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Series

2019

Criminal law

Discipline
Institution
Publication

Articles 1 - 27 of 27

Full-Text Articles in Law

It's Complicated: The Challenge Of Prosecuting Tncs For Criminal Activity Under International Law, Jena Martin Jul 2019

It's Complicated: The Challenge Of Prosecuting Tncs For Criminal Activity Under International Law, Jena Martin

Faculty & Staff Scholarship

This essay aims to tackle an increasingly thorny and relevant issue: what do you do if a Transnational Corporation (TNC) commits a crime? The question raises a number of challenges, both philosophically and practically. First, what does it mean to prosecute an organization? Although there are some limited examples (the United States’ prosecution of accounting firm Arthur Andersen being among the most note-worthy), we have relatively little precedence regarding what this would entail; how exactly do you put a corporation on trial? Second, practically speaking, where do you hold the trial? This challenge is magnified by the fact that, by ...


Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mason Jun 2019

Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mason

AI-DR Collection

Police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice actors increasingly use algorithmic risk assessment to estimate the likelihood that a person will commit future crime. As many scholars have noted, these algorithms tend to have disparate racial impact. In response, critics advocate three strategies of resistance: (1) the exclusion of input factors that correlate closely with race, (2) adjustments to algorithmic design to equalize predictions across racial lines, and (3) rejection of algorithmic methods altogether.

This Article’s central claim is that these strategies are at best superficial and at worst counterproductive, because the source of racial inequality in risk assessment ...


Down To The Last Strike: The Effect Of The Jury Lottery On Criminal Convictions, Scott Kostyshak, Neel U. Sukhatme Apr 2019

Down To The Last Strike: The Effect Of The Jury Lottery On Criminal Convictions, Scott Kostyshak, Neel U. Sukhatme

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

How much does luck matter to a criminal defendant in a jury trial? We use rich data on jury selection to causally estimate how parties who are randomly assigned a less favorable jury (as proxied by whether their attorneys exhaust their peremptory strikes) fare at trial. Our novel identification strategy uniquely captures variation in juror predisposition using data unobserved by the econometrician but observed by attorneys. Criminal defendants who lose the “jury lottery” are more likely to be convicted than similarly-situated counterparts, with a significant increase (18-20 percentage points) for Black defendants. Our results are robust to alternate specifications and ...


Reforming Competence Restoration Statutes: An Outpatient Model, Susan A. Mcmahon Mar 2019

Reforming Competence Restoration Statutes: An Outpatient Model, Susan A. Mcmahon

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Defendants who suffer from mental illness and are found incompetent to stand trial are often ordered committed to an inpatient mental health facility to restore their competence, even if outpatient care may be the better treatment option. Inpatient facilities are overcrowded and place the defendants on long waiting lists. Some defendants then spend weeks, months, or even years in their jail cell, waiting for a transfer to a hospital bed.

Outpatient competence restoration programs promise to relieve this pressure. But even if every state suddenly opened a robust outpatient competence restoration program, an obstacle looms: the statutes governing competence restoration ...


The Persistence Of Fatal Police Taserings In 2018, Donald E. Wilkes Jr. Feb 2019

The Persistence Of Fatal Police Taserings In 2018, Donald E. Wilkes Jr.

Popular Media

Fatal police taserings have been a persistent phenomenon in the United States for nearly two decades. Steadily, relentlessly, year after year, month after month, our police kill citizens with tasers. This article reviews the history of fatal police taserings and those that occurred in 2018.


Misdemeanor Appeals, Nancy J. King, Michael Heise Jan 2019

Misdemeanor Appeals, Nancy J. King, Michael Heise

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

We provide the first estimate of the rate of appellate review for misdemeanors, concluding that appellate courts review no more than eight in ten thousand misdemeanor convictions and disturb only one conviction or sentence out of every ten thousand misdemeanor judgments. This level of oversight is much lower than that for felony cases, for reasons we explain. To develop law and regulate error in misdemeanor cases, particularly in prosecutions for the lowest-level offenses, courts may need to provide mechanisms for judicial scrutiny outside the direct appeal process.

Additional findings include new information about the rate of felony trial court review ...


