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Full-Text Articles in Law

Drug Supervision, Jacob Schuman Jan 2022

Drug Supervision, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

Critics of harsh drug sentencing laws in the United States typically focus on long prison sentences. But the American criminal justice system also inflicts a significant volume of drug-related punishment through community supervision (probation, parole, and supervised release). Over one million people are under supervision due to a drug conviction, and drug activity is among the most common reasons for violations. In an age of “mass supervision,” community supervision is a major form of drug sentencing and drug policy.

In this Article, I analyze the federal system of supervised release as a form of drug policy. Congress created supervised release …


Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman Jan 2021

Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

Revocation of community supervision is a defining feature of American criminal law. Nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are on parole, probation, or supervised release, and 1/3 eventually have their supervision revoked, sending 350,000 to prison each year. Academics, activists, and attorneys warn that “mass supervision” has become a powerful engine of mass incarceration.

This is the first Article to study theories of punishment in revocation of community supervision, focusing on the federal system of supervised release. Federal courts apply a primarily retributive theory of revocation, aiming to sanction defendants for their “breach of trust.” However, the structure, …


Constitutionally Incapable: Parole Boards As Sentencing Courts, Mae C. Quinn Jan 2019

Constitutionally Incapable: Parole Boards As Sentencing Courts, Mae C. Quinn

Journal Articles

Courtroom sentencing, as part of the judicial process, is a long-standing norm in the justice system of the United States. But this basic criminal law precept is currently under quiet attack. This is because some states are now allowing parole boards to step in to decide criminal penalties without first affording defendants lawful judicial branch sentencing proceedings and sentences. These outside-of-court punishment decisions are occurring in the cases of youthful offenders entitled to sentencing relief under Miller v. Alabama, which outlawed automatic life-without-parole sentences for children. Thus, some Miller-impacted defendants are being sentenced by paroleboards as executive branch agents, rather …


The Compliance Process, Veronica Root Martinez Jan 2019

The Compliance Process, Veronica Root Martinez

Journal Articles

Even as regulators and prosecutors proclaim the importance of effective compliance programs, failures persist. Organizations fail to ensure that they and their agents comply with legal and regulatory requirements, industry practices, and their own internal policies and norms. From the companies that provide our news, to the financial institutions that serve as our bankers, to the corporations that make our cars, compliance programs fail to prevent misconduct each and every day. The causes of these compliance failures are multifaceted and include general enforcement deficiencies, difficulties associated with overseeing compliance programs within complex organizations, and failures to establish a culture of …


The Death Penalty As Incapacitation, Marah S. Mcleod Jan 2018

The Death Penalty As Incapacitation, Marah S. Mcleod

Journal Articles

Courts and commentators give scant attention to the incapacitation rationale for capital punishment, focusing instead on retribution and deterrence. The idea that execution may be justified to prevent further violence by dangerous prisoners is often ignored in death penalty commentary. The view on the ground could not be more different. Hundreds of executions have been premised on the need to protect society from dangerous offenders. Two states require a finding of future dangerousness for any death sentence, and over a dozen others treat it as an aggravating factor that turns murder into a capital crime.

How can courts and commentators …


Coordinating Compliance Incentives, Veronica Root Jan 2017

Coordinating Compliance Incentives, Veronica Root

Journal Articles

In today’s regulatory environment, a corporation engaged in wrongdoing can be sure of one thing: regulators will point to an ineffective compliance program as a key cause of institutional misconduct. The explosion in the importance of compliance is unsurprising given the emphasis that governmental actors — from the Department of Justice, to the Securities and Exchange Commission, to even the Commerce Department — place on the need for institutions to adopt “effective compliance programs.” The governmental actors that demand effective compliance programs, however, have narrow scopes of authority. DOJ Fraud handles violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, while the …


Capital Punishment Of Unintentional Felony Murder, Guyora Binder, Brenner Fissell, Robert Weisberg Jan 2017

Capital Punishment Of Unintentional Felony Murder, Guyora Binder, Brenner Fissell, Robert Weisberg

Journal Articles

Under the prevailing interpretation of the Eighth Amendment in the lower courts, a defendant who causes a death inadvertently in the course of a felony is eligible for capital punishment. This unfortunate interpretation rests on an unduly mechanical reading of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Enmund v. Florida and Tison v. Arizona, which require culpability for capital punishment of co-felons who do not kill. The lower courts have drawn the unwarranted inference that these cases permit execution of those who cause death without any culpability towards death. This Article shows that this mechanical reading of precedent is mistaken, because the …


Civil Arrest? (Another) St. Louis Case Study In Unconstitutionality, Mae Quinn, Eirik Cheverud Jan 2016

Civil Arrest? (Another) St. Louis Case Study In Unconstitutionality, Mae Quinn, Eirik Cheverud

