The Catholic University of America

 

 

  

 

Professor Fishman Quoted in Washington Post Magazine
on Teaching Racial Cases in the Classroom

 

 

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Catholic University law school Professor Clifford Fishman is quoted in the Feb. 20th edition of The Washington Post Magazine for its story, “Teaching Ferguson: How colleges are incorporating race cases in the classroom.” 

Focusing on the nationally-known cases of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, both slain by police, the article explores how the controversy surrounding the incidents has translated into an enhanced student understanding of the role racial dynamics can play in the nation’s legal system.  
 
The article states:
 
Catholic University law professor Clifford Fishman is using the cases to teach the pros and cons of grand juries. Last semester, he argued in class that the grand jury perhaps was right to not indict the officer who killed Brown, but wrong to not indict the officer who killed Garner.
 
“The legitimacy of the grand jury and its role in our criminal justice system are being challenged in ways it hasn’t been challenged before, and it’s something my students have to know about,” he said. “The fact that most police officers are white and a disproportionate number of people arrested are nonwhite means we have to confront race in any case where that is the lineup from start to finish.”
 
The Columbus School of Law has not shied away from hosting discussions about the role of race in justice even outside of the classroom. The Student Bar Association sponsored a Jan. 22 roundtable discussion, “The Disconnect between the Police and the Citizen they are Sworn to Protect;”  and on Aug. 25, at the start of the current academic year, an informal luncheon was held that invited all viewpoints on the issue.