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The New Common Law Courts, Culture, And The Localization Of The Model Penal Code, Anders Walker Jan 2011

The New Common Law Courts, Culture, And The Localization Of The Model Penal Code, Anders Walker

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Few tropes in American law teaching are more firmly entrenched than the criminal law division between Model Penal Code and common law states. Yet, even a cursory look at current state codes indicates that this bifurcation is outmoded. No state continues to cling to ancient English common law, nor does any state adhere fully to the Model Penal Code. In fact, those states that adopted portions of the Code have since produced a substantial body of case law – what this article terms “new common law” – transforming it. Taking the controversial position that criminal law pedagogy is antiquated, this …


Missouri Provides Cost Of Sentences And Recidivism Data: What Does Cost Have To Do With Justice?, Michael A. Wolff Jan 2011

Missouri Provides Cost Of Sentences And Recidivism Data: What Does Cost Have To Do With Justice?, Michael A. Wolff

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The Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission in 2010, which has an information-based sentencing information system, added two items of information to its Web-based Automated Sentencing Information feature: (1) the cost of each sentencing option and (2) the recidivism rate for offenders – with similar risk factors – who received sentences for the same offense or category of offenses. Because sentencing decisions in Missouri are discretionary, judges are free to use or to disregard the information. For many offenses, however, it is possible for an advocate to argue or for a judge (or the public) to conclude that a more harsh sentence …


Constitutional Rights In The Balance: Modern Exclusionary Rules And The Toleration Of Police Lawlessness In The Search For Truth, Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2011

Constitutional Rights In The Balance: Modern Exclusionary Rules And The Toleration Of Police Lawlessness In The Search For Truth, Stephen C. Thaman

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This article explores the tension in modern criminal procedure between the goal of ascertaining the material truth of the criminal charge and the respect for important human rights of criminal suspects during the investigation of the alleged criminal responsibility. It examines two major areas where police run the risk of violating and often do violate the constitutional rights of criminal suspects during interrogations and during invasions of privacy in the form of dwelling searches and interception of confidential communications. The approaches of modern democracies to this dilemma run from the strict exclusion of all direct and indirect evidence (fruits of …


'The Mess We’Re In': Five Steps Towards The Transformation Of Prison Cultures, Lynn S. Branham Jan 2011

'The Mess We’Re In': Five Steps Towards The Transformation Of Prison Cultures, Lynn S. Branham

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Few dispute that conditions in prisons need to be improved – that, for example, prisoners with mental-health problems need to have those problems addressed, and addressed effectively, while they are confined. But the more fundamental question is whether prisons can be, not just improved, but transformed. Transformation in this context means deep and sustained changes in the ethos of those who work and live in prisons. That ethos would reflect at least four precepts: (1) hope as an imperative; (2) the viability of renewal; (3) the catharsis that attends personal responsibility and accountability; and (4) the duty and call, extending …


Beyond Experience: Getting Retributive Justice Right, Dan Markel, Chad Flanders, David C. Gray Jan 2011

Beyond Experience: Getting Retributive Justice Right, Dan Markel, Chad Flanders, David C. Gray

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How central should hedonic adaptation be to the establishment of sentencing policy?

In earlier work, Professors Bronsteen, Buccafusco, and Masur (BBM) drew some normative significance from the psychological studies of adaptability for punishment policy. In particular, they argued that retributivists and utilitarians alike are obliged on pain of inconsistency to take account of the fact that most prisoners, most of the time, adapt to imprisonment in fairly short order, and therefore suffer much less than most of us would expect. They also argued that ex-prisoners don't adapt well upon re-entry to society and that social planners should consider their post-release …


Cost And Sentencing: Some Pragmatic And Institutional Doubts, Chad Flanders Jan 2011

Cost And Sentencing: Some Pragmatic And Institutional Doubts, Chad Flanders

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In 2010, the Missouri Sentencing Commission recommended that, in addition to offense and offender characteristics, the pre-sentencing reports prepared for the sentencing judges should also include the costs of various possible sentences. In this brief essay, I focus mainly the pragmatic case for considering cost as a factor in judicial sentencing, asking about what goals adding cost is supposed to achieve, and whether it will in fact achieve those goals. I ask three questions in particular: (1) Will including cost in the Missouri Sentencing Assessment Reports (SARs) actually change judicial behavior in the ways supporters of the reform favor? (2) …