Race and criminal justice: A tortured history
Presidents have long struggled with the consequences of racial injustice
‘Quick with the revolver’
Phone calls from 1964, 1965, and 1967 illustrate President Lyndon Johnson's response to police violence and racial unrest during his presidency
Can our system of justice be trusted?
American Forum, the Miller Center's former weekly public affairs program, often explored the important issue of race. Here, host Doug Blackmon talks to civil-rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson.
In 1968, President Johnson rejected the Kerner Commission report that attributed urban unrest to “white racism” and called for aggressive new programs to end discrimination and poverty.
Presidents on crime
1970: Richard Nixon declares a 'war on crime'
"If there is one area where the word 'war' is appropriate, it is in the fight against crime."
1976: Gerald Ford emphasizes prison
"To keep a convicted criminal from committing more crimes, we must put him in prison so he cannot harm more law-abiding citizens."
1986: Ronald Reagan targets drugs
"[B]y next year our spending for drug law enforcement will have more than tripled from its 1981 levels."
Past events: Law and justice
The dysfunction of American justice
Brandon Garrett, who taught about wrongful convictions at the UVA School of Law and is now at Duke Law, discusses how our justice system is broken—and how to fix it.
Race and policing in America
"Most social disturbances over the last 50 years in communities of color have been triggered by police violence" says Bryan Stevenson during a return to American Forum.
Risa Goluboff, the dean of the UVA School of Law, discusses how laws criminalizing hoboes and beggars became instruments for social control—and were dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1960s and 1970s.