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Full-Text Articles in Law and Race

Seizing Family Homes From The Innocent: Can The Eighth Amendment Protect Minorities And The Poor From Excessive Punishment In Civil Forfeiture?, Louis S. Rulli Jan 2017

Seizing Family Homes From The Innocent: Can The Eighth Amendment Protect Minorities And The Poor From Excessive Punishment In Civil Forfeiture?, Louis S. Rulli

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Civil forfeiture laws permit the government to seize and forfeit private property that has allegedly facilitated a crime without ever charging the owner with any criminal offense. The government extracts payment in kind—property—and gives nothing to the owner in return, based upon a legal fiction that the property has done wrong. As such, the government’s taking of property through civil forfeiture is punitive in nature and constrained by the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause, which is intended to curb abusive punishments.

The Supreme Court’s failure to announce a definitive test for determining the constitutional excessiveness ...


Tightening The Ooda Loop: Police Militarization, Race, And Algorithmic Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle Feb 2016

Tightening The Ooda Loop: Police Militarization, Race, And Algorithmic Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article examines the role military automated surveillance and intelligence systems and techniques have supported a self-reinforcing racial bias when used by civilian police departments to enhance predictive policing programs. I will focus on two facets of this problem. First, my research will take an inside-out perspective, studying the role played by advanced military technologies and methods within civilian police departments, and how they have enabled a new focus on deterrence and crime prevention by creating a system of structural surveillance where decision support relies increasingly upon algorithms and automated data analysis tools, and which automates de facto penalization and ...


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 ...


Obama's Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Decree, Paul H. Robinson Jul 2015

Obama's Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Decree, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

While agreeing that sentences for nonviolent drug offenses are too long, this Wall Street Journal op-ed piece argues that the large-scale clemency program planned by President Obama is misguided. It sets a dangerous precedent for using the clemency power beyond its traditional and intended purpose of providing a last-resort check on fairness and justice errors in individual cases, and instead uses the power to set sentencing policy. While many people will like the results of the current program, they will be less than happy when some future president uses it as precedent to promote a sentencing policy of which they ...


The Law And Economics Of Stop-And-Frisk, David S. Abrams Jan 2014

The Law And Economics Of Stop-And-Frisk, David S. Abrams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The relevant economic and legal research relating to police use of stop-and-frisk has largely been distinct. There is much to be gained by taking an interdisciplinary approach. This Essay emphasizes some of the challenges faced by those seeking to evaluate the efficacy and legality of stop-and-frisk, and suggests some ways forward and areas of exploration for future research.


A Closing Keynote: A Comment On Mass Incarceration In The United States, David Rudovsky Jan 2008

A Closing Keynote: A Comment On Mass Incarceration In The United States, David Rudovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.