Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 85

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Right To A Glass Box: Rethinking The Use Of Artificial Intelligence In Criminal Justice, Brandon L. Garrett, Cynthia Rudin Jan 2024

The Right To A Glass Box: Rethinking The Use Of Artificial Intelligence In Criminal Justice, Brandon L. Garrett, Cynthia Rudin

Faculty Scholarship

Artificial intelligence (“AI”) increasingly is used to make important decisions that affect individuals and society. As governments and corporations use AI more pervasively, one of the most troubling trends is that developers so often design it to be a “black box.” Designers create AI models too complex for people to understand or they conceal how AI functions. Policymakers and the public increasingly sound alarms about black box AI. A particularly pressing area of concern has been criminal cases, in which a person’s life, liberty, and public safety can be at stake. In the United States and globally, despite concerns that …


False Accuracy In Criminal Trials: The Limits And Costs Of Cross Examination, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2024

False Accuracy In Criminal Trials: The Limits And Costs Of Cross Examination, Lisa Kern Griffin

Faculty Scholarship

According to the popular culture of criminal trials, skillful cross-examination can reveal the whole “truth” of what happened. In a climactic scene, defense counsel will expose a lying accuser, clear up the statements of a confused eyewitness, or surface the incentives and biases in testimony. Constitutional precedents, evidence theory, and trial procedures all reflect a similar aspiration—that cross-examination performs lie detection and thereby helps to produce accurate outcomes. Although conceptualized as a protection for defendants, cross-examination imposes some unexplored costs on them. Because it focuses on the physical presence of a witness, the current law of confrontation suggests that an …


"Who Shapes The Law? Gender And Racial Bias In Judicial Citations.", Laura P. Moyer, John J. Szmer, Susan B. Haire, Robert K. Christenson Sep 2023

"Who Shapes The Law? Gender And Racial Bias In Judicial Citations.", Laura P. Moyer, John J. Szmer, Susan B. Haire, Robert K. Christenson

Faculty Scholarship

In this letter, we assess whether the contributions of judges from underrepresented groups are undervalued or overlooked, thereby reducing these judges’ influence on legal policy. Drawing on an original dataset of discretionary citations to over 2,000 published federal appellate decisions, we find that the majority of opinions written by female judges receive less attention from other courts than those by similarly situated men and that this is largely attributable to disparities in citing Black women and Latinas. We also find that additional efforts by Black and Latinx judges to ground their opinions in precedent yield a much lower rate of …


Error Aversions And Due Process, Brandon L. Garrett, Gregory Mitchell Jan 2023

Error Aversions And Due Process, Brandon L. Garrett, Gregory Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

William Blackstone famously expressed the view that convicting the innocent constitutes a much more serious error than acquitting the guilty. This view is the cornerstone of due process protections for those accused of crimes, giving rise to the presumption of innocence and the high burden of proof required for criminal convictions. While most legal elites share Blackstone’s view, the citizen-jurors tasked with making due process protections a reality do not share the law’s preference for false acquittals over false convictions.

Across multiple national surveys, sampling more than 10,000 people, we find that a majority of Americans views false acquittals and …


Forensic Science In Legal Education, Brandon L. Garrett, Glinda S. Cooper, Quinn Beckham Jan 2022

Forensic Science In Legal Education, Brandon L. Garrett, Glinda S. Cooper, Quinn Beckham

Faculty Scholarship

In criminal cases, forensic science reports and expert testimony play an increasingly important role in adjudication. More states now follow a federal reliability standard, following Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and Rule 702, which calls upon judges to assess the reliability and validity of such scientific evidence. Little is known about what education law schools provide regarding forensic and scientific evidence or what types of specialized training they receive on scientific methods or evidence. Whether law schools have added forensic science courses to their curricula in recent years was not known. To better understand the answers to those questions, in …


Of Protest And Property: An Essay In Pursuit Of Justice For Breonna Taylor, H. Timothy Lovelace Jr. Jan 2021

Of Protest And Property: An Essay In Pursuit Of Justice For Breonna Taylor, H. Timothy Lovelace Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In March 2020, Louisville police officers fatally shot Breanna Taylor in her apartment while executing a no-knock warrant. There was great outrage over the killing of the innocent woman, and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron led an investigation of the officer-involved shooting.

