists have flooded cities across America yelling a common refrain: “No justice, no peace!” 

As a black male, I understand all too well historical racism’s impact on blacks. Many of us feel helpless against a system perceived to be stacked against us. Whether that victim mentality is true or not, one thing is crystal-clear: If true justice is the goal, peace is the only way to achieve it. And thankfully, capitalism in America has long helped black individuals fight for equality.…

Rep. Justin Amash Wants To End Qualified Immunity. Where Are the Republicans? by Billy Binion (Spring 2018) in Reason
Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) wants to end qualified immunity.

The insidious legal doctrine allows police officers to violate your civil rights with absolute impunity if those rights have not been spelled out with near-identical precision in preexisting case law. Theoretically, it protects public officials from bogus civil suits, but practically it often allows egregious misconduct…

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Abolish Qualified Immunity by Brad Polumbo (Summer 2018) in The Dispatch
George Floyd’s death has outraged the public and received near-universal condemnation across the political spectrum. The riots and looting that have broken out in the aftermath have commanded much of our immediate attention, but right-of-center criminal justice reform activists and sympathetic policymakers are hoping the time is finally right to abolish “qualified immunity,” one of the justice system’s most pernicious legal provisions that acts as a de facto liability shield for bad cops and other reckless government officials.

In perhaps a high-water mark for the movement against qualified immunity, Rep. Justin Amash, will formally introduce a bill co-sponsored with Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley to abolish the practice. The Supreme Court may also soon take up cases to reconsider the doctrine…