We Are All Criminals with Emily Baxter

Emily Baxter presented to law students on April 14, 2015, discussing her project, We Are All Criminals. 

Information on We Are All Criminals:

Used by employers, policy makers, landlords and the general public to determine the character of an individual, criminal records can profoundly impact someone’s ability to move on and up in life. But this isn’t about those records. We Are All Criminals looks at those of us with criminal histories but no record; in other words –those of us who have had the luxury to forget our misdeeds.

Doctors and lawyers, social workers and students, retailers and retirees tell stories of crimes they got away with, and consider how different their lives would have been had they been caught.The stories are of youth, boredom, intoxication, and porta potties. They are about luck, class, and privilege. They are humorous, humiliating, and humbling in turn. They are privately held memories without public stigma; they are criminal histories without criminal records.

This project seeks to challenge society’s perception of what it means to be a criminal and how much weight a record should be given, when truly – we are all criminals.

Biography of Emily Baxter:

Emily Baxter is a Fellow at the University of Minnesota Law School’s Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. Prior to this, Emily served as the director of advocacy and public policy at the Council on Crime and Justice in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and as an assistant public defender representing indigent members of the Leech Lake and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe charged with crimes in Minnesota State court. Emily is a former Archibald Bush Fellow. Her project, We Are All Criminals, which challenges society’s perception of ‘clean’ vs. ‘criminal,’ can be found at www.weareallcriminals.org.

A video of Emily Baxter's presentation can be found here