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Why Prosecutors Rule The Criminal Justice System—And What Can Be Done About It, Jed S. Rakoff 2017 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Why Prosecutors Rule The Criminal Justice System—And What Can Be Done About It, Jed S. Rakoff

Northwestern University Law Review

Most recognize that federal and state laws imposing high sentences and reducing judicial sentencing discretion have created America’s current plague of mass incarceration. Fewer realize that these draconian laws shift sentencing power to prosecutors: defendants fear the immense sentences they face if convicted at trial, and therefore actively engage in the plea-bargaining process. This allows prosecutors, rather than judges, to effectively determine the sentences imposed in most cases, which creates significant sentencing discrepancies that most often are unrecorded and cannot be measured. This Essay proposes a solution that would not require legislative change to be put into effect: to ...


Fragmentation And Democracy In The Constitutional Law Of Punishment, Richard A. Bierschbach 2017 Wayne State University Law School

Fragmentation And Democracy In The Constitutional Law Of Punishment, Richard A. Bierschbach

Northwestern University Law Review

Scholars have long studied the relationship of structural constitutional principles like checks and balances to democracy. But the relationship of such principles to democracy in criminal punishment has received less attention. This Essay examines that relationship and finds it fraught with both promise and peril for the project of democratic criminal justice. On the one hand, by blending a range of inputs into punishment determinations, the constitutional fragmentation of the punishment power can enhance different types of influence in an area in which perspective is of special concern. At the same time, the potentially positive aspects of fragmentation can backfire ...


Three Principles Of Democratic Criminal Justice, Joshua Kleinfeld 2017 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Three Principles Of Democratic Criminal Justice, Joshua Kleinfeld

Northwestern University Law Review

This Essay links criminal theory to democratic political theory, arguing that the view of criminal law and procedure known as “reconstructivism” shares a common root with certain culturally oriented forms of democratic theory. The common root is the valorization of a community’s ethical life and the belief that law and government should reflect the ethical life of the community living under that law and government. This Essay then specifies three principles that are entailed by the union of democracy and reconstructivism and that should therefore characterize a democracy’s approach to criminal justice: the “moral culture principle of criminalization ...


A Criminal Law We Can Call Our Own?, R A Duff 2017 University of Stirling

A Criminal Law We Can Call Our Own?, R A Duff

Northwestern University Law Review

This Essay sketches an ideal of criminal law—of the kind of criminal law that we can call our own as citizens of a democratic republic. The elements of that ideal include a republican theory of liberal democracy, as the kind of polity in which we can aspire to live; an account of the role of criminal law in such a polity, as defining a set of public wrongs and providing an appropriate formal, public response to the commission of such wrongs through the criminal process of trial and punishment; and a discussion of how the citizens of such a ...


Criminal Justice That Revives Republican Democracy, John Braithwaite 2017 Australian National University

Criminal Justice That Revives Republican Democracy, John Braithwaite

Northwestern University Law Review

Criminal justice seems an implausible vehicle for reviving democracy. Yet democracy is in trouble. It is embattled by money politics and populist tyrannies of majorities, of which penal populism is just one variant. These pathologies of democracy arise from democracy having become too remote from the people. A new democracy is needed that creates spaces for direct deliberative engagement and for spaces where children learn to become democratic. A major role for restorative justice is one way to revive the democratic spirit through creating such spaces.


Policing And Procedural Justice: Shaping Citizens' Identities To Increase Democratic Participation, Tracey Meares 2017 Yale Law School

Policing And Procedural Justice: Shaping Citizens' Identities To Increase Democratic Participation, Tracey Meares

Northwestern University Law Review

Like the education system, the criminal justice system offers both formal, overt curricula—found in the Bill of Rights, and informal or “hidden” curricula—embodied in how people are treated in interactions with legal authorities in courtrooms and on the streets. The overt policing curriculum identifies police officers as “peace officers” tasked with public safety and concern for individual rights, but the hidden curriculum, fraught with racially targeted stop and frisks and unconstitutional exercises of force, teaches many that they are members of a special, dangerous, and undesirable class. The social psychology of how people understand the fairness of legal ...


