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Full-Text Articles in Law

Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor Jul 2021

Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The use of artificial intelligence has expanded rapidly in recent years across many aspects of the economy. For federal, state, and local governments in the United States, interest in artificial intelligence has manifested in the use of a series of digital tools, including the occasional deployment of machine learning, to aid in the performance of a variety of governmental functions. In this paper, we canvas the current uses of such digital tools and machine-learning technologies by the judiciary and administrative agencies in the United States. Although we have yet to see fully automated decision-making find its way into either adjudication ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 verdict with ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Bail Reform: New Directions For Pretrial Detention And Release, Megan Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson Mar 2017

Bail Reform: New Directions For Pretrial Detention And Release, Megan Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our current pretrial system imposes high costs on both the people who are detained pretrial and the taxpayers who foot the bill. These costs have prompted a surge of bail reform around the country. Reformers seek to reduce pretrial detention rates, as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities in the pretrial system, while simultaneously improving appearance rates and reducing pretrial crime. The current state of pretrial practice suggests that there is ample room for improvement. Bail hearings are often cursory, with no defense counsel present. Money-bail practices lead to high rates of detention even among misdemeanor defendants and those who ...


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

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


How Much Punishment Is Enough?: Embracing Uncertainty In Modern Sentencing Reform, Jalila Jefferson-Bullock Jan 2016

How Much Punishment Is Enough?: Embracing Uncertainty In Modern Sentencing Reform, Jalila Jefferson-Bullock

Journal of Law and Policy

This article examines federal sentencing reform and embraces the principle of uncertainty in this process. In order to properly reapportion federal criminal sentencing laws, reformers must account for the impracticality of determining appropriate incarceration lengths at sentencing. Thus, this article proposes an alternative federal sentencing model that includes a sentencing effectiveness assessment tool to help lawmakers implement rational sentences that appropriately punish offenders, prepare them to successfully reenter society, and reduce recidivism rates. Modern sentencing reform should adopt constant review and evaluation of sentencing to measure effectiveness and ensure that appropriate sentences are implemented to avoid the pitfalls of an ...


Trying To Fit A Square Peg Into A Round Hole: Why Title Ii Of The Americans With Disabilities Act Must Apply To All Law Enforcement Services, Michael Pecorini Jan 2016

Trying To Fit A Square Peg Into A Round Hole: Why Title Ii Of The Americans With Disabilities Act Must Apply To All Law Enforcement Services, Michael Pecorini

Journal of Law and Policy

Police use of force has been subject to greater scrutiny in recent years in the wake of several high-profile killings of African Americans. Less attention, however, has been paid to the increasingly routine violent encounters between police and individuals with mental illness or intellectual and development disabilities (“I/DD”). This is particularly problematic, as police have become the de-facto first responders to these individuals and far too often police responses to these individuals result in tragedy.

This Note argues that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires law enforcement to provide reasonable accommodations during their interactions with and seizures of individuals ...


Criminal Justice And (A) Catholic Conscience, Leo E. Strine Jr. Jan 2016

Criminal Justice And (A) Catholic Conscience, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article is one person's reflections on how an important influence on his own sense of moral values -- Jesus Christ -- affects his thinking about his own approach to his role as a public official in a secular society, using the vital topic of criminal justice as a focal point. This article draws several important lessons from Christ's teachings about the concept of the other that are relevant to issues of criminal justice. Using Catholicism as a framework, this article addresses, among other things, capital punishment and denying the opportunity for redemption; the problem of racial disparities in the ...


Do We Know How To Punish?, Benjamin L. Apt Jul 2015

Do We Know How To Punish?, Benjamin L. Apt

Benjamin L. Apt

A number of current theories attempt to explain the purpose and need for criminal punishment. All of them depend on some sort of normative basis in justifying why the state may penalize people found guilty of crimes. Yet each of these theories lacks an epistemological foundation; none of them explains how we can know what form punishments should take. The article analyses the epistemological gaps in the predominant theories of punishment: retributivism, including limited-retributivism; and consequentialism in its various versions, ranging from deterrence to the reparative theories such as restorative justice and rehabilitation. It demonstrates that the common putative epistemological ...


Punishment In The State Of Nature: John Locke And Criminal Punishment In The United States Of America, Matthew K. Suess Jan 2015

Punishment In The State Of Nature: John Locke And Criminal Punishment In The United States Of America, Matthew K. Suess

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


A Systems Approach To Error Reduction In Criminal Justice, John Hollway Feb 2014

A Systems Approach To Error Reduction In Criminal Justice, John Hollway

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The “systems approach” has been used, improved, and refined over time to improve safety and reduce errors in a variety of complex, high-risk industries, including health care, aviation, and manufacturing, among others. Such an approach targets the system for improvement rather than specific individuals within the system, and seeks to provide an environment that maximizes each participant’s ability to act safely and in a way that achieves the goals of the system. It prizes a non-punitive culture of disclosure to identify errors, gathers and applies data to understand the causes of the error, and tests systems changes to prevent ...


Exclusion And Control In The Carceral State, Sharon Dolovich Mar 2013

Exclusion And Control In The Carceral State, Sharon Dolovich

Sharon Dolovich

Theorists of punishment typically construe the criminal justice system as the means to achieve retribution or to deter or otherwise prevent crime. But a close look at the way the American penal system actually operates makes clear the poor fit between these more conventional explanations and the realities of American penal practice. Taking actual practice as its starting point, this essay argues instead that the animating mission of the American carceral project is the exclusion and control of those people officially labeled as criminals. It maps the contours of exclusion and control, exploring how this institution operates, the ideological discourse ...


