Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Criminal Law

Criminal justice

Institution
Publication Year
Publication
Publication Type
File Type

Articles 1 - 30 of 361

Full-Text Articles in Law

Sentencing By Ambush: An Insider's Perspective On Plea Bargaining Reform, Justice Michael P. Donnelly Jul 2021

Sentencing By Ambush: An Insider's Perspective On Plea Bargaining Reform, Justice Michael P. Donnelly

Akron Law Review

The vast majority of cases in our state criminal justice system are resolved not by proceeding to trial but through negotiated plea agreements. These are contracts between the government and the accused in which both sides are negotiating for some form of benefit in the ultimate resolution. In this article, Justice Donnelly exposes what he sees as a flaw in the system in the manner in which trial court judges oversee this process of negotiation. In a significant number of cases, the state induces defendants to enter into a guilty plea with no certain sentence, amounting to an illusory agreement ...


Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor Jul 2021

Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The use of artificial intelligence has expanded rapidly in recent years across many aspects of the economy. For federal, state, and local governments in the United States, interest in artificial intelligence has manifested in the use of a series of digital tools, including the occasional deployment of machine learning, to aid in the performance of a variety of governmental functions. In this paper, we canvas the current uses of such digital tools and machine-learning technologies by the judiciary and administrative agencies in the United States. Although we have yet to see fully automated decision-making find its way into either adjudication ...


After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne Jul 2021

After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

While an offender’s conduct before and during the crime is the traditional focus of criminal law and sentencing rules, an examination of post-offense conduct can also be important in promoting criminal justice goals. After the crime, different offenders make different choices and have different experiences, and those differences can suggest appropriately different treatment by judges, correctional officials, probation and parole supervisors, and other decision-makers in the criminal justice system.

Positive post-offense conduct ought to be acknowledged and rewarded, not only to encourage it but also as a matter of fair and just treatment. This essay describes four kinds of ...


The Societal Impact Of Capital Punishment And Its Future Role In Modern Day America, Laurel Lee Apr 2021

The Societal Impact Of Capital Punishment And Its Future Role In Modern Day America, Laurel Lee

Honors Theses

Capital punishment has been a well-established, although extremely controversial, practice throughout American history. It has been the subject of much criticism and debate both nationally and globally, dating back to ancient times. This study intends to research the historical, legal, and social changes of capital punishment in the United States that have occurred since the dawn of the practice in order to detect any trends, and if so, whether these trends allow a realistic prediction of the future of capital punishment. The chronology of capital punishment is first examined in this study in order to indicate that the controversy surrounding ...


Reconceptualizing Cannabis, Julia Peoples Apr 2021

Reconceptualizing Cannabis, Julia Peoples

Honors Theses

Inflammatory rhetoric and increasingly punitive drug policies dominated marijuana politics in the past. Today, as 36 have legalized cannabis in some form and 17 states have legalized recreational marijuana, the federal government continues to perpetuate policies of the past. The following analysis investigates rhetoric and policies that led to the War on Drugs as well as their outcomes, the dramatic shift in public opinion as states began to legalize marijuana, and the successes and failures of state cannabis programs to identify gaps within the MORE Act, the ideal policy, and politically viable incremental change. State programs are incapable of addressing ...


System Of Electronic Surveillance In The French And Comparative Law French And Comparative Law, Dr Ramy Metwally El-Kady Feb 2021

System Of Electronic Surveillance In The French And Comparative Law French And Comparative Law, Dr Ramy Metwally El-Kady

Journal Sharia and Law

The Topic of Electronic Surveillance is one of the modern topics in the field of criminal justice, accounting to the using of modern technologies in the field of implementation of criminal penalties by replacing short-term imprisonment penalties with home detention or restricting the freedom of the person at his home through the use of techniques of electronic surveillance.

This system has proved a success in many developed countries during the treatment of the problem of the negatives arising from the implementation of sanctions of deprivation of liberty in prisons, that some people see it as the corrupt environment that does ...


Criminalization And Normalization: Some Thoughts About Offenders With Serious Mental Illness, Richard C. Boldt Jan 2021

Criminalization And Normalization: Some Thoughts About Offenders With Serious Mental Illness, Richard C. Boldt

Faculty Scholarship

Response to Professor E. Lea Johnston, Reconceptualizing Criminal Justice Reform for Offenders with Serious Mental Illness

Abstract

While Professor Johnston is persuasive that clinical factors such as diagnosis and treatment history are not, in most cases, predictive by themselves of criminal behavior, her concession that those clinical factors are associated with a constellation of risks and needs that are predictive of criminal system involvement complicates her efforts to maintain a clear boundary between the criminalization theory and the normalization thesis. Indeed, Professor Johnston’s article contains a brief section in which she identifies “possible justifications” for the specialized programs that ...


