Friday, November 15, 2019
Olwyn Conway (The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law) has posted ‘How Can I Reconcile With You When Your Foot Is on My Neck?’: The Role of Justice in the Pursuit of Truth and Reconciliation (Michigan State Law Review, 2018) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The residents of Ferguson, Missouri may someday seek reconciliation. Yet in the wake of the death of Mike Brown, and in the half-year spent waiting for the slow wheels of the criminal system to turn, Ferguson did not ask for reconciliation; it sought justice. Citizens across the country reeling from the shooting of unarmed members of their community have echoed this demand. Cleveland demanded justice for the killings of Malissa Williams, Timothy Russell, and Tamir Rice; Baton Rouge demanded justice for the killing of Alton Sterling; Minnesota demanded justice for the killing of Philando Castile. The list, tragically, goes on. American communities recovering from the wounds of loss of life — particularly when those wounds are tinged with the pain of racial animus — want justice before reconciliation. To ignore these calls by pursuing informal justice practices in lieu of criminal prosecutions would likely undermine the objectives of reconciliation. It would reinforce the double standard citizens perceive when police officers are not charged with misconduct.