Activists protested in Louisville after Taylor's killing, and when Cameron's investigation appeared stalled, these activists even conducted a sit-in on Cameron's front lawn. They demanded immediate justice for Taylor. Cameron sharply responded, lecturing the activists on how to achieve justice. He contended that neither trespassing on private property nor escalation in tactics could advance the cause of justice. …


Life Without Parole Sentencing In North Carolina, Brandon L. Garrett, Travis M. Seale-Carlisle, Karima Modjadidi, Kristen M. Renberg Jan 2021

Life Without Parole Sentencing In North Carolina, Brandon L. Garrett, Travis M. Seale-Carlisle, Karima Modjadidi, Kristen M. Renberg

Faculty Scholarship

What explains the puzzle of life without parole (LWOP) sentencing in the United States? In the past two decades, LWOP sentences have reached record highs, with over 50,000 prisoners serving LWOP. Yet during this same period, homicide rates have steadily declined. The U.S. Supreme Court has limited the use of juvenile LWOP in Eighth Amendment rulings. Further, death sentences have steeply declined, reaching record lows. Although research has examined drivers of incarceration patterns for certain sentences, there has been little research on LWOP imposition. To shed light on what might explain the sudden rise of LWOP, we examine characteristics of …


Monitoring The Misdemeanor Bail Reform Consent Decree In Harris County, Texas, Brandon L. Garrett, Sandra Guerra Thompson Jan 2021

Monitoring The Misdemeanor Bail Reform Consent Decree In Harris County, Texas, Brandon L. Garrett, Sandra Guerra Thompson

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam Samaha Jan 2021

Anti-Modalities, David E. Pozen, Adam Samaha

Faculty Scholarship

Constitutional argument runs on the rails of “modalities.” These are the accepted categories of reasoning used to make claims about the content of supreme law. Some of the modalities, such as ethical and prudential arguments, seem strikingly open ended at first sight. Their contours come into clearer view, however, when we attend to the kinds of claims that are not made by constitutional interpreters – the analytical and rhetorical moves that are familiar in debates over public policy and political morality but are considered out of bounds in debates over constitutional meaning. In this Article, we seek to identify the …


Law Enforcement Organization Relationships With Prosecutors, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2021

Law Enforcement Organization Relationships With Prosecutors, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Although police departments and prosecutor’s o􀁽ces must closely collaborate, their organizational roles and networks, and the distinctive perspectives of their personnel, will inevitably and regularly lead to forceful dialogue and disruptive friction. Such friction can occasionally undermine thoughtful deliberation about public safety, the rule of law, and community values. Viewed more broadly, however, these interactions promote just such deliberation, which will become even healthier when the dialogue breaks out of the closed world of criminal justice bureaucracies and includes the public to which these bureaucracies are ultimately responsible. This chapter explores such organizational interactions and their value.


The Wandering Officer, Ben Grunwald, John Rappaport Jan 2020

The Wandering Officer, Ben Grunwald, John Rappaport

Faculty Scholarship

“Wandering officers” are law-enforcement officers fired by one department, sometimes for serious misconduct, who then find work at another agency. Policing experts hold disparate views about the extent and character of the wandering-officer phenomenon. Some insist that wandering officers are everywhere—possibly increasingly so—and that they’re dangerous. Others, however, maintain that critics cherry-pick rare and egregious anecdotes that distort broader realities. In the absence of systematic data, we simply do not know how common wandering officers are or how much of a threat they pose, nor can we know whether and how to address the issue through policy reform.