Wage Theft Criminalization, Benjamin Levin Jan 2021

Wage Theft Criminalization, Benjamin Levin

Articles

Over the past decade, workers’ rights activists and legal scholars have embraced the language of “wage theft” in describing the abuses of the contemporary workplace. The phrase invokes a certain moral clarity: theft is wrong. The phrase is not merely a rhetorical flourish. Increasingly, it has a specific content for activists, politicians, advocates, and academics: wage theft speaks the language of criminal law, and wage theft is a crime that should be punished. Harshly. Self-proclaimed “progressive prosecutors” have made wage theft cases a priority, and left-leaning politicians in the United States and abroad have begun to propose more criminal statutes ...


Redefining Sex Offenders: The Fight To Break The Bias Of Female Sex Offenders, Norma Hamilton Jan 2021

Redefining Sex Offenders: The Fight To Break The Bias Of Female Sex Offenders, Norma Hamilton

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Erasing Evidence Of Historic Injustice: The Cannabis Criminal Records Expungement Paradox, Julie E. Steiner Jan 2021

Erasing Evidence Of Historic Injustice: The Cannabis Criminal Records Expungement Paradox, Julie E. Steiner

Faculty Scholarship

Cannabis prohibition and its subsequent enforcement have yielded an epic societal tragedy. The decision to criminalize cannabis was a paradigm-shifting moment in legal history because it converted lawful medicinal or intoxicant seeking conduct into criminal activity, inviting government intrusion into matters previously self-controlled.

Scholars increasingly recognize that prohibition was built upon a decades-long, false, media-driven narrative that “marijuana” was one of society’s worst menacing enemies. Using overtly racist propaganda, the narrative successfully captured the audience, fomenting public anxiety and unfairly demonizing cannabis and its users. This misinformation campaign ultimately led to its current status as prohibited under the federal ...


Women’S Votes, Women’S Voices, And The Limits Of Criminal Justice Reform, 1911–1950, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2021

Women’S Votes, Women’S Voices, And The Limits Of Criminal Justice Reform, 1911–1950, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

Deriving its vigor from the work of grassroots organizations at the state and local levels, the League of Women Voters (LWV) sought, in the first half of the twentieth century, to provide newly enfranchised women with a political education to strengthen their voice in public affairs. Local branches like the San Francisco Center learned from experience—through practical involvement in a variety of social welfare and criminal justice initiatives. This Article, written for a symposium commemorating the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, assesses the role of LWV leaders in California and especially San Francisco in reforming three aspects of the ...


Citizens, Suspects, And Enemies: Examining Police Militarization, Milton C. Regan Jan 2021

Citizens, Suspects, And Enemies: Examining Police Militarization, Milton C. Regan

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Concern about the increasing militarization of police has grown in recent years. Much of this concern focuses on the material aspects of militarization: the greater use of military equipment and tactics by police officers. While this development deserves attention, a subtler form of militarization operates on the cultural level. Here, police adopt an adversarial stance toward minority communities, whose members are regarded as presumptive objects of suspicion. The combination of material and cultural militarization in turn has a potential symbolic dimension. It can communicate that members of minority communities are threats to society, just as military enemies are threats to ...


Fair Questions: A Call And Proposal For Using General Verdicts With Special Interrogatories To Prevent Biased And Unjust Convictions, Charles Eric Hintz Jan 2021

Fair Questions: A Call And Proposal For Using General Verdicts With Special Interrogatories To Prevent Biased And Unjust Convictions, Charles Eric Hintz

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Bias and other forms of logical corner-cutting are an unfortunate aspect of criminal jury deliberations. However, the preferred verdict system in the federal courts, the general verdict, does nothing to counter that. Rather, by forcing jurors into a simple binary choice — guilty or not guilty — the general verdict facilitates and encourages such flawed reasoning. Yet the federal courts continue to stick to the general verdict, ironically out of a concern that deviating from it will harm defendants by leading juries to convict.

This Essay calls for a change: expand the use of a special findings verdict, the general verdict with ...