Interpersonal Power In The Criminal System, Kimberly A. Thomas Jan 2013

Interpersonal Power In The Criminal System, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

This Article identifies the workings of interpersonal power in the criminal system and considers the effect of these cases on criminal theory and practice. By uncovering this phenomenon, this Article hopes to spark a legal academic dialogue and inquiry that has, until now, been unspoken. This Article has roots in my former work as a Philadelphia public defender and in my current work as a clinical professor with students who appear in criminal and juvenile court. As an advocate for the poor in a busy courthouse, one of a lawyer's tasks is to discover the multiple "real" stories behind ...


What's Best For Women: Examining The Impact Of Legal Approaches To Prostitution In Cross-National Perspective And Rhode Island, Malinda Bridges May 2012

What's Best For Women: Examining The Impact Of Legal Approaches To Prostitution In Cross-National Perspective And Rhode Island, Malinda Bridges

Honors Projects Overview

This research analyzes legal approaches to prostitution on a cross-national level in order to determine if legal methods that regulate prostitution have an effect on prostitution. In order to examine these concepts, legel approaches were first identifed in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Following this analysis, the effects of these legal approaches are reported. Instead of working from a strictly sociological standpoint, this project focused greatly on the legal aspects that affect prostitution.


Collateral Consequences, Genetic Surveillance, And The New Biopolitics Of Race, Dorothy E. Roberts Apr 2011

Collateral Consequences, Genetic Surveillance, And The New Biopolitics Of Race, Dorothy E. Roberts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article is part of a Howard Law Journal Symposium on “Collateral Consequences: Who Really Pays the Price for Criminal Justice?,” as well as my larger book project, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century (The New Press, 2011). It considers state and federal government expansion of genetic surveillance as a collateral consequence of a criminal record in the context of a new biopolitics of race in America. Part I reviews the expansion of DNA data banking by states and the federal government, extending the collateral impact of a criminal record—in the ...


Comments On [Israeli] Proposal For Structuring Judicial Discretion In Sentencing, Paul H. Robinson Mar 2011

Comments On [Israeli] Proposal For Structuring Judicial Discretion In Sentencing, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, Professor Robinson supports the current Israeli proposal for structuring judicial discretion in sentencing, in particular its reliance upon desert as the guiding principle for the distribution of punishment, its reliance upon benchmarks, or “starting-points,” to be adjusted in individual cases by reference to articulated mitigating and aggravating circumstances, and the proposal’s suggestion to use of an expert committee to draft the original guidelines.


Political Versus Administrative Justice, Stephanos Bibas Aug 2008

Political Versus Administrative Justice, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This comment responds to an essay by Rachel Barkow, which insightfully links the decline of mercy in American criminal justice to the rise of a rule-of-law ideal inspired by administrative law. This comment notes the dangers of the administrative, rule-focused, judiciocentric approach to criminal justice. Instead, it suggests a more political approach, with more judicial deference to political actors and less judicial policing of equal treatment. The essay by Rachel Barkow to which this comment responds, as well as other authors' comments on this essay and the author's reply to those comments, can be found at http://www.law ...


Invasions Of Conscience And Faked Apologies, Stephanos Bibas Jun 2008

Invasions Of Conscience And Faked Apologies, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This comment responds to an essay by Jeffrie Murphy, which powerfully notes the limitations and dangers of using remorse and apology as metrics for punishment. But the state is more justified in teaching lessons than Murphy suggests, and retributivism ought to make more room for victim vindication and satisfaction. Gauging sincerity, while difficult, is not impossible. In the end, Murphy offers strong reasons to be cautious. But a humane society ought to be more willing to take chances and, having punished, to forgive. The essay by Jeffrie Murphy to which this comment responds, as well as other authors' comments on ...


The Decline Of The Rehabilitative Ideal In American Criminal Justice, Francis A. Allen Jan 1978

The Decline Of The Rehabilitative Ideal In American Criminal Justice, Francis A. Allen

Cleveland State Law Review

At this point I am going to advance a proposition. It is an analytic proposition, not an empirical statement, and relates to what characteristics a society must possess in order to maintain a flourishing rehabilitative ideal. Then I shall try to test that proposition by looking at two very different societies in which the rehabilitative ideal flourished. Finally, I shall ask whether those conditions are satisfied in modem America. My proposition is in two parts. First, you cannot have a flourishing rehabilitative ideal unless the society as a whole has a strong faith in the malleability of human behavior and ...


How To Use, Abuse—And Fight Back With—Crime Statistics, Yale Kamisar Jan 1972

How To Use, Abuse—And Fight Back With—Crime Statistics, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Statistics have an almost magical appeal in a "fact"-minded culture such as ours, among a people conditioned and accustomed to watch for-and attach great significance to-even the smallest fluctuations in say, the unemployment rate. Hence, as Darrell Huff graphically demonstrated in his famous little book, How to Lie with Statistics (1954), they can be-and have been-manipulated to terrorize or calm, inflate or depreciate, and above all, to sensationalize and over simplify. As Harvard criminologist Lloyd Ohlin noted recently, statistics are especially potent when "they give a sense of solid reality (usually false) to something people vaguely apprehend and when ...