The state Supreme Court issued a letter earlier this month calling on the legal profession, themselves included, to do the hard work of addressing systemic racism.
“As judges, we must recognize the role we have played in devaluing black lives,” it says. “This very court once held that a cemetery could lawfully deny grieving black parents the right to bury their infant. We cannot undo this wrong – but we can recognize our ability to do better in the future. We can develop a greater awareness of our own conscious and unconscious biases in order to make just decisions in individual cases, and we can administer justice and support court rules in a way that brings greater racial justice to our system as a whole.”
All nine justices signed it.
Three of them – Chief Justice Debra Stephens, Justice Mary Yu and Justice Helen Whitener – spoke to KNKX about the letter, and the intersections of race and law. You can also hear and read the full conversation, which lasts about 30 minutes.