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Immunity Through Bankruptcy For The Sackler Family, Daniel G. Aaron, Michael S. Sinha Apr 2024

Immunity Through Bankruptcy For The Sackler Family, Daniel G. Aaron, Michael S. Sinha

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In August 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked one of the largest public health settlements in history: that of Purdue Pharma, L.P., reached in bankruptcy court. The negotiated bankruptcy settlement approved by the court would give a golden parachute to the very people thought to have ignited the opioid crisis: the Sackler family. As the Supreme Court considers the propriety of immunity through bankruptcy, the case has raised fundamental questions about whether bankruptcy is a proper refuge from tort liability and whether law checks power or law serves power.

Of course, bankruptcy courts often limit liability against a distressed …


Abolish Municipal Courts: A Response To Professor Natapoff, Brendan Roediger Jan 2021

Abolish Municipal Courts: A Response To Professor Natapoff, Brendan Roediger

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If we are serious about disrupting the generational reproduction of the racial social order, we are going to have to learn to let go. Taking up the legacy of criminal municipal courts and racial control, this Response argues against the practice of prescribing from the traditional “medication list” of liberal reforms (substantive, procedural, and “democratizing”) without grappling with whether a system or apparatus is so inextricably bound up with the maintenance of race and class hierarchy that it should be demolished. I assert that we should always ask whether something is redeemable before we ask whether it is reformable. In …


'Terroristic Threats' And Covid-19: A Guide For The Perplexed, Chad Flanders, Courtney Federico, Eric Harmon, Lucas Klein Jan 2020

'Terroristic Threats' And Covid-19: A Guide For The Perplexed, Chad Flanders, Courtney Federico, Eric Harmon, Lucas Klein

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The first few months of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States saw the rise of a troubling sort of behavior: people would cough or spit on people or otherwise threaten to spread the COVID-19 virus, resulting in panic and sometimes thousands of dollars’ worth of damages to businesses. Those who have been caught doing this — or have filmed themselves doing it — have been charged under so-called “terroristic threat” statutes. But what is a terroristic threat, and is it an appropriate charge in these cases? Surprisingly little has been written about these statutes given their long history and …


The Undeserving Rich: Can They Be Redeemed? Policy Options For Curbing Illegal Wealth, James F. Gilsinan, James E. Fisher, Muhammad Islam, Henry Ordower, Wassim Shahin Jan 2020

The Undeserving Rich: Can They Be Redeemed? Policy Options For Curbing Illegal Wealth, James F. Gilsinan, James E. Fisher, Muhammad Islam, Henry Ordower, Wassim Shahin

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Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of various policy options for curbing the accumulation of illegal wealth and suggest ways to close the increasing wealth inequality gap.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper begins with a historical/literary analysis of the place of wealth in American Society and the ambivalent cultural attitudes toward wealth. Different policy approaches that seek to limit wealth inequality and the illegal accumulation of wealth are then examined. Finally, the current policy climate in the USA is reviewed to determine the likelihood of meaningful reform.

Findings – In Europe, the BASEL accords show …


What Makes The Death Penalty Arbitrary? (And Does It Matter If It Is)?, Chad Flanders Jan 2019

What Makes The Death Penalty Arbitrary? (And Does It Matter If It Is)?, Chad Flanders

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A common objection to the death penalty is that it is “arbitrarily” imposed. Indeed, the Supreme Court in the 1970s held the death penalty as it was then administered to be unconstitutional precisely because the states seemed to have no clear standards for who got death and who did not. In the most famous passage in that opinion (Furman v. Georgia), Justice Stewart wrote that the death penalty was “cruel and unusual” in the same way that being “struck by lightning” was “cruel and unusual.”

It is thus surprising that the Court and those scholars who push this objection have …


What Makes The Death Penalty Arbitrary? (And Does It Matter If It Is?), Chad Flanders Jan 2019

What Makes The Death Penalty Arbitrary? (And Does It Matter If It Is?), Chad Flanders

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A common objection to the death penalty is that it is arbitrarily imposed. Indeed, the Supreme Court in the 1970s held the death penalty as it was then administered to be unconstitutional precisely because the states seemed to have no clear standards for who got death and who did not. In the most famous passage in that opinion (Furman v. Georgia), Justice Stewart wrote that the death penalty was cruel and unusual in the same way that being struck by lightning was cruel and unusual.