From Harm Reduction To Community Engagement: Redefining The Goals Of American Policing In The Twenty-First Century, Tom R. Tyler 2017 Yale Law School

From Harm Reduction To Community Engagement: Redefining The Goals Of American Policing In The Twenty-First Century, Tom R. Tyler

Northwestern University Law Review

Society would gain if the police moved away from the goal of harm reduction via crime reduction and toward promoting the economic, social, and political vitality of American communities. Research suggests that the police can contribute to this goal if they design and implement their policies and practices in ways that promote public trust. Such trust develops when the police exercise their authority in ways that people evaluate as being procedurally just.


Democratizing Criminal Law: Feasibility, Utility, And The Challenge Of Social Change, Paul H. Robinson 2017 University of Pennsylvania Law School

Democratizing Criminal Law: Feasibility, Utility, And The Challenge Of Social Change, Paul H. Robinson

Northwestern University Law Review

There are good reasons to be initially hesitant about shaping criminal law rules to track the justice judgments of ordinary people. People seem to disagree about many criminal law issues. Their judgments, at least as reflected in many aspects of current law such as three strikes and high penalties for drug offenses, seem harsh to many. Effective crime control would seem to require the expertise of trained experts and scholars who understand the complexities of general deterrence and the identification and incapacitation of the dangerous.

But this brief Essay, which reviews some previous studies and analyses, argues that distributing criminal ...


Democratizing Criminal Law As An Abolitionist Project, Dorothy E. Roberts 2017 University of Pennsylvania

Democratizing Criminal Law As An Abolitionist Project, Dorothy E. Roberts

Northwestern University Law Review

The criminal justice system currently functions to exclude black people from full political participation. Myriad institutions, laws, and definitions within the criminal justice system subordinate and criminalize black people, thereby excluding them from electoral politics, and depriving them of material resources, social networks, family relationships, and legitimacy necessary for full political citizenship. Making criminal law democratic requires more than reform efforts to improve currently existing procedures and systems. Rather, it requires an abolitionist approach that will dismantle the criminal law’s anti-democratic aspects entirely and reconstitute the criminal justice system without them.


Democratizing Criminal Justice Through Contestation And Resistance, Jocelyn Simonson 2017 Brooklyn Law School

Democratizing Criminal Justice Through Contestation And Resistance, Jocelyn Simonson

Northwestern University Law Review

Collective forms of participation in criminal justice from members of marginalized groups—for example, when people gather together to engage in participatory defense, organized copwatching, community bail funds, or prison labor strikes—have a profound effect on everyday criminal justice. In this Essay I argue that these bottom-up forms of participation are not only powerful and important, but also crucial for democratic criminal justice. Collective mechanisms of resistance and contestation build agency, remedy power imbalances, bring aggregate structural harms into view, and shift deeply entrenched legal and constitutional meanings. Many of these forms of contestation display a faith in local ...


Racing Abnormality, Normalizing Race: The Origins Of America's Peculiar Carceral State And Its Prospects For Democratic Transformation Today, Jonathan Simon 2017 University of California Berkeley School of Law

Racing Abnormality, Normalizing Race: The Origins Of America's Peculiar Carceral State And Its Prospects For Democratic Transformation Today, Jonathan Simon

Northwestern University Law Review

For those struggling with criminal justice reform today, the long history of failed efforts to close the gap between the promise of legal equality and the practice of our police forces and prison systems can seem mysterious and frustrating. Progress has been made in establishing stronger rights for individuals in the investigatory and sanctioning stages of the criminal process; yet, the patterns of over-incarceration and police violence, which are especially concentrated on people of color, have actually gotten worse during the same period. Seen in terms of its deeper history however, the carceral state is no longer puzzling: it has ...


