Skip to main content
SearchLogin or Signup

Review 1 of "Colorism, Racism, and the Criminal Justice System: How is an Innocent Black Man in Prison for Life?"

Published onJan 12, 2022
Review 1 of "Colorism, Racism, and the Criminal Justice System: How is an Innocent Black Man in Prison for Life?"
key-enterThis Pub is a Review of

Vote: Publish pending minor changes

There are issues that need to be fixed with the manuscript.   For instance, throughout the paper, there are grammar and punctuation errors that could use some correction before publication.    There are also some areas where readers could use more clarity on the authors’ writing.  For instance, see the last line in the first paragraph under colorism on page four “with more negative behavior by others” who are the others?  Another instance is in the methods where they note “cultural and political climates.”  In a methods section, it’s crucial that you unpack the meaning behind these terms, especially if your argument is that they’re contextual to your analysis.   There are examples of this lack of clarity throughout the paper.  The authors are encouraged to proofread the paper for these and to correct them. 

They may also need to update citations that display much-needed statistics—and increase citations in areas where authoritative statements are being made.  While some of these statements are unquestionably true, it would help to provide readers with a footnote or citation to further reading.

In the analysis section, the colorism piece is not as bold as I would expect given the attention to this issue in the title and throughout the paper.  While they focus on much of the case file as data—perhaps the analysis can be more informed by the colorist argument they so eloquently made leading up to the case analysis?  Otherwise, the paper is left reading more like a legal analysis of the case file.  For this to hit from a qualitatively empirical point of view, the authors need to insert the social science analysis back into case analysis.  The authors are encouraged to refocus their analysis back to the race component they have argued throughout the paper.  Don’t expect reader to just get it, as you’re on the path to writing a very important paper.

Lastly, proofread for APA and correct any inconsistencies in the paper. 

[Please put additional info below, as/if you see fit]

 The authors are to be commended for generating an impressive analytical literature review and conceptual framework that reckons with structural racism and racialized organizations in ways that are rarely seen in criminology.  I think they are approaching new ground by suggesting in the conclusion that scholars began to refocus our qualitative efforts on judicial contexts of racism and case outcomes.   They provide a great model on how to do this in the submitted manuscript.   Their focus on the criminology of courts is pretty novel to the extent that they include a CRT focus (among others) to uncover how the court operates as a racialized, anti-Black organization to the detriment of dark-skinned defendants (who are often assumed guilty).  They uncover this by critically assessing courtroom processes, thus qualitatively showing that the legal takeaways aren’t always correct, but that they also serve a preferential purpose toward the preservation of whiteness by any means necessary


No comments here

Why not start the discussion?