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2011

Criminal law

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Institution
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Articles 1 - 30 of 43

Full-Text Articles in Law

Protecting Liberty And Autonomy: Desert/Disease Jurisprudence, Stephen J. Morse Oct 2011

Protecting Liberty And Autonomy: Desert/Disease Jurisprudence, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This contribution to a symposium on the morality of preventive restriction on liberty begins by describing the positive law of preventive detention, which I term "desert/disease jurisprudence." Then it provides a brief excursus about risk prediction (estimation), which is at the heart of all preventive detention practices. Part IV considers whether proposed expansions of desert jurisprudence are consistent with retributive theories of justice, which ground desert jurisprudence. I conclude that this is a circle that cannot be squared. The following Part canvasses expansions of disease jurisprudence, especially the involuntary civil commitment of mentally abnormal, sexually violent predators, and the ...


Why Should States Pay For Prisons, When Local Officials Decide Who Goes There?, W. David Ball Jun 2011

Why Should States Pay For Prisons, When Local Officials Decide Who Goes There?, W. David Ball

Faculty Publications

In the United States, states typically pay for prisons, even though the decisions that lead to prison admissions — arresting, charging, and sentencing — are made by local officials. The practice of state subsidies is relatively recent: there were no state prisons in the early part of the country’s history, and even as state institutions began to be developed, they largely supported themselves financially, rendering the notion of subsidies moot. Given the political economy of local decision-making, local preferences are unlikely to result in optimally-sized state prison populations. This Article suggests that since state prison subsidies may not be desirable and ...


Perpetuating The Marginalization Of Latinos: A Collateral Consequence Of The Incorporation Of Immigration Law Into The Criminal Justice System, Yolanda Vazquez Jun 2011

Perpetuating The Marginalization Of Latinos: A Collateral Consequence Of The Incorporation Of Immigration Law Into The Criminal Justice System, Yolanda Vazquez

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Latinos currently represent the largest minority in the United States. In 2009, we witnessed the first Latina appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Despite these events, Latinos continue to endure racial discrimination and social marginalization in the United States. The inability of Latinos to gain political acceptance and legitimacy in the United States can be attributed to the social construct of Latinos as threats to national security and the cause of criminal activity.

Exploiting this pretense, American government, society and nationalists are able to legitimize the subordination and social marginalization of Latinos, specifically Mexicans and Central Americans, much to ...


Battered Women, Self-Defense, And The Law, Joshua Dressler, Holly Maguigan May 2011

Battered Women, Self-Defense, And The Law, Joshua Dressler, Holly Maguigan

Res Gestae

No abstract provided.


Mental Disorder And Criminal Law, Stephen J. Morse Apr 2011

Mental Disorder And Criminal Law, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Mental disorder among criminal defendants affects every stage of the criminal justice process, from investigational issues to competence to be executed. As in all other areas of mental health law, at least some people with mental disorders, are treated specially. The underlying thesis of this Article is that people with mental disorder should, as far as is practicable and consistent with justice, be treated just like everyone else. In some areas, the law is relatively sensible and just. In others, too often the opposite is true and the laws sweep too broadly. I believe, however, that special rules to deal ...


Why Cops Lie, Peter Keane Mar 2011

Why Cops Lie, Peter Keane

Publications

Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.


And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard Mar 2011

And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard

All Faculty Scholarship

This article examines the Court’s categorical exclusion of mentally retarded defendants from execution and explores how trial courts should employ procedures to accomplish heightened reliability in the mental retardation determination; it maintains that if a mentally retarded defendant is subjected to a death sentence then the Atkins directive has been ignored. To satisfy the Atkins Court’s objective of protecting mentally retarded defendants from the “special risk of wrongful execution,” the article explores whether trial courts should engage in a unified, pre-trial competency assessment in all capital cases where the defendant asserts mental retardation as a bar to execution ...


From Rapists To Superpredators: What The Practice Of Capital Punishment Says About Race, Rights And The American Child, Robyn Linde Mar 2011

From Rapists To Superpredators: What The Practice Of Capital Punishment Says About Race, Rights And The American Child, Robyn Linde

Faculty Publications

At the turn of the 20th century, the United States was widely considered to be a world leader in matters of child protection and welfare, a reputation lost by the century’s end. This paper suggests that the United States’ loss of international esteem concerning child welfare was directly related to its practice of executing juvenile offenders. The paper analyzes why the United States continued to carry out the juvenile death penalty after the establishment of juvenile courts and other protections for child criminals. Two factors allowed the United States to continue the juvenile death penalty after most states ...