Federal Courts' Supervisory Authority In Federal Criminal Cases: The Warren Court Revolution That Might Have Been, Bruce A. Green Jan 2019

Federal Courts' Supervisory Authority In Federal Criminal Cases: The Warren Court Revolution That Might Have Been, Bruce A. Green

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Punishment Without Process: Victim Impact Proceedings For Dead Defendants, Bruce Green, Rebecca Roiphe Jan 2019

Punishment Without Process: Victim Impact Proceedings For Dead Defendants, Bruce Green, Rebecca Roiphe

Articles & Chapters

After Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in jail, two judges allowed his accusers to speak in court. This article argues that the proceedings were inappropriate because the criminal case ends when the defendant dies. If the conviction and appeal are not final, there is no finding of guilt, and the defendant is still presumed innocent. Allowing accusers to speak at this time violates the principle of due process and threatens to undermine faith in judges and the criminal justice system in general. While courts are at times legally required to hear from victims of crimes, they were not allowed to do ...


Latin American Racial Equality Law As Criminal Law, Tanya K. Hernandez Jan 2019

Latin American Racial Equality Law As Criminal Law, Tanya K. Hernandez

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Federal Guilty Pleas: Inequities, Indigence And The Rule 11 Process, Julian A. Cook Jan 2019

Federal Guilty Pleas: Inequities, Indigence And The Rule 11 Process, Julian A. Cook

Scholarly Works

In 2017 and 2018, the Supreme Court issued two little-noticed decisions—Lee v. United States and Class v. United States. While neither case captured the attention of the national media nor generated meaningful academic commentary, both cases are well deserving of critical examination for reasons independent of the issues presented to the Court. They deserve review because of a consequential shared fact; a fact representative of a commonplace, yet largely overlooked, federal court practice that routinely disadvantages the indigent (and disproportionately minority populations), and compromises the integrity of arguably the most consequential component of the federal criminal justice process. In ...


Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2019

Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mayson

Scholarly Works

Police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice actors increasingly use algorithmic risk assessment to estimate the likelihood that a person will commit future crime. As many scholars have noted, these algorithms tend to have disparate racial impact. In response, critics advocate three strategies of resistance: (1) the exclusion of input factors that correlate closely with race, (2) adjustments to algorithmic design to equalize predictions across racial lines, and (3) rejection of algorithmic methods altogether.

This Article’s central claim is that these strategies are at best superficial and at worst counterproductive, because the source of racial inequality in risk assessment ...


The Effects Of Voluntary And Presumptive Sentencing Guidelines, Stephen Rushin, Josph Colquitt, Griffin Sims Edwards Jan 2019

The Effects Of Voluntary And Presumptive Sentencing Guidelines, Stephen Rushin, Josph Colquitt, Griffin Sims Edwards

Faculty Publications & Other Works

This Article empirically illustrates that the introduction of voluntary and presumptive sentencing guidelines at the state-level can contribute to statistically significant reductions in sentence length, inter-judge disparities, and racial disparities.

For much of American history, judges had largely unguided discretion to select criminal sentences within statutorily authorized ranges. But in the mid-to-late twentieth century, states and the federal government began experimenting with sentencing guidelines designed to reign in judicial discretion to ensure that similarly situated offenders received comparable sentences. Some states have made their guidelines voluntary, while others have made their guidelines presumptive or mandatory, meaning that judges must generally ...


The Criminal Law Docket: A Term Of Modest Changes, Alan Raphael Jan 2019

The Criminal Law Docket: A Term Of Modest Changes, Alan Raphael

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


The Effects Of Voluntary And Presumptive Sentencing Guidelines, Stephen Rushin, Griffin Sims Edwards, Josph Colquitt Jan 2019

The Effects Of Voluntary And Presumptive Sentencing Guidelines, Stephen Rushin, Griffin Sims Edwards, Josph Colquitt

Faculty Publications & Other Works

This Article empirically illustrates that the introduction of voluntary and presumptive sentencing guidelines at the state-level can contribute to statistically significant reductions in sentence length, inter-judge disparities, and racial disparities.

For much of American history, judges had largely unguided discretion to select criminal sentences within statutorily authorized ranges. But in the mid-to-late twentieth century, states and the federal government began experimenting with sentencing guidelines designed to reign in judicial discretion to ensure that similarly situated offenders received comparable sentences. Some states have made their guidelines voluntary, while others have made their guidelines presumptive or mandatory, meaning that judges must generally ...


The Left's Law-And-Order Agenda, Aya Gruber Jan 2019

The Left's Law-And-Order Agenda, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin Jan 2019

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article examines the debates over recent proposals for “mens rea reform.” The substantive criminal law has expanded dramatically, and legislators have criminalized a great deal of common conduct. Often, new criminal laws do not require that defendants know they are acting unlawfully. Mens rea reform proposals seek to address the problems of overcriminalization and unintentional offending by increasing the burden on prosecutors to prove a defendant’s culpable mental state. These proposals have been a staple of conservative-backed bills on criminal justice reform. Many on the left remain skeptical of mens rea reform and view it as a deregulatory ...