In this …


The Costs And Benefits Of Forensics, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2020

The Costs And Benefits Of Forensics, Brandon L. Garrett

Faculty Scholarship

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously wrote that states can be laboratories for experimentation in law and policy. Disappointingly, however, the actual laboratories that states and local governments run are not a home for experimentation. We do not have adequate information about either the costs or the benefits of forensic testing or allocation of resources. Increased spending and expansion of crime laboratories has perversely accompanied growing backlogs. Poor quality control has resulted in a series of audits and even closures of crime laboratories. In response to these problems, however, some laboratories and some entire states have developed new approaches toward …


Judging Risk, Brandon L. Garrett, John Monahan Jan 2020

Judging Risk, Brandon L. Garrett, John Monahan

Faculty Scholarship

Risk assessment plays an increasingly pervasive role in criminal justice in the United States at all stages of the process, from policing, to pre-trial, sentencing, corrections, and during parole. As efforts to reduce incarceration have led to adoption of risk-assessment tools, critics have begun to ask whether various instruments in use are valid and whether they might reinforce rather than reduce bias in criminal justice outcomes. Such work has neglected how decisionmakers use risk-assessment in practice. In this Article, we examine in detail the judging of risk assessment and we study why decisionmakers so often fail to consistently use such …


The Transparency Of Jail Data, William E. Crozier, Brandon L. Garrett, Arvind Krishnamurthy Jan 2020

The Transparency Of Jail Data, William E. Crozier, Brandon L. Garrett, Arvind Krishnamurthy

Faculty Scholarship

Across the country, pretrial policies and practices concerning the use of cash bail are in flux, but it is not readily possible for members of the public to assess whether or how those changes in policy and practice are affecting outcomes. A range of actors affect the jail population, including: law enforcement who make arrest decisions, magistrates and judges who rule at hearings on pretrial conditions and may modify such conditions, prosecutors and defense lawyers who litigate at hearings, pretrial-service providers who assist in evaluation and supervision of persons detained pretrial, and the custodian of the jail who supervises facilities. …


The State Of The Death Penalty, Ankur Desai, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2019

The State Of The Death Penalty, Ankur Desai, Brandon L. Garrett

Faculty Scholarship

The death penalty is in decline in America and most death penalty states do not regularly impose death sentences. In 2016 and 2017, states reached modern lows in imposed death sentences, with just thirty-one defendants sentenced to death in 2016 and thirty-nine in 2017, as compared with over three hundred per year in the 1990s. In 2016, only thirteen states imposed death sentences, and in 2017, fourteen did so, although thirty-one states retain the death penalty. What explains this remarkable and quite unexpected trend? In this Article, we present new analysis of state-level legislative changes that might have been expected …


Self-Policing: Dissemination And Adoption Of Police Eyewitness Policies In Virginia, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2019

Self-Policing: Dissemination And Adoption Of Police Eyewitness Policies In Virginia, Brandon L. Garrett

Faculty Scholarship

Professional policing organizations emphasize the importance of the adoption of sound police policies and procedures, but traditionally doing so has been left to individual agencies. State and local government typically does not closely regulate police, and neither federal constitutional rulings nor state law typically sets out in any detail the practices that police should follow. Thus, law enforcement agencies must themselves draft and disseminate policy. This paper presents the results of studies used to assess the adoption of eyewitness identification policies by law enforcement agencies in Virginia. Policymakers were focused on this problem because Virginia experienced a series of DNA …


Finding Law, Stephen E. Sachs Jan 2019

Finding Law, Stephen E. Sachs

Faculty Scholarship

That the judge's task is to find the law, not to make it, was once a commonplace of our legal culture. Today, decades after Erie, the idea of a common law discovered by judges is commonly dismissed -- as a "fallacy," an "illusion," a "brooding omnipresence in the sky." That dismissive view is wrong. Expecting judges to find unwritten law is no childish fiction of the benighted past, but a real and plausible option for a modern legal system.

