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Full-Text Articles in Law

Towards A Unique Theory Of International Criminal Sentencing, Jens David Ohlin Dec 2014

Towards A Unique Theory Of International Criminal Sentencing, Jens David Ohlin

Jens David Ohlin

International criminal law currently lacks a robust procedure for sentencing convicted defendants. Legal scholars have already critiqued the sentencing procedures at the ad hoc tribunals, and the Rome Statute does little more than refer to the gravity of the offense and the individual circumstances of the criminal. No procedures are in place to guide judges in exercising their discretion in a matter that is arguably the most central aspect of international criminal law - punishment. This paper argues that the deficiency of sentencing procedures stems from a more fundamental theoretical deficiency - the lack of a unique theory of punishment …


Oil And Water: Why Retribution And Repentance Do Not Mix, Sherry F. Colb Dec 2014

Oil And Water: Why Retribution And Repentance Do Not Mix, Sherry F. Colb

Sherry Colb

No abstract provided.


Incapacitation Through Maiming: Chemical Castration, The Eighth Amendment, And The Denial Of Human Dignity, John F. Stinneford Dec 2014

Incapacitation Through Maiming: Chemical Castration, The Eighth Amendment, And The Denial Of Human Dignity, John F. Stinneford

John F. Stinneford

This year marks the tenth anniversary of California's enactment of the nation's first chemical castration law. This law requires certain sex offenders to receive, as part of their punishment, long-term pharmacological treatment involving massive doses of a synthetic female hormone called medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). MPA treatment is described as chemical castration because it mimics the effect of surgical castration by eliminating almost all testosterone from the offender's system. The intended effect of MPA treatment is to alter brain and body function by reducing the brain's exposure to testosterone, thus depriving offenders of most (or all) capacity to experience sexual desire …


Virginia's Gap Between Punishment And Culpability: Re-Examining Self-Defense Law And Battered Women's Syndrome, Kendall Hamilton Nov 2014

Virginia's Gap Between Punishment And Culpability: Re-Examining Self-Defense Law And Battered Women's Syndrome, Kendall Hamilton

University of Richmond Law Review

No abstract provided.


What Is Criminal Restitution?, Cortney E. Lollar Nov 2014

What Is Criminal Restitution?, Cortney E. Lollar

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

A new form of restitution has become a core aspect of criminal punishment. Courts now order defendants to compensate victims for an increasingly broad category of losses, including emotional and psychological losses and losses for which the defendant was not found guilty. Criminal restitution therefore moves far beyond its traditional purpose of disgorging a defendant's ill-gotten gains. Instead, restitution has become a mechanism of imposing additional punishment. Courts, however, have failed to recognize the punitive nature of restitution and thus enter restitution orders without regard to the constitutional protections that normally attach to criminal proceedings. This Article deploys a novel …


Vulnerability And Just Desert: A Theory Of Sentencing And Mental Illness, E. Lea Johnston Oct 2014

Vulnerability And Just Desert: A Theory Of Sentencing And Mental Illness, E. Lea Johnston

E. Lea Johnston

This Article analyzes risks of serious harms posed to prisoners with major mental disorders and investigates their import for sentencing under a just deserts analysis. Drawing upon social science research, the Article first establishes that offenders with serious mental illnesses are more likely than non-ill offenders to suffer physical and sexual assaults, endure housing in solitary confinement, and experience psychological deterioration during their carceral terms. The Article then explores the significance of this differential impact for sentencing within a retributive framework. It first suggests a particular expressive understanding of punishment, capacious enough to encompass foreseeable, substantial risks of serious harm …


Teaching Criminal Law In An Era Of Governing Through Crime, Jonathan Simon Oct 2014

Teaching Criminal Law In An Era Of Governing Through Crime, Jonathan Simon

Jonathan S Simon

No abstract provided.


The Language Of Mens Rea, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Rene Marois, Kenneth W. Simons Oct 2014

The Language Of Mens Rea, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Rene Marois, Kenneth W. Simons

Vanderbilt Law Review

To be guilty of a crime, generally one must commit a bad act while in a culpable state of mind. But the language used to define, partition, and communicate the variety of culpable mental states (in Latin, mens rea) is crucially important. For depending on the mental state that juries attribute to him, a defendant can be convicted-for the very same act and the very same consequence-of different crimes, each with different sentences.

