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Linked Fate: Justice And The Criminal Legal System During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Susan P. Sturm, Faiz Pirani, Hyun Kim, Natalie Behr, Zachary D. Hardwick Jan 2020

Linked Fate: Justice And The Criminal Legal System During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Susan P. Sturm, Faiz Pirani, Hyun Kim, Natalie Behr, Zachary D. Hardwick

Faculty Scholarship

The concept of “linked fate” has taken on new meaning in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. People all over the world – from every walk of life, spanning class, race, gender, and nationality – face a potentially deadly threat requiring cooperation and sacrifice. The plight of the most vulnerable among us affects the capacity of the larger community to cope with, recover, and learn from COVID-19’s devastating impact. COVID-19 makes visible and urgent the need to embrace our linked fate, “develop a sense of commonality and shared circumstances,” and unstick dysfunctional and inequitable political and legal systems.

Nowhere is the ...


Covid, Crisis And Courts, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2020

Covid, Crisis And Courts, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

Our country is in crisis. The inequality and oppression that lies deep in the roots and is woven in the branches of our lives has been laid bare by a virus. Relentless state violence against black people has pushed protestors to the streets. We hope that the legislative and executive branches will respond with policy change for those who struggle the most among us: rental assistance, affordable housing, quality public education, comprehensive health and mental health care. We fear that the crisis will fade and we will return to more of the same. Whatever lies on the other side of ...


Law Enforcement Organization Relationships, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2019

Law Enforcement Organization Relationships, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Although police departments and prosecutor’s offices must closely collaborate, their organizational roles and networks, and the distinctive perspectives of their personnel, will inevitably and regularly lead to forceful dialogue and disruptive friction. Such friction can occasionally undermine thoughtful deliberation about public safety, the rule of law, and community values. Viewed more broadly, however, these interactions promote just such deliberation, which will become even healthier when the dialogue breaks out of the closed world of criminal justice bureaucracies and includes the public to which these bureaucracies are ultimately responsible


The End Of Intuition-Based High-Crime Areas, Ben Grunwald, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2019

The End Of Intuition-Based High-Crime Areas, Ben Grunwald, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

In 2000, the Supreme Court held in Illinois v. Wardlow that a suspect’s presence in a “high-crime area” is relevant in determining whether an officer has reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigative stop. Despite the importance of the decision, the Court provided no guidance about what that standard means, and over fifteen years later, we still have no idea how police officers understand and apply it in practice. This Article conducts the first empirical analysis of Wardlow by examining data on over two million investigative stops conducted by the New York Police Department from 2007 to 2012.

Our results ...


Brain Development, Social Context And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Natasha Duell, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2018

Brain Development, Social Context And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Natasha Duell, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

Justice policy reform in the past decade has been driven by research evidence indicating that brain development is ongoing through adolescence, and that neurological and psychological immaturity likely contributes in important ways to teenagers’ involvement in crime. But despite the power of this trend, skeptics point out that many (perhaps most) adolescents do not engage in serious criminal activity; on this basis, critics argue that normative biological and psychological factors associated with adolescence are unlikely to play the important role in juvenile offending that is posited by supporters of the reform trend. This Article explains that features associated with biological ...


Police, Race, And The Production Of Capital Homicides, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Amanda Geller Jan 2018

Police, Race, And The Production Of Capital Homicides, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

Racial disparities in capital punishment have been well documented for decades. Over 50 studies have shown that Black defendants more likely than their white counterparts to be charged with capital-eligible crimes, to be convicted and sentenced to death. Racial disparities in charging and sentencing in capital-eligible homicides are the largest for the small number of cases where black defendants murder white victims compared to within-race killings, or where whites murder black or other ethnic minority victims. These patterns are robust to rich controls for non-racial characteristics and state sentencing guidelines. This article backs up the research on racial disparities to ...


Do The Ends Justify The Means? Policing And Rights Tradeoffs In New York City, Amanda Geller, Jeffrey Fagan, Tom R. Tyler Jan 2018

Do The Ends Justify The Means? Policing And Rights Tradeoffs In New York City, Amanda Geller, Jeffrey Fagan, Tom R. Tyler

Faculty Scholarship

Policing has become an integral component of urban life. New models of proactive policing create a double-edged sword for communities with strong police presence. While the new policing creates conditions that may deter and prevent crime, close surveillance and frequent intrusive police-citizen contacts have strained police-community relations. The burdens of the new policing often fall on communities with high proportions of African American and Latino residents, yet the returns to crime control are small and the risks of intrusive, impersonal, aggressive non-productive interactions are high. As part of the proffered tradeoff, citizens are often asked to view and accept these ...


