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Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

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Articles 1 - 30 of 6436

Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Racialized Tax Inequity: Wealth, Racism, And The U.S. System Of Taxation, Palma Joy Strand, Nicholas A. Mirkay Apr 2020

Racialized Tax Inequity: Wealth, Racism, And The U.S. System Of Taxation, Palma Joy Strand, Nicholas A. Mirkay

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Article describes the connection between wealth inequality and the increasing structural racism in the U.S. tax system since the 1980s. A long-term sociological view (the why) reveals the historical racialization of wealth and a shift in the tax system overall beginning around 1980 to protect and exacerbate wealth inequality, which has been fueled by racial animus and anxiety. A critical tax view (the how) highlights a shift over the same time period at both federal and state levels from taxes on wealth, to taxes on income, and then to taxes on consumption—from greater to less progressivity. Both ...


Debt Bondage: How Private Collection Agencies Keep The Formerly Incarcerated Tethered To The Criminal Justice System, Bryan L. Adamson Apr 2020

Debt Bondage: How Private Collection Agencies Keep The Formerly Incarcerated Tethered To The Criminal Justice System, Bryan L. Adamson

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Article examines the constitutionality of statutes which allow courts to transfer outstanding legal financial obligations to private debt collection agencies. In Washington State, the clerk of courts can transfer the legal financial obligation of a formerly incarcerated person if he or she is only thirty days late making a payment. Upon transfer, the debt collection agencies can assess a “collection fee” of up to 50% of the first $100.000 of the unpaid legal financial obligation, and up to 35% of the unpaid debt over $100,000. This fee becomes part of the LFO debt imposed at sentencing, and ...


Screened Out Of Housing: The Impact Of Misleading Tenant Screening Reports And The Potential For Criminal Expungement As A Model For Effectively Sealing Evictions, Katelyn Polk Apr 2020

Screened Out Of Housing: The Impact Of Misleading Tenant Screening Reports And The Potential For Criminal Expungement As A Model For Effectively Sealing Evictions, Katelyn Polk

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

Having an eviction record “blacklists” tenants from finding future housing. Even renters with mere eviction filings—not eviction orders—on their records face the harsh collateral consequences of eviction. This Note argues that eviction records should be sealed at filing and only released into the public record if a landlord prevails in court. Juvenile record expungement mechanisms in Illinois serve as a model for one way to protect people with eviction records. Recent updates to the Illinois juvenile expungement process provided for the automatic expungement of certain records and strengthened the confidentiality protections of juvenile records. Illinois protects juvenile records ...


Environmental Justice In Little Village: A Case For Reforming Chicago’S Zoning Law, Charles Isaacs Apr 2020

Environmental Justice In Little Village: A Case For Reforming Chicago’S Zoning Law, Charles Isaacs

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

Chicago’s Little Village community bears the heavy burden of environmental injustice and racism. The residents are mostly immigrants and people of color who live with low levels of income, limited access to healthcare, and disproportionate levels of dangerous air pollution. Before its retirement, Little Village’s Crawford coal-burning power plant was the lead source of air pollution, contributing to 41 deaths, 550 emergency room visits, and 2,800 asthma attacks per year. After the plant’s retirement, community members wanted a say on the future use of the lot, only to be closed out when a corporation, Hilco Redevelopment ...


Stepping Into The Shoes Of The Department Of Justice: The Unusual, Necessary, And Hopeful Path The Illinois Attorney General Took To Require Police Reform In Chicago, Lisa Madigan, Cara Hendrickson, Karyn L. Bass Ehler Jan 2020

Stepping Into The Shoes Of The Department Of Justice: The Unusual, Necessary, And Hopeful Path The Illinois Attorney General Took To Require Police Reform In Chicago, Lisa Madigan, Cara Hendrickson, Karyn L. Bass Ehler

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Replacing Death With Life? The Rise Of Lwop In The Context Of Abolitionist Campaigns In The United States, Michelle Miao Jan 2020

Replacing Death With Life? The Rise Of Lwop In The Context Of Abolitionist Campaigns In The United States, Michelle Miao

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

On the basis of fifty-four elite interviews[1] with legislators, judges, attorneys, and civil society advocates as well as a state-by-state data survey, this Article examines the complex linkage between the two major penal trends in American society during the past decades: a declining use of capital punishment across the United States and a growing population of prisoners serving “life without the possibility of parole” or “LWOP” sentences. The main contribution of the research is threefold. First, the research proposes to redefine the boundary between life and death in relation to penal discourses regarding the death penalty and LWOP. LWOP ...


