Li'l Muck Episode 18: Caroline Light & Melba V. Pearson

Hillary and Tina interview Professor Caroline Light and former Assistant State Attorney Melba V. Pearson. Caroline Light currently serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University and teaches courses on women, gender, and sexuality. Melba Pearson is an attorney specializing in civil rights and criminal law, with an emphasis on policy.

As her Harvard bio notes: Professor Light’s research explores the ways in which race, gender, and religion have shaped collective (mis)memory and archival silence. Her recent book, Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense provides a critical genealogy of our nation’s ideals of armed citizenship. Beginning with the centuries-old adage “a man’s home is his castle,” she tracks the history of our nation’s relationship to lethal self-defense, from the duty to retreat to the “shoot first, ask questions later” ethos that prevails in many jurisdictions today.

Melba Pearson is the Director of Policy and Programs for Florida International University’s Center for the Administration of Justice, as well as Senior Fellow/Faculty in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her work centers on the expansion of the use of Prosecutorial Performance Indicators for more transparency, equity and racial justice in the criminal justice system. Before joining FIU, Ms. Pearson spent three years as Deputy Director of the ACLU of Florida where she worked to change police practices, expand voting rights, and reform the criminal justice system. Previously, Ms. Pearson was an Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County for 16 years, culminating as Assistant Chief in the Career Criminal/Robbery Unit supervising junior attorneys while prosecuting homicides. She lives in Miami Beach with her husband Bill.

Caroline Light
Caroline Light Harvard Bio
Stand Your Ground: A History of America's Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense
Tampa Bay Times Article: DeSantis’ new ‘stand your ground’ would provoke the danger it professes to prevent

Melba Pearson
Melba Pearson new director of policy, programs at Center for the Administration of Justice
Prosecutorial Performance Indicators
Tampa Bay Times Article: Women inmates exposed to sexual abuse at Florida prison, report says