It is thus surprising that the Court and those scholars who push this objection have …


Freedom And Prison: Putting Structuralism Back Into Structural Inequality, Anders Walker Jan 2019

Freedom And Prison: Putting Structuralism Back Into Structural Inequality, Anders Walker

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Critics of structural racism frequently miss structuralism as a field of historical inquiry. This essay reviews the rise of structuralism as a mode of historical analysis and applies it to the mass incarceration debate in the United States, arguing that it enriches the work of prevailing scholars in the field.


Eradicating The Label “Offender” From The Lexicon Of Restorative Practices And Criminal Justice, Lynn S. Branham Jan 2019

Eradicating The Label “Offender” From The Lexicon Of Restorative Practices And Criminal Justice, Lynn S. Branham

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This Essay enumerates three reasons for abandoning the prevailing practice of utilizing the label “offender” when referring to a person who has committed a crime. The Essay next identifies and debunks reasons that have been cited for persisting in referring to a person as an “offender.” The Essay then explores the question of what term or terms could supplant this label and profiles signs of emerging support for desisting from the convention of calling people “offenders.” One of the themes that permeates this Essay is that the language we use when referring to people can thwart systemic and cultural change …


Alternative Systems Of Crime Control. National, Transnational, And International Dimensions, Emmanouil Billis, Ulrich Sieber, Valsamis Mitsilegas, Christos Mylonopoulos, Knust Nandor, Lorena Bachmaier Winter, Chrisje Brants, Thierry Delpeuch, Jacqueline E. Ross, Stephen C. Thaman, Niovi Vavoula, John A.E. Vervaele, Philipp Ambach, Nils Andrzejewski, Florian Jessberger, James Stewart, Nikos Theodorakis Jan 2018

Alternative Systems Of Crime Control. National, Transnational, And International Dimensions, Emmanouil Billis, Ulrich Sieber, Valsamis Mitsilegas, Christos Mylonopoulos, Knust Nandor, Lorena Bachmaier Winter, Chrisje Brants, Thierry Delpeuch, Jacqueline E. Ross, Stephen C. Thaman, Niovi Vavoula, John A.E. Vervaele, Philipp Ambach, Nils Andrzejewski, Florian Jessberger, James Stewart, Nikos Theodorakis

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The typical trial-oriented systems of criminal justice that are primarily based on the strict application of substantive criminal law have reached their functional and logistical limits in most parts of the modern legal world. As a result, new sanction models, less formal, administrative, and discretionary case disposals, plea bargaining arrangements, and other alternative procedural and transitional justice mechanisms have emerged at unprecedented levels in national and international legal orders affiliated both with the civil law and the common law tradition. These normative constructs and practices aim at abbreviating, simplifying, or circumventing the conventional criminal investigation and prosecution. They seek to …


Keeping The Rule Of Law Simple: Comments On Gowder, The Rule Of Law In The Real World, Chad Flanders Jan 2018

Keeping The Rule Of Law Simple: Comments On Gowder, The Rule Of Law In The Real World, Chad Flanders

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Let me start by just stating my experience of reading The Rule of Law in the Real World1 because it will help make sense of the structure of my remarks. The first third of the book: I am utterly convinced, even blown away, by the elegance and persuasiveness of the argument and the analysis; even when there is merely a summary, I am helped and bettered by it. The second third of the book: I am inclined, based on the enormous goodwill generated by the first third of the book to accept-almost uncritically-the historical discussion and the conclusions drawn …


How Much Certainty Do We Need To Punish? A Reply To Kolber, Chad Flanders Jan 2018

How Much Certainty Do We Need To Punish? A Reply To Kolber, Chad Flanders

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Scene: Outside Brooklyn Law School, mid-morning. CHADF, a law professor, reads something on his phone while waiting for an Uber. He is holding a cup of coffee in his other hand. KOLBERT, also a law professor, is walking quickly, deep into editing his latest law review article, mostly oblivious to the outside world. KOLBERT collides with CHADF, causing him to spill coffee all over his shirt.


