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Punishment

2009

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Institution
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Articles 1 - 23 of 23

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Penalizing Punitive Damages: Why The Supreme Court Needs A Lesson In Law & Economics, Steve P. Calandrillo Jul 2009

Penalizing Punitive Damages: Why The Supreme Court Needs A Lesson In Law & Economics, Steve P. Calandrillo

Steve P. Calandrillo

Last fall’s landmark Supreme Court decision addressing punitive damages in the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill case has brought the issue of punitive awards back into the legal limelight. Modern Supreme Court jurisprudence, most notably BMW, State Farm, Philip Morris, and now Exxon Valdez in 2008, have concluded that such judgments are justified to punish morally reprehensible behavior and to “send a message” to evildoers. However, the Court has increasingly emphasized that the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause presumptively limits punitive awards, drawing an arbitrary line in the sand of no more than ten times actual damages ...


Thug Life: Hip Hop’S Curious Relationship With Criminal Justice, André Douglas Pond Cummings Jul 2009

Thug Life: Hip Hop’S Curious Relationship With Criminal Justice, André Douglas Pond Cummings

Faculty Scholarship

I argue that hip hop music and culture profoundly influences attitudes toward and perceptions about criminal justice in the United States. At base, hip hop lyrics and their cultural accoutrements turns U.S. punishment philosophy upon its head, effectively defeating the foundational purposes of American crime and punishment. Prison and punishment philosophy in the U.S. is based on clear principles of retribution and incapacitation, where prison time for crime should serve to deter individuals from engaging in criminal behavior. In addition, the stigma that attaches to imprisonment should dissuade criminals from recidivism. Hip hop culture denounces crime and punishment ...


Using Criminal Punishment To Serve Both Victim And Social Needs, Erin Ann O'Hara, Maria Mayo Robbins Apr 2009

Using Criminal Punishment To Serve Both Victim And Social Needs, Erin Ann O'Hara, Maria Mayo Robbins

Law and Contemporary Problems

In recent decades, the criminal-justice pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme. Criminal law is often described as covering disputes between the offender and the state. Victims are not direct parties to criminal proceedings, they have no formal right to either initiate or terminate a criminal action, and they have no control over the punishment meted out to offenders. In this state-centric system, victim needs have been left unsatisfied, giving rise to a politically powerful victims' rights movement that has had success in giving victims rights of access to prosecutors and rights to be heard in the courtroom. Here, O ...


Happiness And Punishment (With J. Bronsteen & J. Masur), Christopher J. Buccafusco Jan 2009

Happiness And Punishment (With J. Bronsteen & J. Masur), Christopher J. Buccafusco

Christopher J. Buccafusco

This article continues our project to apply groundbreaking new literature on the behavioral psychology of human happiness to some of the most deeply analyzed questions in law. Here we explain that the new psychological understandings of happiness interact in startling ways with the leading theories of criminal punishment. Punishment theorists, both retributivist and utilitarian, have failed to account for human beings' ability to adapt to changed circumstances, including fines and (surprisingly) imprisonment. At the same time, these theorists have largely ignored the severe hedonic losses brought about by the post-prison social and economic deprivations (unemployment, divorce, and disease) caused by ...


Beyond Retroactivity To Realizing Justice: A Theory On The Principle Of Legality In International Criminal Law Sentencing, Shahram Dana Jan 2009

Beyond Retroactivity To Realizing Justice: A Theory On The Principle Of Legality In International Criminal Law Sentencing, Shahram Dana

Shahram Dana

Only the innocent deserve the benefits of the principle of legality. This statement naturally offends our notions of justice. It would be unacceptable for courts of criminal justice to institutionalize such an approach. Yet, in the context of prosecuting mass atrocities, genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, international criminal courts appear to be resigned to such a principle, if not openly embracing it. Although ranking among the most fundamental principles of criminal law, nulla poena sine lege (no punishment without law) receives surprisingly little attention in international criminal justice. Indeed, that it may be considered the 'poor cousin' of ...


