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Criminal Law

Punishment

Columbia Law School

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How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?: A Knowledge Brief Of The Macarthur Foundation Research Network On Law And Neuroscience, Bj Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer E. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner Jan 2017

How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?: A Knowledge Brief Of The Macarthur Foundation Research Network On Law And Neuroscience, Bj Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer E. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner

Faculty Scholarship

The justice system in the United States has long recognized that juvenile offenders are not the same as adults, and has tried to incorporate those differences into law and policy. But only in recent decades have behavioral scientists and neuroscientists, along with policymakers, looked rigorously at developmental differences, seeking answers to two overarching questions: Are young offenders, purely by virtue of their immaturity, different from older individuals who commit crimes? And, if they are, how should justice policy take this into account?

A growing body of research on adolescent development now confirms that teenagers are indeed inherently different from adults, …


The ’73 Graft: Punishment, Political Economy, And The Genealogy Of Morals, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2015

The ’73 Graft: Punishment, Political Economy, And The Genealogy Of Morals, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In this essay, I explore the place of a genealogy of morals within the context of a history of political economy. More specifically, I investigate the types of moralization – of criminals and delinquents, of the disorderly, but also of political economic systems, of workers and managers, of rules and rule-breaking – that are necessary and integral to making a population accept new styles of political and economic governance, especially the punitive institutions that accompany modern political economies in the contemporary period.

The marriage of political economy and a genealogy of morals: this essay explores how the moralization of certain …


Law And Neuroscience: Recommendations Submitted To The President's Bioethics Commission, Owen D. Jones, Richard J. Bonnie, Bj Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner, Gideon Yaffe Jan 2014

Law And Neuroscience: Recommendations Submitted To The President's Bioethics Commission, Owen D. Jones, Richard J. Bonnie, Bj Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner, Gideon Yaffe

Faculty Scholarship

It has become increasingly clear that implications for criminal justice – both negative and positive – emerge from the rapid, important, and challenging developments in cognitive neuroscience, the study of how the brain thinks. Two examples will illustrate.

First, lawyers are ever more frequently bringing neuroscientific evidence into the courtroom, often in the forms of testimony about, and graphic images of, human brains. This trend has produced many new challenges for judges as they attempt to provide fair rulings on the admissibility of such technical evidence, consider its proper interpretation, and assess whether the probative value of such testimony may …


Beccaria's On Crimes And Punishments: A Mirror On The History Of The Foundations Of Modern Criminal Law, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2014

Beccaria's On Crimes And Punishments: A Mirror On The History Of The Foundations Of Modern Criminal Law, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Beccaria’s treatise On Crimes and Punishments (1764) has become a placeholder for the classical school of thought in criminology, for deterrence-based public policy, for death penalty abolitionism, and for liberal ideals of legality and the rule of law. A source of inspiration for Bentham and Blackstone, an object of praise for Voltaire and the Philosophes, a target of pointed critiques by Kant and Hegel, the subject of a genealogy by Foucault, the object of derision by the Physiocrats, rehabilitated and appropriated by the Chicago School of law and economics — these ricochets and reflections on Beccaria’s treatise reveal multiple dimensions …


Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2013

Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter identifies the origins of contemporary preventive endeavour in the work of the RAND Corporation in America, which developed highly technical studies of crime prevention based upon systems analysis. It suggests that RAND promoted a decidedly punitive style of prevention based upon policing and punishment that is replicated in modern ‘punitive preventive measures’. It criticizes these measures, emphasizing the perils they pose and the weakness of their empirical foundations. Most worryingly, these measures typically claim an apolitical, neutral emphasis on efficiency that fails to engage with the political values underlying them. In so doing, it tends to displace much …


Meditaciones Postmodernas Sobre El Castigo: Acerca De Los Límites De La Razón Y De Las Virtudes De La Aleatoriedad (Una Polémica Y Un Manifiesto Para El Siglo Xxi), Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2010

Meditaciones Postmodernas Sobre El Castigo: Acerca De Los Límites De La Razón Y De Las Virtudes De La Aleatoriedad (Una Polémica Y Un Manifiesto Para El Siglo Xxi), Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Abstract in Spanish
Durante la Modernidad, el discurso sobre la pena ha girado circularmente en torno a tres grupos de interrogantes. El primero, surgido de la propia Ilustración, preguntaba: ¿En qué basa el soberano su derecho de penar? Nietzsche con mayor determinación, pero también otros, argumentaron que la propia pregunta implicaba ya su respuesta. Con el nacimiento de las ciencias sociales, este escepticismo hizo surgir un segundo conjunto de interrogantes: ¿Cuál es, entonces, la verdadera función de la pena? ¿Qué es lo que hacemos cuando penamos? Una serie de críticas ulteriores – de metanarrativas, funcionalistas o de objetividad científica – …


Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment: On The Limits Of Reason And The Virtues Of Randomization, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment: On The Limits Of Reason And The Virtues Of Randomization, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter presents an authoritative overview of punishment, with particular emphasis on the limits of reason and the virtue of randomization. It includes comments by some of the nation's top legal scholars from the field of criminal law, tackling topics such as the Enlightenment ideal of social engineering through punishment and the role of chance in the administration of criminal justice.


Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment: On The Limits Of Reason And The Virtues Of Randomization, Bernard E. Harcourt, Alon Harel, Ken Levy, Michael M. O'Hear, Alice Ristroph Jan 2009

Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment: On The Limits Of Reason And The Virtues Of Randomization, Bernard E. Harcourt, Alon Harel, Ken Levy, Michael M. O'Hear, Alice Ristroph

Faculty Scholarship

In this Criminal Law Conversation (Robinson, Ferzan & Garvey, eds., Oxford 2009), the authors debate whether there is a role for randomization in the penal sphere - in the criminal law, in policing, and in punishment theory. In his Tanner lectures back in 1987, Jon Elster had argued that there was no role for chance in the criminal law: “I do not think there are any arguments for incorporating lotteries in present-day criminal law,” Elster declared. Bernard Harcourt takes a very different position and embraces chance in the penal sphere, arguing that randomization is often the only way to avoid …


Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The turn of the twenty first century witnessed important shifts in punishment practices. The most shocking is mass incarceration – the exponential rise in prisoners in state and federal penitentiaries and in county jails beginning in 1973. It is tempting to view these developments as evidence of something new that emerged in the 1970s – of a new culture of control, a new penology, or a new turn to biopower. But it would be a mistake to place too much emphasis on the 1970s since most of the recent trends have antecedents and parallels in the early twentieth century. It …


Embracing Chance: Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2006

Embracing Chance: Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Since the modern era, the discourse of punishment has cycled through three sets of questions. The first, born of the Enlightenment itself, asked: On what ground does the sovereign have the right to punish? Nietzsche most forcefully, but others as well, argued that the question itself begged its own answer. The right to punish, they suggested, is what defines sovereignty, and as such, can never serve to limit sovereign power. With the birth of the social sciences, this skepticism gave rise to a second set of questions: What then is the true function of punishment? What is it that we …


Capital Punishment And Capital Murder: Market Share And The Deterrent Effects Of The Death Penalty, Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin Zimring, Amanda Geller Jan 2006

Capital Punishment And Capital Murder: Market Share And The Deterrent Effects Of The Death Penalty, Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin Zimring, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

The modem debate on deterrence and capital punishment, now in its fourth decade, was launched by two closely timed events. The first was the 1976 United States Supreme Court decision in Gregg v. Georgia, which restored capital punishment after its brief constitutional ban following Furman v. Georgia in 1972. In 1975, Professor Isaac Ehrlich published an influential article saying that during the 1950s and 1960s, each execution averted eight murders. Although Ehrlich's article was a highly technical study prepared for an audience of economists, its influence went well beyond the economics profession. Ehrlich's work was cited favorably in Gregg …


Public Preferences For Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration Of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Survey, Daniel S. Nagin, Alex R. Piquero, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2006

Public Preferences For Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration Of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Survey, Daniel S. Nagin, Alex R. Piquero, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

Research Summary:
Accurately gauging the public's support for alternative responses to juvenile offending is important, because policy makers often justify expenditures for punitive juvenile justice reforms on the basis of popular demand for tougher policies. In this study, we assess public support for both punitively and nonpunitively oriented juvenile justice policies by measuring respondents' willingness to pay for various policy proposals. We employ a methodology known as "contingent valuation" (CV) that permits the comparison of respondents' willingness to pay (WTP) for competing policy alternatives. Specifically, we compare CV-based estimates for the public's WTP for two distinctively different responses to serious …


Seasoned To The Use, Carol Sanger Jan 1989

Seasoned To The Use, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

Two recent novels, Presumed Innocent and The Good Mother, have more in common than critical success, longevity on best-seller lists and big-name movie adaptations. Both books are about law: Presumed Innocent is a tale of murder in the big city; The Good Mother is the story of a custody fight over a little girl. Central characters in both books are lawyers. Turow is a lawyer, and Miller thanks lawyers. While the books could be classified in other ways – Presumed Innocent as mystery, The Good Mother as women's fiction – each meets a suggested genre specification of a legal novel: …