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Articles 1 - 18 of 18

Full-Text Articles in Law

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi Dec 2014

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, Sonja B. Starr, M. Marit Rehavi

Articles

Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through to sentencing, we find that initial case and defendant characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain most of the large raw racial disparity in federal sentences, but significant gaps remain. Across the distribution, blacks receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than those of comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. Most of this disparity can be explained by prosecutors’ initial charging decisions, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Ceteris paribus, the odds of black arrestees facing such a charge are 1.75 times higher ...


Sex Offender Law And The Geography Of Victimization, J. J. Prescott, Amanda Y. Agan Dec 2014

Sex Offender Law And The Geography Of Victimization, J. J. Prescott, Amanda Y. Agan

Articles

Sex offender laws that target recidivism (e.g., community notification and residency restriction regimes) are premised—at least in part—on the idea that sex offender proximity and victimization risk are positively correlated. We examine this relationship by combining past and current address information of registered sex offenders (RSOs) with crime data from Baltimore County, Maryland, to study how crime rates vary across neighborhoods with different concentrations of resident RSOs. Contrary to the assumptions of policymakers and the public, we find that, all else equal, reported sex offense victimization risk is generally (although not uniformly) lower in neighborhoods where more ...


Speedy Trial As A Viable Challenge To Chronic Underfunding In Indigent-Defense Systems, Emily Rose Nov 2014

Speedy Trial As A Viable Challenge To Chronic Underfunding In Indigent-Defense Systems, Emily Rose

Michigan Law Review

Across the country, underresourced indigent-defense systems create delays in taking cases to trial at both the state and federal levels. Attempts to increase funding for indigent defense by bringing ineffective assistance of counsel claims have been thwarted by high procedural and substantive hurdles, and consequently these attempts have failed to bring significant change. This Note argues that, because ineffective assistance of counsel litigation is most likely a dead end for system-wide reform, indigent defenders should challenge the constitutionality of underfunding based on the Sixth Amendment guarantee of speedy trial. Existing speedy trial jurisprudence suggests that the overworking and furloughing of ...


Reinventing Copyright And Patent, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky Nov 2014

Reinventing Copyright And Patent, Abraham Bell, Gideon Parchomovsky

Michigan Law Review

Intellectual property systems all over the world are modeled on a one-size-fitsall principle. However important or unimportant, inventions and original works receive the same scope of protection, for the same period of time, backed by the same variety of legal remedies. Essentially, all intellectual property is equal under the law. This equality comes at a heavy price, however. The equality principle gives all creators access to the same remedies, even when those remedies create perverse litigation incentives. Moreover, society overpays for innovation through more monopoly losses than are strictly necessary to incentivize production. In this Article, we propose a solution ...


Title Ix And Social Media: Going Beyond The Law, Emily Suran Oct 2014

Title Ix And Social Media: Going Beyond The Law, Emily Suran

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The U.S. Department of Education is currently investigating over eighty colleges and universities for civil rights violations under Title IX. From a punitive standpoint, these investigations likely will have minimal impact. Indeed, since the Alexander v. Yale plaintiffs first conceived of Title IX in a sexual harassment context, the nondiscriminatory principles of Title IX have proven disappointingly difficult to enforce. However, in today’s world of grassroots social activism, Title IX has taken on a new, extralegal import. Title IX has become a rallying cry for college activists and survivors. Despite (or perhaps because of) its limitations as a ...


Arguing On The Side Of Culture, Debra Chopp, Robert Ortega, Frank E. Vandervort Sep 2014

Arguing On The Side Of Culture, Debra Chopp, Robert Ortega, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

Human service professions are increasingly acknowledging the ubiquitous role of culture in the human experience. This is evidenced in professional codes of ethics, professional school accreditation standards, licensing, and in some cases through state statutes regarding professional codes of conduct. Across professions, concerted efforts are being made to infuse standards of culturally responsive practice into curricular content and training. For example, instruction on cultural competence is expected in business and medical education.1 Psychology and social work both require their professionals to exercise cultural competence. When it comes to cultural competence/ though, the legal codes of ethics and professional practice ...


Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin Jul 2014

Place, Not Race: Affirmative Action And The Geography Of Educational Opportunity, Sheryll Cashin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Ultimately, I argue that one important response to the demise of race-based affirmative action should be to incorporate the experience of segregation into diversity strategies. A college applicant who has thrived despite exposure to poverty in his school or neighborhood deserves special consideration. Those blessed to come of age in poverty-free havens do not. I conclude that use of place, rather than race, in diversity programming will better approximate the structural disadvantages many children of color actually endure, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. While I propose substituting ...


Thinking Hard About 'Race-Neutral' Admissions, Aaron Danielson, Richard H. Sander Jul 2014

Thinking Hard About 'Race-Neutral' Admissions, Aaron Danielson, Richard H. Sander

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Our exploration is organized as follows. In Part I, we sympathetically consider the very difficult dilemmas facing higher education leaders. Understanding the often irreconcilable pressures that constrain university administrators is essential if we are to envision the plausible policies they might undertake. In Part II, we draw on a range of data to illustrate some of the “properties” of admissions systems and, in particular, the ways in which race, SES, and academic preparation interact dynamically both within individual schools and across the educational spectrum. Partly because the questions we examine here have been so little studied, ideal data does not ...


Retaining Color, Veronica Root Apr 2014

Retaining Color, Veronica Root

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

It is no secret that large law firms are struggling in their efforts to retain attorneys of color. This is despite two decades of aggressive tracking of demographic rates, mandates from clients to improve demographic diversity, and the implementation of a variety of diversity efforts within large law firms. In part, law firm retention efforts are stymied by the reality that elite, large law firms require some level of attrition to function properly under the predominant business model. This reality, however, does not explain why firms have so much difficulty retaining attorneys of color — in particular black and Hispanic attorneys ...


Diverging Destinies Redux, Amy L. Wax Apr 2014

Diverging Destinies Redux, Amy L. Wax

Michigan Law Review

My recent “where to live” conversation with a newly hired colleague yielded an unsurprising list of “possibles”: selected blocks of Mount Airy and Germantown, plus the Main Line towns of Bryn Mawr, Ardmore, Haverford, Villanova, Gladwyne, and so forth. Despite my colleague’s professed open mind about potential neighborhoods, Jenkintown — my own somewhat obscure and distinctly unfashionable (but much more affordable) suburb — drew a blank stare, as did a dozen other solidly middleclass areas I mentioned. By my calculation, there are over 400 zip codes within a thirty-mile radius of Rittenhouse Square, which is in the center of downtown Philadelphia ...


Responding To Independent Juror Research In The Internet Age: Positive Rules, Negative Rules, And Outside Mechanisms, Robbie Manhas Mar 2014

Responding To Independent Juror Research In The Internet Age: Positive Rules, Negative Rules, And Outside Mechanisms, Robbie Manhas

Michigan Law Review

Independent juror research is an old problem for jury trials. It invites potentially prejudicial, irrelevant, and inaccurate information to guide jury decisionmaking. At the same time, independent juror research compromises our adversarial system by preventing parties from responding to all the evidence under consideration and obfuscating the record on which the jury’s decision is made. These threats have only increased in the internet age, where inappropriate sources of information are ubiquitous and where improper access is hard to detect. Nevertheless, courts and parties continue to engage in the same inhibitory measures they have employed for decades. This Note argues ...


What Does Social Equality Require Of Employers? A Response To Professor Bagenstos, Brishen Rogers Feb 2014

What Does Social Equality Require Of Employers? A Response To Professor Bagenstos, Brishen Rogers

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Individual employment law can appear a bit like tort law did in the late nineteenth century: an "eclectic gallery of wrongs" united largely by the fact that they do not fit into another doctrinal category. The field has emerged interstitially and today includes an array of state and federal common law and statutory claims not covered by labor law or employment discrimination law. These other subfieldshave foundational statutes: the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, respectively. Each was passed in response to a major social conflict, and each defines some ...


