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Alumnae Stories

Renée McDonald Hutchins Pens Chapter in Racial Profiling Anthology

June 2018

Spelman Alumna Renee HutchinsRenée McDonald Hutchins, C’90, is tackling the issue of racial profiling within America’s criminal justice system by adding her voice to an anthology of essays on the topic. “Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment” explores the policing of Black men in American history and its implications through struggles such as poverty, violence and Black incarceration.

Hutchins, the Jacob A. France Professor of Public Interest Law and co-director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland’s Carey School of Law, wrote the chapter, “Racial Profiling: The Law, the Policy and the Practice.”

“The premise of my contribution is that racialized policing – despite all of its attendant harms – has been expressly authorized by the Supreme Court,” Hutchins said. “It will not be corrected until we confront that reality. We cannot fix a problem until we truly understand its origins and impacts.” Angela J. Davis, Bryan Stevenson, Marc Mauer and other experts on the topic also penned chapters of the book.

Hutchins received her J.D. from Yale Law School, and her B.A., cum laude, in mathematics from Spelman. Immediately following graduation from law school, she served as a law clerk to Judge Nathaniel R. Jones on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Immediately prior to joining the faculty at the University of Maryland, Professor Hutchins was part of the Lawyering Program faculty at New York University School of Law.

She brings a variety of legal experiences to the classroom, having served as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Enforcement Section of the Tax Division at the United States Department of Justice, and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia. Hutchins also practiced as a criminal defense attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta and with the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. 

Hutchins is currently serving her third four-year term as a member of the Appellate Courts Judicial Nominating Commission for the State of Maryland, and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the Judicial Institute of Maryland.