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Full-Text Articles in Law

Rethinking Culpability And Wrongdoing (In The Criminal Law—And Everyday Life), T. Markus Funk May 2024

Rethinking Culpability And Wrongdoing (In The Criminal Law—And Everyday Life), T. Markus Funk

University of Cincinnati Law Review

Determining an offender’s “culpability” is fundamental to justice systems worldwide. However, this crucial concept, built on a blending of moral responsibility with legal guilt, remains significantly diluted, including in the U.S. Model Penal Code, for instance, uses an offender’s moral culpability merely to “grade” offenses and determine sentences. This approach, which is mirrored in U.S. state and federal laws and academic discourse, not only affects individual cases but also has far-reaching societal implications.

Under this prevailing perpetrator-centric approach, “harm” narrowly refers to the concrete damage (or the “injury”), such as physical pain and damage or loss of property, the perpetrator …


Considering Caretakers: An Explicit Argument For Downward Departures During Federal Sentencing Mitigation For Caretakers Of Children, Danielle Sparber Bukacheski Apr 2024

Considering Caretakers: An Explicit Argument For Downward Departures During Federal Sentencing Mitigation For Caretakers Of Children, Danielle Sparber Bukacheski

University of Miami Law Review

The sentencing stage of the federal legal system provides defendants with an opportunity to articulate why the sentencing judge is justified in imposing less severe sentences. Yet, under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, sentencing judges have been restricted in the characteristics and background information that can be utilized when imposing a downward departure from the recommended Guidelines sentence. More specifically, there is great variability regarding the extent to which family-related circumstances can be utilized as justification for a downward departure due to the Sentencing Commission’s ambiguous language. Considering the damaging effects of incarceration on children when a caretaker is physically removed …


Bargaining In The Shadow Of The Truth: How Client Assertion, Perception Of Guilt, And Predictive Inaccuracy Influence Plea Recommendations, Anna D. Vaynman Sep 2023

Bargaining In The Shadow Of The Truth: How Client Assertion, Perception Of Guilt, And Predictive Inaccuracy Influence Plea Recommendations, Anna D. Vaynman

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Over the past few decades, the largely hidden, secretive, and widely used system of plea bargaining has caught the fervent attention of scholars. The Shadow of the Trial model has been central to much of the plea-bargaining literature, despite significant critiques about its oversimplification. The model posits that defendants and their attorneys make plea decisions based largely on the estimated probability of conviction and the severity of the sentence to which the defendant could be exposed at trial.

The model, however, assumes that all actors are rational, equally risk averse, have no competing interests, and possess high predictive accuracy. It …


Carceral Data: The Limits Of Transparency-As-Accountability In Prison Risk Data, Becka Hudson, Tomas Percival Aug 2023

Carceral Data: The Limits Of Transparency-As-Accountability In Prison Risk Data, Becka Hudson, Tomas Percival

Secrecy and Society

Prison data collection is a labyrinthine infrastructure. This article engages with debates around the political potentials and limitations of transparency as a form of “accountability,” specifically as it relates to carceral management and data gathering. We examine the use of OASys, a widely used risk assessment tool in the British prison system, in order to demonstrate how transparency operates as a means of legitimating prison data collection and ensuing penal management. Prisoner options to resist their file, or “data double,” in this context are considered and the decisive role of OASys as an immediately operationalized technical structure is outlined. We …


Surveillance Normalization, Christian Sundquist Jan 2023

Surveillance Normalization, Christian Sundquist

Articles

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has expanded public surveillance measures in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus. As the pandemic wears on, racialized communities and other marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by this increased level of surveillance. This article argues that increases in public surveillance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic give rise to the normalization of surveillance in day-to-day life, with serious consequences for racialized communities and other marginalized groups. This article explores the legal and regulatory effects of surveillance normalization, as well as how to protect civil rights and liberties …


A Call To Dismantle Systemic Racism In Criminal Legal Systems, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Margaret C. Stevenson Jan 2022

A Call To Dismantle Systemic Racism In Criminal Legal Systems, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Margaret C. Stevenson

Psychology Faculty Scholarship

Objectives: In October 2021, APA passed a resolution addressing ways psychologists could work to dismantle systemic racism in criminal legal systems. The present report, developed to inform APA’s policy resolution, details the scope of the problem and offers recommendations for policy and psychologists to address the issue by advancing related science and practice. Specifically, it acknowledges the roots of modern-day racial and ethnic disparities in rates of criminalization and punishment for people of color as compared to White people. Next, the report reviews existing theory and research that helps explain the underlying psychological mechanisms driving racial and ethnic disparities …


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

All Faculty Scholarship

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 positive …


Restorative Retributivism, Brian M. Murray Jun 2021

Restorative Retributivism, Brian M. Murray

University of Miami Law Review

The current criminal justice moment is ripe for discussion of first principles. What the criminal law is, what it should do, and why society punishes is as relevant as ever as communities reconsider the reach of the criminal law and forms of punishment like incarceration. One theory recently put forth—reconstructivism—purports to offer a descriptive and normative theory of the criminal law and punishment while critiquing the ills of the American system. It comprehends the criminal law and punishment as functional endeavors, with the particular goal of restitching or “reconstructing” the social fabric that crime disrupts. In particular, reconstructivism is a …


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 …


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.


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.


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.


