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Report On Offense Grading In Pennsylvania, Paul H. Robinson, Criminal Law Research Group, University Of Pennsylvania Law School Dec 2009

Report On Offense Grading In Pennsylvania, Paul H. Robinson, Criminal Law Research Group, University Of Pennsylvania Law School

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The Pennsylvania Legislature's Senate Judiciary Committee and House Judiciary Committee jointly commissioned this study of the criminal offense grading scheme contained in Pennsylvania criminal statutes. This Final Report, which was presented to a joint session of the two Committees on December 15, 2009, examines the extent to which current Pennsylvania law defines offenses with offense grades that are inconsistent with the relative seriousness of the offense as compared to other offenses, based upon an empirical survey of Pennsylvania residents. It also examines whether some offenses include within a single grade forms of conduct of very different degrees of seriousness, for …


Revisiting Beccaria's Vision: The Enlightenment, America's Death Penalty, And The Abolition Movement, John Bessler Oct 2009

Revisiting Beccaria's Vision: The Enlightenment, America's Death Penalty, And The Abolition Movement, John Bessler

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In 1764, Cesare Beccaria, a 26-year-old Italian criminologist, penned On Crimes and Punishments. That treatise spoke out against torture and made the first comprehensive argument against state-sanctioned executions. As we near the 250th anniversary of its publication, law professor John Bessler provides a comprehensive review of the abolition movement from before Beccaria's time to the present. Bessler reviews Beccaria's substantial influence on Enlightenment thinkers and on America's Founding Fathers in particular. The Article also provides an extensive review of Eighth Amendment jurisprudence and then contrasts it with the trend in international law towards the death penalty's abolition. It then discusses …


Stop The Killing: Potential Courtroom Use Of A Questionnaire That Predicts The Likelihood That A Victim Of Intimate Partner Violence Will Be Murdered By Her Partner, Amanda Hitt, Lynn Mclain Oct 2009

Stop The Killing: Potential Courtroom Use Of A Questionnaire That Predicts The Likelihood That A Victim Of Intimate Partner Violence Will Be Murdered By Her Partner, Amanda Hitt, Lynn Mclain

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Judges in domestic cases often underestimate the risk to a mother and her children that an angry and abusive father or other intimate partner poses. In a recent Maryland case, for example, two judges refused to deny a father visitation or require that visitation be supervised, despite the fact that the father had threatened suicide. During the father’s unsupervised visitation, he drowned all three of his children, then attempted to kill himself.

The Danger Assessment tool (the D.A.) developed by a Johns Hopkins Nursing professor and validated by herself and other social scientists shows how much the father’s thoughts of …


The Stockley Verdict: An Explainer, Chad Flanders Sep 2009

The Stockley Verdict: An Explainer, Chad Flanders

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The purpose o f this document is to help explain some o f the existing Missouri law that Judge Wilson used in his opinion. It does not take a side on the opinion itself. At the end o f the day, the decision Judge Wilson made was based on his call on various disputed factual questions. The law was not, for the most part, at issue. I attempt only to describe the legal framework within with Judge Wilson decided the case; not to support or to criticize his verdict. Each person will ultimately have to make his or her own …


The Dna Of An Argument: A Case Study In Legal Logos, Colin Starger Jul 2009

The Dna Of An Argument: A Case Study In Legal Logos, Colin Starger

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This Article develops a framework for analyzing legal argument through an in-depth case study of the debate over federal actions for post-conviction DNA access. Building on the Aristotelian concept of logos, this Article maintains that the persuasive power of legal logic depends in part on the rhetorical characteristics of premises, inferences, and conclusions in legal proofs. After sketching a taxonomy that distinguishes between prototypical argument logo (formal, empirical, narrative, and categorical), the Article applies its framework to parse the rhetorical dynamics at play in litigation over post-conviction access to DNA evidence under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, focusing in particular on …


Redefining Harm, Reimagining Remedies And Reclaiming Domestic Violence Law, Margaret E. Johnson Apr 2009

Redefining Harm, Reimagining Remedies And Reclaiming Domestic Violence Law, Margaret E. Johnson

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Civil domestic violence laws do not effectively address and redress the harms suffered by women subjected to domestic violence. The Civil Protective Order (“CPO”) laws should offer a remedy for all domestic abuse with an understanding that domestic violence subordinates women. These laws should not remedy only physical violence or criminal acts. All forms of abuse — psychological, emotional, economic, and physical — are interrelated. Not only do these abuses cause severe emotional distress, physical harm, isolation, sustained fear, intimidation, poverty, degradation, humiliation, and coerced loss of autonomy, but, as researchers have demonstrated, most domestic violence is the fundamental operation …


Dan Freed: My Teacher, My Colleague, My Friend, Ronald Weich Apr 2009

Dan Freed: My Teacher, My Colleague, My Friend, Ronald Weich

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At a recent meeting of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, Yale professor Dan Freed was honored during a panel discussion titled "Standing on the Shoulders of Sentencing Giants," Dan Freed is indeed a sentencing giant. but he is the gentlest giant of all. It is hard to imagine that a man as mild-mannered, soft-spoken, and self-effacing as Dan Freed has had such a profound impact on federal sentencing law and so many other areas of criminal justice policy, Yet he has.

I've been in many rooms with Dan Freed over the years — classrooms, boardrooms, dining rooms, and others. …


Prosecutorial Regulation Versus Prosecutorial Accountability, Stephanos Bibas Apr 2009

Prosecutorial Regulation Versus Prosecutorial Accountability, Stephanos Bibas

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No government official has as much unreviewable power or discretion as the prosecutor. Few regulations bind or even guide prosecutorial discretion, and fewer still work well. Most commentators favor more external regulation by legislatures, judges, or bar authorities. Neither across-the-board legislation nor ex post review of individual cases has proven to be effective, however. Drawing on management literature, this article reframes the issue as a principal-agent problem and suggests corporate strategies for better serving the relevant stakeholders. Fear of voters could better check prosecutors, as could victim participation in individual cases. Scholars have largely neglected the most promising avenue of …


Rewarding Prosecutors For Performance, Stephanos Bibas Feb 2009

Rewarding Prosecutors For Performance, Stephanos Bibas

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Prosecutorial discretion is a problem that most scholars attack from the outside. Most scholars favor external institutional solutions, such as ex ante legislation or ex post judicial and bar review of individual cases of misconduct. At best these approaches can catch the very worst misconduct. They lack inside information and sustained oversight and cannot generate and enforce fine-grained rules to guide prosecutorial decisionmaking. The more promising alternative is to work within prosecutors' offices, to create incentives for good performance. This symposium essay explores a neglected toolbox that head prosecutors can use to influence line prosecutors: compensation and other rewards. Rewards …


Intention, Torture, And The Concept Of State Crime, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2009

Intention, Torture, And The Concept Of State Crime, Aditi Bagchi

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Notwithstanding the universal prohibition against torture, and almost universal agreement that in order to qualify as torture, the act in question must be committed intentionally with an illicit purpose, the intentional element of torture remains ambiguous. I make the following claims about how we should interpret the intent requirement as applied to states. First, state intent should be understood objectively with reference to the apparent reasons for state action. The subjective motivation of particular state actors is not directly relevant. While we focus on subjective intent in the context of individual crime because of its relation to culpability and blameworthiness, …


The Aftermath Of Crawford And Davis: Deconstructing The Sound Of Silence, Kimberly D. Bailey Jan 2009

The Aftermath Of Crawford And Davis: Deconstructing The Sound Of Silence, Kimberly D. Bailey

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No abstract provided.


Policing Politics At Sentencing, Stephanos Bibas, Max M. Schanzenbach, Emerson H. Tiller Jan 2009

Policing Politics At Sentencing, Stephanos Bibas, Max M. Schanzenbach, Emerson H. Tiller

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No abstract provided.


