BOSTON COLLEGE
Boston College Third World Law Journal

Student
Publications

Volume 21 2001 Number 2

[Pages 161-242]
PREPARING FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: INDIAN SEX WORKERS AND THE LAW
Prabha Kotiswaran*

Abstract:  This article deals with the reform of prostitution laws in India. It begins with an outline of the current legislative framework available in this regard and then critically evaluates the various alternatives to the framework that have been proposed through the 1990s by the Indian government, universities and research institutions, the Indian women’s movement and sex-worker organizations. After undertaking an historical examination of prostitution laws in India from colonial times up to the present, the author recommends the decriminalization of prostitution with a strong emphasis on the protection of the civil rights of prostitute women as a matter of policy. More importantly, the author challenges the underlying assumptions of much Indian feminist theory and practice on the issue, critiques the politics of representation in the law reform process and seeks to highlight the agency of Indian prostitute women in the debate on prostitution laws.

[Pages 243-278]
RACIAL PROFILING AND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT: APPLYING THE MINORITY VICTIM PERSPECTIVE TO ENSURE EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW

Abstract:  Racial profiling was once thought the figment of an overactive minority imagination. Yet, recent media coverage has thrust the reality of racial bias in law enforcement into the national spotlight. Despite its newfound popularity, the real battle for equal protection and justice under the law has been quietly raging across American courtrooms for decades, and it is a battle that people of color continue to lose. This Note examines the judiciary’s tendency to excise racial perceptions and bias from its analysis of racial profiling cases under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Focusing on the recent profiling case of Brown v. City of Oneonta, this Note suggests that the imposition of race ignorant standards is itself a subtle but powerful vestige of racial bias in the courtroom. By more broadly considering the subjective perceptions of both police and minority victims of discriminatory police practices, courts will be more responsive to the coercive nature of certain police stops, as well as the discriminatory intent behind abusive police investigations.

“We the People” no longer enslave, but the credit does not belong to the framers. It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of “liberty,” “justice,” and “equality,” and who strived to better them.

[Pages 279-314]
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: THE HOMOSEXUAL PANIC DEFENSE
Kara S. Suffredini*

Abstract:  Gays experience a disturbing paradox in American society today: while the gay rights movement enjoys increased visibility, gay-bashing is perhaps the most common and most rapidly increasing of hate-related crimes. The Homosexual Panic Defense (HPD) is based on the homosexual panic disorder, a scientific and medical explanation of, and justification for, the behavior of defendants who murder gay individuals. However, while used to justify some of the most frequent and heinous of hate crimes, the HPD has no uniform definition across cases and bears only a tenuous connection to the psychiatric disorder that legitimizes it. This Note explores the disassociation between the disorder and the defense, and argues that the HPD is not actually based on the psychiatric disorder, but rather on social and institutional prejudice against gays. This Note concludes that the HPD’s use must, therefore, either be limited by the application of new evidentiary rules, using the rape-shield rules as a guide, or better yet, eliminated altogether.

[Pages 315-332]
SECTION 8'S FAILURE TO INTEGRATE: THE INTERACTION OF CLASS-BASED AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Lisa M. Krzewinski*

Abstract:  In his book, As Long as They Don’t Move Next Door, Stephen Grant Meyer examines the history of housing segregation in the United States. He asserts that, while African Americans have made great advancements toward equal citizenship, the continued tendency of Whites and African Americans to live in separate neighborhoods remains a significant impediment to improving race relations in the United States. Meyer concludes that the negative perception many Whites have of African Americans is responsible for the lack of integration found in America’s neighborhoods. This Book Review takes Meyer’s analysis a step further and argues that in order to promote long-term change in neighborhood integration, it is also necessary to address the underlying class-based fears, grounded in the protection of their property, that cause many white Americans to discriminate against African Americans.