Judicial Independence And Social Welfare, Michael D. Gilbert Feb 2014

Judicial Independence And Social Welfare, Michael D. Gilbert

Michigan Law Review

Judicial independence is a cornerstone of American constitutionalism. It empowers judges to check the other branches of government and resolve cases impartially and in accordance with law. Yet independence comes with a hazard. Precisely because they are independent, judges can ignore law and pursue private agendas. For two centuries, scholars have debated those ideas and the underlying tradeoff: independence versus accountability. They have achieved little consensus, in part because independence raises difficult antecedent questions. We cannot decide how independent to make a judge until we agree on what a judge is supposed to do. That depends on one’s views ...


The Parallel March Of The Ginis: How Does Taxation Relate To Inequality And What Can Be Done About It?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2014

The Parallel March Of The Ginis: How Does Taxation Relate To Inequality And What Can Be Done About It?, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Law & Economics Working Papers

The United States currently has one of the highest levels of inequality among industrialized economies. In addition, numerous scholars have shown that social mobility in the United States is significantly lower than it was in the period between 1945 and 1970, when inequality was also declining. The combination of these trends is dangerous because it risks transforming the US into a society where small elites capture most of the gains, a pattern in which growth cannot be sustained over time (Acemoglu and Robinson 2012, Zingales 2012). The level of inequality in the US after taxes and transfers are taken into ...


Aborted Emotions: Regret, Relationality, And Regulation, Jody Lyneé Madeira Jan 2014

Aborted Emotions: Regret, Relationality, And Regulation, Jody Lyneé Madeira

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Regret is a deeply contested emotion within abortion discourse. It is present in ways that we are both afraid of and afraid to talk about. Conventional pro-life and pro-choice narratives link regret to defective decision making. Both sides assert that the existence of regret reveals abortion’s harmfulness or harmlessness, generating a narrow focus on the maternal-fetal relationship and women’s “rights.” These incomplete, deeply flawed constructions mire discourse in a clash between regret and relief and exclude myriad relevant relationships. Moreover, they distort popular understandings of abortion that in turn influence women, creating cognitive dissonance and perhaps distress for ...


The 'Compelling Government Interest' In School Diversity: Rebuilding The Case For An Affirmative Government Role, Philip Tegeler Jan 2014

The 'Compelling Government Interest' In School Diversity: Rebuilding The Case For An Affirmative Government Role, Philip Tegeler

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

How far does Justice Kennedy’s “moral and ethical obligation” to avoid racial isolation extend? Does the obligation flow primarily from Supreme Court case law, does it derive from an evolving consensus in the social sciences, or does it also have a statutory basis in Title VI and other federal law? In addition to its value as a justification for non-individualized, race-conscious remedial efforts by state and local governments, does the compelling interest identified in Parents Involved also suggest an affirmative duty on the part of the federal government? And if so, how far does this affirmative duty extend, and ...


It's Critical: Legal Participatory Action Research, Emily M.S. Houh, Kristin Kalsen Jan 2014

It's Critical: Legal Participatory Action Research, Emily M.S. Houh, Kristin Kalsen

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article introduces a method of research that we term “legal participatory action research” or “legal PAR” as a way for legal scholars and activists to put various strands of critical legal theory into practice. Specifically, through the lens of legal PAR, this Article contributes to a rapidly developing legal literature on the “fringe economy” that comprises “alternative lending services” and products, including but not limited to pawnshops, check cashers, payday lenders, direct deposit loans, (tax) refund anticipation loans, and car title loans. As importantly, this article also contributes to the related fields of critical race theory, feminist legal theory ...


Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2014

Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This Article critiques, on legal and empirical grounds, the growing trend of basing criminal sentences on actuarial recidivism risk prediction instruments that include demographic and socioeconomic variables. I argue that this practice violates the Equal Protection Clause and is bad policy: an explicit embrace of otherwise- condemned discrimination, sanitized by scientific language. To demonstrate that this practice raises serious constitutional concerns, I comprehensively review the relevant case law, much of which has been ignored by existing literature. To demonstrate that the policy is not justified by countervailing state interests, I review the empirical evidence underlying the instruments. I show that ...