Power in Numbers

How the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic’s Fake Stash House Cases Changed a Controversial Charging Practice, Lowered a Discovery Standard, and Saved Clients Hundreds of Years in Prison

Becky Beaupre Gillespie, Director of Content June 30, 2021

“We were alleging discrimination based on race,” Zunkel would later recall, “and I remember looking over at the jury box, at our clients who were all Black or Brown, and one of the judges saying, ‘Well, there’s Exhibit A right there,’ or something to that effect. It was a powerful image.

The complex litigation project—which ultimately changed enforcement practices, set court precedent, and saved clients hundreds of years in prison—had defied expectations from the start. It deviated from the typical one-client, one-case model and instead took aim at systemic racism, combining a dozen separate cases and using statistical analysis to illustrate a pattern of discrimination. The hurdles were high: a never-before-met legal standard, difficult-to-obtain data, and a bid to convince the court to fund an empiricist who would serve as an expert witness on all 12 cases.

Read the article HERE.

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