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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Geopolitics Of American Policing, Andrew Lanham Apr 2021

The Geopolitics Of American Policing, Andrew Lanham

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing. by Stuart Schrader.


Restorative Federal Criminal Procedure, Leo T. Sorokin, Jeffrey S. Stein Apr 2021

Restorative Federal Criminal Procedure, Leo T. Sorokin, Jeffrey S. Stein

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair. by Danielle Sered.


Can Prosecutors End Mass Incarceration?, Rachel E. Barkow Apr 2021

Can Prosecutors End Mass Incarceration?, Rachel E. Barkow

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. by Emily Bazelon.


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 …


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 and …


Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin Apr 2018

Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin

Michigan Law Review

A review of John F. Pfaff, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration - And How to Achieve Real Reform.


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Michigan Law Review

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame); and …


Defense Counsel And Public Defence, Eve Brensike Primus Nov 2017

Defense Counsel And Public Defence, Eve Brensike Primus

Book Chapters

Public-defense delivery systems nationwide are grossly inadequate. Public defenders are forced to handle caseloads that no one could effectively manage. They often have no funding for investigation or expert assistance. They aren’t adequately trained, and there is little to no oversight of their work. In many jurisdictions, the public-defense function is not sufficiently independent of the judiciary or the elected branches to allow for zealous representation. The result is an assembly line into prison, mostly for poor people of color, with little check on the reliability or fairness of the process. Innocent people are convicted, precious resources are wasted, and …


Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Nov 2017

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Michigan Law Review

Of the many diagnoses of American criminal justice’s ills, few focus on externalities. Yet American criminal justice systematically overpunishes in large part because few mechanisms exist to force consideration of the full social costs of criminal justice interventions. Actors often lack good information or incentives to minimize the harms they impose. Part of the problem is structural: criminal justice is fragmented vertically among governments, horizontally among agencies, and individually among self-interested actors. Part is a matter of focus: doctrinally and pragmatically, actors overwhelmingly view each case as an isolated, short-term transaction to the exclusion of broader, long-term, and aggregate effects. …


The Effect Of Criminal Records On Access To Employment, Amanda Agan, Sonja B. Starr May 2017

The Effect Of Criminal Records On Access To Employment, Amanda Agan, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This paper adds to the empirical evidence that criminal records are a barrier to employment. Using data from 2,655 online applications sent on behalf of fictitious male applicants, we show that employers are 60 percent more likely to call applicants that do not have a felony conviction. We further investigate whether this effect varies based on applicant race (black versus white), crime type (drug versus property crime), industry (restaurants versus retail), jurisdiction (New Jersey versus New York City), local crime rate, and local racial composition. Although magnitudes vary somewhat, in every subsample the conviction effect is large, significant, and negative.


Bail Nullification, Jocelyn Simonson Mar 2017

Bail Nullification, Jocelyn Simonson

Michigan Law Review

This Article explores the possibility of community nullification beyond the jury by analyzing the growing and unstudied phenomenon of community bail funds, which post bail for strangers based on broader beliefs regarding the overuse of pretrial detention. When a community bail fund posts bail, it can serve the function of nullifying a judge’s determination that a certain amount of the defendant’s personal or family money was necessary to ensure public safety and prevent flight. This growing practice—what this Article calls “bail nullification”—is powerful because it exposes publicly what many within the system already know to be true: that although bail …


Culture As A Structural Problem In Indigent Defense, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2016

Culture As A Structural Problem In Indigent Defense, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

In Part I, I will describe the ways in which today's right-to-counsel challenges are similar to and different from those that faced the writers of the 1961 symposium. I will also explain in more detail why the structural conditions of criminal defense work to create (and, to some extent, always have created) a cultural problem in indigent defense delivery systems across the country. In Part II, I will discuss why I believe that we are, once again, facing a moment for potential reform, albeit reform that is different in scope and kind from that which was possible in the 1960s. …


Process Costs And Police Discretion, Charlie Gerstein, J. J. Prescott Apr 2015

Process Costs And Police Discretion, Charlie Gerstein, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Cities across the country are debating police discretion. Much of this debate centers on “public order” offenses. These minor offenses are unusual in that the actual sentence violators receive when convicted — usually time already served in detention — is beside the point. Rather, public order offenses are enforced prior to any conviction by subjecting accused individuals to arrest, detention, and other legal process. These “process costs” are significant; they distort plea bargaining to the point that the substantive law behind the bargained-for conviction is largely irrelevant. But the ongoing debate about police discretion has ignored the centrality of these …


Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2014

Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This Article critiques, on legal and empirical grounds, the growing trend of basing criminal sentences on actuarial recidivism risk prediction instruments that include demographic and socioeconomic variables. I argue that this practice violates the Equal Protection Clause and is bad policy: an explicit embrace of otherwise- condemned discrimination, sanitized by scientific language. To demonstrate that this practice raises serious constitutional concerns, I comprehensively review the relevant case law, much of which has been ignored by existing literature. To demonstrate that the policy is not justified by countervailing state interests, I review the empirical evidence underlying the instruments. I show that …


