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View Diary: Misinterpreting Legal Language is the REAL Racism (35 comments)

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  •  the reason it is about language.... (0+ / 0-)

    the sentencing guidelines are predicated upon what might seem like "ambiguous language."  "Dangerous weapon," "malicious intent," "institutional vandalism" all seem to be quite clear (broad enough to deal with what prompted the making of the law and future, unforseen versions of the same phenomenon) but ultimately must be interpreted by the judge when he/she sends to jury to deliberation.  this sometimes unclear interpretation is why juries often ask for dictionaries and the like--to get at what the language of the law means in order to make sense of the facts presented.

    you are exactly right to note that any way you interpret a racist law (sentencing guidelines) won't erase its racism.  interpreting language won't undo the racism committed by the police.  but part of the point i was making here is that what clearly isn't a racist law was made into one through the interpretation of language.  interpretation of language is not the only thing that will eliminate racism, but it is another (largely ignored) front.

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