On The Boundaries Of Culture As An Affirmative Defense, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Eliot M. Held Jan 2009

On The Boundaries Of Culture As An Affirmative Defense, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Eliot M. Held

Reid G. Fontaine

A “cultural defense” to criminal culpability cannot achieve true pluralism without collapsing into a totally subjective, personal standard. Applying an objective cultural standard does not rescue a defendant from the external imposition of values—the purported aim of the cultural defense—because a cultural standard is, at its core, an external standard imposed onto an individual. The pluralist argument for a cultural defense also fails on its own terms—after all, justice systems are themselves cultural institutions. Furthermore, a defendant’s background is already accounted for at sentencing. The closest thing to a cultural defense that a court could adopt ...


Extraordinary And Compelling: A Re-Examination Of The Justifications For Compassionate Release, William W. Berry Iii Jan 2009

Extraordinary And Compelling: A Re-Examination Of The Justifications For Compassionate Release, William W. Berry Iii

William W Berry III

Federal law, unbeknownst to many, includes a provision that permits the immediate release of federal prisoners. This safety valve provision requires that the Director of the Bureau of Prisons make a motion on behalf of the prisoner in order to secure the prisoner's compassionate release. Far from being a veiled version of parole, this compassionate release provision is to be used only in circumstances deemed "extraordinary and compelling." While the Bureau of Prisons has read this language very narrowly for many years, considering only terminally ill inmates as candidates for compassionate release, the Sentencing Commission modified its Guideline commentary ...


When Human Experimentation Is Criminal, Song Richardson Jan 2009

When Human Experimentation Is Criminal, Song Richardson

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Medical researchers engaged in human experimentation commit criminal acts seemingly without consequence. Whereas other actors who violate bodily integrity and autonomy are routinely penalized with convictions for assault, fraud, and homicide, researchers escape criminal punishment. This Article begins to scrutinize this undercriminalization phenomenon and provides a framework for understanding why researchers are not prosecuted for their crimes. It argues that their exalted social status, combined with the perceived social benefit of their research, immunizes them from use of the criminal sanction. Whether these constitute sufficient grounds to give researchers a pass from punishment is a significant question because the state ...


Choosing Those Who Will Die: The Effect Of Race, Gender, And Law In Prosecutorial Decision To Seek The Death Penalty In Durham County, North Carolina, Isaac Unah Jan 2009

Choosing Those Who Will Die: The Effect Of Race, Gender, And Law In Prosecutorial Decision To Seek The Death Penalty In Durham County, North Carolina, Isaac Unah

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

District prosecutors in the United States exercise virtually unfettered power and discretion to decide which murder cases to prosecute for capital punishment. According to neoclassical theory of formal legal rationality, the process for determining criminal punishment should be based upon legal rules established and sanctioned by the state to communicate the priorities of the political community. The theory therefore argues in favor of a determinate mode of decision-making that diminishes the importance of extrinsic elements such as race and gender in the application of law. In the empirical research herein reported, I test this theory using death eligible cases in ...


The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Sec Disgorgement Of Profits, And The Evolving International Bribery Regime: Weighing Proportionality, Retribution, And Deterrence, David C. Weiss Jan 2009

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Sec Disgorgement Of Profits, And The Evolving International Bribery Regime: Weighing Proportionality, Retribution, And Deterrence, David C. Weiss

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Note uses examples such as Titan Corp. to support the argument that there are reasons to question the United States' increasing reliance on disgorgement to enforce the FCPA. Despite obvious deterrence benefits, the SEC's quest for disgorgement of ill-gotten gains raises significant questions regarding extraterritoriality, proportionality, and evidentiary uncertainty. This Note looks to the history of the FCPA and both international anti-bribery agreements and foreign statutes implementing those agreements in arguing that U.S. and foreign regulators need to create a more certain, predictable enforcement climate as the number of foreign bribery enforcement actions continue to explode.


