December 06, 2017 The Modern Law Library

Georgetown law prof calls for reimagining of criminal justice system in ‘Chokehold’

By Lee Rawles

As a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., Paul Butler once worked to put people in prison. Now, he has come to believe that prisons should be abolished.

Butler is the author of Chokehold: A Renegade Prosecutor’s Radical Thoughts on How to Disrupt the System. In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Butler speaks with the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles about the racial inequities built into the system; his advice for young black men interacting with the police; and his view that radical reimagining, rather than incremental reform, is the only way to fully address the harm done to civil rights by the criminal justice system.

In This Podcast:

Lee Rawles
Paul Butler is the Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown Law. He has also taught at George Washington University Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He previously served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, where his specialty was public corruption. While at the DOJ, Butler also worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting drug and gun cases. He has also clerked for the Hon. Mary Johnson Lowe in the United States District Court in New York, and worked for the law firm of Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in white collar criminal defense. He is the author of Chokehold: A Renegade Prosecutor’s Radical Thoughts on How to Disrupt the System and Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice.