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Series

Columbia Law School

2000

Law and Society

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Legal Construction Of Childhood, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2000

The Legal Construction Of Childhood, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Two features of the legal regulation of childhood seem troublesome, but ultimately contribute to sensible policies in most contexts. First, the boundary between childhood and adulthood varies in different policy domains, through a regime of age grading under which elementary school students are deemed adults for some legal purposes, while, for other purposes, college students are children. Second, the transitional stage of adolescence is virtually invisible, because, for most purposes, law makers employ binary categories, classifying adolescents as either children or as adults. This framework – a series of legislative bright line rules, arrayed around a presumptive age of majority – generally ...


The Limits Of Behavioral Theories Of Law And Social Norms, Robert E. Scott Jan 2000

The Limits Of Behavioral Theories Of Law And Social Norms, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The law influences the behavior of its citizens in various ways. Well understood are the direct effects of legal rules. By imposing sanctions or granting subsidies, the law either expands or contracts the horizon of opportunities within which individuals can satisfy their preferences. In this way, society can give incentives for desirable behavior. The direct effects of legal rules on individual behavior have been a fruitful source of inquiry for analysts using the techniques of law and economics. Modeling the incentive effects of legal rules provides a useful predictive tool for positive theory and normative critique. Indeed, the tools of ...


Social Norms And The Legal Regulation Of Marriage, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2000

Social Norms And The Legal Regulation Of Marriage, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Americans have interesting and somewhat puzzling attitudes about the state's role in defining and enforcing family obligations. Most people view lasting marriage as an important part of their life plans and take the commitment of marriage very seriously. Yet any legal initiative designed to reinforce that commitment generates controversy and is viewed with suspicion in many quarters. For example, covenant marriage statutes, which offer couples entering marriage the option of undertaking a modest marital commitment, are seen by many observers as coercive and regressive measures rather than ameliorating reforms.

The law tends to reflect – and perhaps contributes to – this ...


Capital Attrition: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffery Fagan, Valerie West, Jonathan Lloyd Jan 2000

Capital Attrition: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffery Fagan, Valerie West, Jonathan Lloyd

Faculty Scholarship

Americans seem to be of two minds about the death penalty. In the last several years, the overall number of executions has risen steeply, reaching a fifty year high this year. Although two-thirds of the public support the penalty, this figure represents a sharp decline from the four-fifths of the population that endorsed the death penalty only six years ago, leaving support for capital punishment at a twenty year low. When life without parole is offered as an alternative, support for the penalty drops even more – often below a majority. Grants of executive clemency reached a twenty year high in ...


Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox Of Punishment In Minority Communities, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares Jan 2000

Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox Of Punishment In Minority Communities, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares

Faculty Scholarship

Since the early 1970s, the number of individuals in jails and state and federal prisons has grown exponentially. Today, nearly 2 million people are currently incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails. The growth of imprisonment has been borne disproportionately by African-American and Hispanic men from poor communities in urban areas. Rising incarceration should have greatly reduced the crime rate. After all, incapacitated offenders were no longer free to rob, assault, steal, or commit other crimes. However, no large scale reduction in crime was detected until the mid-1990's. The failure of crime rates to decline commensurately with ...