Women of Color and Crime: A Critical Race Theory Perspective to Address Disparate Prosecution

This Note seeks to acknowledge, explain, and offer a remedy to the problem of disparate prosecution of women of color. Women of color are disproportionately arrested and prosecuted for felonies around the country, and are overrepresented in the criminal justice system compared to their white women counterparts. Black and Native women are prosecuted at higher rates than white women for felonies in general, and domestic violence in particular. The problem of disparate prosecution is portrayed through a critical race feminist theoretical framework, focusing on stereotypes of the two groups. After arguing that traditional legal remedies are ultimately doomed to fail, this Note presents a remedy aimed at criminal defense attorneys, who can bring race to the forefront of jurors’ minds and help jurors look past latent personal prejudices.