Prosecuting Torturers, Protecting "Child Molesters": Toward A Power Balance Model Of Criminal Process For International Human Rights Law, Mykola Sorochinsky Jan 2009

Prosecuting Torturers, Protecting "Child Molesters": Toward A Power Balance Model Of Criminal Process For International Human Rights Law, Mykola Sorochinsky

Michigan Journal of International Law

In the age of terrorism, human rights law globally suffers substantial setbacks. However, at the regional level, human rights law is now more relevant than ever. More cases are decided each year by regional human rights tribunals, particularly in Europe. More importantly, human rights law affects more areas of domestic legal systems than ever before-from trademark law to limits on corporal punishment of children. This growing complexity presents two challenges: first, the challenge of comprehension (or the increasing need to make sense of the ever-expanding case law in many substantive areas) and second, the challenge of responsibility (or the fact ...


Happiness And Punishment (With J. Bronsteen & J. Masur), Christopher J. Buccafusco Jan 2009

Happiness And Punishment (With J. Bronsteen & J. Masur), Christopher J. Buccafusco

All Faculty Scholarship

This article continues our project to apply groundbreaking new literature on the behavioral psychology of human happiness to some of the most deeply analyzed questions in law. Here we explain that the new psychological understandings of happiness interact in startling ways with the leading theories of criminal punishment. Punishment theorists, both retributivist and utilitarian, have failed to account for human beings' ability to adapt to changed circumstances, including fines and (surprisingly) imprisonment. At the same time, these theorists have largely ignored the severe hedonic losses brought about by the post-prison social and economic deprivations (unemployment, divorce, and disease) caused by ...


Failures To Punish: Command Responsibility In Domestic And International Law, Amy J. Sepinwall Jan 2009

Failures To Punish: Command Responsibility In Domestic And International Law, Amy J. Sepinwall

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article embraces one of two contested understandings of what a failure to punish entails. On the first understanding, a military commander's failure to punish is construed solely as a dereliction of duty. Accordingly, his failure to punish constitutes a separate offense from the underlying atrocity that his troops have committed. The failure to punish is, then, a substantive offense in its own right. On a second understanding, for which I argue here, the failure to punish renders the commander criminally liable for the atrocity itself, even if he neither ordered nor even knew about the atrocity before its ...


Restoration But Also More Justice, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2009

Restoration But Also More Justice, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This short essay replies to Erik Luna's endorsement of restorative justice. He is right that the goal of healing victims, defendants, and their families is important but all too often neglected by substantive criminal law and procedure, which is far too state-centered and impersonal. The problem with restorative justice is that too often it seeks to sweep away punishment as barbaric and downplays the need for deterrence and incapacitation as well. In short, restorative justice deserves more of a role in American criminal justice. Shorn of its political baggage and reflexive hostility to punishment, restorative justice has much to ...


Reflections On Capital Punishment, Rob Warden Jan 2009

Reflections On Capital Punishment, Rob Warden

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

Authored by the Executive Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, this powerful article reviews the many different arguments against the death penalty and uses a multitude of case discussions to show how the death penalty works, not in theory, but in practice. Some of these arguments include: the death penalty does not have a demonstrable deterrent effect; it costs more to maintain the system than to imprison murderers for life; many wrongfully condemned defendants have been saved by the serendipitous discovery of evidence not available during trial; innocent persons have been executed; the death penalty has been applied in ...


Revisiting Beccaria's Vision: The Enlightenment, America's Death Penalty, And The Abolition Movement, John D. Bessler Jan 2009

Revisiting Beccaria's Vision: The Enlightenment, America's Death Penalty, And The Abolition Movement, John D. Bessler

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

In 1764, Cesare Beccaria, a 26-year-old Italian, penned . The treatise argued that state-sanctioned executions and torture violate natural law. As we near the 250th anniversary of its publication, author John D. Bessler provides a comprehensive review of the abolition movement, from before Beccaria's time to the present. Bessler reviews Beccaria's influence on Enlightenment thinkers and more importantly, on America's Founding Fathers. The Article also provides an extensive review of Eighth Amendment jurisprudence and then contrasts it with the trend in International Law towards the abolition of the death penalty. It then discusses the current state of the ...