This Essay seeks to restore the respectability of finding law, in part by responding to two criticisms made by Erie and …


The Structural Dimensions Of Race: Lock Ups, Systemic Chokeholds, And Binary Disruptions, Cedric Merlin Powell Jan 2019

The Structural Dimensions Of Race: Lock Ups, Systemic Chokeholds, And Binary Disruptions, Cedric Merlin Powell

Faculty Scholarship

Disrupting traditional conceptions of structural inequality, state decision making power, and the presumption of Black criminality, this Essay explores the doctrinal and policy implications of James Forman, Jr.’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Locking Up Our Own, and Paul Butler’s evocative and transformative book, Chokehold. While both books grapple with how to dismantle the structural components of mass incarceration, state legitimized police violence against Black bodies, and how policy functions to reify oppressive state power, the approaches espoused by Forman and Butler are analytically distinct. Forman locates his analysis in the dynamics of decision-making power when African American officials wield power …


Dismantling Structural Inequality: Lock Ups, Systemic Chokeholds, And Race-Based Policing - A Symposium Summary, Cedric Merlin Powell, Laura R. Mcneal Jan 2019

Dismantling Structural Inequality: Lock Ups, Systemic Chokeholds, And Race-Based Policing - A Symposium Summary, Cedric Merlin Powell, Laura R. Mcneal

Faculty Scholarship

The prominence of the carceral state in American society serves to undermine basic principles of democracy and justice, disproportionately displacing people of color and excluding them from all viable avenues of citizenship.


The Costs Of Trademarking Dolls, Jessica Silbey Nov 2018

The Costs Of Trademarking Dolls, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Curtin’s article, Zombie Cinderella and the Undead Public Domain, takes a recent case from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) as the basis for an argument that trademark doctrine needs stronger protection against the exclusive commercial appropriation of characters that are in the public domain. In that case, a doll manufacturer sought to register the term “Zombie Cinderella” for a doll that was zombie-ish and princess-like. The examiner refused registration because the term “Zombie Cinderella” for this kind of doll was confusingly similar to the mark for Walt Disney’s Cinderella doll. Although the TTAB overturned the examiner’s …


Introduction: Symposium On “Forensics, Statistics, And Law”, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2018

Introduction: Symposium On “Forensics, Statistics, And Law”, Brandon L. Garrett

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Evidence-Informed Criminal Justice, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2018

Evidence-Informed Criminal Justice, Brandon L. Garrett

Faculty Scholarship

The American criminal justice system is at a turning point. For decades, as the rate of incarceration exploded, observers of the American criminal justice system criticized the enormous discretion wielded by key actors, particularly police and prosecutors, and the lack of empirical evidence that has informed that discretion. Since the 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice report, The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, there has been broad awareness that the criminal system lacks empirically informed approaches. That report unsuccessfully called for a national research strategy, with an independent national criminal justice research institute, along …


Honesty Without Truth: Lies, Accuracy, And The Criminal Justice Process, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2018

Honesty Without Truth: Lies, Accuracy, And The Criminal Justice Process, Lisa Kern Griffin

Faculty Scholarship

Focusing on “lying” is a natural response to uncertainty but too narrow of a concern. Honesty and truth are not the same thing and conflating them can actually inhibit accuracy. In several settings across investigations and trials, the criminal justice system elevates compliant statements, misguided beliefs, and confident opinions while excluding more complex evidence. Error often results. Some interrogation techniques, for example, privilege cooperation over information. Those interactions can yield incomplete or false statements, confessions, and even guilty pleas. Because of the impeachment rules that purportedly prevent perjury, the most knowledgeable witnesses may be precluded from taking the stand. The …


The Intersection Between Young Adult Sentencing And Mass Incarceration, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2018

The Intersection Between Young Adult Sentencing And Mass Incarceration, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

This Article connects two growing categories of academic literature and policy reform: arguments for treating young adults in the criminal justice system less severely than older adults because of evidence showing brain development and maturation continue until the mid-twenties; and arguments calling for reducing mass incarceration and identifying various mechanisms to do so. These categories overlap, but research has not previously built in-depth connections between the two.

