Detroit Mercy Law launches lecture series with criminal justice scholar Paul Butler

October 01, 2018

Photo of Paul Butler.The national debate about policing, criminal justice and race relations will be front and center when Georgetown University Law Professor Paul Butler speaks at Detroit Mercy Law at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at the University’s Riverfront Campus.

Butler, whose book Chokehold: Policing Black Men was named a Notable Book in 2017 by the Washington Post, is the inaugural speaker in the University’s Dewitt C. Holbrook Lecture on Social Justice series. This new lecture series, which will take place each fall, provides prominent leaders in the legal profession a forum to address issues on law and policy related to social justice. It is made possible through a grant from the Dewitt C. Holbrook Memorial Trust.

“The lecture series aligns with the University and School of Law’s mission and the intellectual traditions of our Jesuit and Mercy institution,” said Detroit Mercy Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker. “It demonstrates the deep connections between our program of legal education and the pursuit of social justice.”

Butler is one of the nation’s most frequently consulted scholars on issues of race and criminal justice. In his lecture, he will explore issues of racism and police violence, and discuss the critical need for reform in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Butler researches and teaches in the areas of criminal law, race relations law and critical theory. His research has been published in many leading scholarly journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review and the UCLA Law Review.  He is the author of the widely praised book Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, which received the Harry Chapin Media award.

His scholarship has been the subject of much attention in the academic and mainstream media. His work has been profiled on “60 Minutes,” “Nightline,” and the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news, among other places.

The Dewitt C. Holbrook Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Sunny Kerschenheiter at or 313-596-0247.