HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Friday, September 24, 2021

Why Disability Studies in Criminal Law and Procedure?

Jamelia Morgan (UC Irvine), Why Disability Studies in Criminal Law and Procedure?, U.C. Irvine L. Rev. (forthcoming July 15, 2021):

In recent years, police violence against disabled people has been a source of increased public attention and alarm. By some accounts, anywhere from twenty percent to over half of the people killed each year by law enforcement have at least one disability. Disabled people comprise a high proportion of incarcerated people, making up at least thirty percent of state prisoners and forty percent of detainees in jails. Yet, despite these vulnerabilities to criminalization, police violence, and incarceration, in-depth discussions on disability are relatively limited in law school courses on criminal law and criminal procedure. In this essay, I offer some ideas for how law professors can incorporate critical discussions of disability into their substantive criminal law and criminal procedure courses. Drawing from insights from Disability Studies and Critical Disability Theory, I show how law professors seeking to equip their students with tools for examining the limits of legal protections and provide students with a broader scope of the harms of the criminal legal system can incorporate disability as a lens for legal analysis.

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