Women As Judges At International Criminal Tribunals, Milena Sterio Oct 2020

Women As Judges At International Criminal Tribunals, Milena Sterio

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

This Article analyzes the presence of female judges within international criminal tribunals, starting with the Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals in the 1990s. In particular, the Article discusses specific numbers of female judges at the Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the newly created Kosovo Specialist Chambers, and the International Criminal Court.

While the presence of women as prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim representatives, and other professionals at these tribunals is equally important, this Article focuses on the number of female judges, as such data ...


Justice For All? An In-Depth Look At Sexual Assault Kit Testing In The Carolinas, Jessalynn C. King Jul 2020

Justice For All? An In-Depth Look At Sexual Assault Kit Testing In The Carolinas, Jessalynn C. King

Senior Theses

Within the last few decades, technological advancements and an improved understanding of biological materials have led to an increase in evidence that can be submitted for forensic testing in criminal justice investigations. In a sexual assault investigation, a sexual assault kit (SAK) is often collected and contains the evidence found on the victim’s or suspect’s person. While the true total is unknown, it is estimated that several hundred thousand untested SAKs remain in the custody of law enforcement and forensic crime laboratories across the United States. Whether these SAKs were neglected due to law enforcement bias, the prioritization ...


Emergency Parole Release For Older Parole-Eligible Doc Inmates, David I. Bruck Jun 2020

Emergency Parole Release For Older Parole-Eligible Doc Inmates, David I. Bruck

Scholarly Articles

Professor Bruck writes to Secretary Moran and Chairwoman Bennett to urge them to protect elderly Virginia prison inmates from the risk of death from COVID-19 by granting immediate parole release to as many over-60 parole-eligible prisoners as possible, upon a showing that they are at low risk to re-offend, and have a supportive home to go to once released.


Controlled Observation: The Challenges Of Therapy For The Mentally Ill Incarcerated Population, Esther Tingué Jun 2020

Controlled Observation: The Challenges Of Therapy For The Mentally Ill Incarcerated Population, Esther Tingué

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Popular perception and objective of incarceration is confinement, brutality and in some cases inhumane conditions. But what about the incarcerated population who suffer from the additional burden of mental illness? How does confinement affect mentally ill inmates? This capstone project asks: (1) how do individuals/organizations provide rehabilitative services in this evolved culture of crime and punishment? And (2) how is therapy provided in a restricted environment? I examine these questions from the perspective of the therapist, the person who (in a restricted environment) takes on the responsibility of treating and managing the effects of mental illness for this population.


Expungement Of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, J.J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr May 2020

Expungement Of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, J.J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

Laws permitting the expungement of criminal convictions are a key component of modern criminal justice reform efforts and have been the subject of a recent upsurge in legislative activity. This debate has been almost entirely devoid of evidence about the laws’ effects, in part because the necessary data (such as sealed records themselves) have been unavailable. We were able to obtain access to de-identified data that overcome that problem, and we use it to carry out a comprehensive statewide study of expungement recipients and comparable nonrecipients in Michigan. We offer three key sets of empirical findings. First, among those legally ...


State Prosecutors At The Center Of Mass Imprisonment And Criminal Justice Reform, Nora V. Demleitner Apr 2020

State Prosecutors At The Center Of Mass Imprisonment And Criminal Justice Reform, Nora V. Demleitner

Scholarly Articles

State prosecutors around the country have played a crucial role in mass imprisonment. Little supervision and virtually unsurpassed decision making power have provided them with unrivaled influence over the size, growth, and composition of our criminal justice system. They decide which cases to prosecute, whether to divert a case, whether to offer a plea, and what sentence to recommend. Their impact does not stop at sentencing. They weigh in on alternative dockets, supervision violations, parole release, and even clemency requests. But they are also part of a larger system that constrains them. Funding, judicial limits on their power, and legislative ...


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 ...


Recognizing The Need For Mental Health Reform In The Texas Department Of Criminal Justice, Kara Mchorse Apr 2020

Recognizing The Need For Mental Health Reform In The Texas Department Of Criminal Justice, Kara Mchorse

St. Mary's Law Journal

The ways in which mental health care and the criminal justice system interact are in desperate need of reform in Texas. The rate of mental illness in Texas is higher than the current state of mental health care can provide for. While state hospitals were once the primary care facilities of those with mental illness, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has taken on that role in the last few decades; and when the criminal justice system becomes entangled with mental health care, it often leads to “unmitigated disaster.” If Texas continues to allow the TDCJ to act as ...


