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The Supreme Court, Crime, and the Ideal of Equal Justice


Christopher E. Smith, Christina DeJong and John D. Burrow

The words «equal justice under law» are literally etched in stone and prominently displayed above the entrance to the United States Supreme Court. These words stand as an enduring proclamation of a paramount objective of the courts and the Constitution. Although judges are the guardians of the Constitution’s principles, this book examines how their decisions both advance and impede the ideal of equal justice. By analyzing interpretations of «equal protection» and other rights affecting discrimination and disadvantages linked to race, gender, and social status, Smith, DeJong, and Burrow illustrate how constitutional law often facilitates the denial of equal justice for people drawn into the criminal justice system.