Families Belong Together: The Path To Family Sanctity In Public Housing, Mckayla Stokes Jan 2020

Families Belong Together: The Path To Family Sanctity In Public Housing, Mckayla Stokes

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

In its 2015 landmark civil rights decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court finally held that the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution guarantee same-sex couples’ marital equality. The Court’s unprecedented declaration that the right to marry is a fundamental right under the Due Process Clause strengthened married couples’ right to privacy because it subjects government actions infringing on marital unions to heightened scrutiny. The Supreme Court has the option to minimize the impact of Obergefell by interpreting the right to marriage very narrowly—as only encompassing the right to enter into a ...


Salary History And The Equal Pay Act: An Argument For The Adoption Of “Reckless Discrimination” As A Theory Of Liability, Kate Vandenberg Jan 2020

Salary History And The Equal Pay Act: An Argument For The Adoption Of “Reckless Discrimination” As A Theory Of Liability, Kate Vandenberg

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) purports to prohibit employers from paying female employees less than male employees with similar qualifications; however, the affirmative defenses provided in the EPA are loopholes that perpetuate the gender pay gap. In particular, the fourth affirmative defense allows for wage differentials based on a “factor other than sex.” Many federal circuits have read this defense broadly to include wage differentials based on salary history. That is, an employer can pay a female employee less than her male counterparts because she was paid less by her previous employer. While salary history was once viewed as an ...


The Pursuit Of Comprehensive Education Funding Reform Via Litigation, Lisa Scruggs Jan 2020

The Pursuit Of Comprehensive Education Funding Reform Via Litigation, Lisa Scruggs

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


A Class Action Lawsuit For The Right To A Minimum Education In Detroit, Carter G. Phillips Jan 2020

A Class Action Lawsuit For The Right To A Minimum Education In Detroit, Carter G. Phillips

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Panel Discussion: The Right To Education: With Liberty, Justice, And Education For All? Jan 2020

Panel Discussion: The Right To Education: With Liberty, Justice, And Education For All?

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


The Prosecutor As A Final Safeguard Against False Convictions: How Prosecutors Assist With Exoneration, Elizabeth Webster Jan 2020

The Prosecutor As A Final Safeguard Against False Convictions: How Prosecutors Assist With Exoneration, Elizabeth Webster

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Prosecutors have helped secure an unprecedented number of recent exonerations. This development, combined with the rapid emergence of district attorney-initiated conviction integrity units (CIUs) raises several questions. How do prosecutors’ offices review postconviction innocence claims? How do they make decisions about the merits of those claims? How do CIU processes differ from non-CIU processes? This study examines the circumstances surrounding prosecutor-assisted exoneration cases through semi-structured interviews with 20 prosecutors and 19 defense attorneys. It draws from a sample of both CIU and non-CIU prosecutors, thereby enabling comparisons. Respondents were asked about their experiences and decision-making structures in specific, post-2005 exoneration ...


The Perceptions Of Juvenile Judges Regarding Adolescent Development In Evaluating Juvenile Competency, Colleen M. Berryessa, Jillian Reeves Jan 2020

The Perceptions Of Juvenile Judges Regarding Adolescent Development In Evaluating Juvenile Competency, Colleen M. Berryessa, Jillian Reeves

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

This analysis provides the first known in-depth qualitative inquiry into if and how juvenile court judges take the psycho-social immaturity and development of adolescents into consideration when making attributions of adjudicative competency of offenders in juvenile court. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-seven U.S. juvenile court judges, followed by grounded theory analysis. Competency evaluations from psychologists and the juvenile’s age, history, awareness, and mental capacity influence judicial determinations of competency. Although data show that understandings of adolescent development do play a large role in shaping judges’ understandings of juvenile behavior—particularly related to emotional control, irrational behavior, lack ...


Children Of A Lesser God: Reconceptualizing Race In Immigration Law, Sarah L. Hamilton-Jiang Oct 2019

Children Of A Lesser God: Reconceptualizing Race In Immigration Law, Sarah L. Hamilton-Jiang

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

The increased public exposure to the experiences of Latinx unaccompanied children seeking entry at the United States southern border has revealed the lived reality of the nation’s pernicious immigration laws. The harrowing experiences of unaccompanied children are amplified by their interaction with a legal system plagued by a legacy of systemic racism and sustained racial caste. While immigration law currently affords minimal legal protections for these children, in application, the law continues to fall egregiously short of providing for the safety of unaccompanied children. Though critics have long attested to the legal system’s neglect of unaccompanied children, subsequent ...


