University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "Profiling, Information Collection and the Value of Rights Argument"
Date February 2003
Author Alan Rubel
Author Institution University of Washington School of Law
External Link
Abstract In the United States and elsewhere, there is substantial controversy regarding the use of race and ethnicity by police in determining whom to stop, question, and investigate in relation to crime and security issues. In the ethics literature, the debate about profiling largely focuses on the nature of profiling and when (if ever) profiling is morally justifiable. This essay addresses the related, but distinct, issue of whether states have a duty to collect information about the race and ethnicity of persons stopped by police. I argue that states in the U.S. do have such a duty on the grounds that such information collection would help secure the value of persons' human rights against discrimination and unfair policing. Nonetheless, a large number of states do not require it. I begin by distinguishing rights from the value of rights, and arguing that under certain conditions persons have claims to the value of rights themselves, and that states have duties to secure that value. I then turn to the issue of profiling and offer the value of rights argument in favor of information collection about the race and ethnicity of persons stopped by police.
Source Washington Law Review
Citation 32 Crim. Just. Ethics 210-230

This Resource Relates To
case Wilkins v. Maryland State Police (PN-MD-0003)

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