Neoliberal Penality: The Birth Of Natural Order, The Illusion Of Free Markets, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: The Birth Of Natural Order, The Illusion Of Free Markets, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

What work do the categories “the free market” and “regulation” do for us? Why do we incarcerate one out of every one hundred adults? These seemingly unrelated questions, it turns out, are deeply interconnected. The categories of free and regulated markets emerged as an effort to make sense of irreducibly individual phenomena – unique forms of market organization. In the process, these categories helped shape our belief that the economic realm is characterized by natural order and equilibrium, and that the only legitimate sphere of government intervention is policing and punishment. The consequences have been devastating: first, in distorting and expanding ...


Cruel And Unequal Punishment, Nita A. Farahany Jan 2009

Cruel And Unequal Punishment, Nita A. Farahany

Faculty Scholarship

This article argues Atkins and its progeny of categorical exemptions to the death penalty create and new and as of yet undiscovered interaction between the Eighth and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The United States Supreme Court, the legal academy and commentators have failed to consider the relationship between the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause and the Equal Protection Clause that the Court's new Eighth Amendment jurisprudence demands. This article puts forth a new synthesis of these two clauses, and demonstrates how the Court's new Eighth Amendment jurisprudence has remarkable Fourteenth Amendment implications. To see ...


Drug Law Reform--Retreating From An Incarceration Addiction, Robert G. Lawson Jan 2009

Drug Law Reform--Retreating From An Incarceration Addiction, Robert G. Lawson

Kentucky Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Mistake Of Fact Or Mistake Of Criminal Law? Explaining And Defending The Distinction, Kenneth Simons Jan 2009

Mistake Of Fact Or Mistake Of Criminal Law? Explaining And Defending The Distinction, Kenneth Simons

Faculty Scholarship

This article makes six points. First, under any plausible normative perspective, the distinction between mistake (and ignorance) of criminal law and mistake of fact must at least sometimes be drawn. Second, the fundamental distinction is between a mistake about the state's authoritative statement of what is prohibited ("M Law"), and a mistake about whether that prohibitory norm is instantiated in a particular case ("M Fact"). Third, when an actor makes a mistake about an evaluative criterion whose content the fact-finder has discretion to elaborate, it is impossible both to allow this discretion and to faithfully realize a jurisdiction's ...


Randomization In Criminal Justice: A Criminal Law Conversation, Bernard E. Harcourt, Alon Harel, Ken Levy, Michael M. O'Hear, Alice Ristroph Jan 2009

Randomization In Criminal Justice: A Criminal Law Conversation, Bernard E. Harcourt, Alon Harel, Ken Levy, Michael M. O'Hear, Alice Ristroph

Faculty Scholarship

In this Criminal Law Conversation (Robinson, Ferzan & Garvey, eds., Oxford 2009), the authors debate whether there is a role for randomization in the penal sphere - in the criminal law, in policing, and in punishment theory. In his Tanner lectures back in 1987, Jon Elster had argued that there was no role for chance in the criminal law: “I do not think there are any arguments for incorporating lotteries in present-day criminal law,” Elster declared. Bernard Harcourt takes a very different position and embraces chance in the penal sphere, arguing that randomization is often the only way to avoid the pitfalls ...


Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The turn of the twenty first century witnessed important shifts in punishment practices. The most shocking is mass incarceration – the exponential rise in prisoners in state and federal penitentiaries and in county jails beginning in 1973. It is tempting to view these developments as evidence of something new that emerged in the 1970s – of a new culture of control, a new penology, or a new turn to biopower. But it would be a mistake to place too much emphasis on the 1970s since most of the recent trends have antecedents and parallels in the early twentieth century. It is important ...


Towards A Unique Theory Of International Criminal Sentencing, Jens David Ohlin Jan 2009

Towards A Unique Theory Of International Criminal Sentencing, Jens David Ohlin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

International criminal law currently lacks a robust procedure for sentencing convicted defendants. Legal scholars have already critiqued the sentencing procedures at the ad hoc tribunals, and the Rome Statute does little more than refer to the gravity of the offense and the individual circumstances of the criminal. No procedures are in place to guide judges in exercising their discretion in a matter that is arguably the most central aspect of international criminal law - punishment. This paper argues that the deficiency of sentencing procedures stems from a more fundamental theoretical deficiency - the lack of a unique theory of punishment for international ...