Journal Articles

This Article advances a simple claim in need of enforcement in this country right now: no person may be arrested for an alleged violation of civil, as opposed to criminal, law. Indeed, courts have long interpreted the Fourth Amendment as prohibiting arrest except when probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed and that the defendant is the person who committed the crime. However, in many places police take citizens into custody without a warrant for the non-criminal conduct of allegedly breaking civil laws. This unfortunate phenomenon received national attention in St. Louis, Missouri following the death …


Sentencing Rules And Standards: How We Decide Criminal Punishment, Jacob Schuman Jan 2015

Sentencing Rules And Standards: How We Decide Criminal Punishment, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

Over the course of the past 300 years, American sentencing policy has alternated between “determinate” and “indeterminate” systems of deciding punishment. Debates over sentence determinacy have so far focused on three main questions: Who should decide punishment? What makes punishment fair? And why should we punish wrongdoers at all?

In this Article, I ask a new, fourth, question: How should we decide punishment? I show that determinate sentencing uses rules to determine sentences, while indeterminate sentencing relies on standards. Applying this insight to federal sentencing practice, I demonstrate that district court judges “depart” or “vary” from the United States Sentencing …


Mirandizing Terrorism Suspects? The Public Safety Exception, The Rescue Doctrine, And Implicit Analogies To Self-Defense, Defense Of Others, And Battered Woman Syndrome, Bruce Ching Jan 2015

Mirandizing Terrorism Suspects? The Public Safety Exception, The Rescue Doctrine, And Implicit Analogies To Self-Defense, Defense Of Others, And Battered Woman Syndrome, Bruce Ching

Journal Articles

This article argues that in creating the public safety exception to the Miranda requirements, the Supreme Court implicitly analogized to the criminal law doctrines of self-defense and defense of others. Thus, examining the justifications of self-defense and defense of others can be useful in determining the contours of the public safety exception and the related "rescue doctrine" exception. In particular, the battered woman syndrome -- which is recognized in a majority of the states and has been successfully invoked by defendants in some self-defense cases -- could provide a conceptual analogue for arguments about whether law enforcement officers were faced …


Probability And Punishment: How To Improve Sentencing By Taking Account Of Probability, Jacob Schuman Jan 2015

Probability And Punishment: How To Improve Sentencing By Taking Account Of Probability, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

The United States Sentencing Guidelines place little emphasis on probability. Instead, the Guidelines recommend a sentence in each case based only on whether certain facts about the offender’s crime exceed a “threshold” level of likelihood. Guidelines sentences therefore fail to reflect the precise odds of each defendant’s wrongdoing, which makes them both inefficient and unfair. This model of decision-making is particularly problematic in drug sentencing, where judges often impose lengthy sentences based on drug quantity calculations that carry a high risk of error. To address these problems, district courts should exercise their discretion and policymakers should implement reforms that incorporate …


Ultracrepidarianism In Forensic Science: The Hair Evidence Debacle, David H. Kaye Jan 2015

Ultracrepidarianism In Forensic Science: The Hair Evidence Debacle, David H. Kaye

Journal Articles

For over 130 years, scientific sleuths have been inspecting hairs under microscopes. Late in 2012, the FBI, the Innocence Project, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers joined forces to review thousands of microscopic hair comparisons performed by FBI examiners over several of those decades. The results have been astounding. Based on the first few hundred cases in which hairs were said to match, it appears that examiners “exceeded the limits of science” in over 90% of their reports or testimony. The disclosure of this statistic has led to charges that the FBI “faked an entire field of forensic …


Teaching The Art Of Defending A White Collar Criminal Case, Katrice Bridges Copeland Jan 2014

Teaching The Art Of Defending A White Collar Criminal Case, Katrice Bridges Copeland

Journal Articles

This Article discusses the author's experience with effectively teaching a white collar crime course.


Authority To Proscribe And Punish International Crimes, Guyora Binder Apr 2013

Authority To Proscribe And Punish International Crimes, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Although criminal jurisdiction is usually exercised by governments, offenses can also be proscribed by international law, and punishment can be imposed by international tribunals. This article critically examines the legitimacy of such exercises of international criminal jurisdiction. It reasons that criminal law can plausibly be justified as a cooperative institution that achieves the public good of a rule of law, with its attendant benefits of social peace and equal dignity of persons. It then argues that such a beneficial rule of law requires a punishing authority with the executive capacity to protect those it claims to regulate. It would follow …


Actmissions, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2013

Actmissions, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

Most observers agree that it is morally worse to cause harm by engaging in an act than to contribute to producing the same harm by an omission. As a result, American criminal law punishes harmful omissions less than similarly harmful acts, unless there are exceptional circumstances that warrant punishing them equally. Yet there are many cases in which actors cause harm by engaging in conduct that can be reasonably described as either an act or an omission. Think of a doctor who flips a switch that discontinues life support to a patient. If the patient dies as a result, did …


