No Equal Justice

Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System

The award-winning classic work on race- and class-based double standards in the law, by the leading constitutional scholar

No Equal Justice offers a challenging, multilayered analysis of how the disconnect between constitutional theory and legal practice has infected today’s justice system.” —The Washington Post Book World

American Political Science Association Best Book on an Issue of National Policy
Boston Book Review Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year

No Equal Justice is the seminal work on race- and class-based double standards in criminal justice. Hailed as a “shocking and necessary book” by The Economist, it has become the standard reference point for anyone trying to understand the fundamental inequalities in the American legal system. The book, written by constitutional law scholar and civil liberties advocate David Cole, was named the best nonfiction book of 1999 by the Boston Book Review and the best book on an issue of national policy by the American Political Science Association.

No Equal Justice examines subjects ranging from police behavior and jury selection to sentencing, and argues that our system does not merely fail to live up to the promise of equality, but actively requires double standards to operate. Such disparities,Cole argues, allow the privileged to enjoy constitutional protections from police power without paying the costs associated with extending those protections across the board to minorities and the poor.


No Equal Justice makes a strong case that we have tolerated a law enforcement strategy that depends on the exploitation of race and class divisions.”
The New York Times Book Review

News and Reviews

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Books by David Cole

Terrorism and the Constitution
Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security

David Cole, James X. Dempsey

The Torture Memos
Rationalizing the Unthinkable

David Cole

Rules for Resistance
Advice from Around the Globe for the Age of Trump

David Cole, Melanie Wachtell Stinnett

Enemy Aliens
Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism

David Cole

Goodreads Reviews