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Full-Text Articles in Law

Regulating Local Variations In Federal Sentencing, Stephanos Bibas Oct 2005

Regulating Local Variations In Federal Sentencing, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Though in theory federal criminal law applies uniformly in all places, in practice federal charging, plea bargaining, and sentencing practices vary widely from place to place. Sentencing disparities are good when they reflect local knowledge about local crime problems and concerns. They are bad when they spring from bias, local lawyers' and judges' hostility to national policy choices or perhaps when they reflect disagreement with federal strategies. This Article critiques fast-track programs, which award huge discounts in immigration and drug cases along the southwest border, as bad variation that undermines the ideal of national uniformity. It then considers the wide ...


The Story Of Brady V. Maryland: From Adversarial Gamesmanship Toward The Search For Innocence?, Stephanos Bibas Jul 2005

The Story Of Brady V. Maryland: From Adversarial Gamesmanship Toward The Search For Innocence?, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This book chapter, forthcoming in Criminal Procedure Stories (Carol Steiker ed. forthcoming 2005), explains the story behind Brady v. Maryland and its broader significance in the field of criminal procedure. Brady is unusual among the great landmark criminal procedure decisions of the Warren Court. Brady requires prosecutors to give criminal defendants evidence that tends to negate their guilt or reduce their punishment. In other words, Brady mandates limited discovery instead of trial by ambush. Brady's test turns not on whether the prosecutor misled a jury or acted in good faith, but on whether the evidence is favorable and material ...


The Accelerating Degradation Of American Criminal Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Michael T. Cahill Mar 2005

The Accelerating Degradation Of American Criminal Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Michael T. Cahill

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


White-Collar Plea Bargaining And Sentencing After Booker, Stephanos Bibas Feb 2005

White-Collar Plea Bargaining And Sentencing After Booker, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This symposium essay speculates about how Booker's loosening of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines is likely to affect white-collar plea bargaining and sentencing. Prosecutors' punishment intuitions and the strong white-collar defense bar will keep white-collar sentencing from growing as harsh as drug sentencing, but the parallels are nonetheless ominous. The essay suggests that the Sentencing Commission revise its loss-computation rules, calibrate white-collar sentences to their core purpose of expressing condemnation, and adding shaming punishments and apologies to give moderate prison sentences more bite.


Justification Defenses In Situations Of Unavoidable Uncertainty: A Reply To Professor Ferzan, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2005

Justification Defenses In Situations Of Unavoidable Uncertainty: A Reply To Professor Ferzan, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The objective (or "deeds") theory of justification has been attacked on the ground that one can never know for sure whether the circumstances for justification actually exist. One can only speculate as to whether the conditions exist. This is true not only for the actor at the time of the conduct for which a justification is sought but can also be true for the adjudicator after all available evidence has been gathered. The attack contains a useful insight about the nature of justifying circumstances: they necessarily contain some degree of unavoidable uncertainty. But it does not follow from this insight ...


Responsibility For Unintended Consequences, Claire Oakes Finkelstein Jan 2005

Responsibility For Unintended Consequences, Claire Oakes Finkelstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The appropriateness of imposing criminal liability for negligent conduct has been the subject of debate among criminal law scholars for many years. Ever since H.L.A. Hart’s defense of criminal negligence, the prevailing view has favored its use. In this essay, I nevertheless argue against criminal negligence, on the ground that criminal liability should only be imposed where the defendant was aware he was engaging in the prohibited conduct, or where he was aware of risking such conduct or result. My argument relies on the claim that criminal liability should resemble judgments of responsibility in ordinary morality as ...


Running In Place: The Paradox Of Expanding Rights And Restricted Remedies, David Rudovsky Jan 2005

Running In Place: The Paradox Of Expanding Rights And Restricted Remedies, David Rudovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Originalism And Formalism In Criminal Procedure: The Triumph Of Justice Scalia, The Unlikely Friend Of Criminal Defendants?, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2005

Originalism And Formalism In Criminal Procedure: The Triumph Of Justice Scalia, The Unlikely Friend Of Criminal Defendants?, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Crawford v. Washington, Justice Scalia's majority opinion reinterpreted the Confrontation Clause to exclude otherwise reliable testimonial hearsay unless the defendant has been able to cross-examine it. In Blakely v. Washington, Justice Scalia's majority opinion required that juries, not judges, find beyond a reasonable doubt all facts that trigger sentences above ordinary sentencing-guidelines ranges. Crawford and Blakely are prime case studies in the strengths, weaknesses, and influence of originalism and formalism in criminal procedure. Crawford succeeded because it cleared away muddled case law, laid a strong foundation in the historical record, and erected a simple, solid, workable rule ...


Fair Notice And Fair Adjudication: Two Kinds Of Legality, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2005

Fair Notice And Fair Adjudication: Two Kinds Of Legality, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Truth Machines And Consequences: The Light And Dark Sides Of 'Accuracy' In Criminal Justice, Seth F. Kreimer Jan 2005

Truth Machines And Consequences: The Light And Dark Sides Of 'Accuracy' In Criminal Justice, Seth F. Kreimer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.