Getting Beyond Intuition In The Probable Cause Inquiry, Erica R. Goldberg Jan 2013

Getting Beyond Intuition In The Probable Cause Inquiry, Erica R. Goldberg

Journal Articles

Courts are proudly resigned to the fact that the probable cause inquiry is “nontechnical.” In order to conduct a search or make an arrest, police need to satisfy the probable cause standard, which the Supreme Court has deemed “incapable of precise definition or quantification into percentages.” The flexibility of this standard enables courts to defer to police officers’ reasonable judgments and expert intuitions in unique situations. However, police officers are increasingly using investigative techniques that replace their own observational skills with test results from some other source, such as drug sniffing dogs, facial recognition technology, and DNA matching. The reliability …


Making The Best Of Felony Murder, Guyora Binder Mar 2011

Making The Best Of Felony Murder, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Although scorned as irrational by academics, the felony murder doctrine persists as part of our law. It is therefore important that criminal law theory show how the felony murder doctrine can be best justified, and confined within its justifying principles. To that end, this Article seeks to make the best of American felony murder laws by identifying a principle of justice that explains as much existing law as possible, and provides a criterion for reforming the rest. Drawing on the moral intuition that blame for harm is properly affected by the actor’s aims as well as the actor’s expectations, this …


Punishing Without Free Will, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

Punishing Without Free Will, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

Most observers agree that free will is central to our practices of blaming and punishment. Yet the conventional conception of free will is under sustained attack by the so-called determinists. Determinists claim that all of the events that take place in the universe – including human acts – are the product of causally determined forces over which we have no control. If human conduct is really determined by factors that we cannot control, how can our acts be the product of our own unfettered free will and what would that mean for the criminal law? The overwhelming majority of legal …


Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

In this essay I argue that, contrary to what most criminal law scholars believe, consent does not operate as a justification that relieves the actor of liability for conduct that admittedly satisfies the offense elements of battery. Rather, I contend that consent is only relevant to battery liability when, in conjunction with other factors, it modifies the definition of the crime in a way that reveals that the defendant’s act does not actually fall within the range of conduct prohibited by the offense. The argument proceeds in three parts.

In Part I, I argue that there are three ways of …


The Culpability Of Felony Murder, Guyora Binder May 2008

The Culpability Of Felony Murder, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Legal scholars are almost unanimous in condemning felony murder as a morally indefensible form of strict liability. This Article provides the long-missing principled defense of the felony murder doctrine. It argues that felony murder liability is deserved for killing negligently by means of a violent or apparently dangerous felony involving an additional malign purpose independent of physical injury to the victim killed. This claim follows from the simple idea that the guilt incurred in attacking or endangering others depends on one’s reasons for doing so. The article develops this idea into an expressive theory of culpability that assesses blame for …


Victims And The Significance Of Causing Harm, Guyora Binder Jan 2008

Victims And The Significance Of Causing Harm, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Many criminal law theorists find the punishment of harm puzzling. They argue that acts should be evaluated only on the basis of the risks they create and the actors' awareness of those risks; that punishing results violates both desert and utility. This article explains punishment of harm on the basis of political theory rather than moral philosophy. Punishing harm helps legitimize the rule of law by vindicating victims. A rule of law state precludes cycles of organized retaliatory violence by asserting a monopoly on retaliatory force, thereby depriving individuals and groups of the option of securing their own dignity. We …


Of Persons And The Criminal Law: (Second Tier) Personhood As A Prerequisite For Victimhood, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2008

Of Persons And The Criminal Law: (Second Tier) Personhood As A Prerequisite For Victimhood, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

This article examines the implications of the Michael Vick case for the criminal law in general and for the law of victimhood in particular. It takes as its point of departure the NFL star's agreement to pay close to one million dollars to the various entities that assumed custody of the pit bulls in order to "make restitution for the full amount of the costs associated with the disposition of all dogs" that were involved in his illegal operation. According to the agreement, the authority to order such payments stems from 18 U.S.C. ý 3663, which allows for the issuance …


Neuroimaging And The "Complexity" Of Capital Punishment, O. Carter Snead Jan 2007

Neuroimaging And The "Complexity" Of Capital Punishment, O. Carter Snead

Journal Articles

The growing use of brain imaging technology to explore the causes of morally, socially, and legally relevant behavior is the subject of much discussion and controversy in both scholarly and popular circles. From the efforts of cognitive neuroscientists in the courtroom and the public square, the contours of a project to transform capital sentencing both in principle and in practice have emerged. In the short term, these scientists seek to play a role in the process of capital sentencing by serving as mitigation experts for defendants, invoking neuroimaging research on the roots of criminal violence to support their arguments. Over …