The Systems Fallacy: A Genealogy And Critique Of Public Policy And Cost-Benefit Analysis, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2018

The Systems Fallacy: A Genealogy And Critique Of Public Policy And Cost-Benefit Analysis, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This essay identifies the systems fallacy: the mistaken belief that systems-analytic decision-making techniques, such as cost-benefit or public policy analysis, are neutral and objective, when in fact they normatively shape political outcomes. The systems fallacy is the mistaken belief that there could be a nonnormative or scientific way to analyze and implement public policy that would not affect political values. That pretense is mistaken because the very act of conceptualizing and defining a metaphorical system, and the accompanying choice-of-scope decisions, constitute inherently normative decisions that are value laden and political in nature. The ambition of decision theorists to render policy ...


How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, Bj Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer E. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner Jan 2017

How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, Bj Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer E. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner

Faculty Scholarship

The justice system in the United States has long recognized that juvenile offenders are not the same as adults, and has tried to incorporate those differences into law and policy. But only in recent decades have behavioral scientists and neuroscientists, along with policymakers, looked rigorously at developmental differences, seeking answers to two overarching questions: Are young offenders, purely by virtue of their immaturity, different from older individuals who commit crimes? And, if they are, how should justice policy take this into account?

A growing body of research on adolescent development now confirms that teenagers are indeed inherently different from adults ...


Informants & Cooperators, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2017

Informants & Cooperators, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

The police have long relied on informants to make critical cases, and prosecutors have long relied on cooperator testimony at trials. Still, concerns about these tools for obtaining closely held information have substantially increased in recent years. Reliability concerns have loomed largest, but broader social costs have also been identified. After highlighting both the value of informants and cooperators and the pathologies associated with them, this chapter explores the external and internal measures that can or should be deployed to regulate their use.


The Effects Of Local Police Surges On Crime And Arrests In New York City, John Macdonald, Jeffery Fagan, Amanda Geller Jan 2016

The Effects Of Local Police Surges On Crime And Arrests In New York City, John Macdonald, Jeffery Fagan, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

The New York Police Department (NYPD) under Operation Impact deployed extra police officers to high crime areas designated as impact zones. Officers were encouraged to conduct investigative stops in these areas. City officials credited the program as one of the leading causes of New York City’s low crime rate. We tested the effects of Operation Impact on reported crimes and arrests from 2004 to 2012 using a difference-in-differences approach. We used Poisson regression models to compare differences in crime and arrest counts before and after census block groups were designated as impact zones compared to census block groups in ...


The ’73 Graft: Punishment, Political Economy, And The Genealogy Of Morals, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2015

The ’73 Graft: Punishment, Political Economy, And The Genealogy Of Morals, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In this essay, I explore the place of a genealogy of morals within the context of a history of political economy. More specifically, I investigate the types of moralization – of criminals and delinquents, of the disorderly, but also of political economic systems, of workers and managers, of rules and rule-breaking – that are necessary and integral to making a population accept new styles of political and economic governance, especially the punitive institutions that accompany modern political economies in the contemporary period.

The marriage of political economy and a genealogy of morals: this essay explores how the moralization of certain groups of ...


Leniency In Chinese Criminal Law? Everyday Justice In Henan, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2015

Leniency In Chinese Criminal Law? Everyday Justice In Henan, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines one year of publicly available criminal judgments from a basic-level rural county court and an intermediate court in Henan Province in order to better understand trends in routine criminal adjudication in China. I present an account of ordinary criminal justice in China that is both familiar and striking: a system that treats serious crimes, in particular those affecting State interests, harshly, while at the same time acting leniently in routine cases. Most significantly, examination of more than five hundred court decisions shows the vital role that settlement plays in criminal cases in China today. Defendants who agree ...


