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Criminal Procedure

Sentencing

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Bowser V. State Of Nevada, 135 Nev. Adv. Op. 15 (May 16, 2019), Andrew Brown Sep 2019

Bowser V. State Of Nevada, 135 Nev. Adv. Op. 15 (May 16, 2019), Andrew Brown

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

The Court overruled precedent which held that a presumption of vindictiveness applies when a judge imposes a longer sentence after a new trial.


The Effects Of Holistic Defense On Criminal Justice Outcomes, James Anderson, Maya Buenaventura, Paul Heaton Jan 2019

The Effects Of Holistic Defense On Criminal Justice Outcomes, James Anderson, Maya Buenaventura, Paul Heaton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Federal Guilty Pleas: Inequities, Indigence And The Rule 11 Process, Julian A. Cook Jan 2019

Federal Guilty Pleas: Inequities, Indigence And The Rule 11 Process, Julian A. Cook

Scholarly Works

In 2017 and 2018, the Supreme Court issued two little-noticed decisions—Lee v. United States and Class v. United States. While neither case captured the attention of the national media nor generated meaningful academic commentary, both cases are well deserving of critical examination for reasons independent of the issues presented to the Court. They deserve review because of a consequential shared fact; a fact representative of a commonplace, yet largely overlooked, federal court practice that routinely disadvantages the indigent (and disproportionately minority populations), and compromises the integrity of arguably the most consequential component of the federal criminal justice process. In ...


Judicious Imprisonment, Gregory Jay Hall Sep 2018

Judicious Imprisonment, Gregory Jay Hall

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Starting August 21, 2018, Americans incarcerated across the United States have been striking back — non-violently. Inmates with jobs are protesting slave-like wages through worker strikes and sit-ins. Inmates also call for an end to racial disparities and an increase in rehabilitation programs. Even more surprisingly, many inmates have begun hunger strikes. Inmates are protesting the numerous ills of prisons: overcrowding, inadequate health care, abysmal mental health care contributing to inmate suicide, violence, disenfranchisement of inmates, and more. While recent reforms have slightly decreased mass incarceration, the current White House administration could likely reverse this trend. President Donald Trump’s and ...


The Limits Of Law In The Evaluation Of Mitigating Evidence, Emad H. Atiq, Erin L. Miller Apr 2018

The Limits Of Law In The Evaluation Of Mitigating Evidence, Emad H. Atiq, Erin L. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Capital sentencers are constitutionally required to "consider" any mitigating evidence presented by the defense. Under Lockett v. Ohio and its progeny, neither statutes nor common law can exclude mitigating factors from the sentencer's consideration or place conditions on when such factors may be considered. We argue that the principle underlying this line of doctrine is broader than courts have so far recognized. A natural starting point for our analysis is judicial treatment of evidence that the defendant suffered severe environmental deprivation ("SED"), such as egregious child abuse or poverty. SED has played a central role in the Court's ...


The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Jan 2018

The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This excerpt from the recently published Shadow Vigilantes book argues that, while vigilantism, even moral vigilantism, can be dangerous to a society, the real danger is not of hordes of citizens, frustrated by the system’s doctrines of disillusionment, rising up to take the law into their own hands. Frustration can spark a vigilante impulse, but such classic aggressive vigilantism is not the typical response. More common is the expression of disillusionment in less brazen ways by a more surreptitious undermining and distortion of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Shadow vigilantes, as they might be called, can affect ...


Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2018

Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper is a chapter that will appear in REFORMING CRIMINAL JUSTICE: A REPORT OF THE ACADEMY FOR JUSTICE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOLARSHIP AND REFORM (Erik Luna ed., Academy for Justice 2018). The criminal law treats some people with severe mental disorders doctrinally and practically differently at virtually every stage of the criminal justice process, beginning with potential incompetence to stand trial and ending with the question of competence to be executed, and such people have special needs when they are in the system. This chapter begins by exploring the fundamental mental health information necessary to make informed judgements ...


Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article diagnoses a phenomenon, “criminal employment law,” which exists at the nexus of employment law and the criminal justice system. Courts and legislatures discourage employers from hiring workers with criminal records and encourage employers to discipline workers for non-work-related criminal misconduct. In analyzing this phenomenon, my goals are threefold: (1) to examine how criminal employment law works; (2) to hypothesize why criminal employment law has proliferated; and (3) to assess what is wrong with criminal employment law. This Article examines the ways in which the laws that govern the workplace create incentives for employers not to hire individuals with ...


