Felon Disenfranchisement: The Judiciary’s Role in Renegotiating Racial Divisions
Brian P. Schaefer & Dr. Peter B. Kraska
Abstract: Felon disenfranchisement is deeply rooted in U.S. history as a form of punishment and as a tool to inhibit African Americans from voting. Today, there are 5.3 million U.S. residents politically disenfranchised due to a felony conviction—about 2 million of whom are African Americans. The overrepresentation of African Americans disenfranchised, and the U.S. history of racism, brings forth the question of how these laws continue to exist. The objective of this study is to demonstrate, through a socio–legal approach, the federal court system’s role in perpetuating and maintaining the ethnoracial divisions in society through the validation and rationalization of felon disenfranchisement laws. We aim to demonstrate how over the past century many disenfranchisement laws have been “whitewashed” in order to eliminate any indication of racially motivated practices, a practice that coincides with the historic expansion of the penal state in the controlling of minority populations.
Kevin F. Steinmetz & Dr. Kenneth Tunnell
Abstract: Digital piracy—a type of copyright infringement—is a global phenomenon that allegedly contains grave economic consequences for intellectual property industries. Its pervasiveness has produced a global piracy subculture. This article describes our study of digital pirates who actively participate in an on-line discussion board dedicated to copyright infringement. It explores their motivations, techniques of neutralization, and contradictions within a community-wide belief system. Motivations among this group include a desire to share content, to sample content before purchasing, to acquire intellectual property that is unaffordable, and to subvert copyright law. We then apply Sykes and Matza's (1957) techniques of neutralization. Finally, we discuss contradictions within this group's belief systems; specifically acceptance and rejection of capitalism and state power and formal control.
Social Control in a Sexually Deviant Cybercommunity: A Cappers' Code of Conduct
Joshua Roberts & Dr. Scott Hunt
Abstract: This study examines a cybercommunity dedicated to recording live webcam feeds that are sexually charged. Those who record these feeds are known as “cappers.” Cappers post these “caps” on message boards designed to disseminate, share, and evaluate their aesthetic qualities. Following the insights of Durkin, Forsyth, Quinn, and others, this article identifies and elaborates the means of social control that promotes deviant ends among a capping community by extending Anderson's “code of the street.” The capping code's basic rules, strategies, tactics, and motives are analyzed in relation to reputation. The article concludes with considerations for future research.
After several years of hard work, Brian Schaefer, with the assistance of Professor Kraska, has published a version of his master's thesis completed at EKU in a high-quality, refereed journal. The article is on a very consequential topic, and the level of scholarship displayed in his work is extraordinary -- especially given that Brian completed the bulk of this work as a master's student and first year doctoral student. Brian is currently a research assistant in University of Louisville's doctoral program.
Hannah Robbins has a sincere interest in scholarly research as evidenced by her work in making correctional facilities safer for women inmates and detainees. As a result of being the lead research assistant in a PREA related study that took her to 14 different prisons and jails in eight states over the last two years, Hannah played a key role in interviewing hundreds of staff and surveying over 5,000 women inmates on their perceptions of sexual safety and violence. With the data collected from this research, Hannah was the lead presenter on a paper on staff sexual misconduct at a recent SCJA and ACJS conference. Hannah plans to devote a significant portion of her graduate studies to gaining a greater understanding of the staff sexual misconduct issue and how to reduce it.