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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Public Law and Legal Theory

Criminal law and procedure

2013

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Criminal (In)Justice And Democracy In America, Stephanos Bibas Mar 2013

Criminal (In)Justice And Democracy In America, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay responds to Nicola Lacey’s review of my recent book The Machinery of Criminal Justice (Oxford Univ. Press 2012). Lacey entirely overlooks the book’s fundamental distinction between making criminal justice policy wholesale and adjudicating deserved punishment at the retail level, in individual cases, which is quite consistent with keeping but tempering rules. She also undervalues America’s deep commitments to federalism, localism, and democratic self-government and overlooks the related problem of agency costs in criminal justice. Her top-down approach colors her desire to pursue equality judicially, to the exclusion of the political branches. Finally, Lacey denigrates the ...