Additional Resources...

Additional Resources Regarding Racism in the Criminal Justice System

In Washington State, our members face the effects of racism on a daily basis and tirelessly work to defuse and minimize its negative impact on our clients.  Institutional racism is so persuasive it rendered the death penalty unconstitutional in State v. Gregory, 192 Wash.2d 1 427 P.3d 621 2018. Likewise, prosecutorial misconduct in forms of racially charged offensive language in PowerPoints in State v. Walker, 182 Wn.2d 463, 341 P.3d 976 (2015), and prosecutors using racially charged language to jurors as a blatant attempt to appeal to jurors racial prejudice in State v. Monday, 171 Wash.2d 667, 257 P.3d 551 (2011), have resulted in verdicts being overturned. We know that these biases when left unaddressed can negatively impact our relationships with clients, professional performance, and legal outcomes

In recent years, WDA has focused numerous training sessions and our internal organizational work on advancing racial equity.  We will continue this work and call upon all our members to join us in the equity work that is being led at many levels: individual, organizational/institutional, community and structural.  Our recent trainings that may assist you in these important efforts include:

Here are links to other organizations who have joined this call to action and more information about the racial disparity in our criminal system.

  • Information about race and the criminal system across the United States and Washington State:

Washington Race Equity & Justice Initiative

Sentencing Project

Preliminary Report on Race and Washington’s Criminal Justice System

Washington Supreme Court Letter Addressing George Floyd

  • Statements of Solidarity from Organizations in Washington State and across the United States:

Colorado Juvenile Defender Center

Disability Rights Washington

Joint New York City Defender Statement


Legal Voice

Movement for Black Lives

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

National Center for Youth Law

National Juvenile Defender Center

National Lawyers Guild

National Legal Aid & Defense Association

Washington Race Equity & Justice Initiative

Korean American Bar Association

Filipino Lawyers of Washington