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Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Law

Constitutionally Tailoring Punishment, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Dec 2013

Constitutionally Tailoring Punishment, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Since the turn of the century, the Supreme Court has begun to regulate non-capital sentencing under the Sixth Amendment in the Apprendi line of cases (requiring jury findings of fact to justify sentence enhancements) as well as under the Eighth Amendment in the Miller and Graham line of cases (forbidding mandatory life imprisonment for juvenile defendants). Though both lines of authority sound in individual rights, in fact they are fundamentally about the structures of criminal justice. These two seemingly disparate lines of doctrine respond to structural imbalances in non-capital sentencing by promoting morally appropriate punishment judgments that are based on ...


The Duties Of Non-Judicial Actors In Ensuring Competent Negotiation, Stephanos Bibas Jul 2013

The Duties Of Non-Judicial Actors In Ensuring Competent Negotiation, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay, written for a symposium at Duquesne Law School entitled Plea Bargaining After Lafler and Frye, offers thoughts on how lawyers could learn from doctors’ experience in catching and preventing medical errors and aviation experts’ learning from airplane crashes and near misses. It also expresses skepticism about the efficacy of judges’ ex post review of ineffective assistance of counsel, but holds out more hope that public-defender organizations, bar associations, probation officers, sentencing judges, sentencing commissions, and line and supervisory prosecutors can do much more to prevent misunderstanding and remedy ineffective bargaining advice in the first place.


Putting The Trial Penalty On Trial, David S. Abrams Jul 2013

Putting The Trial Penalty On Trial, David S. Abrams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The "trial penalty" is a concept widely accepted by all the major actors in the criminal justice system: defendants, prosecutors, defense attorneys, court employees, and judges. The notion is that defendants receive longer sentences at trial than they would have through plea bargain, often substantially longer. The concept is intuitive: longer sentences are necessary in order to induce settlements and without a high settlement rate it would be impossible for courts as currently structured to sustain their immense caseload. While intuitively appealing, this view of the trial penalty is completely at odds with economic prediction. Since both prosecutors and defendants ...


Shrinking Gideon And Expanding Alternatives To Lawyers, Stephanos Bibas Apr 2013

Shrinking Gideon And Expanding Alternatives To Lawyers, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay, written as part of a symposium at Washington and Lee Law School entitled Gideon at 50: Reassessing the Right to Counsel, argues that the standard academic dream of expanding the right to counsel to all criminal and major civil cases has proven to be an unattainable mirage. We have been spreading resources too thin, in the process slighting the core cases such as capital and other serious felonies that are the most complex and need the most time and money. Moreover, our legal system is overengineered, making the law too complex and legal services too expensive for the ...


Criminal (In)Justice And Democracy In America, Stephanos Bibas Mar 2013

Criminal (In)Justice And Democracy In America, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay responds to Nicola Lacey’s review of my recent book The Machinery of Criminal Justice (Oxford Univ. Press 2012). Lacey entirely overlooks the book’s fundamental distinction between making criminal justice policy wholesale and adjudicating deserved punishment at the retail level, in individual cases, which is quite consistent with keeping but tempering rules. She also undervalues America’s deep commitments to federalism, localism, and democratic self-government and overlooks the related problem of agency costs in criminal justice. Her top-down approach colors her desire to pursue equality judicially, to the exclusion of the political branches. Finally, Lacey denigrates the ...


Bulk Misdemeanor Justice, Stephanos Bibas Feb 2013

Bulk Misdemeanor Justice, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This short essay responds to Alexandra Natapoff’s article Misdemeanors, which shines a much-needed spotlight on the mass production of criminal justice and injustice in millions of low-level cases. The prime culprit in Natapoff’s story is the hidden, informal discretion that police officers enjoy to arrest, charge, and effect convictions, abetted by prosecutors’ and judges’ abdication and defense counsel’s absence or impotence. The roots of the problem she identifies, I argue, go all the way down to the system’s professionalization and mechanization. Given the magnitude of the problem, Natapoff’s solutions are surprisingly half-hearted, masking the deeper ...


Abolition Of The Insanity Defense Violates Due Process, Stephen J. Morse, Richard J. Bonnie Jan 2013

Abolition Of The Insanity Defense Violates Due Process, Stephen J. Morse, Richard J. Bonnie

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article, which is based on and expands on an amicus brief the authors submitted to the United States Supreme Court, first provides the moral argument in favor of the insanity defense. It considers and rejects the most important moral counterargument and suggests that jurisdictions have considerable leeway in deciding what test best meets their legal and moral policies. The article then discusses why the two primary alternatives to the insanity defense, the negation of mens rea and considering mental disorder at sentencing, are insufficient to achieve the goal of responding justly to severely mentally disordered offenders. The last section ...


Justice Kennedy's Sixth Amendment Pragmatism, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2013

Justice Kennedy's Sixth Amendment Pragmatism, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay, written as part of a symposium on the evolution of Justice Kennedy’s jurisprudence, surveys three areas of criminal procedure under the Sixth Amendment: sentence enhancements, the admissibility of hearsay, and the regulation of defense counsel’s responsibilities. In each area, Justice Kennedy has been a notable voice of pragmatism, focusing not on bygone analogies to the eighteenth century but on a hard-headed appreciation of the twenty-first. He has shown sensitivity to modern criminal practice, prevailing professional norms, and practical constraints, as befits a Justice who came to the bench with many years of private-practice experience. His touchstone ...


The Conditions Of Pretrial Detention, Catherine T. Struve Jan 2013

The Conditions Of Pretrial Detention, Catherine T. Struve

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Alexander's Genius, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2013

Alexander's Genius, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Debate: The Constitutionality Of Stop-And-Frisk In New York City, David Rudovsky, Lawrence Rosenthal Jan 2013

Debate: The Constitutionality Of Stop-And-Frisk In New York City, David Rudovsky, Lawrence Rosenthal

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Stop-and-frisk, a crime prevention tactic that allows a police officer to stop a person based on “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity and frisk based on reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous, has been a contentious police practice since first approved by the Supreme Court in 1968. In Floyd v. City of New York, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices violate both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Professors David Rudovsky and Lawrence Rosenthal debate the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk in New York City in light ...