The Violent Bear It Away: Emmett Till & The Modernization Of Law Enforcement In Mississippi, Anders Walker Jan 2009

The Violent Bear It Away: Emmett Till & The Modernization Of Law Enforcement In Mississippi, Anders Walker

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Few racially motivated crimes have left a more lasting imprint on American memory than the death of Emmett Till. Yet, even as Till's murder in Mississippi in 1955 has come to be remembered as a catalyst for the civil rights movement, it contributed to something else as well. Precisely because it came on the heels of the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Till's death convinced Mississippi Governor James P. Coleman that certain aspects of the state's handling of racial matters had to change. Afraid that popular outrage over racial violence might encourage federal intervention in …


Place Mattters (Most): An Empirical Study Of Prosecutorial Decision-Making In Death-Eligible Cases, Katherine Y. Barnes, David L. Sloss, Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2009

Place Mattters (Most): An Empirical Study Of Prosecutorial Decision-Making In Death-Eligible Cases, Katherine Y. Barnes, David L. Sloss, Stephen C. Thaman

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This article investigates prosecutorial discretion in death penalty prosecution in Missouri. Based upon an empirical analysis of all intentional-homicide cases from 1997-2001, this article concludes that Missouri law gives prosecutors unconstitutionally broad discretion in charging these cases. This article also finds that prosecutors exercise this broad discretion differently, leading to geographic and racial disparities in sentencing, and concludes with proposals for statutory reform.


Clawbacks: Prospective Contract Measures In An Era Of Excessive Executive Compensation And Ponzi Schemes, Miriam A. Cherry, Jarrod Wong Jan 2009

Clawbacks: Prospective Contract Measures In An Era Of Excessive Executive Compensation And Ponzi Schemes, Miriam A. Cherry, Jarrod Wong

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In the spring of 2009, public outcry erupted over the multi-million dollar bonuses paid to AIG executives even as the company was receiving TARP funds. Various measures were proposed in response, including a 90% retroactive tax on the bonuses, which the media described as a "clawback." Separately, the term "clawback" was also used to refer to remedies potentially available to investors defrauded in the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff. While the media and legal commentators have used the term "clawback" reflexively, the concept has yet to be fully analyzed. In this article, we propose a doctrine of …


A Right To Bear Firearms But Not To Use Them? Defensive Force Rules And The Increasing Effectiveness Of Non-Lethal Weapons, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2009

A Right To Bear Firearms But Not To Use Them? Defensive Force Rules And The Increasing Effectiveness Of Non-Lethal Weapons, Paul H. Robinson

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Under existing American law, advances in non-lethal weapons increasingly make the use of firearms for defense unlawful and the Second Amendment of little practical significance. As the effectiveness and availability of less lethal weapons increase, the choice of a lethal firearm for protection is a choice to use more force than is necessary, in violation of existing self-defense law. At the same time, a shift to non-lethal weapons increases the frequency of situations in which a person’s use of force is authorized because defenders with non-lethal weapons are freed from the special proportionality requirements that limit the use of deadly …


Restoration But Also More Justice, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2009

Restoration But Also More Justice, Stephanos Bibas

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This short essay replies to Erik Luna's endorsement of restorative justice. He is right that the goal of healing victims, defendants, and their families is important but all too often neglected by substantive criminal law and procedure, which is far too state-centered and impersonal. The problem with restorative justice is that too often it seeks to sweep away punishment as barbaric and downplays the need for deterrence and incapacitation as well. In short, restorative justice deserves more of a role in American criminal justice. Shorn of its political baggage and reflexive hostility to punishment, restorative justice has much to teach …


The Pace Of International Criminal Justice, Jean Galbraith Jan 2009

The Pace Of International Criminal Justice, Jean Galbraith

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This article examines how long international criminal cases take in practice. It considers the cases of all 305 individuals charged at six international and hybrid criminal tribunals (as of shortly before this article's publication). Contrary to the conventional wisdom, on average today’s international criminal cases do not take much longer than comparably complex domestic criminal cases, once the defendants are in custody. Nonetheless, international criminal cases may take too long to achieve the goal of helping to reconcile the affected communities – particularly where a community has abruptly transitioned from an abusive old regime to an entirely new one. Where …


Liability Insurance At The Tort-Crime Boundary, Tom Baker Jan 2009

Liability Insurance At The Tort-Crime Boundary, Tom Baker

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This essay explores how liability insurance mediates the boundary between torts and crime. Liability insurance sometimes separates these two legal fields, for example through the application of standard insurance contract provisions that exclude insurance coverage for some crimes that are also torts. Perhaps less obviously, liability insurance also can draw parts of the tort and criminal fields together. For example, professional liability insurance civilizes the criminal law experience for some crimes that are also torts by providing defendants with an insurance-paid criminal defense that provides more than ordinary means to contest the state’s accusations. The crime-tort separation in liability insurance …