Waylaid By A Metaphor: A Deeply Problematic Account Of Prison Growth, John F. Pfaff Apr 2013

Waylaid By A Metaphor: A Deeply Problematic Account Of Prison Growth, John F. Pfaff

Michigan Law Review

The incarceration rate in the United States has undergone an unprecedented surge since the 1970s. Between 1925 and 1975, the U.S. incarceration rate hovered around 100 per 100,000. Since then, that rate soared to 504 in 2009, dropping only slightly to 500 in 2010. In absolute numbers, the U.S. prison population grew from 241,000 in 1975 to 1.55 million in 2010. Not just exceptional by historical standards, this boom is unparalleled globally: the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Despite having just 5 percent of the world's population, it houses nearly 25 percent of the world's …


Effective Trial Counsel After Martinez V. Ryan: Focusing On The Adequacy Of State Procedures, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2013

Effective Trial Counsel After Martinez V. Ryan: Focusing On The Adequacy Of State Procedures, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

Everyone knows that excessive caseloads, poor funding, and a lack of training plague indigent defense delivery systems throughout the states, such that the promise of Gideon v. Wainwright is largely unfulfilled. Commentators have disagreed about how best to breathe life into Gideon . Many disclaim any possibility that federal habeas corpus review of state criminal cases could catalyze reform give n the many procedural obstacle s that currently prevent state prisoners from getting into federal court. But the Supreme Court has recently taken a renewed interest in using federal habeas review to address the problem of ineffective attorneys in state …


The Illusory Right To Counsel, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2011

The Illusory Right To Counsel, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

Imagine a woman wrongly accused of murdering her fianc6. She is arrested and charged with first-degree murder. If convicted, she faces a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Her family scrapes together enough money to hire two attorneys to represent her at trial. There is no physical evidence connecting her to the murder, but the prosecution builds its case on circumstantial inferences. Her trial attorneys admit that they were so cocky and confident that she would be acquitted that they did not bother to investigate her case or file a single pre-trial motion. Rather, they waived the …


Teaching Whren To White Kids, M. K.B. Darmer Jan 2009

Teaching Whren To White Kids, M. K.B. Darmer

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article addresses issues at the intersection of United States v. Whren and Grutter v. Bollinger at a time when the reality of racial profiling was recently illustrated by the high-profile arrest of a prominent Harvard professor. Given the highly racialized nature of criminal procedure, there is a surprising dearth of writing about the unique problems of teaching issues such as racial profiling in racially homogeneous classrooms. Because African American and other minority students often experience the criminal justice system in radically different ways than do Whites, the lack of minority voices poses a significant barrier to effectively teaching criminal …


Pay-To-Stay In California Jails And The Value Of Systemic Self-Embarassment, Robert Weisberg Jan 2007

Pay-To-Stay In California Jails And The Value Of Systemic Self-Embarassment, Robert Weisberg

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

The website of the Santa Ana, California-version of Pay-to-Stay uses hotelier-type verbiage in describing features of its alternative jail program. It tells us that the jail “is pleased to host a full range of alternatives to traditional incarceration”; it reassures prospective “clients” seeking flexible work/jail schedules (“Work on Saturday or Sunday? No problem, your weekend days are our weekend days.”); it guarantees “24-hour on-site medical staff”; it accommodates inmates near and far (“We have helped clients with sentences from other counties as well as other states.”); and it generally brags that the jail “is the most modern and comfortable facility …


Dislocated And Deprived: A Normative Evaluation Of Southeast Asian Criminal Responsibility And The Implications Of Societal Fault, Jason H. Lee Jan 2006

Dislocated And Deprived: A Normative Evaluation Of Southeast Asian Criminal Responsibility And The Implications Of Societal Fault, Jason H. Lee

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Note argues that certain Southeast Asian defendants should be able to use their families' refugee experience as well as their own economic and social marginalization in the U.S. as a partial excuse for their criminal acts. This argument draws its strength from both the socioeconomic deprivation of much of the Southeast Asian community and the linking of this reality to a careful analysis of the moral foundations of the criminal law. In essence, the American criminal justice system, which draws much of its moral force to punish from the theory of retributivism, cannot morally justify the full punishment of …


A Retrospective On The Criminal Trial Jury, 1200-1800, Thomas A. Green Jan 1988

A Retrospective On The Criminal Trial Jury, 1200-1800, Thomas A. Green

Book Chapters

My recent book provided an overview of the history of the institutional aspects of the English criminal trial jury upon which all of the contributors to this volume have, tacitly or otherwise, commented. That tentative institutional background was intended both to stand on its own terms and to provide a framework for the studies on the relationship between law and society and on the history of ideas regarding the jury that made up the larger part of the volume. The two aspects of my book were joined: the socio-legal analysis and the history of ideas were to a large extent …


Dangerousness And Criminal Justice, Franklin E. Zimring, Gordon Hawkins Dec 1986

Dangerousness And Criminal Justice, Franklin E. Zimring, Gordon Hawkins

Michigan Law Review

The first section of this paper surveys some recent writings on the topic of dangerousness for major inconsistencies, which we regard as illuminating the special problem of dangerousness in the jurisprudence of criminal sentencing.