Risk As A Proxy For Race: The Dangers Of Risk Assessment, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2015

Risk As A Proxy For Race: The Dangers Of Risk Assessment, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Actuarial risk assessment in the implementation and administration of criminal sentencing has a long history in this country – a long and fraught history. Today, many progressive advocates promote the use of actuarial risk assessment instruments as part of a strategy to reduce the problem of "mass incarceration." Former Attorney General Eric Holder has called on the U.S. Sentencing Commission to hold hearings to further consider the matter of risk assessment and prediction tools in sentencing and parole.

The objective – to reduce our massive over-incarceration in this country – is critical and noble. But risk assessment tools are simply the wrong ...


The Salience Of Social Contextual Factors In Appraisals Of Police Interactions With Citizens: A Randomized Factorial Experiment, Anthony A. Braga, Christopher Winship, Tom Tyler, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares Jan 2014

The Salience Of Social Contextual Factors In Appraisals Of Police Interactions With Citizens: A Randomized Factorial Experiment, Anthony A. Braga, Christopher Winship, Tom Tyler, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares

Faculty Scholarship

Objectives: Prior research indicates that public assessments of the manner in which the police exercise their authority are a key antecedent of judgments about the legitimacy of the police. In this study, the importance of context in influencing people’s assessment of police wrongdoing is examined.

Methods: A randomized factorial experiment was used to test how respondents perceive and evaluate police–citizens interactions along a range of types of situations and encounters. 1,361 subjects were surveyed on factors hypothesized to be salient influences on how citizens perceive and evaluate citizen interactions with police. Subjects viewed videos of actual police ...


Fifteen Years Of Supreme Court Criminal Procedure Work: Three Constitutional Brushes, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2014

Fifteen Years Of Supreme Court Criminal Procedure Work: Three Constitutional Brushes, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

This essay – written in connection with a French National Research Agency project on “Neo or Retro Constitutionalisms” – is an effort to pull together the last fifteen years of Supreme Court criminal procedure cases expanding constitutional protections. It identifies three different styles: thin and clear doctrinal lines on miniature doctrinal canvases that have only passing connections to criminal justice realities; episodic and self-limiting engagements with a potentially larger regulatory space; and a grand style that hints at sweeping structural ambitions but collaborates with other regulatory authorities. Readers undoubtedly can come up with more than three styles. But, in any event, the ...


Correcting Criminal Justice Through Collective Experience Rigorously Examined, James S. Liebman, David Mattern Jan 2014

Correcting Criminal Justice Through Collective Experience Rigorously Examined, James S. Liebman, David Mattern

Faculty Scholarship

Federal and state law confers broad discretion on courts to administer the criminal laws, impose powerful penalties, and leave serious criminal behavior unpunished. Each time an appellate court reviews a criminal verdict, it performs an important systemic function of regulating the exercise of that power. Trial courts do the same when, for example, they admit or exclude evidence generated by government investigators. For decades, judicial decisions of this sort have been guided by case law made during the Supreme Court's Criminal Procedure Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the rule-bound, essentially bureaucratic ...


(Crime) School Is In Session: Mapping Illegal Earnings To Institutional Placement, Holly Nguyen, Thomas Loughran, Ray Paternoster, Jeffrey Fagan Jan 2013

(Crime) School Is In Session: Mapping Illegal Earnings To Institutional Placement, Holly Nguyen, Thomas Loughran, Ray Paternoster, Jeffrey Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

A growing consensus suggests that incarcerating offenders tends to have either null or criminogenic effects at both the individual and neighborhood levels. There is also further evidence that there are unintended consequences of incarcerating juvenile offenders such as delayed psychosocial development and school dropout. The current study considers a much less examined hypothesis — that correctional environments can facilitate the accumulation of “criminal capital” and might actually encourage offending by serving as a school of crime. Using unique panel data from a sample of serious juvenile offenders, we are able to identify the criminal capital effect by considering illegal earnings and ...


