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Tragedy, Outrage & Reform Crimes That Changed Our World: 1911 – Triangle Factory Fire – Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Dec 2016

Tragedy, Outrage & Reform Crimes That Changed Our World: 1911 – Triangle Factory Fire – Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. As it turns out, it is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of our everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous, or so curious, or so heart-wrenching. These “trigger crimes” are the cases that this book is about.

They offer some incredible stories about how people, good and bad, change the world around ...


Protecting One's Own Privacy In A Big Data Economy, Anita L. Allen Dec 2016

Protecting One's Own Privacy In A Big Data Economy, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Big Data is the vast quantities of information amenable to large-scale collection, storage, and analysis. Using such data, companies and researchers can deploy complex algorithms and artificial intelligence technologies to reveal otherwise unascertained patterns, links, behaviors, trends, identities, and practical knowledge. The information that comprises Big Data arises from government and business practices, consumer transactions, and the digital applications sometimes referred to as the “Internet of Things.” Individuals invisibly contribute to Big Data whenever they live digital lifestyles or otherwise participate in the digital economy, such as when they shop with a credit card, get treated at a hospital, apply ...


Sovereignty Considerations And Social Change In The Wake Of India's Recent Sodomy Cases, Deepa Das Acevedo Sep 2016

Sovereignty Considerations And Social Change In The Wake Of India's Recent Sodomy Cases, Deepa Das Acevedo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

American constitutional law scholars have long questioned whether courts can really drive social reform, and this position remains largely unchallenged even in the wake of recent landmark decisions affecting the LGBT community. In contrast, court watchers in India — spurred by developments in a special type of legal action developed in the late 1970s known as “public interest litigation,” or “PIL” — have only recently begun questioning the judiciary’s ability to promote progressive social change. Indian scholarship on this point has veered between despair that PIL cases no longer reliably produce good outcomes for India’s most disadvantaged, and optimism that ...


Neuroethics: Neurolaw, Stephen J. Morse Sep 2016

Neuroethics: Neurolaw, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is a pre-copyedited version of a chapter in the Oxford Handbooks Online (Philosophy) edited by Sandy Goldberg. In altered form, it was published online in February, 2017 and can be found at the Oxford Handbooks Online website. The entry discusses whether the findings of the new neuroscience based largely on functional brain imaging raise new normative questions and entail normative conclusions for ethical and legal theory and practice. After reviewing the source of optimism about neuroscientific contributions and the current scientific status of neuroscience, it addresses a radical challenge neuroscience allegedly presents: whether neuroscience proves persons do not have ...


Justice Scalia’S Originalism And Formalism: The Rule Of Criminal Law As A Law Of Rules, Stephanos Bibas Aug 2016

Justice Scalia’S Originalism And Formalism: The Rule Of Criminal Law As A Law Of Rules, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Far too many reporters and pundits collapse law into politics, assuming that the left–right divide between Democratic and Republican appointees neatly explains politically liberal versus politically conservative outcomes at the Supreme Court. The late Justice Antonin Scalia defied such caricatures. His consistent judicial philosophy made him the leading exponent of originalism, textualism, and formalism in American law, and over the course of his three decades on the Court, he changed the terms of judicial debate. Now, as a result, supporters and critics alike start with the plain meaning of the statutory or constitutional text rather than loose appeals to ...


Who Cares How Congress Really Works?, Ryan David Doerfler Aug 2016

Who Cares How Congress Really Works?, Ryan David Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legislative intent is a fiction. Courts and scholars accept this by and large. As this Article shows, however, both are confused as to why, and, more importantly, as to what this entails.

This Article argues that the standard account of why legislative intent is a fiction—that Congress is a “they,” not an “it”—rests on an overly simplistic conception of shared agency. Drawing on contemporary work in philosophy of action, this Article contends that Congress as such has no intentions not because of difficulties in aggregating the intentions of individual members, but rather because Congress lacks the sort of ...


How Being Right Can Risk Wrongs, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2016

How Being Right Can Risk Wrongs, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is a chapter from the new book The Vigilante Echo. Previous chapters have made clear that some vigilantism can be morally justified where the government has failed in its promise under the social contract to protect and to do justice. But this chapter explains how even moral vigilante action can be problematic for the larger society. Vigilantes may try to do the right thing but are likely to lack the training and professional neutrality of police. They may be successful, but only on pushing the crime problem to an adjacent neighborhood. Because their open lawbreaking may seem admirable to ...