Restoring Democratic Moral Judgment Within Bureaucratic Criminal Justice, Stephanos Bibas 2017 University of Pennsylvania Law School

Restoring Democratic Moral Judgment Within Bureaucratic Criminal Justice, Stephanos Bibas

Northwestern University Law Review

While America's criminal justice system is deeply rooted in the ideal of a popular morality play, it has long since drifted into becoming a bureaucratic plea bargaining machine. We cannot (and would not want to) return to the Colonial Era. Even so, there is much more we can do to reclaim our heritage and incorporate popular participation within our lawyer-run system. That requires pushing back against the relentless pressures toward efficiency and maximizing quantity, to ensure that criminal justice treats each criminal with justice, as a human and not just a number. The criminal justice system must narrow its ...


White Paper Of Democratic Criminal Justice, Joshua Kleinfeld, Laura I. Appleman, Richard A. Bierschbach, Kenworthey Bilz, Josh Bowers, John Braithwaite, Robert P. Burns, R A Duff, Albert W. Dzur, Thomas F. Geraghty, Adriaan Lanni, Marah Stith McLeod, Janice Nadler, Anthony O'Rourke, Paul H. Robinson, Jonathan Simon, Jocelyn Simonson, Tom R. Tyler, Ekow N. Yankah 2017 Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

White Paper Of Democratic Criminal Justice, Joshua Kleinfeld, Laura I. Appleman, Richard A. Bierschbach, Kenworthey Bilz, Josh Bowers, John Braithwaite, Robert P. Burns, R A Duff, Albert W. Dzur, Thomas F. Geraghty, Adriaan Lanni, Marah Stith Mcleod, Janice Nadler, Anthony O'Rourke, Paul H. Robinson, Jonathan Simon, Jocelyn Simonson, Tom R. Tyler, Ekow N. Yankah

Northwestern University Law Review

This white paper is the joint product of nineteen professors of criminal law and procedure who share a common conviction: that the path toward a more just, effective, and reasonable criminal system in the United States is to democratize American criminal justice. In the name of the movement to democratize criminal justice, we herein set forth thirty proposals for democratic criminal justice reform.


Reflexiones Y Dudas Sobre La Responsabilidad Penal De Las Empresas Agroalimentarias, Luis González Vaqué 2017 Asociación Iberoamericana para el Dereho Alimentario

Reflexiones Y Dudas Sobre La Responsabilidad Penal De Las Empresas Agroalimentarias, Luis González Vaqué

Luis González Vaqué

El control cumplimiento de las normativas se convierte rápidamente en más eficaz a medida que las autoridades tienden a asegurarse de que las personas jurídicas van estableciendo políticas y procedimientos para actuar eficazmente y minimizar los riesgos. La consecuencia más obvia del incumplimiento es la imposición de multas como resultado de una infracción o delito. Para el sector agroalimentario español, el establecimiento de una “cultura de cumplimiento” [culture of compliance] requiere una continua vigilancia, recursos y tiempo para lograr un cambio generalizado de actitudes.
Palabras clave: Consejo de Europa, España, sector agroalimentario, cultura de cumplimiento, responsabilidad penal, personas jurídicas


Measuring The Creative Plea Bargin, Thea Johnson 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Measuring The Creative Plea Bargin, Thea Johnson

Indiana Law Journal

A great deal of criminal law scholarship and practice turns on whether a defendant gets a good deal through plea bargaining. But what is a good deal? And how do defense attorneys secure such deals? Much scholarship measures plea bargains by one metric: how many years the defendant receives at sentencing. In the era of collateral consequences, however, this is no longer an adequate metric as it misses a world of bargaining that happens outside of the sentence. Through empirical re-search, this Article examines the measure of a good plea and the work that goes into negotiating such a plea ...