Making The Best Of Felony Murder, Guyora Binder Mar 2011

Making The Best Of Felony Murder, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Although scorned as irrational by academics, the felony murder doctrine persists as part of our law. It is therefore important that criminal law theory show how the felony murder doctrine can be best justified, and confined within its justifying principles. To that end, this Article seeks to make the best of American felony murder laws by identifying a principle of justice that explains as much existing law as possible, and provides a criterion for reforming the rest. Drawing on the moral intuition that blame for harm is properly affected by the actor’s aims as well as the actor’s ...


My Brother's Keeper: An Empirical Study Of Attorney Facilitation Of Money-Laundering Through Commercial Transactions, Lawton P. Cummings, Paul T. Stepnowsky Feb 2011

My Brother's Keeper: An Empirical Study Of Attorney Facilitation Of Money-Laundering Through Commercial Transactions, Lawton P. Cummings, Paul T. Stepnowsky

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, various “gatekeeping initiatives” have been introduced through inter-governmental standard-setting organizations, such as the Financial Action Task Force, as well as through federal legislation in the United States, which seek to apply the mandatory customer due diligence, record keeping, and suspicious activity reporting obligations contained in the existing anti-money laundering regime to lawyers when they conduct certain commercial transactions on behalf of their clients. The organized bar has argued against such attempts to regulate it, in part, due to the lack of empirical data showing that, as a threshold matter, lawyers unwittingly aid money laundering in a significant ...


Some Notes On Property Rules, Liability Rules, And Criminal Law, Keith Hylton Feb 2011

Some Notes On Property Rules, Liability Rules, And Criminal Law, Keith Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

The property-liability rules framework, which offers a robust positive theory of criminal law, has come under attack in recent years. One critique, which I label the Indifference Proposition, argues that property rules and liability rules are equivalent in low transaction cost settings. In this paper I examine the conditions under which the Indifference Proposition is valid. In several plausible low transaction-cost settings the proposition is not valid.


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 ...


A Critical Appraisal Of The Department Of Justice's New Approach To Medical Marijuana, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2011

A Critical Appraisal Of The Department Of Justice's New Approach To Medical Marijuana, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Obama Administration has embarked upon a much-heralded shift in federal policy toward medical marijuana. Eschewing the hard-ball tactics favored by earlier Administrations, Attorney General Eric Holder announced in October 2009 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would stop enforcing the federal marijuana ban against persons who comply with state medical marijuana laws. Given the significance of the medical marijuana issue in both criminal law and federalism circles, this Article sets out to provide the first in-depth analysis of the changes wrought by the DOJ’s new Non Enforcement Policy (NEP). In a nutshell, it suggests that early enthusiasm for ...


Economics, Behavioral Biology, And Law, Owen D. Jones, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Jeffrey Evans Stake Jan 2011

Economics, Behavioral Biology, And Law, Owen D. Jones, Erin O'Hara O'Connor, Jeffrey Evans Stake

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The article first compares economics and behavioral biology, examining the assumptions, core concepts, methodological tenets, and emphases of the two fields. Building on this, the article then compares the applied interdisciplinary fields of law and economics, on one hand, with law and behavioral biology, on the other - highlighting not only the most important similarities, but also the most important differences.

The article subsequently explores ways that biological perspectives on human behavior may prove useful, by improving economic models and the behavioral insights they generate. The article concludes that although there are important differences between the two fields, the overlaps between ...


Realizing Padilla's Promise: Ensuring Noncitizen Defendants Are Advised Of The Immigration Consequences Of A Criminal Convictions, Yolanda Vazquez Jan 2011

Realizing Padilla's Promise: Ensuring Noncitizen Defendants Are Advised Of The Immigration Consequences Of A Criminal Convictions, Yolanda Vazquez

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

On March 31, 2010 the United States Supreme court decided Padilla v. Kentucky and created a Sixth Amendment duty for defense attorneys to advise defendants of the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. While Padilla answered the broad question of whether there is a duty to advise a defendant under the Sixth Amendment, it left many questions unanswered. One critical inquiry is how defense attorneys and the courts will determine what advice concerning the immigration consequences of the criminal conviction will satisfy defense counsels’ Sixth Amendment duty under Padilla.