A System Of Excuses: How Criminal Law’S Excuse Defenses Do, And Don’T, Work Together To Exculpate Blameless (And Only Blameless) Offenders, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2009

A System Of Excuses: How Criminal Law’S Excuse Defenses Do, And Don’T, Work Together To Exculpate Blameless (And Only Blameless) Offenders, Paul H. Robinson

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Criminal law excuses are analyzed as a group of analogous doctrines working together to exculpate blameless offenders. The analysis reveals that current law doctrine, although it often is not explicit about the parallel and integrated operation of its excuse defenses, does much to perform this exculpatory function. However, the systematic perspective of excuses also reveals some serious shortcomings of current doctrines.


The Anti-Case Method: Herbert Wechsler And The Political History Of The Criminal Law Course, Anders Walker Jan 2009

The Anti-Case Method: Herbert Wechsler And The Political History Of The Criminal Law Course, Anders Walker

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This article is the first to recover the dramatic transformation in criminal law teaching away from the case method and towards a more open-ended philosophical approach in the 1930s. It makes three contributions. One, it shows how Columbia Law Professor Herbert Wechsler revolutionized the teaching of criminal law by de-emphasizing cases and including a variety of non-case related material in his 1940 text Criminal Law and Its Administration. Two, it reveals that at least part of Wechsler's intention behind transforming criminal law teaching was to undermine Langdell's case method, which he blamed for producing a "closed-system" view of the law …


The Precarious Situation Of Human Rights In The United States In Normal Times And After September 11, 2001 (La Situación Precaria De Los Derechos Humanos En Estados Unidos En Tiempos Normales Y Después Del 11 De Septiembre De 2001) (Spanish), Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2009

The Precarious Situation Of Human Rights In The United States In Normal Times And After September 11, 2001 (La Situación Precaria De Los Derechos Humanos En Estados Unidos En Tiempos Normales Y Después Del 11 De Septiembre De 2001) (Spanish), Stephen C. Thaman

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The paper criticizes the impact of U. S. American criminal law and procedure on the human rights of U. S. citizens in normal times and the changes that have occurred since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It deals with racial profiling, the death penalty, Draconian prison sentences in normal times, and the use of unlimited detention, torture and expanded powers of wiretapping and evidence gathering since the attacks of 9-11.

Note: downloadable document is in Spanish


Truth Or Legality: The Limits On The Laundering Of Illegally Gathered Evidence In A State Under The Rule Of Law (Verdad O Legalidad: Los Límites Del Blanqueo De Pruebas Ilegalmente Recogidas En Un Estado De Derecho) (Spanish), Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2009

Truth Or Legality: The Limits On The Laundering Of Illegally Gathered Evidence In A State Under The Rule Of Law (Verdad O Legalidad: Los Límites Del Blanqueo De Pruebas Ilegalmente Recogidas En Un Estado De Derecho) (Spanish), Stephen C. Thaman

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This paper discusses the tension between the constitutional rights to silence and to privacy and the important goal of criminal procedure to ascertain the truth. It traces exclusionary rules from the inquisitorial rules relating to nullities, to modern constitutional, statutory and jurisprudential rules for excluding illegally gathered evidence.

Note: downloadable document is in Spanish


American Oresteia: Herbert Wechsler, The Model Penal Code, And The Uses Of Revenge, Anders Walker Jan 2009

American Oresteia: Herbert Wechsler, The Model Penal Code, And The Uses Of Revenge, Anders Walker

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The American Law Institute recently revised the Model Penal Code's sentencing provisions, calling for a renewed commitment to proportionality based on the gravity of offenses, the "blameworthiness" of offenders, and the "harms done to crime victims." Already, detractors have criticized this move, arguing that it replaces the Code's original commitment to rehabilitation with a more punitive attention to retribution. Yet, missing from such calumny is an awareness of retribution's subtle yet significant role in both the drafting and enactment of the first Model Penal Code (MPC). This article recovers that role by focusing on the retributive views of its first …


The Irreducibly Normative Nature Of Provocation/Passion, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2009

The Irreducibly Normative Nature Of Provocation/Passion, Stephen J. Morse

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No abstract provided.