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Full-Text Articles in Law

Legislating Racial Fairness In Criminal Justice, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Dec 2006

Legislating Racial Fairness In Criminal Justice, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Twenty years ago, in McCleskey v. Kemp, the Supreme Court rejected a capital defendant's claim that statistical evidence of racial discrimination in the administration of Georgia's death penalty system constituted a violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Yet, even as McCleskey effectively bars constitutional challenges to racial disparities in the criminal justice system where invidious bias is difficult to establish, the Court invites advocates to pursue legislation as a remedy to racial disparities. Indeed, the McCleskey Court offers as a rationale for its ruling the judiciary's institutional incompetence to remedy these disparities, holding that "McCleskey's ...


Adolescence And The Regulation Of Youth Crime, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2006

Adolescence And The Regulation Of Youth Crime, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

I am delighted to be a part of this Symposium on Law and Adolescence. My talk today is about adolescent development and juvenile justice policy. Specifically, I will focus on why a legal regime that is grounded in scientific knowledge about adolescence and the role of criminal activity during this developmental period is better for young offenders and for society than the contemporary policy, which often pays little attention to differences between adolescents and adults.

My talk is based on a book on juvenile justice policy I am currently writing with Larry Steinberg, a developmental psychologist who is a leading ...


Capital Punishment And Capital Murder: Market Share And The Deterrent Effects Of The Death Penalty, Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin Zimring, Amanda Geller Jan 2006

Capital Punishment And Capital Murder: Market Share And The Deterrent Effects Of The Death Penalty, Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin Zimring, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

Both legal scholars and social scientists have leveraged new research evidence on the deterrent effects of the death penalty into calls for more executions that they claim will save lives and new rules to remove procedural roadblocks and hasten executions. However, the use of total intentional homicides to estimate deterrence is a recurring aggregation error in the death penalty debate in the U.S.: by studying whether executions and death sentences affect all homicides, these studies fail to identify a more plausible target of deterrence - namely, those homicides that are punishable by death. By broadening the targets of deterrence, these ...


Public Attitudes About The Culpability And Punishment Of Young Offenders, Elizabeth S. Scott, N. Dickon Reppucci, Jill Antonishak, Jennifer T. Degennaro Jan 2006

Public Attitudes About The Culpability And Punishment Of Young Offenders, Elizabeth S. Scott, N. Dickon Reppucci, Jill Antonishak, Jennifer T. Degennaro

Faculty Scholarship

Conventional wisdom holds that the public supports harsh punishment of juvenile offenders, and politicians often argue that the public demands tough policies. But public opinion is usually gauged through simplistic polls, often conducted in the wake of highly publicized violent crimes by juveniles. This study seeks to probe public opinion about the culpability of young offenders as compared to adult counterparts through more nuanced and comprehensive measures in a neutral setting (i.e. not in response to a high profile crime or during a political campaign when the media focuses on the issue). The opinions of 788 community adults were ...


Death And Deterrence Redux: Science, Law And Causal Reasoning On Capital Punishment, Jeffrey Fagan Jan 2006

Death And Deterrence Redux: Science, Law And Causal Reasoning On Capital Punishment, Jeffrey Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

A recent cohort of studies report deterrent effects of capital punishment that substantially exceed almost all previous estimates of lives saved by execution. Some of the new studies go further to claim that pardons, commutations, and exonerations cause murders to increase, as does trial delay. This putative life-life tradeoff is the basis for claims by legal academics and advocates of a moral imperative to aggressively prosecute capital crimes, brushing off evidentiary doubts as unreasonable cautions that place potential beneficiaries at risk of severe harm. Challenges to this "new deterrence" literature find that the evidence is too unstable and unreliable to ...