The influential Model Penal Code ("MPC") of 1962 divided culpable mental states into four now-familiar kinds: purposeful, knowing, reckless, and negligent.' Both before the MPC and since, …


Corticolimbic Gating Of Emotion-Driven Punishment, Owen D. Jones, Michael T. Treadway, Joshua W. Buckholtz, Justin W. Martin, Katharine Jan, Christopher L. Asplund, Matthew R. Ginther, Rene Marois Aug 2014

Corticolimbic Gating Of Emotion-Driven Punishment, Owen D. Jones, Michael T. Treadway, Joshua W. Buckholtz, Justin W. Martin, Katharine Jan, Christopher L. Asplund, Matthew R. Ginther, Rene Marois

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Determining the appropriate punishment for a norm violation requires consideration of both the perpetrator's state of mind (for example, purposeful or blameless) and the strong emotions elicited by the harm caused by their actions. It has been hypothesized that such affective responses serve as a heuristic that determines appropriate punishment. However, an actor's mental state often trumps the effect of emotions, as unintended harms may go unpunished, regardless of their magnitude. Using fMRI, we found that emotionally graphic descriptions of harmful acts amplify punishment severity, boost amygdala activity and strengthen amygdala connectivity with lateral prefrontal regions involved in punishment decision-making. …


Does Religion Have A Role In Criminal Sentencing?, Jack B. Weinstein May 2014

Does Religion Have A Role In Criminal Sentencing?, Jack B. Weinstein

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


What Was He Thinking? Mens Rea’S Deterrent Effect On Machinegun Possession Under 18 U.S.C. § 924 (C), Stephanie Power Apr 2014

What Was He Thinking? Mens Rea’S Deterrent Effect On Machinegun Possession Under 18 U.S.C. § 924 (C), Stephanie Power

Catholic University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Applying Sex Offender Registry Laws To Juvenile Offenders: Biases Against Adolescents From Stigmatized Groups, Jessica M. Salerno, Margaret Stevenson, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Tisha R.A. Wiley, Bette L. Bottoms, Liana Peter-Hagene Apr 2014

Applying Sex Offender Registry Laws To Juvenile Offenders: Biases Against Adolescents From Stigmatized Groups, Jessica M. Salerno, Margaret Stevenson, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Tisha R.A. Wiley, Bette L. Bottoms, Liana Peter-Hagene

Psychology Faculty Scholarship

The need to protect children from dangerous sex offenders has led to policies that require juvenile sex offenders to register on public online registries. It is important to determine the implications of these laws for the wellbeing of child victims and also for juvenile offenders on these registries. Is the application of these laws—designed for adult offenders—to juveniles appropriate, necessary, and supported by public sentiment? The chapter reviews current sex offender registration policies and psychological research addressing whether the assumptions underlying these laws are supported by research, public sentiment toward these laws, factors that might drive biases against stigmatized youth …


Sentence Creep: Increasing Penalties In Michigan And The Need For Sentencing Reform, Anne Yantus Apr 2014

Sentence Creep: Increasing Penalties In Michigan And The Need For Sentencing Reform, Anne Yantus

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The governor and several legislators have requested review of Michigan’s sentencing practices with an eye toward sentence reform. Michigan leads the country in the average length of prison stay, and by internal comparisons the average minimum sentence has nearly doubled in the last decade. This Article explores cumulative increases to criminal penalties over the last several decades as reflected in amendments to the sentencing guidelines, increased maximum sentences, harsh mandatory minimum terms, increased authority for consecutive sentencing, wide sentencing discretion for habitual and repeat drug offenders, and tough parole practices and policies. The reality for legislators is that it is …


Watching The Watchers: The Growing Privatization Of Criminal Law Enforcement And The Need For Limits On Neighborhood Watch Associations, Sharon Finegan Mar 2014

Watching The Watchers: The Growing Privatization Of Criminal Law Enforcement And The Need For Limits On Neighborhood Watch Associations, Sharon Finegan

University of Massachusetts Law Review

On the night of February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman, a member of a neighborhood watch program, was patrolling his community in Sanford, Florida, when he spotted Trayvon Martin, a seventeen-year-old Africa-American high school student, walking through the neighborhood. Zimmerman dialed 911 and indicated that he was following "a real suspicious guy". The police dispatcher requested that Zimmerman discontinue following Martin, but he ignored the request and approached the teenager. In the resulting confrontation, Zimmerman used his legally owned semi-automatic handgun to shoot and kill Trayvon Martin. Martin, who was unarmed, had been returning from a local convenience store. George Zimmerman …


International Criminal Law For Retributivists, Alexander K.A. Greenawalt Jan 2014