"Dangerous Instruments": A Case Study In Overcriminalization, Chad Flanders, Desiree Austin-Holliday Jan 2018

"Dangerous Instruments": A Case Study In Overcriminalization, Chad Flanders, Desiree Austin-Holliday

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Many states - including Missouri - have provisions that provide greater punishment for some felonies that are committed with, or by the use of, a .. deadly weapon" or "dangerous instrument."1 The definition o f "deadly weapon" tends to be pretty straightforward, usually a list that includes several specific items that just are deadly weapons, such as guns and knives.2 "Dangerous instrument" is deliberately left as a broader, more capacious term - defined not in terms o f a list o f instruments but in terms of those things that could be easily or "readily" used to cause serious physical …


How Much Certainty Do We Need To Punish? A Reply To Kolber, Chad Flanders Jan 2018

How Much Certainty Do We Need To Punish? A Reply To Kolber, Chad Flanders

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Scene: Outside Brooklyn Law School, mid-morning. CHADF, a law professor, reads something on his phone while waiting for an Uber. He is holding a cup of coffee in his other hand. KOLBERT, also a law professor, is walking quickly, deep into editing his latest law review article, mostly oblivious to the outside world. KOLBERT collides with CHADF, causing him to spill coffee all over his shirt.


Is Having Too Many Aggravating Factors The Same As Having None At All?: A Comment On The Hidalgo Cert. Petition, Chad Flanders Oct 2017

Is Having Too Many Aggravating Factors The Same As Having None At All?: A Comment On The Hidalgo Cert. Petition, Chad Flanders

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While the Court does not dispute that at first blush the defendant's argument appears logical, it is disturbed by the prospect of how one determines the point at which the number of aggravating circumstances causes the death penalty statute to be generally unconstitutional. Is the Court to engage in some mathematical calculation as to who might be covered by the statute and who is not; and if so, what would be reasonable and logical factors to include in the formula? Can the Court arbitrarily declare that fifty aggravating circumstances is too many but forty-nine is permissible? Even assuming one could …


Is Having Too Many Aggravating Factors The Same As Having None At All? A Comment On The Hidalgo Cert. Petition, Chad Flanders Jan 2017

Is Having Too Many Aggravating Factors The Same As Having None At All? A Comment On The Hidalgo Cert. Petition, Chad Flanders

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While the Court does not dispute that at first blush the defendant's argument appears logical, it is disturbed by the prospect of how one determines the point at which the number of aggravating circumstances causes the death penalty statute to be generally unconstitutional. Is the Court to engage in some mathematical calculation as to who might be covered by the statute and who is not; and if so, what would be reasonable and logical factors to include in the formula? Can the Court arbitrarily declare that fifty aggravating circumstances is too many but forty-nine is permissible? Even assuming one could …


A Comparison Of Defendants With Mental Illness Represented By Public Defenders And Private Attorneys: An Analysis Of Court-Ordered Pretrial Psychiatric Evaluations, Donald M. Linhorst, P. Ann Dirks-Lindhorst, Susan Mcgraugh, Lauren Choate, Sarah Riley Jan 2017

A Comparison Of Defendants With Mental Illness Represented By Public Defenders And Private Attorneys: An Analysis Of Court-Ordered Pretrial Psychiatric Evaluations, Donald M. Linhorst, P. Ann Dirks-Lindhorst, Susan Mcgraugh, Lauren Choate, Sarah Riley

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This study compared the characteristics and court-ordered evaluation questions and responses among 4,430 defendants to determine if differences existed between those represented by public defenders and private attorneys when receiving trial competency or responsibility psychiatric evaluations from a state department of mental health. Defendants represented by public defenders were more likely to be younger, to have less education, to have psychotic disorders, to have a history of inpatient psychiatric treatment, to live in urban or rural counties, and to be jailed at the time of the evaluation. In addition, defendants represented by public defenders were less likely to have a …