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 are …


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

All Faculty Scholarship

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 …


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 …


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 like that …


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 …


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.


The System Is Working The Way It Is Supposed To: The Limits Of Criminal Justice Reform, Paul Butler Jan 2020

The System Is Working The Way It Is Supposed To: The Limits Of Criminal Justice Reform, Paul Butler

Freedom Center Journal

Ferguson has come to symbolize a widespread sense that there is a crisis in American criminal justice. This Article describes various articulations of what the problems are and poses the question of whether law is capable of fixing these problems. I consider the question theoretically by looking at claims that critical race theorists have made about law and race. Using Supreme Court cases as examples, I demonstrate how some of the “problems” described in the U.S. Justice Department’s Ferguson report, like police violence and widespread arrests of African-Americans for petty offenses, are not only legal, but integral features of policing …


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.


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 …


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 …


Reforming Recidivism: Making Prison Practical Through Help, Katelyn Copperud Jun 2019

Reforming Recidivism: Making Prison Practical Through Help, Katelyn Copperud

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

While Texas has long been recognized as “Tough Texas” when it comes to crime, recent efforts have been made to combat that reputation. Efforts such as offering “good time” credit and more liberal parole standards are used to reduce the Texas prison populations. Although effective in reducing prison populations, do these incentives truly reduce a larger issue of prison overpopulation: recidivism?

In both state and federal prison systems, inmate education is proven to reduce recidivism. Texas’s own, Windham School District, provides a broad spectrum of education to Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates; from General Education Development (GED) classes to …


'Race, Racism, And American Law': A Seminar From The Indigenous, Black, And Immigrant Legal Perspectives, Eduardo R.C. Capulong, Andrew King-Ries, Monte Mills Jun 2019

'Race, Racism, And American Law': A Seminar From The Indigenous, Black, And Immigrant Legal Perspectives, Eduardo R.C. Capulong, Andrew King-Ries, Monte Mills

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Flagrant racism has characterized the Trump era from the onset. Beginning with the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump has inflamed long-festering racial wounds and unleashed White supremacist reaction to the nation’s first Black President, in the process destabilizing our sense of the nation’s racial progress and upending core principles of legality, equality, and justice. As law professors, we sought to rise to these challenges and prepare the next generation of lawyers to succeed in a different and more polarized future. Our shared commitment resulted in a new course, “Race, Racism, and American Law,” in which we sought to explore the roots …


The Lawyer As Superhero: How Marvel Comics' Daredevil Depicts The American Court System And Legal Practice, Louis Michael Rosen May 2019

The Lawyer As Superhero: How Marvel Comics' Daredevil Depicts The American Court System And Legal Practice, Louis Michael Rosen

Faculty Scholarship

This article will explore on the portrayal of lawyers and the legal system in Daredevil comic books, particularly issues published in the Twenty-First Century. Because the Daredevil movie and the first two seasons of the Netflix television series have already been examined from various legal perspectives in past articles, this piece will highlight legal storylines from the comics themselves. This exploration is important because writers of future Netflix seasons will surely draw story elements from the comics discussed here and will very likely adapt these exact stories, encouraging the larger television audience to seek out and read the original comics. …


Opioids And Converging Interests, Mary Crossley Jan 2019

Opioids And Converging Interests, Mary Crossley

Articles

Written as part of Seton Hall Law Review’s Symposium on “Race and the Opioid Crisis: History and Lessons,” this Essay considers whether applying the lens of Professor Derrick Bell’s interest convergence theory to the opioid crisis offers some hope of advancing racial justice. After describing Bell’s interest convergence thesis and identifying racial justice interests that African Americans have related to the opioid crisis, I consider whether these interests might converge with white interests to produce real racial progress. Taken at face value, white politicians’ statements of compassion toward opioid users might signal a public health-oriented approach to addiction, representing …


Improving The Criminal Justice System In Nigeria Through Restorative Justice: Lessons From Canada And New Zealand, Olaniran Akintunde Oct 2018

Improving The Criminal Justice System In Nigeria Through Restorative Justice: Lessons From Canada And New Zealand, Olaniran Akintunde

LLM Theses

This thesis argues the need for Nigeria to incorporate restorative justice within its criminal justice system. Its prevailing adversarial system is bedevilled with various challenges such as over- incarceration, recidivism, high rates of juvenile crime and prison congestion. The work draws lessons from Canada and New Zealand, two jurisdictions that have made improvements to similar systems like Nigeria via the adoption and practice of restorative justice. The advantages that a restorative justice alternative bring to criminal justice administration in Nigeria include less use of incarceration, improvement in social relationships, rehabilitation and the reintegration of young offenders. The thesis recommends that …


Collateral Consequences And Criminal Justice: Future Policy And Constitutional Directions Sep 2018

Collateral Consequences And Criminal Justice: Future Policy And Constitutional Directions

Marquette Law Review

National policy with respect to collateral consequences is receiving more attention than it has in decades. This article outlines and explains some of the reasons for the new focus. The legal system is beginning to recognize that for many people convicted of crime, the greatest effect is not imprisonment, but being marked as a criminal and subjected to legal disabilities. Consequences can include loss of civil rights, loss of public benefits, and ineligibility for employment, licenses, and permits. The United States, the 50 states, and their agencies and subdivisions impose collateral consequences—often applicable for life—based on convictions from any jurisdiction. …


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.