International Criminal Law For Retributivists, Alexander K.A. Greenawalt

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Responding to the proliferation of international criminal tribunals during the last two decades, scholars have engaged in a rich debate about the normative foundations of international criminal law (“ICL”). The retributive theory of punishment--which justifies punishment based on the culpability of the accused, rather than by reference to its social benefits--has met with significant skepticism in these discussions. Some have argued that unique features of international criminal justice--for example, the extreme selectivity of punishment or the lack of certain social or political preconditions--are a poor match for retributive theory. Others have ignored retributivism altogether, or afforded the theory only passing …


Forfeiture Of Illegal Gains, Attempts And Implied Risk Preferences, Murat C. Mungan, Jonathan Klick Jan 2014

Forfeiture Of Illegal Gains, Attempts And Implied Risk Preferences, Murat C. Mungan, Jonathan Klick

Scholarly Publications

In the law enforcement literature there is a presumption—supported by some experimental and econometric evidence—that criminals are more responsive to increases in the certainty than the severity of punishment. Under a general set of assumptions, this implies that criminals are risk seeking. We show that this implication is no longer valid when forfeiture of illegal gains and the possibility of unsuccessful attempts are considered. Therefore, when drawing inferences concerning offenders’ attitudes toward risk based on their responses to various punishment schemes, special attention must be paid to whether and to what extent offenders’ illegal gains can be forfeited and whether …


The Language Of Mens Rea, Kenneth Simons, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie Jan 2014

The Language Of Mens Rea, Kenneth Simons, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie

Faculty Scholarship

This article answers two key questions. First: Do jurors understand and apply the criminal mental state categories the way that the widely influential Model Penal Code (MPC) assumes? Second: If not, what can be done about it?


Empirical Desert, Individual Prevention, And Limiting Retributivism: A Reply, Paul H. Robinson, Joshua Samuel Barton, Matthew J. Lister Jan 2014

Empirical Desert, Individual Prevention, And Limiting Retributivism: A Reply, Paul H. Robinson, Joshua Samuel Barton, Matthew J. Lister

All Faculty Scholarship

A number of articles and empirical studies over the past decade, most by Paul Robinson and co-authors, have suggested a relationship between the extent of the criminal law's reputation for being just in its distribution of criminal liability and punishment in the eyes of the community – its "moral credibility" – and its ability to gain that community's deference and compliance through a variety of mechanisms that enhance its crime-control effectiveness. This has led to proposals to have criminal liability and punishment rules reflect lay intuitions of justice – "empirical desert" – as a means of enhancing the system's moral …


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

All Faculty Scholarship

President Obama charged the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to identify a set of core ethical standards in the neuroscience domain, including the appropriate use of neuroscience in the criminal-justice system. The Commission, in turn, called for comments and recommendations. The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience submitted a consensus statement, published here, containing 16 specific recommendations. These are organized within three main themes: 1) what steps should be taken to enhance the capacity of the criminal justice system to make sound decisions regarding the admissibility and weight of neuroscientific evidence?; 2) to what extent …


Forfeiture Of Illegal Gains, Attempts And Implied Risk Preferences, Jonathan Klick, Murat C. Mungan Jan 2014

Forfeiture Of Illegal Gains, Attempts And Implied Risk Preferences, Jonathan Klick, Murat C. Mungan

All Faculty Scholarship

In the law enforcement literature there is a presumption—supported by some experimental and econometric evidence—that criminals are more responsive to increases in the certainty than the severity of punishment. Under a general set of assumptions, this implies that criminals are risk seeking. We show that this implication is no longer valid when forfeiture of illegal gains and the possibility of unsuccessful attempts are considered. Therefore, when drawing inferences concerning offenders’ attitudes toward risk based on their responses to various punishment schemes, special attention must be paid to whether and to what extent offenders’ illegal gains can be forfeited and whether …


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 …


Pre-Crime Restraints: The Explosion Of Targeted, Non-Custodial Prevention, Jennifer Daskal Jan 2014

Pre-Crime Restraints: The Explosion Of Targeted, Non-Custodial Prevention, Jennifer Daskal

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

This Article exposes the ways in which noncustodial pre-crime restraints have proliferated over the past decade, focusing in particular on three notable examples — terrorism-related financial sanctions, the No Fly List, and the array of residential, employment, and related restrictions imposed on sex offenders. Because such restraints do not involve physical incapacitation, they are rarely deemed to infringe core liberty interests. Because they are preventive, not punitive, criminal law procedural protections do not apply. They have exploded largely unchecked — subject to little more than bare rationality review and negligible procedural protections — and without any coherent theory as to …