Michael Katz Death Of Shorty Analysis

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Michael Katz’s article, “The Death of Shorty” highlighted many modern issues concerning racism, structural inequality and flaws in the justice system. The article was written in the perspective of Michael Katz, a jury member in the Manes trial. In the trial, Herbert Manes was accused of stabbing Robert Monroe to death on West Oakland Street in North Philadelphia. Manes was incarcerated for ten months before this trial, and it took the jury less than 90 minutes to conclude that he was not guilty due to self-defence. Both males were African American, worked in the informal economy, and lived in poor neighbourhoods. The conflict started when Manes borrowed five dollars from Monroe, and promised to pay him back that night or the next day because …show more content…
It specifically seeks “to examine, from a legal perspective, the ways in which prevailing conceptions of race, perpetuate relations of domination, oppression and injustice within the legal and political realm as well as through social discourse.” Critical race theory relates to “The Death of Shorty” article because African Americans are legally discriminated against in society. In modern society, black individuals have a disproportionate chance of being charged and imprisoned. In the article, Manes was incarcerated for ten months until he got his trial. Statistics state that once arrested, blacks are more likely to remain in prison awaiting trial than whites. Furthermore, the author Michael Katz pointed out that, “It appears doubtful that detectives returned to West Oakland to try to persuade other witnesses to speak to them. After all, the case was about two poor back men arguing over five dollars.” All of the stages of the legal process have the capacity to exert racist views. The judicial system itself worked for Manes because he had a great attorney, fair-minded jury and an objective judge. However, the process was flawed because Manse was immediately charged with murder without substantial evidence, he was incarcerated for a long period of time before his trial, and only one witness who lacked credibility was …show more content…
Race, racial inequality and racial hierarchies exist in modern society and perpetuate a divide between races and social classes. Additionally, social and judicial structures contribute to marginalization, inequality and poverty as well. Therefore, conflict Marxism and critical race theory would state that the Manes case is not about five dollars, it is the result of a much larger socially constructed

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