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Articles

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety ...


Punishing Risk, Erin Collins Jan 2018

Punishing Risk, Erin Collins

Law Faculty Publications

Actuarial recidivism risk assessments-statistical predictions of the likelihood of future criminal behavior-drive a number of core criminal justice decisions, including where to police, whom to release on bail, and how to manage correctional institutions. Recently, this predictive approach to criminal justice entered a new arena: sentencing. Actuarial sentencing has quickly gained a number of prominent supporters and is being implemented across the country. This enthusiasm is understandable. Its proponents promise that actuarial data will refine sentencing decisions, increase rehabilitation, and reduce reliance on incarceration.

Yet, in the rush to embrace actuarial sentencing, scholars and policy makers have overlooked a crucial ...


Remorse Bias, M. Eve Hanan Jan 2018

Remorse Bias, M. Eve Hanan

Scholarly Works

In this article, Professor M. Eve Hanan addresses how implicit cognitive biases may affect judges when they decide whether to credit defendants' displays of remorse and how we can lessen the effects of that bias. Part I of this article introduces the main ideas to be discussed. Part II establishes the salience of remorse to punishment decisions and then demonstrates the ambiguity involved in assessing the sincerity of remorse. Part III examines existing research on implicit biases associating African Americans with criminality to consider whether judges are likely to view African American defendants' expressions of remorse as insincere and, thus ...


African Americans And Punishment For Crime: A Critique Of Mainstream And Neoliberal Discourses, Jason M. Williams, Nishaun Tarae Battle Sep 2017

African Americans And Punishment For Crime: A Critique Of Mainstream And Neoliberal Discourses, Jason M. Williams, Nishaun Tarae Battle

Department of Justice Studies Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works

Understandings of punishment within the criminological enterprise have failed to capture the nuances associated with experiencing punishment. Moreover, mainstream academic discourses are inherently anachronistic in their conclusions on punishment, thus leaving significant gaps to be filled. One such gap is that of racialized history. This article attempts to make sense of punishment discourses (past and present) by situating them in their proper context. We argue that punishment, in particular for Blacks, is ideological and longstanding. Moreover, we posit that the prolonged punishment of Blacks is hyper manifested in contemporary society via neoliberal logic that has increasingly disabled race as a ...


Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2017

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Of the many diagnoses of American criminal justice’s ills, few focus on externalities. Yet American criminal justice systematically overpunishes in large part because few mechanisms exist to force consideration of the full social costs of criminal justice interventions. Actors often lack good information or incentives to minimize the harms they impose. Part of the problem is structural: criminal justice is fragmented vertically among governments, horizontally among agencies, and individually among self-interested actors. Part is a matter of focus: doctrinally and pragmatically, actors overwhelmingly view each case as an isolated, short-term transaction to the exclusion of broader, long-term, and aggregate ...


Mental Health Courts And Sentencing Disparities, E. Lea Johnston, Conor P. Flynn Jan 2017

Mental Health Courts And Sentencing Disparities, E. Lea Johnston, Conor P. Flynn

UF Law Faculty Publications

Despite the proliferation of mental health courts across the United States, virtually no attention has been paid to the criminal justice effects these courts carry for participants. This article provides the first empirical analysis of differential sentencing practices in mental health and traditional criminal courts. Using a case study approach, the article compares how Pennsylvania’s Erie County Mental Health Court and county criminal courts sentenced individuals who committed the same offenses and held the same average criminal history score. Information on the mental health court—including eligibility criteria, plea bargaining and sentencing procedure, sentencing policies, program length, graduation rates ...


Mason V. State, 132 Nev. Adv. Op. 42 (June 16, 2016), Shannon Diaz Jun 2016

Mason V. State, 132 Nev. Adv. Op. 42 (June 16, 2016), Shannon Diaz

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

The Court determined that pursuant to NRS 176.035(1), a district court must pronounce aggregate minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment in a defendant’s judgment of conviction.