The United States And The International Criminal Court: Why Undermining The Icc Undercuts U.S. Interests, Jane Stromseth Jan 2020

The United States And The International Criminal Court: Why Undermining The Icc Undercuts U.S. Interests, Jane Stromseth

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


Intersectionality In The Opioid Crisis: Anti-Black Racism And White, Pregnant, Opioid Users, Craig Konnoth Jan 2020

Intersectionality In The Opioid Crisis: Anti-Black Racism And White, Pregnant, Opioid Users, Craig Konnoth

Articles

No abstract provided.


Confession Obsession: How To Protect Minors In Interrogations, Cindy Chau Jan 2020

Confession Obsession: How To Protect Minors In Interrogations, Cindy Chau

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


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.


Boots And Bail On The Ground: Assessing The Implementation Of Misdemeanor Bail Reforms In Georgia, Sandra Mayson, Andrea Woods, Lauren Sudeall, Guthrie Armstrong, Anthony Potts Jan 2020

Boots And Bail On The Ground: Assessing The Implementation Of Misdemeanor Bail Reforms In Georgia, Sandra Mayson, Andrea Woods, Lauren Sudeall, Guthrie Armstrong, Anthony Potts

Scholarly Works

This Article presents a mixed-methods study of misdemeanor bail practice across Georgia in the wake of reform. We observed bail hearings and interviewed system actors in a representative sample of fifty-five counties in order to assess the extent to which pretrial practice conforms to legal standards clarified in Senate Bill 407 and Walker v. Calhoun. We also analyzed jail population data published by county jails and by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. We found that a handful of counties have made promising headway in adhering to law and best practices, but that the majority have some distance to go ...


Boots And Bail On The Ground: Assessing The Implementation Of Misdemeanor Bail Reforms In Georgia, Andrea Woods, Sandra G. Mayson, Lauren Sudeall, Guthrie Armstrong, Anthony Potts Jan 2020

Boots And Bail On The Ground: Assessing The Implementation Of Misdemeanor Bail Reforms In Georgia, Andrea Woods, Sandra G. Mayson, Lauren Sudeall, Guthrie Armstrong, Anthony Potts

Scholarly Works

This Article presents a mixed-methods study of misdemeanor bail practice across Georgia in the wake of reform. We observed bail hearings and interviewed system actors in a representative sample of fifty-five counties in order to assess the extent to which pretrial practice conforms to legal standards clarified in Senate Bill 407 and Walker v. Calhoun. We also analyzed jail population data published by county jails and by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. We found that a handful of counties have made promising headway in adhering to law and best practices, but that the majority have some distance to go ...


America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap, Colleen Chien Jan 2020

America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap, Colleen Chien

Michigan Law Review

Over the last decade, dozens of states and the federal government have enacted “second chance” reforms that increase the eligibility of individuals arrested, charged, or convicted of crimes to shorten their sentences, clear their criminal records, and/or regain the right to vote. While much fanfare has accompanied the increasing availability of “second chances,” little attention has been paid to their delivery. This study introduces the concept of the “second chance gap,” which it defines as the difference between eligibility and delivery of second chance relief; explores its causes; and approximates its size in connection with several second chance laws ...


Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In this Essay, I offer a brief account of how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the realities and structural flaws of the carceral state. I provide two primary examples or illustrations, but they are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list. Rather, by highlighting these issues, problems, or (perhaps) features, I mean to suggest that this moment of crisis should serve not just as an opportunity to marshal resources to address the pandemic, but also as a chance to address the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal system. Further, my claim isn’t that criminal law is in ...


The Opposite Of Punishment: Imagining A Path To Public Redemption, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne Jan 2020

The Opposite Of Punishment: Imagining A Path To Public Redemption, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The criminal justice system traditionally performs its public functions – condemning prohibited conduct, shaming and stigmatizing violators, promoting societal norms – through the use of negative examples: convicting and punishing violators. One could imagine, however, that the same public functions could also be performed through the use of positive examples: publicly acknowledging and celebrating offenders who have chosen a path of atonement through confession, apology, making amends, acquiescing in just punishment, and promising future law abidingness. An offender who takes this path arguably deserves official public recognition, an update of all records and databases to record the public redemption, and an exemption ...