Adjudicated Juveniles And Collateral Relief, Joshua A. Tepfer, Laura H. Nirider 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Adjudicated Juveniles And Collateral Relief, Joshua A. Tepfer, Laura H. Nirider

Maine Law Review

Collateral relief is a vital part of the American criminal justice system. By filing post-conviction petitions after the close of direct appeal, defendants can raise claims based on evidence outside the record that was not known or available at the time of trial. One common use of post-conviction relief is to file a claim related to a previously unknown constitutional violation that occurred at trial, such as ineffective assistance of counsel. If a defendant’s trial attorney performed ineffectively by failing to call, for instance, an alibi witness, then that omission is unlikely to be reflected in the trial record ...


Commissioning Innocence And Restoring Confidence: The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission And The Missing Deliberative Citizen, Mary Kelly Tate 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Commissioning Innocence And Restoring Confidence: The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission And The Missing Deliberative Citizen, Mary Kelly Tate

Maine Law Review

Since 1989, the United States has witnessed 289 DNA exonerations, with exonerees serving an average of thirteen years in prison. Although DNA an its unmatched power for the conclusive results is what brought popular attention to wrongful convictions, the scope of the problem is vastly larger than the number of known DNA exonerations. The actual number of convicted individuals who are factually innocent is unknown. The state of North Carolina has recently responded to this national crisis via a newly created state agency. This essay applauds North Carolina’s response, but urges that ordinary citizens, qua jurors, be active participants ...


Contingent Compensation Of Post-Conviction Counsel: A Modest Proposal To Identify Meritorious Claims And Reduce Wasteful Government Spending, Christopher T. Robertson 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Contingent Compensation Of Post-Conviction Counsel: A Modest Proposal To Identify Meritorious Claims And Reduce Wasteful Government Spending, Christopher T. Robertson

Maine Law Review

It costs about $25,000 a year to pay for the housing, food, medical care, and security for each of the 2.3 million residents of America’s prisons. In a world of limited public budgets, each of these expenditures represents an opportunity cost—a teacher’s aide not hired, a section of road not widened. Local, state, and federal governments pay such incarceration costs, which amount to $75 bullion in the aggregate, while slashing budgets for essential services for the rest of the citizenry including medical care, biomedical research, infrastructure, and educational funding—investments which arguably provide greater returns ...


Yikes! Was I Wrong? A Second Look At The Viability Of Monitoring Capital Post-Conviction Counsel, Celestine Richards McConville 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Yikes! Was I Wrong? A Second Look At The Viability Of Monitoring Capital Post-Conviction Counsel, Celestine Richards Mcconville

Maine Law Review

When Albert Holland’s capital post-conviction counsel filed his state post-conviction motion in September 2002, twelve days remained in the one-year statute of limitations for filing a federal habeas petition. While Holland might not have known exactly how much time was left in the federal limitations period, he knew he wanted to preserve his right to federal review, that the limitations period was tolled during non-discretionary state post-conviction review, and that he would be under the gun to get the federal petition filed once the Florida Supreme Court issued its decisions. And he made no ones about his desire to ...


A Comment On Christopher Johnson's "Post-Trial Judicial Review Of Criminal Convictions: A Comparative Study Of The United States And Finland", Malick W. Ghachem 2017 University of Maine School of Law

A Comment On Christopher Johnson's "Post-Trial Judicial Review Of Criminal Convictions: A Comparative Study Of The United States And Finland", Malick W. Ghachem

Maine Law Review

Christopher Johnson has dug deeply into a neglected corner of comparative law and emerged with some fascinating and important contrasts. Finland does not appear often on the radar screen of American legal scholars, even those who primarily focus is comparative law. And so we are indebted to Johnson for reminding us that critical comparative insights can arise out of studying the experiences of nations deemed “marginal” to the international system, and to mainstream comparative law scholarship (which itself occupies a position of uncertain import in American legal scholarship generally). Johnson’s findings are all the more significant because they come ...


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