It has become fashionable among American liberals to condemn the American state for its great penal experiment that has left nearly two million Americans in prisons and jails and exposed Black Americans, in particular, to both imprisonment and high levels of aggressive, and sometimes lethal, police violence.  The Clinton crime bill of 1994 is just the most recent public policy to be pilloried by left-wing pundits and activists for contributing to, what has come to be called, “American exceptionalism” in imprisonment, and the deep racial disparities therein.