Shadow Vigilante Officials Manipulate And Distort To Force Justice From An Apparently Reluctant System, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2016

Shadow Vigilante Officials Manipulate And Distort To Force Justice From An Apparently Reluctant System, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The real danger of the vigilante impulse is not of hordes of citizens, frustrated by the system’s doctrines of disillusionment, rising up to take the law into their own hands. Frustration can spark a vigilante impulse but such classic aggressive vigilantism is not the typical response. More common is the expression of disillusionment in less brazen ways, by a more surreptitious undermining and distortion of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Shadow vigilantes, as they might be called, can affect the operation of the system in a host of important ways. For example, when people act as classic ...


Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Administrative law constrains and directs the behavior of officials in the many governmental bodies responsible for implementing legislation and handling governance responsibilities on a daily basis. This field of law consists of procedures for decision making by these administrative bodies, including rules about transparency and public participation. It also encompasses oversight practices provided by legislatures, courts, and elected executives. The way that administrative law affects the behavior of government officials holds important implications for the fulfillment of democratic principles as well as effective governance in society. This paper highlights salient political theory and legal issues fundamental to the U.S ...


Actions Speak Louder Than Images: The Use Of Neuroscientific Evidence In Criminal Cases, Stephen J. Morse Jun 2016

Actions Speak Louder Than Images: The Use Of Neuroscientific Evidence In Criminal Cases, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This invited commentary for Journal of Law & the Biosciences considers four empirical studies previously published in the journal of the reception of neuroscientific evidence in criminal cases in the United States, Canada, England and Wales, and the Netherlands. There are conceded methodological problems with all, but the data are nonetheless instructive and suggestive. The thesis of the comment is that the courts are committing the same errors that have bedeviled the reception of psychiatric and psychological evidence. There is insufficient caution about the state of the science, and more importantly, there is insufficient understanding of the relevance of the neuroscientific ...


Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage And Parental Rights In The Age Of Equality, Serena Mayeri Jun 2016

Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage And Parental Rights In The Age Of Equality, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The twentieth-century equality revolution established the principle of sex neutrality in the law of marriage and divorce and eased the most severe legal disabilities traditionally imposed upon nonmarital children. Formal equality under the law eluded nonmarital parents, however. Although unwed fathers won unprecedented legal rights and recognition in a series of Supreme Court cases decided in the 1970s and 1980s, they failed to achieve constitutional parity with mothers or with married and divorced fathers. This Article excavates nonmarital fathers’ quest for equal rights, until now a mere footnote in the history of constitutional equality law.

Unmarried fathers lacked a social ...


The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2016

The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

What are the proper bounds of executive discretion in the regulatory state, especially over administrative decisions not to take enforcement actions? This question, which, just by asking it, would seem to cast into some doubt the seemingly absolute discretion the executive branch has until now been thought to possess, has become the focal point of the latest debate to emerge over the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. That ever‐growing, heated debate is what motivated more than two dozen distinguished scholars to gather for a two‐day conference held late last year at the University of Pennsylvania Law ...


Uncontrolled Experiments From The Laboratories Of Democracy: Traditional Cash Welfare, Federalism, And Welfare Reform, Jonah B. Gelbach May 2016

Uncontrolled Experiments From The Laboratories Of Democracy: Traditional Cash Welfare, Federalism, And Welfare Reform, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this chapter I discuss the history and basic incentive effects of two key U.S. cash assistance programs aimed at families with children. Starting roughly in the 1980s, critics of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program argued that the program -- designed largely to cut relatively small checks -- failed to end poverty or promote work. After years of federally provided waivers that allowed states to experiment with changes to their AFDC programs, the critics in 1996 won the outright elimination of AFDC. It was replaced by the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, over which states ...


Law And The Sciences Of The Brain/Mind, Stephen J. Morse Apr 2016

Law And The Sciences Of The Brain/Mind, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter is a submission to the Oxford Handbook of Law and the Regulation of Technology edited by Roger Brownsword. It considers whether the new sciences of the brain/mind, especially neuroscience and behavioral genetics, are likely to transform the law’s traditional concepts of the person, agency and responsibility. The chapter begins with a brief speculation about why so many people think these sciences will transform the law. After reviewing the law’s concepts, misguided challenges to them, and the achievements of the new sciences, the chapter confronts the claim that these sciences prove that we are really not ...


Regulating E-Cigarettes: Why Policies Diverge, Eric A. Feldman Apr 2016

Regulating E-Cigarettes: Why Policies Diverge, Eric A. Feldman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper, part of a festschrift in honor of Professor Malcolm Feeley, explores the landscape of e-cigarette policy globally by looking at three jurisdictions that have taken starkly different approaches to regulating e-cigarettes—the US, Japan, and China. Each of those countries has a robust tobacco industry, government agencies entrusted with protecting public health, an active and sophisticated scientific and medical community, and a regulatory structure for managing new pharmaceutical, tobacco, and consumer products. All three are signatories of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, all are signatories of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual ...