Punishment, Liberalism, And Public Reason, Chad Flanders Jan 2017

Punishment, Liberalism, And Public Reason, Chad Flanders

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The article argues for a conception of the justification of punishment that is compatible with a modern, politically liberal regime. Section I deals with what some have thought are the obvious social interests society has in punishing criminals, and tries to develop those possible interests somewhat sympathetically. Section II suggests that many of those reasons are not good ones if punishment is regarded (as it should be) from the perspective of political philosophy. Social responses to bad things happening to people cannot be grounded in controversial metaphysical views about what is good for people or what people deserve, but many …


The Use Of Information And Communications Technology In Criminal Procedure In The Usa, Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2017

The Use Of Information And Communications Technology In Criminal Procedure In The Usa, Stephen C. Thaman

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In this chapter, the author discusses the three types of criminal surveillance and the subsequent data mining used to synthesize and compare the results of surveillance techniques. In addition, the author examines how the aforementioned procedures should be viewed in light of United States case law involving the privacy of American citizens.


Criminals Behind The Veil: Political Philosophy And Punishment, Chad Flanders Jan 2016

Criminals Behind The Veil: Political Philosophy And Punishment, Chad Flanders

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There is evidence everywhere that our criminal justice system is undergoing a crisis of practice. Increased police violence and the concomitant distrust of police in many communities, fear of aggressive enforcement tactics more generally, worries about widespread governmental surveillance and, above all, a concern with overcriminalization and mass incarceration-these are the dreary and familiar stuff of daily headlines. But, this crisis of practice in tum reflects a deeper crisis of how we theorize about criminal law. We lack, for the most part, any worked-out theory of what the policing and processing of crime should look like. Nor do we have …


Time, Death, And Retribution, Chad Flanders Jan 2016

Time, Death, And Retribution, Chad Flanders

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The heart of a Lackey claim is that when a death row inmate is kept waiting too long for his execution, this delay can amount to cruel and unusual punishment — either because they delay is itself cruel and unusual, or because the execution on top of the delay is. All Lackey claims brought by death row inmates have failed, but not for want of trying. The usual complaint against Lackey claims is that those who, by their own appeals, delay their execution date cannot turn around and use that delay as an argument against their death sentences. I agree …


Public Wrongs And Public Reason, Chad Flanders Jan 2016

Public Wrongs And Public Reason, Chad Flanders

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The distinction between crimes that involve wrongs in themselves and crimes that are wrong because the law makes them so has long puzzled theorists. This essay argues that the distinction, while getting at something real, is based on a mistake. That mistake is made both by those who see moral wrongness as a necessary condition for criminality and by those who believe merely making something illegal is sufficient to make it criminal. Neither is correct. Rather, what makes something a criminal wrong is that it involves a violation of a law that has been justified in terms of “public reason.”


The Supreme Court And The Rehabilitative Ideal, Chad Flanders Jan 2015

The Supreme Court And The Rehabilitative Ideal, Chad Flanders

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Graham v. Fl,orida,1 the Supreme Court's 2010 decision finding a life without parole sentence for a non-homicide crime committed by a juvenile "cruel and unusual' ' has rightly been recognized as a "watershed."2 A major focus of the extensive commentary on the case has been on its application of the "evolving standards of decency'' test to a punishment outside of the death penalty, and to whether Graham might apply also to adults.3 Equally important in Graham, but subject to comparatively less critical attention,4 is the central role that the rehabilitative theory of punishment plays in its …


Marxist And Soviet Law, Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2014

Marxist And Soviet Law, Stephen C. Thaman

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This chapter addresses both the Marxist critique of law before the Russian Revolution and the development of the Soviet Law Structure. It discusses the three main trends in Soviet Criminal Law before elucidating how these trends affected the General Part and the Special Part of Soviet Criminal Codes and overall Soviet criminal policy.


