Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 14 of 14

Full-Text Articles in Law

Apprendi And The Dynamics Of Guilty Pleas, Stephanos Bibas Nov 2011

Apprendi And The Dynamics Of Guilty Pleas, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Protecting Liberty And Autonomy: Desert/Disease Jurisprudence, Stephen J. Morse Oct 2011

Protecting Liberty And Autonomy: Desert/Disease Jurisprudence, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This contribution to a symposium on the morality of preventive restriction on liberty begins by describing the positive law of preventive detention, which I term "desert/disease jurisprudence." Then it provides a brief excursus about risk prediction (estimation), which is at the heart of all preventive detention practices. Part IV considers whether proposed expansions of desert jurisprudence are consistent with retributive theories of justice, which ground desert jurisprudence. I conclude that this is a circle that cannot be squared. The following Part canvasses expansions of disease jurisprudence, especially the involuntary civil commitment of mentally abnormal, sexually violent predators, and the ...


Mental Disorder And Criminal Law, Stephen J. Morse Apr 2011

Mental Disorder And Criminal Law, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Mental disorder among criminal defendants affects every stage of the criminal justice process, from investigational issues to competence to be executed. As in all other areas of mental health law, at least some people with mental disorders, are treated specially. The underlying thesis of this Article is that people with mental disorder should, as far as is practicable and consistent with justice, be treated just like everyone else. In some areas, the law is relatively sensible and just. In others, too often the opposite is true and the laws sweep too broadly. I believe, however, that special rules to deal ...


Comments On [Israeli] Proposal For Structuring Judicial Discretion In Sentencing, Paul H. Robinson Mar 2011

Comments On [Israeli] Proposal For Structuring Judicial Discretion In Sentencing, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, Professor Robinson supports the current Israeli proposal for structuring judicial discretion in sentencing, in particular its reliance upon desert as the guiding principle for the distribution of punishment, its reliance upon benchmarks, or “starting-points,” to be adjusted in individual cases by reference to articulated mitigating and aggravating circumstances, and the proposal’s suggestion to use of an expert committee to draft the original guidelines.


Report On Offense Grading In New Jersey, Paul H. Robinson, Rebecca Levenson, Nicholas Feltham, Andrew Sperl, Kristen-Elise Brooks, Agatha Koprowski, Jessica Peake, Benjamin Probber, Brian Trainor Feb 2011

Report On Offense Grading In New Jersey, Paul H. Robinson, Rebecca Levenson, Nicholas Feltham, Andrew Sperl, Kristen-Elise Brooks, Agatha Koprowski, Jessica Peake, Benjamin Probber, Brian Trainor

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The University of Pennsylvania Criminal Law Research Group was commissioned to do a study of offense grading in New Jersey. After an examination of New Jersey criminal law and a survey of New Jersey residents, the CLRG issued this Final Report. (For the report of a similar project for Pennsylvania, see Report on Offense Grading in Pennsylvania, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1527149, and for an article about the grading project, see The Modern Irrationalities of American Criminal Codes: An Empirical Study of Offense Grading, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1539083, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (forthcoming 2011).) The New Jersey ...


Provocation As Partial Justification And Partial Excuse, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2011

Provocation As Partial Justification And Partial Excuse, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The partial defense of provocation provides that a person who kills in the heat of passion brought on by legally adequate provocation is guilty of manslaughter rather than murder. It traces back to the twelfth century, and exists today, in some form, in almost every U.S. state and other common law jurisdictions. But long history and wide application have not produced agreement on the rationale for the doctrine. To the contrary, the search for a coherent and satisfying rationale remains among the main occupations of criminal law theorists. The dominant scholarly view holds that provocation is best explained and ...


Estimating The Deterrent Effect Of Incarceration Using Sentencing Enhancements, David S. Abrams Jan 2011

Estimating The Deterrent Effect Of Incarceration Using Sentencing Enhancements, David S. Abrams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Increasing criminal sanctions may reduce crime through two primary mechanisms: deterrence and incapacitation. Disentangling their effects is crucial, since each mechanism has different implications for optimal policy setting. I use the introduction of state add-on gun laws, which enhance sentences for defendants possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony, to isolate the deterrent effect of incarceration. Defendants subject to add-ons would be incarcerated in the absence of the law change, so any short-term impact on crime can be attributed solely to deterrence. Using cross-state variation in the timing of law passage dates, I find that the average add-on ...


