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Full-Text Articles in Law

Crime And Punishment In Taxation: Deceit, Deterrence, And The Self-Adjusting Penalty, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2006

Crime And Punishment In Taxation: Deceit, Deterrence, And The Self-Adjusting Penalty, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

Avoidance and evasion continue to frustrate the government's efforts to collect much-needed tax revenues. This Article articulates one of the reasons for this lack of success and proposes a new type of penalty that would strengthen tax enforcement while improving efficiency. Economic analysis of deterrence suggests that rational taxpayers choose avoidance and evasion strategies based on expected rather than nominal sanctions. I argue that many taxpayers do just that. Because the probability of detection varies dramatically among different items on a tax return while nominal penalties do not take the likelihood of detection into account, expected penalties for inconspicuous ...


From The Asylum To The Prison: Rethinking The Incarceration Revolution, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2006

From The Asylum To The Prison: Rethinking The Incarceration Revolution, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The incarceration revolution of the late twentieth century fueled ongoing research on the relationship between rates of incarceration and crime, unemployment, education, and other social indicators. In this research, the variable intended to capture the level of confinement in society was conceptualized and measured as the rate of incarceration in state and federal prisons and county jails. This, however, fails to take account of other equally important forms of confinement, especially commitment to mental hospitals and asylums.

When the data on mental hospitalization rates are combined with the data on imprisonment rates for the period 1928 through 2000, the incarceration ...


Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2006

Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Generally, treatments of prosecutorial discretion in the sentencing context tend to focus on its challenge to horizontal equity and judicial discretion within sentencing regimes. The goal in this symposium piece is to reverse the arrow, and, using an internal executive perspective, start looking at how sentencing regimes and judicial enforcement of those regimes can be used as tools for the hierarchical control of line prosecutors. It first considers a problem arising out of ostensibly successful regulation within a prosecutor's offices - in this case, an effort to control plea bargaining in New Orleans. It then considers issues relating to regulation ...


Embracing Chance: Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2006

Embracing Chance: Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Since the modern era, the discourse of punishment has cycled through three sets of questions. The first, born of the Enlightenment itself, asked: On what ground does the sovereign have the right to punish? Nietzsche most forcefully, but others as well, argued that the question itself begged its own answer. The right to punish, they suggested, is what defines sovereignty, and as such, can never serve to limit sovereign power. With the birth of the social sciences, this skepticism gave rise to a second set of questions: What then is the true function of punishment? What is it that we ...


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 ...


Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2006

Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Deciding how much time a person should spend in prison for a serious crime is an inherently moral and political act. And it is certainly coldhearted and philosophically problematic to view sentencing as just an agency problem with criminal defendants as objects of a system in which prison terms are simply outputs. So I will not even try to justify resorting to a narrow institutional perspective as a normative matter. But, for better or worse, those political actors with the greatest influence on sentencing regimes have to think in aggregate terms. While there is considerable normative appeal to the idea ...


The Past, Present, And Future Of Violent Crime Federalism, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2006

The Past, Present, And Future Of Violent Crime Federalism, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

The history of the federal involvement in violent crime frequently is told as one of entrepreneurial or opportunistic action by presidential administrations and Congress. The problem with this story, however, is that it treats state and local governments as objects of federal initiatives, not as independent agents. Appreciating that state and local governments courted and benefited from the federal interest is important for understanding the past two decades, but also for understanding the institutional strains created by the absolute priority the feds have given to counterterrorism since September 11, 2001. Intergovernmental relations are at a crossroads. For two decades, the ...