The Origins Of American Felony Murder Rules, Guyora Binder Oct 2004

The Origins Of American Felony Murder Rules, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Contemporary commentators continue to instruct lawyers and law students that England bequeathed America a sweeping default principle of strict liability for all deaths caused in all felonies. This Article exposes the harsh "common law" felony murder rule as a myth. It retraces the origins of American felony murder rules to reveal their modern, American, and legislative sources, the rationality of their original scope, and the fairness of their original application. It demonstrates that the draconian doctrine of strict liability for all deaths resulting from all felonies was never enacted into English law or received into American law. This Article reviews …


The New Federalism, The Spending Power, And Federal Criminal Law, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2003

The New Federalism, The Spending Power, And Federal Criminal Law, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

It is difficult in constitutional-law circles to avoid the observation that we are living through a revival of federalism. Certainly, the Rehnquist Court has brought back to the public-law table the notion that the Constitution is a charter for a government of limited and enumerated powers, one that is constrained both by that charter's text and by the structure of the government it creates. This allegedly revolutionary Court seems little inclined, however, to revise or revisit its Spending Power doctrine, and it remains settled law that Congress may disburse funds in pursuit of ends not authorized explicitly in Article I …


The Rhetoric Of Motive And Intent, Guyora Binder Jan 2002

The Rhetoric Of Motive And Intent, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

This article offers a critical analysis of the traditional maxim that motive is irrelevant to criminal liability. It retraces the history of this principle to show how its meaning has changed and its validity has declined over time. Originally promoted by reformers, the irrelevance of motive maxim derived meaning from their efforts to codify criminal law. In this context, the irrelevance of motive stood for two related reforms: (1) legislators should condition criminal liability on expectations of harm rather than desires, and (2) courts should require proof of statutory mental elements. With the success of codification, however, the irrelevance of …


Punishment Theory: Moral Or Political?, Guyora Binder Jan 2002

Punishment Theory: Moral Or Political?, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

This article argues that the justification of punishment is best conceived as a problem of political theory rather than moral philosophy. Noting the familiar charge that utilitarianism permits framing the innocent, it argues that retributivism is equally vulnerable to the charge that it permits lynching the guilty. It argues that both critiques unfairly attribute lawlessness and dishonesty to the respective punishment theories. As a result, they mischaracterize both as theories about what individuals should do, rather than what acts legitimate government should authorize. In so doing, they disregard how committed the founders of the respective theories were to the rule …


Felony Murder And Mens Rea Default Rules: A Study In Statutory Interpretation, Guyora Binder Jan 2000

Felony Murder And Mens Rea Default Rules: A Study In Statutory Interpretation, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

The Model Penal Code's influential approach to culpability included default rules assigning a culpable mental state to every conduct, circumstance and result element of each offense. Such rules have been enacted in half of the American states. The Code's drafters also rejected what they understood to be the felony murder rule's imposition of "a form of strict liability for... homicide." Yet almost every state has retained some form of the felony murder rule and so repudiated the Model Penal Code's proposed reform. Because the Model Penal Code's disapproval of felony murder flows from its general disapproval of strict liability, the …


Framed: Utilitarianism And Punishment Of The Innocent, Guyora Binder, Nicholas J. Smith Jan 2000

Framed: Utilitarianism And Punishment Of The Innocent, Guyora Binder, Nicholas J. Smith

Journal Articles

This paper is a defense of utilitarian penology, against the familiar retributivist charge that it promotes framing the innocent, and other charges similarly depending on the notion that utilitarianism encourages officials to deceive the public. Our defense proceeds from the striking fact that utilitarianism's critics do not cite textual evidence that the originators of utilitarian penology in fact endorsed punishing the innocent or deceiving the public. Instead, critics claim that these unsavory policies follow logically from the premises of utilitarianism. Our argument, in brief, is that the charge of framing the innocent rests on a misunderstanding of utilitarian penology. We …


Justice Blackmun's Mark On Criminal Law And Procedure, Kit Kinports Jan 1999

Justice Blackmun's Mark On Criminal Law And Procedure, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

When Justice Blackmun was nominated to the Court in 1970, Americans were consumed with the idea of crime control. In the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon had called the Supreme Court "soft on crime" and had promised to "put 'law and order' judges on the Court." While sitting on the Eighth Circuit, the Justice had "seldom struck down searches, seizures, arrests or confessions," and most of his opinions in criminal cases had "affirmed guilty verdicts and sentences." Thus, according to one commentator, Justice Blackmun seemed to be "exactly what Nixon was looking for: a judge who believed in judicial restraint, …