Conviction Review Units: A National Perspective, John Hollway Apr 2016

Conviction Review Units: A National Perspective, John Hollway

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Over the past 25 years, Americans have become increasingly aware of a vast array of mistakes in the administration of justice, including wrongful convictions, situations where innocent individuals have been convicted and incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. The most prevalent institutional response by prosecutors to address post-conviction fact-based claims of actual innocence is the Conviction Review Unit (CRU), sometimes called the Conviction Integrity Unit. Since the creation of the first CRU in the mid-2000s, more than 25 such units have been announced across the country; more than half of these have been created in the past 24 months ...


Can The International Criminal Court Deter Atrocity?, Hyeran Jo, Beth A. Simmons Mar 2016

Can The International Criminal Court Deter Atrocity?, Hyeran Jo, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Whether and how violence can be controlled to spare innocent lives is a central issue in international relations. The most ambitious effort to date has been the International Criminal Court (ICC), designed to enhance security and safety by preventing egregious human rights abuses and deterring international crimes. We offer the first systematic assessment of the ICC's deterrent effects for both state and nonstate actors. Although no institution can deter all actors, the ICC can deter some governments and those rebel groups that seek legitimacy. We find support for this conditional impact of the ICC cross-nationally. Our work has implications ...


Tightening The Ooda Loop: Police Militarization, Race, And Algorithmic Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle Feb 2016

Tightening The Ooda Loop: Police Militarization, Race, And Algorithmic Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article examines the role military automated surveillance and intelligence systems and techniques have supported a self-reinforcing racial bias when used by civilian police departments to enhance predictive policing programs. I will focus on two facets of this problem. First, my research will take an inside-out perspective, studying the role played by advanced military technologies and methods within civilian police departments, and how they have enabled a new focus on deterrence and crime prevention by creating a system of structural surveillance where decision support relies increasingly upon algorithms and automated data analysis tools, and which automates de facto penalization and ...


The History, Means, And Effects Of Structural Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle Feb 2016

The History, Means, And Effects Of Structural Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The focus on the technology of surveillance, while important, has had the unfortunate side effect of obscuring the study of surveillance generally, and tends to minimize the exploration of other, less technical means of surveillance that are both ubiquitous and self-reinforcing—what I refer to as structural surveillance— and their effects on marginalized and disenfranchised populations. This Article proposes a theoretical framework for the study of structural surveillance which will act as a foundation for follow-on research in its effects on political participation.


“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer Feb 2016

“Spooky Action At A Distance”: Intangible Injury In Fact In The Information Age, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Two decades after Justice Douglas coined “injury in fact” as the token of admission to federal court under Article III, Justice Scalia sealed it into the constitutional canon in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife. In the two decades since Lujan, Justice Scalia has thrown increasingly pointed barbs at the permissive standing doctrine of the Warren Court, maintaining it is founded on impermissible recognition of “Psychic Injury.” Justice Scalia and his acolytes take the position that Article III requires a tough minded, common sense and practical approach. Injuries in fact must be "tangible" "direct" "concrete" "de facto" realities in time and ...


Tasers Help Police Avoid Fatal Mistakes, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2016

Tasers Help Police Avoid Fatal Mistakes, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This op-ed piece argues that police will inevitably be placed in impossible situations in which they reasonably believe they must shoot to defend themselves but where the shooting in fact turns out to be unnecessary. What can save the police, and the community, from these regular tragedies is a more concerted shift to police use of nonlethal weapons. Taser technology, for example, continues to become increasingly more effective and reliable. While we will always have reasonable mistakes by police in the use of force, it need not be the case that each ends in death or permanent injury. Such a ...


The Legal Limits Of “Yes Means Yes”, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2016

The Legal Limits Of “Yes Means Yes”, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This op-ed piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education argues that the affirmative consent rule of "yes means yes" is a useful standard that can help educate and ideally change norms regarding consent to sexual intercourse. But that goal can best be achieved by using “yes means yes” as an ex ante announcement of the society's desired rule of conduct. That standard only becomes problematic when used as the ex post principle of adjudication for allegations of rape. Indeed, those most interested in changing existing norms ought to be the persons most in support of distinguishing these two importantly ...


The Constitutionalization Of Indian Private Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2016

The Constitutionalization Of Indian Private Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Essay, I examine the interaction between Indian constitutional law and Indian tort law. Using the context of the Indian Supreme Court’s dramatic expansion of its fundamental rights jurisprudence over the last three decades, I argue that while the Court’s conscious and systematic effort to transcend the public law/private law divide and incorporate concepts and mechanisms from the latter into the former might have produced a few immediate and highly salient benefits for the public law side of the system, its long terms effects on India’s private law edifice have been devastating. The Court’s ...