Gene-Environment Interactions, Criminal Responsibility, And Sentencing, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2011

Gene-Environment Interactions, Criminal Responsibility, And Sentencing, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter in, Gene-Environment Interactions in Developmental Psychopathology (K. Dodge & M. Rutter, eds. 2011), considers the relevance of GxE to criminal responsibility and sentencing. It begins with a number of preliminary assumptions that will inform the analysis. It then turns to the law’s view of the person, including the law’s implicit psychology, and the criteria for criminal responsibility. A few false starts or distractions about responsibility are disposed of briefly. With this necessary background in place, the chapter then turns specifically to the relation between GxE and criminal responsibility. It suggests that GxE causes of criminal behavior have ...


Two Cheers, Not Three For Sixth Amendment Originalism, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2011

Two Cheers, Not Three For Sixth Amendment Originalism, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


[A Brief Comparative Summary Of The Criminal Law Of The] United States, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2011

[A Brief Comparative Summary Of The Criminal Law Of The] United States, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter provides a very brief summary of the central features of American criminal law. Section II describes its source and current form, which is almost exclusively statutory, embodied in the criminal codes of each of the fifty American states and (to a lesser extent) the federal criminal code. Section III sketches the typical process by which a case moves through an American criminal justice system, from the report of a crime through trial and appellate review. Section IV summarizes the most basic objective and culpability requirements necessary to establish liability for an offense and the doctrines that sometimes impute ...


Are We Responsible For Who We Are? The Challenge For Criminal Law Theory In The Defenses Of Coercive Indoctrination And "Rotten Social Background", Paul H. Robinson Jan 2011

Are We Responsible For Who We Are? The Challenge For Criminal Law Theory In The Defenses Of Coercive Indoctrination And "Rotten Social Background", Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Should coercive indoctrination or "rotten social background" be a defense to crime? Traditional desert-based excuse theory roundly rejects these defenses because the offender lacks cognitive or control dysfunction at the time of the offense. The standard coercive crime-control strategies of optimizing general deterrence or incapacitation of the dangerous similarly reject such defenses. Recognition of such defenses would tend to undermine, perhaps quite seriously, deterrence and incapacitation goals. Finally, the normative crime-control principle of empirical desert might support such an excuse, but only if the community's shared intuitions of justice support it. The law’s rejection of such defenses suggests ...


Mercy, Crime Control & Moral Credibility, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2011

Mercy, Crime Control & Moral Credibility, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

If, in the criminal justice context, "mercy" is defined as forgoing punishment that is deserved, then much of what passes for mercy is not. Giving only minor punishment to a first-time youthful offender, for example, might be seen as an exercise of mercy but in fact may be simply the application of standard blameworthiness principles, under which the offender's lack of maturity may dramatically reduce his blameworthiness for even a serious offense. Desert is a nuanced and rich concept that takes account of a wide variety of factors. The more a writer misperceives desert as wooden and objective, the ...


Regulating The Plea-Bargaining Market: From Caveat Emptor To Consumer Protection, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2011

Regulating The Plea-Bargaining Market: From Caveat Emptor To Consumer Protection, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Padilla v. Kentucky was a watershed in the Court’s turn to regulating plea bargaining. For decades, the Supreme Court has focused on jury trials as the central subject of criminal procedure, with only modest and ineffective procedural regulation of guilty pleas. This older view treated trials as the norm, was indifferent to sentencing, trusted judges and juries to protect innocence, and drew clean lines excluding civil proceedings and collateral consequences from its purview. In United States v. Ruiz in 2002, the Court began to focus on the realities of the plea process itself, but did so only half-way. Not ...


The Myth Of The Fully Informed Rational Actor, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2011

The Myth Of The Fully Informed Rational Actor, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.