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Full-Text Articles in Law

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

Faculty Scholarship

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 …


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

All Faculty Scholarship

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 …


Bentham On Stilts: The Bare Relevance Of Subjectivity To Retributive Justice, Dan Markel, Chad Flanders Jan 2010

Bentham On Stilts: The Bare Relevance Of Subjectivity To Retributive Justice, Dan Markel, Chad Flanders

All Faculty Scholarship

In recent work, various scholars have challenged retributive justice theorists to pay more attention to the subjective experience of punishment, specifically how punishment affects the experiences and well-being of offenders. The claim developed by these “subjectivists” is that because people’s experiences with pain and suffering differ, both diachronically and inter-subjectively, their punishments will have to be tailored to individual circumstances as well.

Our response is that this set of claims, once scrutinized, is either true, but of limited significance, or nontrivial, but unsound. We don’t doubt the possibility that different people will react differently to the same infliction of punishment. …


Questions Of Mercy, Stephen P. Garvey Apr 2007

Questions Of Mercy, Stephen P. Garvey

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

My aim in this brief introduction is to organize the Symposium articles around two questions, recognizing that doing so means ignoring other important questions to which the articles attend. I also aim to paint in broad strokes, thus also ignoring much of the argumentative subtlety and nuance contained in the articles. With those caveats on the table, the questions are these: First, does mercy have any legitimate role to play in the administration of the criminal law of a liberal state? Second, if mercy does have some such role to play, for what reasons, or upon what grounds, can mercy …


Disenfranchisement As Punishment: Reflections On The Racial Uses Of Infamia, George P. Fletcher Jan 1999

Disenfranchisement As Punishment: Reflections On The Racial Uses Of Infamia, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

The practice of disenfranchising felons, though decreasing, is still widespread. In this Article, Professor George Fletcher reflects on the use of disenfranchisement as punishment, the lack of a convincing theoretical justification for it, and its disproportionate impact on the African.American community. Fletcher presents a number of powerful arguments against the constitutionality of the practice, but he emphasizes that there is a deeper problem with disenfranchisement as punishment: It reinforces the branding of felons as an "untouchable" class and thus helps to prevent their effective reintegration into our society.