Connecting the two bodies of literature helps identify and strengthen arguments for reform. First, changing charging, detention, and sentencing practices for young adults is one important tool to reduce mass incarceration. Young adults …


Project Safe Neighborhoods In Chicago: Looking Back A Decade Later, Ben Grunwald, Andrew V. Papachristos Jan 2017

Project Safe Neighborhoods In Chicago: Looking Back A Decade Later, Ben Grunwald, Andrew V. Papachristos

Faculty Scholarship

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a federally funded initiative that brings together federal, state, and local law enforcement to reduce gun violence in urban centers. In Chicago, PSN implemented supply-side gun policing tactics, enhanced federal prosecution of gun crimes, and notification forums warning offenders of PSN’s heightened criminal sanctions. Prior evaluations provide evidence that PSN initiatives have reduced crime in the first few years of their operation. But over a decade after the program was established, we still know little about whether these effects are sustained over an extended period of time. This Article examines PSN Chicago, an anti-violence program …


The American Death Penalty Decline, Brandon L. Garrett, Alexander Jakubow, Ankur Desai Jan 2017

The American Death Penalty Decline, Brandon L. Garrett, Alexander Jakubow, Ankur Desai

Faculty Scholarship

American death sentences have both declined and become concentrated in a small group of counties. In his dissenting opinion in Glossip v. Gross in 2014, Justice Stephen Breyer highlighted how from 2004 to 2006, "just 29 counties (fewer than 1% of counties in the country) accounted for approximately half of all death sentences imposed nationwide." That decline has become more dramatic. In 2015, fifty-one defendants were sentenced to death in thirty-eight counties. In 2016, thirty-one defendants were sentenced to death in twenty-eight counties. In the mid-1990s, by way of contrast, over 300 people were sentenced to death in as many …


Fostering Legal Cynicism Through Immigration Detention, Emily Ryo Jan 2017

Fostering Legal Cynicism Through Immigration Detention, Emily Ryo

Faculty Scholarship

Every year, tens of thousands of noncitizens in removal proceedings are held and processed through an expanding web of immigration detention facilities across the United States. The use of immigration detention is expected to dramatically increase under the Trump administration’s mass deportation policy. I argue that this civil confinement system may serve a critical socio-legal function that has escaped the attention of policymakers, scholars, and the public alike. Using extensive original data on long-term immigrant detainees, I explore how immigration detention might function as a site of legal socialization that helps to promote or reinforce widespread legal cynicism among immigrant …


Adjudicating Death: Professionals Or Politicians?, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati Jan 2017

Adjudicating Death: Professionals Or Politicians?, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Variation exists in how death examinations take place in the United States. In some counties and states decisions about autopsies and the issuance of death certificates are made by a local coroner who often needs nothing more than a high school diploma to run for election to the job of coroner. In other counties and states, an appointed medical professional performs the death examination. We provide preliminary tests of the difference in performance between death examination offices run by appointed medical professionals compared with elected coroners. We find that death examiner offices in elected coroner states are less likely to …


Sexual Misconduct In Prison: What Factors Affect Whether Incarcerated Women Will Report Abuses Committed By Prison Staff?, Sheryl Pimlott Kubiak, Hannah Brenner, Deborah Bybee, Rebecca Campbell, Cristy E. Cummings, Kathleen M. Darcy, Gina Fedock, Rachael Goodman-Williams Jan 2017

Sexual Misconduct In Prison: What Factors Affect Whether Incarcerated Women Will Report Abuses Committed By Prison Staff?, Sheryl Pimlott Kubiak, Hannah Brenner, Deborah Bybee, Rebecca Campbell, Cristy E. Cummings, Kathleen M. Darcy, Gina Fedock, Rachael Goodman-Williams

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Dignity Is The New Legitimacy, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2017

Dignity Is The New Legitimacy, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

In this chapter, Jeffrey Fagan responds to Jonathan Simon’s essay by exploring the emotional dimensions of individual interactions with state actors. In a procedural justice vein, this chapter considers the dignitary implications of official maltreatment, focusing in particular on the dignity-injuring potential of unjustified, racially motivated, or otherwise abusive police stops. Such interactions not only personally humiliate, but they also deny the targeted individuals “basic and essential recognition” as social and political equals, instilling instead “a profound sense of loss.” Fagan calls for a jurisprudence that “recognizes the emotional highway between dignity and legitimacy.” This approach would “internalize[] the central …