Can Retributivism Be Saved?, Chad Flanders Jan 2014

Can Retributivism Be Saved?, Chad Flanders

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Retributive tbeory has long held pride of place among theories of criminal punishment in both philosophy and in law. It has seemed, at various times, either much more intuitive, or rationally persuasive, or simply more normatively right than other theories. But retributive theory is limited, both in theory and practice, and in many of its versions is best conceived not as a theory of punishment in its own right, but instead as shorthand for a set of constraints on the exercise of punishment. Whether some version of retributive theory is a live possibility in the contemporary world remains very much …


Further Reflections On The Pardoning Power: Reply To Hoskins And Drinan, Chad Flanders Jan 2014

Further Reflections On The Pardoning Power: Reply To Hoskins And Drinan, Chad Flanders

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Galifianakis: "First question. In 2013, you pardoned a turkey. What do you have planned for 2014?"

Obama: "We'll probably pardon another turkey". 1

First, let me express my gratitude to the incisive comments of Zach Hoskins and Cara Drinan. I have long been a fan of Hoskins' s work, and his forthcoming book on the collateral consequences of punishment promises to be pathbreaking.2 The influence of Drinan's scholarship on the pardoning power3 is evident in my original essay4 and her newer work on the Graham case has again inspired me in new directions in my research.5 …


Pardons And The Theory Of The 'Second Best', Chad Flanders Jan 2013

Pardons And The Theory Of The 'Second Best', Chad Flanders

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This paper explains and defends a “second-best” theory of pardons. Pardons are “second-best” in two ways. First, pardons are second-best because they represent, in part, a failure of justice: the person convicted was not actually guilty, or he or she was punished too harshly, or the punishment no longer fits the crime. In the familiar analogy, pardons act as a “safety valve” on a criminal justice system that doesn’t work as, ideally, it should. Pardons, in the non-ideal world we live in, are sometimes necessary.

But pardons are also “second-best” in another way, because they can represent deviations from certain …


Strange Traffic: Sex, Slavery & The Freedom Principle, Anders Walker Jan 2013

Strange Traffic: Sex, Slavery & The Freedom Principle, Anders Walker

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This article uses the recent prosecution of a sex trafficking case in rural Missouri to argue three points. One, the federal law of trafficking is currently being used in unanticipated ways, including the apprehension of individuals who pay for sex. Two, trafficking invites creative use precisely because it provides prosecutors with a more salient justification for punishment than either legal moralism or harm; a rhetorical plea to anti-slavery that enjoys a longstanding but under-theorized role in criminal law rhetoric. Three, anti-slavery’s recurrence in criminal law rhetoric underscores a larger doctrinal point, namely that H.L.A. Hart’s version of the harm principle …


Report On Usa, Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2013

Report On Usa, Stephen C. Thaman

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This chapter in the book on transnational inquiries and the protection of fundamental rights in criminal proceedings takes into account the particular, and perhaps unique situation in the United States (US) following the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. It explores the laws regulating inquiries by foreign governments who seek evidence in the US to use in criminal proceedings overseas, but primarily the protections recognized by US statutes and jurisprudence when US officials gather evidence abroad. In this respect, the chapter focuses on protections during interrogations, searches, interceptions of confidential communications, and examinations of witnesses and explores when the protection …


Report On Usa, Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2013

Report On Usa, Stephen C. Thaman

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This chapter in the book on transnational inquiries and the protection of fundamental rights in criminal proceedings takes into account the particular, and perhaps unique situation in the United States (US) following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. It explores the laws regulating inquiries by foreign governments who seek evidence in the US to use in criminal proceedings overseas, but primarily the protections recognized by US statutes and jurisprudence when US officials gather evidence abroad. In this respect, the chapter focuses on protections during interrogations, searches, interceptions of confidential communications, and examinations of witnesses and explores when the protection …


Follow The Leader: The Advisability And Propriety Of Considering Cost And Recidivism Data At Sentencing, Lynn S. Branham Jan 2012

Follow The Leader: The Advisability And Propriety Of Considering Cost And Recidivism Data At Sentencing, Lynn S. Branham

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The Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission has begun to provide judges with information that enables them, before imposing a sentence, to compare the financial costs of several different sentencing options and the recidivism risks they pose. Although this initiative has sparked controversy, I, for one, favor taking steps like this one to help extricate us from the “same ole, same ole” sentencing box in which uninformed, and sometimes misinformed, sentencing decision making is the norm.

This article provides an overview of six of the primary reasons why providing judges some very basic facts about the financial cost of several sentencing options …