From Simple Statements To Heartbreaking Photographs And Videos: An Interdisciplinary Examination Of Victim Impact Evidence In Criminal Cases, Mitchell J. Frank Jan 2016

From Simple Statements To Heartbreaking Photographs And Videos: An Interdisciplinary Examination Of Victim Impact Evidence In Criminal Cases, Mitchell J. Frank

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2016

What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Equality in criminal sentencing often translates into equalizing outcomes and stamping out variations, whether race-based, geographic, or random. This approach conflates the concept of equality with one contestable conception focused on outputs and numbers, not inputs and processes. Racial equality is crucial, but a concern with eliminating racism has hypertrophied well beyond race. Equalizing outcomes seems appealing as a neutral way to dodge contentious substantive policy debates about the purposes of punishment. But it actually privileges deterrence and incapacitation over rehabilitation, subjective elements of retribution, and procedural justice, and it provides little normative guidance for punishment. It also has unintended ...


Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Response to Andrew Manuel Crespo's Systemic Facts: Toward Institutional Awareness in Criminal Courts proceeds in two Parts. In Part I, I argue that Crespo presents a compelling case for the importance of systemic factfinding to the task of criminal court judges. If, as a range of scholars has argued, criminal courts are increasingly serving a quasi-administrative function, then shouldn’t they at least be administrating accurately? Systemic Facts provides a novel account of how — with comparatively little institutional reform — courts might begin to serve as more effective administrators. However, in Part II, I also argue that Crespo’s ...


Alternative Visions For The Federal Criminal Justice And Corrections System: Is True Change Possible?, Nora V. Demleitner Dec 2015

Alternative Visions For The Federal Criminal Justice And Corrections System: Is True Change Possible?, Nora V. Demleitner

Faculty Scholarship

None available.


Neuroprediction: New Technology, Old Problems, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2015

Neuroprediction: New Technology, Old Problems, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Neuroprediction is the use of structural or functional brain or nervous system variables to make any type of prediction, including medical prognoses and behavioral forecasts, such as an indicator of future dangerous behavior. This commentary will focus on behavioral predictions, but the analysis applies to any context. The general thesis is that using neurovariables for prediction is a new technology, but that it raises no new ethical issues, at least for now. Only if neuroscience achieves the ability to “read” mental content will genuinely new ethical issues be raised, but that is not possible at present.


Instrumentalizing The Expressive: Transplanting Sentencing Circles Into The Canadian Criminal Trial, Toby S. Goldbach Jan 2015

Instrumentalizing The Expressive: Transplanting Sentencing Circles Into The Canadian Criminal Trial, Toby S. Goldbach

Faculty Publications

This Article examines reforms to criminal sentencing procedures in Canada, focusing on Aboriginal healing circles, which were incorporated as “sentencing circles” into the criminal trial. Using the lens of comparative law and legal transplants, this Article recounts the period of sentencing reform in Canada in the 1990s, when scholars, practitioners, and activists inquired into Aboriginal confrontation with the criminal justice system by comparing Euro-Canadian and Aboriginal justice values and principles. As a way to bridge the gap between vastly differing worldviews and approaches to justice, judges and Aboriginal justice advocates transplanted sentencing circles into the sentencing phase of the criminal ...


Flawed Coalitions And The Politics Of Crime, David Jaros May 2014

Flawed Coalitions And The Politics Of Crime, David Jaros

All Faculty Scholarship

Bipartisanship can be dangerous. In the late 1970s, liberal and conservative forces united to discard two centuries of federal sentencing practice and usher in an era of fixed guidelines that would reshape the criminal justice landscape. In the decades that followed, liberals would come to bitterly regret their alliance with conservative sentencing reformers. The guideline regime established by the Sentencing Reform Act ultimately advanced hardline conservative criminal justice goals that were antithetical to the objectives of many of the Act’s former liberal supporters.

Researchers have shown that a particular cognitive bias — cultural cognition — can explain why intense partisan conflicts ...