Procedure And Pragmatism, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2016

Procedure And Pragmatism, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, prepared as part of a festschrift for the Italian scholar, Michele Taruffo, I portray him as a pragmatic realist of the sort described by Richard Posner in his book, Reflections on Judging. Viewing him as such, I salute Taruffo for challenging the established order in domestic and comparative law thinking about civil law systems, the role of lawyers, courts and precedent in those systems, and also for casting the light of the comparative enterprise on common law systems, particularly that in the United States. Speaking as one iconoclast of another, however, I also raise questions about Taruffo ...


Predicting The Knowledge–Recklessness Distinction In The Human Brain, Iris Vilares, Michael J. Wesley, Woo-Young Woo-Young Ahn, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Stephen J. Morse, Gideon Yaffe, Terry Lohrenz, Read Montague Jan 2016

Predicting The Knowledge–Recklessness Distinction In The Human Brain, Iris Vilares, Michael J. Wesley, Woo-Young Woo-Young Ahn, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Stephen J. Morse, Gideon Yaffe, Terry Lohrenz, Read Montague

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Criminal convictions require proof that a prohibited act was performed in a statutorily specified mental state. Different legal consequences, including greater punishments, are mandated for those who act in a state of knowledge, compared with a state of recklessness. Existing research, however, suggests people have trouble classifying defendants as knowing, rather than reckless, even when instructed on the relevant legal criteria.

We used a machine-learning technique on brain imaging data to predict, with high accuracy, which mental state our participants were in. This predictive ability depended on both the magnitude of the risks and the amount of information about those ...


The Scrivener's Error, Ryan David Doerfler Jan 2016

The Scrivener's Error, Ryan David Doerfler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is widely accepted that courts may correct legislative drafting mistakes, i.e., so-called “scrivener’s errors,” if and only if such mistakes are “absolutely clear.” The rationale is that, if a court were to recognize a less clear error, it “might be rewriting the statute rather than correcting a technical mistake.”

This Essay argues that the standard is much too strict. The current rationale ignores that courts can “rewrite,” i.e., misinterpret, a statute both by recognizing an error and by failing to do so. In turn, because the current doctrine is designed to protect against one type of ...


Designing Plea Bargaining From The Ground Up: Accuracy And Fairness Without Trials As Backstops, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2016

Designing Plea Bargaining From The Ground Up: Accuracy And Fairness Without Trials As Backstops, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

American criminal procedure developed on the assumption that grand juries and petit jury trials were the ultimate safeguards of fair procedures and accurate outcomes. But now that plea bargaining has all but supplanted juries, we need to think through what safeguards our plea-bargaining system should be built around. This Symposium Article sketches out principles for redesigning our plea-bargaining system from the ground up around safeguards. Part I explores the causes of factual, moral, and legal inaccuracies in guilty pleas. To prevent and remedy these inaccuracies, it proposes a combination of quasi-inquisitorial safeguards, more vigorous criminal defense, and better normative evaluation ...


Lobbying And The Petition Clause, Maggie Blackhawk Jan 2016

Lobbying And The Petition Clause, Maggie Blackhawk

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Contrary to popular opinion, the Supreme Court has not yet resolved whether lobbying is constitutionally protected. Belying this fact, courts, Congress, and scholars mistakenly assume that lobbying is protected under the Petition Clause. Because scholars have shared the mistaken assumption that the Petition Clause protects the practice of “lobbying”, no research to date has looked closely at the Petition Clause doctrine and the history of petitioning in relation to lobbying. In a recent opinion addressing petitioning in another context, the Supreme Court unearthed the long history behind the right to petition and argued for the importance of this history for ...


What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2016

What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Equality in criminal sentencing often translates into equalizing outcomes and stamping out variations, whether race-based, geographic, or random. This approach conflates the concept of equality with one contestable conception focused on outputs and numbers, not inputs and processes. Racial equality is crucial, but a concern with eliminating racism has hypertrophied well beyond race. Equalizing outcomes seems appealing as a neutral way to dodge contentious substantive policy debates about the purposes of punishment. But it actually privileges deterrence and incapacitation over rehabilitation, subjective elements of retribution, and procedural justice, and it provides little normative guidance for punishment. It also has unintended ...


E-Cigarette Regulation In China: The Road Ahead, Eric A. Feldman, Chai Yue Jan 2016

E-Cigarette Regulation In China: The Road Ahead, Eric A. Feldman, Chai Yue

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The global electronic cigarette industry has exploded in the past decade—from $20 million in sales in 2008 to an estimated $7 billion in 2014—and China has been an essential part of that growth. As the world's largest consumer of combustible tobacco products, accounting for about one-third of the global market. China is also a prime contender to become the largest consumer of electronic cigarettes. These simple facts raise a critical question—what should the Chinese government do about regulating electronic cigarettes?

So far, the regulation of electronic cigarettes in China has attracted scant attention. This paper begins ...