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University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Criminology

Criminal sentences

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Judicial Fact-Finding At Sentencing, Stephanos Bibas Dec 2008

Judicial Fact-Finding At Sentencing, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This encyclopedia entry summarizes the pendulum-swings that led the Supreme Court in Apprendi v. New Jersey, Blakely v. Washington, and United States v. Booker to limit judges' ability to find facts at sentencing. Paradoxically, the much-criticized Federal Sentencing Guidelines have survived; a line of cases that began as an effort to restore juries' role has turned into a guarantor of judicial discretion; and the doctrine has quickly moved far from its Sixth Amendment roots to a policy balancing test. The Court could instead have pursued a different, more fruitful path. The Court did not have to force sentencing factors into ...


Exacerbating Injustice, Stephanos Bibas Nov 2008

Exacerbating Injustice, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This brief essay responds to Josh Bowers' argument that criminal procedure should openly allow innocent defendants to plead guilty as a legal fiction. Though most scholars emphasize the few but salient serious felony cases, Bowers is right to refocus attention on misdemeanors and violations, which are far more numerous. And though the phrase wrongful convictions conjures up images of punishing upstanding citizens, Bowers is also right to emphasize that recidivists are far more likely to suffer wrongful suspicion and conviction. Bowers' mistake is to treat the criminal justice system as simply a means of satisfying defendants' preferences and choices. This ...


Rita V. United States Leaves More Open Than It Answers, Stephanos Bibas Oct 2007

Rita V. United States Leaves More Open Than It Answers, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay surveys the sentencing issues left open by Rita v. United States and considers how the presumption of reasonableness is likely to operate in practice and how rebutable it is, the roles of safe harbors and individual judges' policy disagreements, and the importance of Justices Stevens and Ginsburg as the swing Justices in this area. This line of cases has drifted far from its roots in a Sixth Amendment concern for juries. Though the resulting sentencing policies may be substantively desirable, the Court cannot articulate how they are rooted in the Sixth Amendment's concern for juries.


White-Collar Plea Bargaining And Sentencing After Booker, Stephanos Bibas Feb 2005

White-Collar Plea Bargaining And Sentencing After Booker, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This symposium essay speculates about how Booker's loosening of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines is likely to affect white-collar plea bargaining and sentencing. Prosecutors' punishment intuitions and the strong white-collar defense bar will keep white-collar sentencing from growing as harsh as drug sentencing, but the parallels are nonetheless ominous. The essay suggests that the Sentencing Commission revise its loss-computation rules, calibrate white-collar sentences to their core purpose of expressing condemnation, and adding shaming punishments and apologies to give moderate prison sentences more bite.