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University of Michigan Law School

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Criminal Law

Criminal justice

Articles 1 - 17 of 17

Full-Text Articles in Law

Expungement Of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, J.J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr May 2020

Expungement Of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, J.J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

Laws permitting the expungement of criminal convictions are a key component of modern criminal justice reform efforts and have been the subject of a recent upsurge in legislative activity. This debate has been almost entirely devoid of evidence about the laws’ effects, in part because the necessary data (such as sealed records themselves) have been unavailable. We were able to obtain access to de-identified data that overcome that problem, and we use it to carry out a comprehensive statewide study of expungement recipients and comparable nonrecipients in Michigan. We offer three key sets of empirical findings. First, among those legally ...


Process Costs And Police Discretion, Charlie Gerstein, J. J. Prescott Apr 2015

Process Costs And Police Discretion, Charlie Gerstein, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Cities across the country are debating police discretion. Much of this debate centers on “public order” offenses. These minor offenses are unusual in that the actual sentence violators receive when convicted — usually time already served in detention — is beside the point. Rather, public order offenses are enforced prior to any conviction by subjecting accused individuals to arrest, detention, and other legal process. These “process costs” are significant; they distort plea bargaining to the point that the substantive law behind the bargained-for conviction is largely irrelevant. But the ongoing debate about police discretion has ignored the centrality of these process costs ...


Rate Of False Conviction Of Criminal Defendants Who Are Sentenced To Death, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien, Chen Hu, Edward H. Kennedy Jan 2014

Rate Of False Conviction Of Criminal Defendants Who Are Sentenced To Death, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien, Chen Hu, Edward H. Kennedy

Articles

The rate of erroneous conviction of innocent criminal defendants is often described as not merely unknown but unknowable. There is no systematic method to determine the accuracy of a criminal conviction; if there were, these errors would not occur in the first place. As a result, very few false convictions are ever discovered, and those that are discovered are not representative of the group as a whole. In the United States, however, a high proportion of false convictions that do come to light and produce exonerations are concentrated among the tiny minority of cases in which defendants are sentenced to ...


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 ...


Interpersonal Power In The Criminal System, Kimberly A. Thomas Jan 2013

Interpersonal Power In The Criminal System, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

This Article identifies the workings of interpersonal power in the criminal system and considers the effect of these cases on criminal theory and practice. By uncovering this phenomenon, this Article hopes to spark a legal academic dialogue and inquiry that has, until now, been unspoken. This Article has roots in my former work as a Philadelphia public defender and in my current work as a clinical professor with students who appear in criminal and juvenile court. As an advocate for the poor in a busy courthouse, one of a lawyer's tasks is to discover the multiple "real" stories behind ...


Reply To Richard A. Leo And Jon B. Gould, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien Jan 2010

Reply To Richard A. Leo And Jon B. Gould, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien

Articles

The following is a letter to the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law received from Professors Samuel Gross and Barbara O'Brien, responding to an article published in the Journal in Fall 2009 by Professors Richard Leo and Jon Gould. This letter is followed by a reply from Professors Leo and Gould. Professors Gross and O'Brien did not see the reply prior to the Journal going to press. As we have indicated before, we welcome letters to the Journal from readers on any topic covered in a prior issue. - Editors


Frequency And Predictors Of False Conviction: Why We Know So Little, And New Data On Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien Jan 2008

Frequency And Predictors Of False Conviction: Why We Know So Little, And New Data On Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien

Articles

In the first part of this article, we address the problems inherent in studying wrongful convictions: our pervasive ignorance and the extreme difficulty of obtaining the data that we need to answer even basic questions. The main reason that we know so little about false convictions is that, by definition, they are hidden from view. As a result, it is nearly impossible to gather reliable data on the characteristics or even the frequency of false convictions. In addition, we have very limited data on criminal investigations and prosecutions in general, so even if we could somehow obtain data on cases ...


Jurisdictional Competition In Criminal Justice: How Much Does It Really Happen?, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2006

Jurisdictional Competition In Criminal Justice: How Much Does It Really Happen?, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

It's a familiar image from American fiction: the bad guy ridden out of town on a rail' or beaten up by the sheriff and dumped on the next train out. Where do they go? Banishment is an age-old form of punishment. In America, where an atomized criminal justice system has survived into the twentyfirst century, we can continue to try to dump our criminals on our near neighbors, and-as Doron Teichman points out in his interesting articlethat is not the only way that American states, counties, and cities can try to reduce their own crime rates by exporting crime ...


Exonerations In The United States 1989 Through 2003, Samuel R. Gross, Kriten Jacoby, Daniel J. Matheson, Nicholas Montgomery, Sujata Patil Jan 2005

Exonerations In The United States 1989 Through 2003, Samuel R. Gross, Kriten Jacoby, Daniel J. Matheson, Nicholas Montgomery, Sujata Patil

Articles

On August 14, 1989, the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, Illinois, vacated Gary Dotson's 1979 rape conviction and dismissed the charges.1 Mr. Dotson-who had spent ten years in and out of prison and on parole for this conviction-was not the first innocent prisoner to be exonerated and released in America. But his case was a breakthrough nonetheless: he was the first who was cleared by DNA identification technology. It was the beginning of a revolution in the American criminal justice system. Until then, exonerations of falsely convicted defendants were seen as aberrational. Since 1989, these once-rare events ...


