In the annals of metropolitan police terror and corruption, the city of Chicago has a legacy second to none. The Chicago Police Department (“CPD”) has a history of criminality and impunity that should make any ambitious crime syndicate envious. Much of this history has become legendary. After the Great Migration of blacks to northern industrial cities during the early twentieth century, local officials used a system of redlining to concentrate the new black population on Chicago’s south side. From there, the CPD was an intrusive, omnipresent force in minority communities. During the 1960s, the CPD mobilized against the civil rights and Black Power movements. This culminated in the CPD’s partnership with the FBI in the assassination of the charismatic 21-year-old Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in 1969, as Hampton lay sleeping in his bed. Hampton’s murder foreshadowed the cigarette-burning, cattle-prod shocking torture regime of south side Police Commander Jon Burge, whose reign of terror led to countless false confessions and wrongful imprisonments. Over a span of decades, the CPD has cultivated a culture of everyday acts of brutality and subjection, the vast majority of which go wholly unpunished. Jon Burge represents both the exception and the rule in Chicago. He was sentenced to 4½ years in prison, which is exceptional. But considering the number of his victims and the elaborate sadism of his crimes, his punishment was woefully inadequate, which is the rule. The great abiding mystery surrounding the CPD is how and why, after its long history of systemic violence and civil rights abuses, it has never been made to meaningfully reform. In “Cycle of Abuse: How Chicago Has Failed to Police its Police” Elizabeth Andonova explains the policies and procedures that have enabled CPD’s culture of oppression, violence, and impunity to en – dure. Andonova describes the elaborate and often impenetrable procedural protections (known as “super due process” protections) afforded to police officers accused of misconduct. These protections are far more muscular than
the rights afforded ordinary criminal defendants and, accordingly, shield a police force that operates above the law, while citizens struggle beneath it. Most importantly, the article concludes with a list of suggested reforms to finally bring CPD to heel. Since the late Justice Scalia’s backward-looking majority opinion Stanford v. Kentuck y , 1 which upheld the death penalty for 16 and 17-year-olds, the Supreme Court has repeatedly widened the distinction between adults and children in Eighth Amendment cases involving criminal sentencing. Roper v. Simmons 2 overturned Stanford and banned the execution of children; Graham v. Florida 3 prohibits a sentence of life without parole for juveniles convicted of non-homicide crimes; Miller v. Alabama 4 banned mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles even for homicide crimes (though judges may still use their discretion to impose that sentence). Montgomery v. Louisiana , 5 decided earlier this year, seemed to continue the Court’s more lenient treat – ment of juveniles by declaring that the Eighth Amendment right recognized in Miller was substantive, not merely procedural, in nature and therefore must be applied retroactively to juveniles convicted before the Miller ruling was made. However, the Court’s retroactivity doctrine, especially when it comes to juvenile sentencing, was already dizzyingly complex. In “ Montgomery ’s Messy Trifecta” Daniel A. Berman explains how, far from helping to clarify the rights of juvenile inmates, Montgomery only exacerbates the confusion. In “Warning: Detours and Roadblocks Ahead—the Bumpy Road from Selma to Shelby County” David Gespass argues that, while tremendous progress was made expanding the franchise between the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Supreme Court’s evisceration of that statute with Shelby County v. Holder , 6 the U.S. has never come close to actualizing the statute’s true ideals, let alone those of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. After Shelby County it will require mass organiz – ing and engagement, especially in local elections, just to recoup gains recently lost by that disastrous decision. Crashing the Party: Legacy and Lessons from the 2000 RNC , written by Kris Hermes and reviewed by Sue Udry, chronicles the inspiring activism of demonstrators who, despite tremendous opposition from the local police and judiciary, refused to be cowed into silence during and after the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. As Udry explains in her review, Hermes’s description of how various political and legal strategies were used to protect the demonstrators’ rights, including their right to publicly advocate their cause, makes Crashing the Party essential reading.
—Nathan Goetting, Editor-in-Chief
1. 492 U.S. 361 (1989). 2. 543 U.S. 551 (2005). 3. 560 U.S. 48 (2010). 4. 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012). 5. 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016). 6. 133 S. Ct. 2612 (2012).
National Lawyers Guild review, formerly Guild Practitioner , is published quarterly by the National Lawyers Guild, a non-profit institution, at 132 Nassau Street, # 922, New York NY 10038. ISSN 0017-5390. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and at additional mailing offices. Subscription rates are $75/yr for libraries and institutions; $25/yr for lawyers; $10/yr for legal workers/law students; $5/yr for incarcerated persons; add $5/yr for overseas; $6.50/single copy, and should be sent to: 132 Nassau Street, # 922, New York NY 10038. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: National Lawyers Guild review, 132 Nassau Street, # 922, New York NY 10038. Address all editorial correspondence and law-related poems, criticisms, articles and essays to: Editor-in-Chief, National Lawyers Guild review, 132 Nassau Street, # 922, New York NY 10038. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. National Lawyers Guild review is indexed/abstracted in Westlaw, PAIS-Public Affairs Information Service, The Left Index, and the Alternative Press Index. Editorial Board: Nathan Goetting, Editor in Chief; Meredith Osborne, Executive Editor; Crystal Abbey, Managing Editor; Kathleen Johnson, Book Editor; Katherine Taylor, Notes Editor; Deborah Willis, Layout Editor. Contributing Editors: Alan Clarke, Marjorie Cohn, Ryan Dreveskracht, Richael Faithful, David Gespass, Ann Fagan Ginger, Laura Horton, Nathan H. Madson, Henry Willis. The opinions expressed in the articles are those of the various authors, and each article is Copyright, 2016, by the author and by N atio Nal l awyers G uild r eview . Advisory Panel: Elvia Arriola, John Brittain, Margaret Burnham, Erwin Chemerinsky, David Cole, Barbara Dudley, Richard Falk, Lennox Hinds, Sylvia A. Law, Staughton Lynd, Harold McDougall, Ruben Remigio Ferro, Jitendra Sharma, Kenji Urata, Frank Valdes, Patricia Williams