Abolish Gang Statutes with the Power of the Thirteenth Amendment: Reparations for the People

This article calls for the use of the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish federal and state gang statutes. Highlighting the lineage of modern-day gang statutes from Black Codes to vagrancy laws from the Jim Crow era to gang injunctions, this article establishes how current gang statutes remain as “badges and incidents” of slavery. This article walks through a comprehensive history of gang statutes and the human toll suffered by the enforcement of such statutes, especially on Black and Latino/a communities. This article centers reform from an abolitionist standpoint by calling for the reallocation of funds dedicated to gang prosecution to economic justice for impacted communities. The author explains that “federal reparations to the people to fund community efforts are the most effective way to address gang violence and ‘abolish the slave system’ in its modern iteration.” This article offers a critical lens into the structural racism perseverated by gang statutes and offers advocates a detailed look into the intentional and oppressive history of modern-day antigang legislation that may be used to fight against gang-related prosecutions in court  

File Type: pdf
Categories: Law Review Articles, Resource Library
Tags: Racial and Ethnic Disparities, Racial Justice, Structural Racism