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Columbia Law School

Criminal Law

Punishment

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Full-Text Articles in Law

How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, Bj Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer E. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner Jan 2017

How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, Bj Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer E. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner

Faculty Scholarship

The justice system in the United States has long recognized that juvenile offenders are not the same as adults, and has tried to incorporate those differences into law and policy. But only in recent decades have behavioral scientists and neuroscientists, along with policymakers, looked rigorously at developmental differences, seeking answers to two overarching questions: Are young offenders, purely by virtue of their immaturity, different from older individuals who commit crimes? And, if they are, how should justice policy take this into account?

A growing body of research on adolescent development now confirms that teenagers are indeed inherently different from adults ...


The ’73 Graft: Punishment, Political Economy, And The Genealogy Of Morals, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2015

The ’73 Graft: Punishment, Political Economy, And The Genealogy Of Morals, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In this essay, I explore the place of a genealogy of morals within the context of a history of political economy. More specifically, I investigate the types of moralization – of criminals and delinquents, of the disorderly, but also of political economic systems, of workers and managers, of rules and rule-breaking – that are necessary and integral to making a population accept new styles of political and economic governance, especially the punitive institutions that accompany modern political economies in the contemporary period.

The marriage of political economy and a genealogy of morals: this essay explores how the moralization of certain groups of ...


Law And Neuroscience: Recommendations Submitted To The President's Bioethics Commission, Owen D. Jones, Richard J. Bonnie, Bj Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner, Gideon Yaffe Jan 2014

Law And Neuroscience: Recommendations Submitted To The President's Bioethics Commission, Owen D. Jones, Richard J. Bonnie, Bj Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner, Gideon Yaffe

Faculty Scholarship

President Obama charged the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to identify a set of core ethical standards in the neuroscience domain, including the appropriate use of neuroscience in the criminal-justice system. The Commission, in turn, called for comments and recommendations.

The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience submitted a consensus statement, published here, containing 16 specific recommendations. These are organized within three main themes: 1) what steps should be taken to enhance the capacity of the criminal justice system to make sound decisions regarding the admissibility and weight of neuroscientific evidence?; 2) to what extent ...


Beccaria's On Crimes And Punishments: A Mirror On The History Of The Foundations Of Modern Criminal Law, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2013

Beccaria's On Crimes And Punishments: A Mirror On The History Of The Foundations Of Modern Criminal Law, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Beccaria’s treatise "On Crimes and Punishments" (1764) has become a placeholder for the classical school of thought in criminology, for deterrence-based public policy, for death penalty abolitionism, and for liberal ideals of legality and the rule of law. A source of inspiration for Bentham and Blackstone, an object of praise for Voltaire and the Philosophies, a target of pointed critiques by Kant and Hegel, the subject of a genealogy by Foucault, the object of derision by the Physiocrats, rehabilitated and appropriated by the Chicago School of law and economics – these ricochets and reflections on Beccaria’s treatise reveal multiple ...


Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This book chapter critically examines punitive preventive measures, such as preventive detention for dangerous individuals, stop-and-frisks on the street, and order-maintenance policing. After reviewing the traditional concern expressed about punitive preventive practices, the chapter investigates the empirical evidence in support of such measures, concluding that the purported need for these measures is, on balance, factually overstated and generally unproven. But the empirical problems foreground a deeper theoretical difficulty with punitive preventive justice, namely that the modern approach to punitive prevention relies predominantly on economic cost-benefit analytic methods that effectively displace political debate and contestation. Like earlier punitive preventive interventions – such ...


Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment: On The Limits Of Reason And The Virtues Of Randomization (A Polemic And Manifesto For The Twenty-First Century), Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2010

Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment: On The Limits Of Reason And The Virtues Of Randomization (A Polemic And Manifesto For The Twenty-First Century), Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Since the modern era, the discourse of punishment has cycled through three sets of questions. The first, born of the Enlightenment itself, asked: On what ground does the sovereign have the right to punish? Nietzsche most forcefully, but others as well, argued that the question itself begged its own answer. With the birth of the social sciences, this skepticism gave rise to a second set of questions: What then is the true function of punishment? What is it that we do when we punish? A series of further critiques – of meta-narratives, of functionalism, of scientific objectivity – softened this second line ...


Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The turn of the twenty first century witnessed important shifts in punishment practices. The most shocking is mass incarceration – the exponential rise in prisoners in state and federal penitentiaries and in county jails beginning in 1973. It is tempting to view these developments as evidence of something new that emerged in the 1970s – of a new culture of control, a new penology, or a new turn to biopower. But it would be a mistake to place too much emphasis on the 1970s since most of the recent trends have antecedents and parallels in the early twentieth century. It is important ...


Randomization In Criminal Justice: A Criminal Law Conversation, Bernard E. Harcourt, Alon Harel, Ken Levy, Michael M. O'Hear, Alice Ristroph Jan 2009

Randomization In Criminal Justice: A Criminal Law Conversation, Bernard E. Harcourt, Alon Harel, Ken Levy, Michael M. O'Hear, Alice Ristroph

Faculty Scholarship

In this Criminal Law Conversation (Robinson, Ferzan & Garvey, eds., Oxford 2009), the authors debate whether there is a role for randomization in the penal sphere - in the criminal law, in policing, and in punishment theory. In his Tanner lectures back in 1987, Jon Elster had argued that there was no role for chance in the criminal law: “I do not think there are any arguments for incorporating lotteries in present-day criminal law,” Elster declared. Bernard Harcourt takes a very different position and embraces chance in the penal sphere, arguing that randomization is often the only way to avoid the pitfalls ...


Embracing Chance: Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2006

Embracing Chance: Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Since the modern era, the discourse of punishment has cycled through three sets of questions. The first, born of the Enlightenment itself, asked: On what ground does the sovereign have the right to punish? Nietzsche most forcefully, but others as well, argued that the question itself begged its own answer. The right to punish, they suggested, is what defines sovereignty, and as such, can never serve to limit sovereign power. With the birth of the social sciences, this skepticism gave rise to a second set of questions: What then is the true function of punishment? What is it that we ...


Public Preferences For Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration Of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Survey, Daniel S. Nagin, Alex R. Piquero, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2006

Public Preferences For Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration Of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Survey, Daniel S. Nagin, Alex R. Piquero, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

Research Summary:
Accurately gauging the public's support for alternative responses to juvenile offending is important, because policy makers often justify expenditures for punitive juvenile justice reforms on the basis of popular demand for tougher policies. In this study, we assess public support for both punitively and nonpunitively oriented juvenile justice policies by measuring respondents' willingness to pay for various policy proposals. We employ a methodology known as "contingent valuation" (CV) that permits the comparison of respondents' willingness to pay (WTP) for competing policy alternatives. Specifically, we compare CV-based estimates for the public's WTP for two distinctively different responses ...


Seasoned To The Use, Carol Sanger Jan 1989

Seasoned To The Use, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

Two recent novels, Presumed Innocent and The Good Mother, have more in common than critical success, longevity on best-seller lists and big-name movie adaptations. Both books are about law: Presumed Innocent is a tale of murder in the big city; The Good Mother is the story of a custody fight over a little girl. Central characters in both books are lawyers. Turow is a lawyer, and Miller thanks lawyers. While the books could be classified in other ways – Presumed Innocent as mystery, The Good Mother as women's fiction – each meets a suggested genre specification of a legal novel: “the ...


Seasoned To The Use, Carol Sanger Jan 1989

Seasoned To The Use, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

In this essay I argue that through the powerful coincidence of popularity, genre, and theme, Presumed Innocent and The Good Mother reinforce notions about the relation between good sex and bad mothering, and advance serious, nonfiction messages for women about law and sex.