"I Heard It Through The Grapevine": A Randomized Controlled Trial On The Direct And Vicarious Effects Of Preventative Specific Deterrence Initiatives In Criminal Networks, Barak Ariel, Ashley Englefield, John Denley Jan 2019

"I Heard It Through The Grapevine": A Randomized Controlled Trial On The Direct And Vicarious Effects Of Preventative Specific Deterrence Initiatives In Criminal Networks, Barak Ariel, Ashley Englefield, John Denley

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

A rich body of literature exists on deterrence, yet little is known about how deterrence messages are communicated through social networks. This is an important gap in our understanding, because such communication gives rise to the possibility that social institutions can utilize the vicarious effect of the threat of punishment against one individual to reduce the rate of reoffending amongst their criminal associates. To test this, we identified criminals with an extensive offending history (prolific offenders) and their co-offenders using social network analysis and then conducted a randomized controlled trial to measure the effect on both prolific offenders and their ...


Panel Discussion: Author Meets Critic Feb 2018

Panel Discussion: Author Meets Critic

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Localism, Labels, And Animal Welfare, Samuel R. Wiseman Jan 2018

Localism, Labels, And Animal Welfare, Samuel R. Wiseman

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

The law does relatively little to improve the welfare of animals raised for food. In the short term, at least, market-based solutions appear to have more promise as a means of promoting farm animal welfare, as consumers increasingly seek out local and humanely-raised meat and eggs. To aid consumers in identifying these products, certification systems of varying degrees of rigor exist, but even these are of little use to consumers in the restaurant context, which accounts for a large percentage of meat consumption. Patrons see only finished meals, making fraud difficult to detect, and a recent newspaper investigation suggests that ...


Rethinking The Dormant Commerce Clause?: Climate Change And Food Security, Michael Barsa Jan 2018

Rethinking The Dormant Commerce Clause?: Climate Change And Food Security, Michael Barsa

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Now You See Me: Problems And Strategies For Introducing Gender Self-Determination Into The Eighth Amendment For Gender Nonconforming Prisoners, Lizzie Bright Jan 2018

Now You See Me: Problems And Strategies For Introducing Gender Self-Determination Into The Eighth Amendment For Gender Nonconforming Prisoners, Lizzie Bright

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

As the fight for transgender rights becomes more visible in the United States, the plight of incarcerated transgender individuals seeking medical care behind bars is likewise gaining attention—and some trans prisoners are gaining access to gender-affirming care. However, progress for incarcerated members of the trans community has been slow, piecemeal, and not without problems. As federal court opinions in Eighth Amendment access-to-care cases brought by trans prisoners show, how a court interprets the subjective intent requirements of the Eighth Amendment and how the imprisoned plaintiff pleads his/her/their case can make or break the claim. Further, courts and ...


The Republican Party, Conservatives, And The Future Of Capital Punishment, Ben Jones Jan 2018

The Republican Party, Conservatives, And The Future Of Capital Punishment, Ben Jones

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The United States has experienced a significant decline in the death penalty during the first part of the twenty-first century, as death sentences, executions, public support, and states with capital punishment all have declined. Many recent reforms banning or placing a moratorium on executions have occurred in blue states, in line with the notion that ending the death penalty is a progressive cause. Challenging this narrative, however, is the emergence of Republican lawmakers as champions of death penalty repeal legislation in red states. This Article puts these efforts by Republican lawmakers into historical context and explains the conservative case against ...


The Downstream Effects Of Bail And Pretrial Detention On Racial Disparities In Incarceration, Ellen A. Donnelly, John M. Macdonald Jan 2018

The Downstream Effects Of Bail And Pretrial Detention On Racial Disparities In Incarceration, Ellen A. Donnelly, John M. Macdonald

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Bail and pretrial detention decisions may have important consequences for racial disparities in incarceration rates. Poor minority defendants who are unable to post bail and get released from jail before trial may be more likely to plead guilty and accept longer sentences of incarceration. Racial disparities in incarceration sentences may then reflect a combination of differences in the seriousness of a defendant’s case, criminal history, and economic resources to pay bail. This study examines the extent to which bail decision-making and pretrial detention explain Black-White disparities in criminal adjudications and sentences in the Delaware courts from 2012 to 2014 ...