An Epilogue To The Age Of Pound, Thomas A. Green Jan 1996

An Epilogue To The Age Of Pound, Thomas A. Green

Articles

Doubts about the reality of criminal offenders' autonomy have sometimes played a role in the movement to abolish, or greatly reduce the reach of, the sanction of capital punishment.


Freedom And Criminal Responsibility In The Age Of Pound: An Essay On Criminal Justice, Thomas A. Green Jun 1995

Freedom And Criminal Responsibility In The Age Of Pound: An Essay On Criminal Justice, Thomas A. Green

Articles

The concept of freedom has two main aspects: political liberty and freedom of the will. I am concerned here with the latter, although - as these two aspects of freedom are not entirely unrelated to each other - I shall touch also on the former. Enough has been written from a philosophical perspective on the relationship between free will and the law that it is not easy to justify yet another such undertaking. But there may still be room for some informal observations on the manner in which doubts about the concept of freedom of the will affected discussion of criminal responsibility ...


Strong Criticism Of The American System Of Trial By Jury, Yale Kamisar Jan 1995

Strong Criticism Of The American System Of Trial By Jury, Yale Kamisar

Articles

I grieve for my country to say that the administration of the criminal law in all the states in the Union (there may be one or two exceptions) is a disgrace to our civilization.


Review Of Kingship, Law And Society: Criminal Justice In The Reign Of Henry V, Thomas A. Green Jan 1992

Review Of Kingship, Law And Society: Criminal Justice In The Reign Of Henry V, Thomas A. Green

Reviews

Edward Powell's splendid study of Henry V's strategy for keeping peace among magnate and gentry factions represents an important contribution to the history of criminal justice. After providing a panoramic view of the machinery of criminal justice, Powell analyzes the extent to which that machinery was effective as between the Crown, at the center, and the upper echelons of society in the provinces. His conclusion, not surprisingly, is that the regular processes of common-law criminal administration could not easily be deployed at those levels. But Powell does not let the matter drop there. Kingship, Law, and Society presents ...


A Retrospective On The Criminal Trial Jury, 1200-1800, Thomas A. Green Jan 1988

A Retrospective On The Criminal Trial Jury, 1200-1800, Thomas A. Green

Book Chapters

My recent book provided an overview of the history of the institutional aspects of the English criminal trial jury upon which all of the contributors to this volume have, tacitly or otherwise, commented. That tentative institutional background was intended both to stand on its own terms and to provide a framework for the studies on the relationship between law and society and on the history of ideas regarding the jury that made up the larger part of the volume. The two aspects of my book were joined: the socio-legal analysis and the history of ideas were to a large extent ...


Review Of Crime In England, 1550-1800, Thomas A. Green Jan 1979

Review Of Crime In England, 1550-1800, Thomas A. Green

Reviews

Crime in England, 1550-1800, is the second collection of essays on the social history of crime and the criminal law in early modern England to appear in recent years. Together with the essays in Albion's Fatal Tree (1975),' these offerings advance our knowledge of the subject considerably. To be sure, as G. R. Elton cautions, there are methodological problems in a field so new, and Elton's "Introduction" will serve as an excellent starting point for readers concerned with such matters. We must nevertheless recognize the accomplishments of the new school of socio-legal historians. The essays in this volume ...


Review Of Crime And Public Order In England In The Later Middle Ages, Thomas A. Green Jan 1974

Review Of Crime And Public Order In England In The Later Middle Ages, Thomas A. Green

Reviews

Slowly but surely the history of English criminal law is being rewritten. Abundant monographs, articles and introductions to texts have appeared in the past couple of decades; many more are on the way. Work has gone ahead on the substantive law of crimes, on the procedures of the criminal law and its institutions andmore tentatively-on the social history of English criminal law. While medievalists have led the way, work is now being undertaken by early modern and modern historians as well.


How To Use, Abuse—And Fight Back With—Crime Statistics, Yale Kamisar Jan 1972

How To Use, Abuse—And Fight Back With—Crime Statistics, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Statistics have an almost magical appeal in a "fact"-minded culture such as ours, among a people conditioned and accustomed to watch for-and attach great significance to-even the smallest fluctuations in say, the unemployment rate. Hence, as Darrell Huff graphically demonstrated in his famous little book, How to Lie with Statistics (1954), they can be-and have been-manipulated to terrorize or calm, inflate or depreciate, and above all, to sensationalize and over simplify. As Harvard criminologist Lloyd Ohlin noted recently, statistics are especially potent when "they give a sense of solid reality (usually false) to something people vaguely apprehend and when ...