Earlier this afternoon, during today’s live show, the jury announced their verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial: not guilty on all five charges of homicide and reckless endangerment for the fatal shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and the shooting-related injuries of Gaige Grosskreutz in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.
This is a predictable but upsetting outcome for many Americans who have been relying on legal proceedings to deliver justice for those who have been killed and injured at the hands of police and white vigilantes in recent months and years.
And this is only one of the injustices of the criminal justice system as we know it today. Racialized mass incarceration and police and prison violence are on the rise. So are the calls for reform. But as Kay Whitlock and Nancy A. Heitzeg show in their new book, these reforms don’t put an end to or even reduce violent state control—they expand it.
On today’s show, they join Friday host Esty Dinur for a vital and timely discussion.
Kay Whitlock is a writer and activist focusing on structural violence and inequality. She is coauthor of Queer(In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon Press, 2012), Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics (Beacon Press, 2015), and Carceral Con: The Deceptive Terrain of Criminal Justice Reform (University of California Press, 2021).
Nancy A. Heitzeg is professor of sociology at St. Catherine University whose work centers on race, class, gender, and social control with particular attention to the prison-industrial complex. She is author of The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Education, Discipline, and Racialized Double-Standards (Praeger, 2016) and coauthor of Carceral Con: The Deceptive Terrain of Criminal Justice Reform (University of California Press, 2021).