Marked!, Aya Gruber Jan 2014

Marked!, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Last Words: A Survey And Analysis Of Federal Judges' Views On Allocution In Sentencing, Ira Robbins Jan 2014

Last Words: A Survey And Analysis Of Federal Judges' Views On Allocution In Sentencing, Ira Robbins

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Allocution-the penultimate stage of a criminal proceeding at which the judge affords defendants an opportunity to speak their last words before sentencing-is a centuries-old right in criminal cases, and academics have theorized about the various purposes it serves. But what do sitting federal judges think about allocution? Do they actually use it to raise or lower sentences? Do they think it serves purposes above and beyond sentencing? Are there certain factors that judges like or dislike in allocutions? These questions-and many others-are answered directly in this first-ever study of judges' views and practices regarding allocution. The authors surveyed all federal ...


Law And Neuroscience: Recommendations Submitted To The President's Bioethics Commission, Owen D. Jones, Richard J. Bonnie, B. J. Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris Hoffman, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner, Gideon Yaffe Jan 2014

Law And Neuroscience: Recommendations Submitted To The President's Bioethics Commission, Owen D. Jones, Richard J. Bonnie, B. J. Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris Hoffman, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner, Gideon Yaffe

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

President Obama charged the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to identify a set of core ethical standards in the neuroscience domain, including the appropriate use of neuroscience in the criminal-justice system. The Commission, in turn, called for comments and recommendations. The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience submitted a consensus statement, published here, containing 16 specific recommendations. These are organized within three main themes: 1) what steps should be taken to enhance the capacity of the criminal justice system to make sound decisions regarding the admissibility and weight of neuroscientific evidence?; 2) to what extent ...


Murder, Minority Victims, And Mercy, Aya Gruber Jan 2014

Murder, Minority Victims, And Mercy, Aya Gruber

Articles

Should the jury have acquitted George Zimmerman of Trayvon Martin's murder? Should enraged husbands receive a pass for killing their cheating wives? Should the law treat a homosexual advance as adequate provocation for killing? Criminal law scholars generally answer these questions with a resounding "no." Theorists argue that criminal laws should not reflect bigoted perceptions of African Americans, women, and gays by permitting judges and jurors to treat those who kill racial and gender minorities with undue mercy. According to this view, murder defenses like provocation should be restricted to ensure that those who kill minority victims receive the ...


Inmates For Rent, Sovereignty For Sale: The Global Prison Market, Benjamin Levin Jan 2014

Inmates For Rent, Sovereignty For Sale: The Global Prison Market, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In 2009, Belgium and the Netherlands announced a deal to send approximately 500 Belgian inmates to Dutch prisons, in exchange for an annual payment of £26 million. The arrangement was unprecedented, but justified as beneficial to both nations: Belgium had too many prisoners and not enough prisons, whereas the Netherlands had too many prisons and not enough prisoners. The deal has yet to be replicated, nor has it triggered sustained criticism or received significant scholarly treatment. This Article aims to fill this void by examining the exchange and its possible implications for a global market in prisoners and prison space ...


Misconstruing Graham & Miller, Cara H. Drinan Jan 2014

Misconstruing Graham & Miller, Cara H. Drinan

Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions

In the last three years the Supreme Court has decreed a sea change in its juvenile Eighth Amendment jurisprudence. In particular, in its Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama rulings, the Court struck down a majority of the states’ juvenile sentencing laws, outlawing life without parole for juveniles who commit non-homicide offenses and mandating individualized sentencing for those children who commit even the most serious crimes. An examination of state laws and sentencing practices, however, suggests that the Graham and Miller rulings have fallen on deaf ears. After briefly describing what these two decisions required of the states, in ...


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 ...


Re-Thinking Minnesota's Criminal Justice Response To Sexual Violence Using A Prevention Lens, Caroline Palmer, Bradley Prowant Jan 2013

Re-Thinking Minnesota's Criminal Justice Response To Sexual Violence Using A Prevention Lens, Caroline Palmer, Bradley Prowant

Symposium: 50th Anniversary of the Minnesota Criminal Code-Looking Back and Looking Forward

Sexual violence is one of the most difficult issues we face in the human condition. Even with the many strides that have occurred in recent years to support a victim-centered response, survivors who seek help from the legal, medical and mental health systems, among others still “may face disbelief, blame, and refusals of help instead of assistance.” It is a problem that demands a response from all levels of society. And yet this response is lacking.

The key question we as a society confront is what changes will satisfactorily balance justice for victims with offender accountability, attempts at rehabilitation through ...