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TechTank Podcast Episode 38: Laura Coates on racial inequities in our criminal justice system

Fairness is the bedrock principle of the American legal system. It is the standard to which we aspire and the basis of the rule of law. We want equity and justice for all regardless of background. Yet our legal system falls far short of this standard. Over the years, fundamental inequities in processes and outcomes have systematically disadvantaged our most vulnerable populations based on race and gender.

To discuss these important questions, we are pleased to be joined by a distinguished expert. Laura Coates is a senior legal analyst at CNN. She also hosts her own show on Sirius XM and has served as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School. And she now has a new book out from Simon and Schuster, Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor’s Fight for Fairness.

In this podcast, Brookings Vice President of Governance Studies Darrell West interviews Coates on her views of the criminal justice system, racial and gender inequities, and ways digital technologies are complicating the work of prosecutors, defenders, and suspects. The two also discuss ways to improve the legal system and overcome existing injustices.

You can listen to the episode and subscribe to the TechTank podcast on AppleSpotify, or Acast.


TechTank is a biweekly podcast from The Brookings Institution exploring the most consequential technology issues of our time. From artificial intelligence and racial bias in algorithms, to Big Tech, the future of work, and the digital divide, TechTank takes abstract ideas and makes them accessible. Moderators Dr. Nicol Turner Lee and Darrell West speak with leading technology experts and policymakers to share new data, ideas, and policy solutions to address the challenges of our new digital world.

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