This Article discusses the potential detrimental impact of Padilla’s ambiguous ...


American Policing At A Crossroads: Unsustainable Policies And The Procedural Justice Alternative, Tom R. Tyler, Stephen J. Schulhofer, Aziz Z. Huq Jan 2011

American Policing At A Crossroads: Unsustainable Policies And The Procedural Justice Alternative, Tom R. Tyler, Stephen J. Schulhofer, Aziz Z. Huq

Faculty Scholarship Series

As victimization rates have fallen, public preoccupation with policing and its crime-control impact has receded. Terrorism has become the new focal point of concern. But satisfaction with ordinary police practices hides deep problems. The time is therefore ripe for rethinking the assumptions that have guided American police for most of the past two decades. This Article proposes an empirically-grounded shift to what we call a procedural justice model of policing. When law enforcement moves toward this approach, it can be more effective at lower cost and without the negative side effects that currently hamper responses to terrorism and conventional crime ...


The Logic And Limits Of Environmental Criminal Law In The Global Setting: Brazil And The United States--Comparisons, Contrasts, And Questions In Search Of A Robust Theory, Robert F. Blomquist Jan 2011

The Logic And Limits Of Environmental Criminal Law In The Global Setting: Brazil And The United States--Comparisons, Contrasts, And Questions In Search Of A Robust Theory, Robert F. Blomquist

Law Faculty Publications

Strict but arguably unfair and counterproductive systems of criminal environmental law and enforcement exist in both the United States and Brazll in the twenty-first century. In order to create a sovereignty dividend encompassing the rule of law and evenhanded administrative control in the competitive global setting, both countries should rethink and reform their respective systems of environmental criminal law by seeking answers to several questions of legal philosophy in search of a robust theory.


"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain Jan 2011

"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain

All Faculty Scholarship

A three-year-old child, while being bathed by her babysitter, innocently mentions that her “pee-pee” hurts. When the babysitter asks the child how she hurt it, she says, “Uncle Ernie (her mother’s boyfriend) told me not to tell.” A subsequent medical examination reveals that the child has gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.

By the time of trial, the child is four and-a-half-years old. When questioned by the trial judge, she cannot explain to the judge’s satisfaction, “the difference between the truth and a lie.” Moreover, she has no long term memory of the incident. The judge rules the child ...


Hot Crimes: A Study In Excess, Steven P. Grossman Jan 2011

Hot Crimes: A Study In Excess, Steven P. Grossman

All Faculty Scholarship

Societies appear to be subject, every now and then, to periods of moral panic. . . . [I]ts nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) restored to; . . . sometimes the panic passes over and is forgotten . . . at other times it has more serious and long-lasting repercussions and might produce such as those in legal and social policy or even in the way society conceives itself.

In the ...


Supreme Court Criminal Law Jurisprudence: Fair Trials, Cruel Punishment, And Ethical Lawyering—October 2009 Term, Richard Klein Jan 2011

Supreme Court Criminal Law Jurisprudence: Fair Trials, Cruel Punishment, And Ethical Lawyering—October 2009 Term, Richard Klein

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


The Origins Of Back-End Sentencing In California: A Dispatch From The Archives, Sara Mayeux Jan 2011

The Origins Of Back-End Sentencing In California: A Dispatch From The Archives, Sara Mayeux

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In recent years, policy analysts have generated a small body of literature about the practice of "back-end sentencing," observing that California uses parole revocation in lieu of criminal prosecution for a surprisingly high number of cases, including many that would otherwise be considered serious crimes. Some of these offenders may be getting away with far shorter sentences than if their conduct were prosecuted criminally. Surely others are being railroaded into serving time for charges of which they could never be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. And many are being cycled in and out of prison on fairly minor violations for ...


Sorting Guilty Minds, Owen D. Jones, Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Joshua D. Greene, Rene Marois Jan 2011

Sorting Guilty Minds, Owen D. Jones, Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Joshua D. Greene, Rene Marois

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Because punishable guilt requires that bad thoughts accompany bad acts, the Model Penal Code (MPC) typically requires that jurors infer the past mental state of a criminal defendant. More specifically, jurors must sort that mental state into one of four specific categories - purposeful, knowing, reckless, or negligent - which in turn defines the nature of the crime and the extent of the punishment. The MPC therefore assumes that ordinary people naturally sort mental states into these four categories with a high degree of accuracy, or at least can reliably do so when properly instructed. It also assumes that ordinary people will ...


Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

In this essay I argue that, contrary to what most criminal law scholars believe, consent does not operate as a justification that relieves the actor of liability for conduct that admittedly satisfies the offense elements of battery. Rather, I contend that consent is only relevant to battery liability when, in conjunction with other factors, it modifies the definition of the crime in a way that reveals that the defendant’s act does not actually fall within the range of conduct prohibited by the offense. The argument proceeds in three parts.

In Part I, I argue that there are three ways ...


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

All Faculty Scholarship

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 article proposes ...


Punishing Without Free Will, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

Punishing Without Free Will, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

Most observers agree that free will is central to our practices of blaming and punishment. Yet the conventional conception of free will is under sustained attack by the so-called determinists. Determinists claim that all of the events that take place in the universe – including human acts – are the product of causally determined forces over which we have no control. If human conduct is really determined by factors that we cannot control, how can our acts be the product of our own unfettered free will and what would that mean for the criminal law? The overwhelming majority of legal scholars and ...


Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Professor Vera Bergelson expressed puzzlement over the fact that those who feel "trapped in the wrong body" can "consent to a sex change operation, which often involves the removal of healthy sexual organs," whereas those who would feel happier being amputees "cannot consent to amputation of an arm or a leg.” Bergelson is equally puzzled by the fact that a spouse may physically injure her partner pursuant to practices of religious flagellation, but she may not cause similar injuries pursuant to sadomasochistic sexual practices. The purpose of this brief essay is to explain why I believe that the aforementioned cases ...


Minority Practice, Majority's Burden: The Death Penalty Today, James S. Liebman, Peter Clarke Jan 2011

Minority Practice, Majority's Burden: The Death Penalty Today, James S. Liebman, Peter Clarke

Faculty Scholarship

Although supported in principle by two-thirds of the public and even more of the States, capital punishment in the United States is a minority practice when the actual death-sentencing practices of the nation's 3000-plus counties and their populations are considered This feature of American capital punishment has been present for decades, has become more pronounced recently, and is especially clear when death sentences, which are merely infrequent, are distinguished from executions, which are exceedingly rare.

The first question this Article asks is what forces account for the death-proneness of a minority of American communities? The answer to that question ...


Realizing Padilla's Promise: Ensuring Noncitizen Defendants Are Advised Of The Immigration Consequences Of A Criminal Conviction, Yolanda Vazquez Jan 2011

Realizing Padilla's Promise: Ensuring Noncitizen Defendants Are Advised Of The Immigration Consequences Of A Criminal Conviction, Yolanda Vazquez

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

On March 31, 2010 the United States Supreme court decided Padilla v. Kentucky and created a Sixth Amendment duty for defense attorneys to advise defendants of the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. While Padilla answered the broad question of whether there is a duty to advise a defendant under the Sixth Amendment, it left many questions unanswered. One critical inquiry is how defense attorneys and the courts will determine what advice concerning the immigration consequences of the criminal conviction will satisfy defense counsels’ Sixth Amendment duty under Padilla.

This Article discusses the potential detrimental impact of Padilla’s ambiguous ...


Alternative Elements, Jessica A. Roth Jan 2011

Alternative Elements, Jessica A. Roth

Articles

The U.S. Constitution provides a criminal defendant with a right to trial by jury, and most states and the federal government require criminal juries to agree unanimously before a defendant may be convicted. But what exactly must a jury agree upon unanimously? Well-established doctrine, pursuant to In re Winship, provides that the jury must agree that the prosecution has proven every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet what the elements of any given offense are is not as clear as one might expect. Frequently, criminal statutes—especially federal statutes—describe an array of prohibited conduct, leaving ...


Punishing Without Free Will, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

Punishing Without Free Will, Luis E. Chiesa

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This Article will argue that there are good moral reasons to conclude that the scientific plausibility of determinism ought to lead us to abandon the notion of free will. Contra P. F. Strawson and Moore, this Article suggests that rejecting free will does not undermine the human experience, and doing so is plausible and attractive because it would likely lead to more humane and efficient institutions of blaming and punishing.