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Criminal Law

Punishment

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

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What The Sentencing Commission Ought To Be Doing Reducing Mass Incarceration, Lynn Adelman Apr 2013

What The Sentencing Commission Ought To Be Doing Reducing Mass Incarceration, Lynn Adelman

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Beginning in the 1970s, the United States embarked on a shift in its penal policies, tripling the percentage of convicted felons sentenced to confinement and doubling the length of their sentences. This shift included a dramatic increase in the prosecution and incarceration of drug offenders. As a result of its move toward long prison sentences, the United States now incarcerates so many people that it has become an outlier; this is not just among developed democracies, but among all nations, including highly punitive states such as Russia and South Africa, and also in comparison to the United States' own long-standing …


Choosing Those Who Will Die: The Effect Of Race, Gender, And Law In Prosecutorial Decision To Seek The Death Penalty In Durham County, North Carolina, Isaac Unah Jan 2009

Choosing Those Who Will Die: The Effect Of Race, Gender, And Law In Prosecutorial Decision To Seek The Death Penalty In Durham County, North Carolina, Isaac Unah

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

District prosecutors in the United States exercise virtually unfettered power and discretion to decide which murder cases to prosecute for capital punishment. According to neoclassical theory of formal legal rationality, the process for determining criminal punishment should be based upon legal rules established and sanctioned by the state to communicate the priorities of the political community. The theory therefore argues in favor of a determinate mode of decision-making that diminishes the importance of extrinsic elements such as race and gender in the application of law. In the empirical research herein reported, I test this theory using death eligible cases in …