Desistance And Legitimacy: The Impact Of Offender Notification Meetings On Recidivism Among High Risk Offenders, Andrew V. Papachristos, Danielle M. Wallace, Tracey L. Meares, Jeffrey Fagan Jan 2013

Desistance And Legitimacy: The Impact Of Offender Notification Meetings On Recidivism Among High Risk Offenders, Andrew V. Papachristos, Danielle M. Wallace, Tracey L. Meares, Jeffrey Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

Objective: Legitimacy-based approaches to crime prevention operate under the assumption that individuals — including violent offenders — are more likely to comply with the law when they believe that the law and its agents are legitimate and act in ways that seem inherently “fair” and “just.” While mounting evidence finds an association between such legitimacy-based programs and reductions in aggregate levels of crime and violence, no study has investigated whether such programs influence individual offending. This study evaluates the effectiveness of one such program — Project Safe Neighborhoods’ (PSN) Offender Notification Meetings — at reducing individual recidivism among a population of returning prisoners in ...


Street Stops And Police Legitimacy: Teachable Moments In Young Urban Men’S Legal Socialization, Tom Tyler, Jeffrey Fagan, Amanda Geller Jan 2013

Street Stops And Police Legitimacy: Teachable Moments In Young Urban Men’S Legal Socialization, Tom Tyler, Jeffrey Fagan, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

An examination of the influence of street stops on the legal socialization of young men showed an association between the number of police stops and a diminished sense of police legitimacy. This association however is not only a consequence of the number of street or car stops they experience or of the degree of police intrusion that occurs during those stops. Rather, the estimated impact of involuntary contact with the police is mediated by evaluations of the fairness of police actions and judgments about whether the police are acting lawfully. Whether the police are viewed as exercising their authority fairly ...


The Systems Fallacy: From Operations Research To Contemporary Cost-Benefit Analysis: The Perils Of Systems Analysis, Past And Present, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2013

The Systems Fallacy: From Operations Research To Contemporary Cost-Benefit Analysis: The Perils Of Systems Analysis, Past And Present, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This article analyzes the birth and emergence of the idea of the “criminal justice system” in the 1960s and the fundamentally transformative effect that the idea of a “system” has had in the area of criminal law and criminal procedure. The manuscript develops a critique of the systems analytic approach to legal and policy decision making. It then discusses how that critique relates to the broader area of public policy and contemporary cost-benefit analysis.

The article identifies what it calls “the systems fallacy” or the central problem with approaching policy questions from a systems analytic approach: namely, the hidden normative ...


Miller V. Alabama And The (Past And) Future Of Juvenile Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2013

Miller V. Alabama And The (Past And) Future Of Juvenile Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This essay was the keynote address for a symposium on Miller v Alabama, the 2012 Supreme Court opinion holding unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment a statute imposing a mandatory sentence of life without parole for juveniles convicted of homicide. The essay argues that Miller embodies a way of thinking about juvenile crime that has taken hold in the early 21st century – an approach that emphasizes the importance for legal policy of developmental differences between juveniles and adults. This emerging trend contrasts sharply with the regulatory approach of the 1990s when moral panics over juvenile crime fueled punitive law reforms that ...


On The American Paradox Of Laissez Faire And Mass Incarceration, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

On The American Paradox Of Laissez Faire And Mass Incarceration, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In The Illusion of Free Markets (Harvard 2011), Professor Bernard Harcourt analyzes the evolution of a distinctly American paradox: in the country that has done the most to promote the idea of a hands-off government, we run the single largest prison complex in the entire world. Harcourt traces this paradox back to the eighteenth century and demonstrates how the presumption of government incompetence in economic affairs has been coupled with that of government legitimacy in the realm of policing and punishing. Harcourt shows how these linked presumptions have fueled the expansion of the carceral sphere in the nineteenth and twentieth ...


Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This book chapter critically examines punitive preventive measures, such as preventive detention for dangerous individuals, stop-and-frisks on the street, and order-maintenance policing. After reviewing the traditional concern expressed about punitive preventive practices, the chapter investigates the empirical evidence in support of such measures, concluding that the purported need for these measures is, on balance, factually overstated and generally unproven. But the empirical problems foreground a deeper theoretical difficulty with punitive preventive justice, namely that the modern approach to punitive prevention relies predominantly on economic cost-benefit analytic methods that effectively displace political debate and contestation. Like earlier punitive preventive interventions – such ...