Looking At Justice Through A Lens Of Healing And Reconnection, Annalise Buth, Lynn Cohn Oct 2017

Looking At Justice Through A Lens Of Healing And Reconnection, Annalise Buth, Lynn Cohn

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Panel Discussion: Expanding Our Conception Of Justice Oct 2017

Panel Discussion: Expanding Our Conception Of Justice

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Race And Death Sentencing For Oklahoma Homicides Committed Between 1990 And 2012, Glenn L. Pierce, Michael L. Radelet, Susan Sharp Jan 2017

Race And Death Sentencing For Oklahoma Homicides Committed Between 1990 And 2012, Glenn L. Pierce, Michael L. Radelet, Susan Sharp

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

This Article examines 4,668 Oklahoma homicide cases with an identified suspect that occurred during a twenty-three year period between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2012. Among these, we identified 153 cases that ended with a death sentence. Overall we found that while the defendant’s race did not correlate with a death sentence, there was a strong correlation with the race of the victim, with cases with white victims significantly more likely to end with a death sentence than cases with non-white victims. Homicides with female victims were also more likely to result in a death sentence than ...


An Empirical Research Agenda For The Forensic Sciences, Jonathan J. Koehler, John B. Meixner Jr. Jan 2016

An Empirical Research Agenda For The Forensic Sciences, Jonathan J. Koehler, John B. Meixner Jr.

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

After the National Academy of Sciences issued a stunning report in 2009 on the unscientific state of many forensic science subfields, forensic science has undergone internal and external scrutiny that it had managed to avoid for decades. Although some reform efforts are underway, forensic science writ large has yet to embrace and settle upon an empirical research agenda that addresses knowledge gaps pertaining to the reliability of its methods. Our paper addresses this problem by proposing a preliminary set of fourteen empirical studies for the forensic sciences. Following a brief discussion of the courtroom treatment of forensic science evidence, we ...


Small Cells, Big Problems: The Increasing Precision Of Cell Site Location Information And The Need For Fourth Amendment Protections, Robert M. Bloom, William T. Clark Jan 2016

Small Cells, Big Problems: The Increasing Precision Of Cell Site Location Information And The Need For Fourth Amendment Protections, Robert M. Bloom, William T. Clark

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The past fifty years has witnessed an evolution in technology advancement in police surveillance. Today, one of the essential tools of police surveillance is something most Americans carry with them in their pockets every day, the cell phone. Cell phones not only contain a huge repository of personal data, they also provide continuous surveillance of a person’s movement known as cell site location information (CSLI).

In 1986, Congress sought to provide some privacy protections to CSLI in the Stored Communication Act. Although this solution may have struck the proper balance in an age when cell phones were a mere ...


Looking Backwards At Old Cases: When Science Moves Forward, Jules Epstein Jan 2016

Looking Backwards At Old Cases: When Science Moves Forward, Jules Epstein

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Forensic evidence—be it in the form of science-derived analyses such as DNA profiling or drug identification, or in more subjective analyses such as pattern or impression [latent print, handwriting, firearms] examinations—is prevalent and often critical in criminal prosecutions. Yet, while the criminal court processes prize finality of verdicts, science evolves and often proves that earlier analyses were inadequate or plainly wrong. This article examines the tension between those two concerns by focusing on the 2015 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Maryland v. Kulbicki, addresses the inadequacies of the Court’s analysis, and suggests some factors ...


Fulfilling Daubert's Gatekeeping Mandate Through Court-Appointed Experts, Stephanie Domitrovich Jan 2016

Fulfilling Daubert's Gatekeeping Mandate Through Court-Appointed Experts, Stephanie Domitrovich

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

No abstract provided.


Sleuthing Scientific Evidence Information On The Internet, Carol Henderson, Diana Botluk Jan 2016

Sleuthing Scientific Evidence Information On The Internet, Carol Henderson, Diana Botluk

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

No abstract provided.


Recidivism And Time Served In Prison, Daniel P. Mears, Joshua C. Cochran, William D. Bales, Avinash S. Bhati Jan 2016

Recidivism And Time Served In Prison, Daniel P. Mears, Joshua C. Cochran, William D. Bales, Avinash S. Bhati

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

A justification for lengthier stays in prison stems from the belief that spending more time in prison reduces recidivism. Extant studies, however, have provided limited evidence for that belief and, indeed, suggest the effect of time served may be minimal. Few studies have employed rigorous methodological approaches, examined time spans of more than one to two years, or investigated the potential for the relationship between recidivism and time served to be curvilinear. Drawing on prior scholarship, this paper identifies three sets of hypotheses about the functional form of the time served and recidivism relationship. Using generalized propensity score analysis to ...