The second section describes the "special problem of dangerousness," for, we believe, the first time. The special problem is the fear that any admission of calculations of dangerousness into sentencing decisions will lead to an overuse of dangerousness, which may be worse than the inefficiencies and hypocrisies we confront when denying that future dangerousness is relevant to decisions about prisons.

The third section attempts to reorganize …


Dangerous Offenders: The Elusive Target Of Justice, Elizabeth T. Lear Apr 1986

Dangerous Offenders: The Elusive Target Of Justice, Elizabeth T. Lear

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Dangerous Offenders: The Elusive Target of Justice by Mark H. Moore, Susan Estrich, Daniel McGillis, and William Spelman


The Sentencing Of White-Collar Criminals In Federal Courts: A Socio-Legal Exploration Of Disparity, Ilene H. Nagel, John L. Hagan Jun 1982

The Sentencing Of White-Collar Criminals In Federal Courts: A Socio-Legal Exploration Of Disparity, Ilene H. Nagel, John L. Hagan

Michigan Law Review

This Article addresses that question by examining judicial sentencing philosophy as applied to white-collar criminality and reporting data that illuminate the operation of that philosophy. Part I of the Article argues that the traditional purposes and limits of criminal sentencing may plausibly justify either disparate or comparable sentences in cases of white-collar and common criminality. Part II describes the obstacles to an accurate empirical inquiry into how judges resolve these uncertainties in the theory of punishment. Part III presents a study designed to overcome as many of these obstacles as possible. What is most dramatic is that the resulting data …


Two Theories Of Criminal Justice, Alsen D. Miller Mar 1981

Two Theories Of Criminal Justice, Alsen D. Miller

Michigan Law Review

A Review of A Theory of Criminal Justice by Jan Gorecki, and A Theory of Criminal Justice by Hyman Gross


The Inauguration Of Criminology Annuals, David F. Greenberg Mar 1981

The Inauguration Of Criminology Annuals, David F. Greenberg

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Crime and Justice: An Annual Review of Research, vol. 1 edited by Norval Morris and Michael Tonry, and Criminology Review Yearbook, Vol. 2 edited by Egon Bittner and Sheldon L. Messinger


Reforming The Federal Grand Jury And The State Preliminary Hearing To Prevent Conviction Without Adjudication, Peter Arenella Feb 1980

Reforming The Federal Grand Jury And The State Preliminary Hearing To Prevent Conviction Without Adjudication, Peter Arenella

Michigan Law Review

It is this Article's thesis that the substitution of plea-bargaining for the criminal trial as our primary method for determining legal guilt requires a fundamental reassessment of our pretrial screening processes. In a system where the prosecutor's decision to file charges is usually followed by a negotiated guilty plea, we can no longer pretend that the pretrial process does not adjudicate the defendant's guilt. Accordingly, this Article argues that it no longer makes sense to rely primarily on the trial to safeguard essential accusatorial principles when pretrial screening devices like the preliminary hearing and the grand jury perform the only …


Central Problems Of American Criminal Justice, Francis A. Allen May 1977

Central Problems Of American Criminal Justice, Francis A. Allen

Michigan Law Review

At periodic intervals during the present century the American "crime problem" has aroused agitated public discussion. At these times both publicists and ordinary citizens are likely to assume that the disturbing conditions have suddenly arisen and are wholly unlike anything experienced before. In considering the crime problem, the beginning of wisdom may lie in the discovery that this is a problem with a history. Crime and its control did not suddenly become significant in the late 1960s, at the end of World War II, or even with the launching of the prohibition experiment at the conclusion of the first great …


A Suggested Legislative Device For Dealing With Abuses Of Criminal Records, Walter W. Steele Jr. Jan 1972

A Suggested Legislative Device For Dealing With Abuses Of Criminal Records, Walter W. Steele Jr.

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

There are pitfalls apparent in ameliorating the overuse of criminal records. For example, techniques of expunging, sealing, and limiting access do not affect legal status. No amount of expunging, or sealing, or limiting access is truly useful unless civil rights, such as the right to vote, are restored as well. Another problem is the inherent breadth of a criminal record, which can involve acts or allegations of acts ranging from traffic offenses to murder or rape. Thus, it is difficult to draw precise guidelines delineating those parts of the record which may be legitimately used. The apparently illegitimate use of …