The Evidence Of Things Not Seen: Non-Matches As Evidence Of Innocence, James S. Liebman, Shawn Blackburn, David Mattern, Jonathan Waisnor Jan 2012

The Evidence Of Things Not Seen: Non-Matches As Evidence Of Innocence, James S. Liebman, Shawn Blackburn, David Mattern, Jonathan Waisnor

Faculty Scholarship

Exonerations famously reveal that eyewitness identifications, confessions, and other “direct” evidence can be false, though police and jurors greatly value them. Exonerations also reveal that “circumstantial” non-matches between culprit and defendant can be telling evidence of innocence (e.g., an aspect of an eyewitness’s description of the perpetrator that does not match the suspect she identifies in a lineup, or a loose button found at the crime scene that does not match the suspect’s clothes). Although non-matching clues often are easily explained away, making them seem uninteresting, they frequently turn out to match the real culprit when exonerations ...


Fourteenth Amendment Originalism, Jamal Greene Jan 2012

Fourteenth Amendment Originalism, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

In Baze v. Rees, the Supreme Court rejected a death-row inmate's claim that a state's use of a lethal injection protocol that carried risks of severe pain from improper administration violated the Constitution. Justice Thomas wrote a remarkable concurring opinion, joined by Justice Scalia, in which he argued that the plurality opinion announcing the governing standard for claims of this sort was wrong, and should have hewed more closely to the original understanding of the Eighth Amendment. Justice Thomas wrote that "the Framers intended to prohibit torturous modes of punishment akin to those that formed the historical backdrop ...


Reducing Mass Incarceration: Lessons From The Deinstitutionalization Of Mental Hospitals In The 1960s, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2011

Reducing Mass Incarceration: Lessons From The Deinstitutionalization Of Mental Hospitals In The 1960s, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In 1963, President Kennedy outlined a federal program designed to reduce by half the number of persons in custody in mental hospitals. What followed was the biggest deinstitutionalization this country has ever seen. The historical record is complex and the contributing factors are several, but one simple fact remains: This country has deinstitutionalized before. As we think about reducing mass incarceration today, it may be useful to recall some lessons from the past. After tracing the historical background, this essay explores three potential avenues to reduce mass incarceration: First, improving mental health treatment to inmates and exploring the increased use ...


Minority Practice, Majority’S Burden: The Death Penalty Today, James S. Liebman, Peter Clarke Jan 2011

Minority Practice, Majority’S Burden: The Death Penalty Today, James S. Liebman, Peter Clarke

Faculty Scholarship

Although supported in principle by two-thirds of the public and even more of the States, capital punishment in the United States is a minority practice when the actual death-sentencing practices of the nation’s 3000-plus counties and their populations are considered. This feature of American capital punishment has been present for decades, has become more pronounced recently, and is especially clear when death sentences, which are merely infrequent, are distinguished from executions, which are exceedingly rare.

The first question this Article asks is what forces account for the death-proneness of a minority of American communities? The answer to that question ...


Pot As Pretext: Marijuana, Race, And The New Disorder In New York City Street Policing, Amanda Geller, Jeffrey Fagan Jan 2011

Pot As Pretext: Marijuana, Race, And The New Disorder In New York City Street Policing, Amanda Geller, Jeffrey Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

Although possession of small quantities of marijuana has been decriminalized in New York State since the late 1970s, arrests for marijuana possession in New York City have increased more than tenfold since the mid-1990s, and remain high more than 10 years later. This rise has been a notable component of the city’s “Order Maintenance Policing” strategy, designed to aggressively target low-level offenses, usually through street interdictions known as “stop, question, and frisk” activity. We analyze data on 2.2 million stops and arrests carried out from 2004 to 2008, and identify significant racial disparities in the implementation of marijuana ...


Minority Practice, Majority's Burden: The Death Penalty Today, James S. Liebman, Peter Clarke Jan 2011

Minority Practice, Majority's Burden: The Death Penalty Today, James S. Liebman, Peter Clarke

Faculty Scholarship

Although supported in principle by two-thirds of the public and even more of the States, capital punishment in the United States is a minority practice when the actual death-sentencing practices of the nation's 3000-plus counties and their populations are considered This feature of American capital punishment has been present for decades, has become more pronounced recently, and is especially clear when death sentences, which are merely infrequent, are distinguished from executions, which are exceedingly rare.

The first question this Article asks is what forces account for the death-proneness of a minority of American communities? The answer to that question ...