Methods And Severity: The Two Tracks Of Section 12, Benjamin Berger, Lisa Kerr Jan 2019

Methods And Severity: The Two Tracks Of Section 12, Benjamin Berger, Lisa Kerr

Articles & Book Chapters

This paper argues that there are two main routes – two tracks – by which one can arrive at the fundamental wrong at the heart of section 12 of the Charter. On the “methods track”, the state can run afoul of section 12 by using intrinsically unacceptable methods of treatment or punishment. For historical reasons, jurisprudence on this track is not well developed in Canada, though it would clearly prohibit the death penalty and most methods of corporal punishment. On the “severity track”, the concern is with excessive punishment. Here, even where the state has chosen a legitimate method of punishment, like ...


How Courts In Criminal Cases Respond To Childhood Trauma, Deborah W. Denno Jan 2019

How Courts In Criminal Cases Respond To Childhood Trauma, Deborah W. Denno

Faculty Scholarship

Neurobiological and epidemiological research suggests that abuse and adverse events experienced as a child can increase an adult’s risk of brain dysfunction associated with disorders related to criminality and violence. Much of this research is predictive, based on psychological evaluations of children; few studies have focused on whether or how criminal proceedings against adult defendants consider indicators of childhood trauma. This Article analyzes a subset of criminal cases pulled from an 800-case database created as part of an original, large-scale, empirical research project known as the Neuroscience Study. The 266 relevant cases are assessed to determine the extent to ...


Prosecuting In The Shadow Of The Jury, Anna Offit Jan 2019

Prosecuting In The Shadow Of The Jury, Anna Offit

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

This article offers an unprecedented empirical window into prosecutorial discretion drawing on long-term participatory research between 2013 and 2017. The central finding is that jurors play a vital role in federal prosecutors’ decision-making, professional identities, and formulations of justice. This is because even the remote possibility of lay scrutiny creates an opening for prosecutors to make common sense assessments of (1) the evidence in their cases, (2) the character of witnesses, defendants and victims, and (3) their own moral and professional character as public servants. By facilitating explicit consideration of the fairness of their cases from a public vantage point ...


Gamble, Dual Sovereignty, And Due Process, Anthony J. Colangelo Jan 2019

Gamble, Dual Sovereignty, And Due Process, Anthony J. Colangelo

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

The Constitution’s Double Jeopardy Clause is an analytically gnarly beast. What seems like a fairly straightforward prohibition on multiple prosecutions for the same crime turns out to be a bramble bush of doctrinal twists and snarls. At the center is the so-called “dual sovereignty” doctrine. This principle holds that separate sovereigns may prosecute for what looks like the same “offence”—to use the Constitution’s language—because they have separate laws, and those laws prohibit separate offenses, and thus the Double Jeopardy Clause’s bar on multiple prosecutions for the same offense simply does not come into play. As ...


Neurohype And The Law: A Cautionary Tale, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2019

Neurohype And The Law: A Cautionary Tale, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter suggests that for conceptual, empirical, and practical reasons, neuroscience in general and non-invasive brain imaging in particular are not likely to revolutionize the law and our conception of ourselves, but may make modest contributions to legal policy and case adjudication if the legal relevance of the science is properly understood.


The Compliance Process, Veronica Root Martinez Jan 2019

The Compliance Process, Veronica Root Martinez

Journal Articles

Even as regulators and prosecutors proclaim the importance of effective compliance programs, failures persist. Organizations fail to ensure that they and their agents comply with legal and regulatory requirements, industry practices, and their own internal policies and norms. From the companies that provide our news, to the financial institutions that serve as our bankers, to the corporations that make our cars, compliance programs fail to prevent misconduct each and every day. The causes of these compliance failures are multifaceted and include general enforcement deficiencies, difficulties associated with overseeing compliance programs within complex organizations, and failures to establish a culture of ...


Graffiti, Street Art, Walls, And The Public In Canadian Copyright Law, Pascale Chapdelaine Jan 2019

Graffiti, Street Art, Walls, And The Public In Canadian Copyright Law, Pascale Chapdelaine

Law Publications

Graffiti is vilified, and at the same time is increasingly revered and celebrated. This ambivalence is reflected in the general legal landscape that surrounds graffiti and other forms of street art at the criminal, civil and municipal levels. Within this general legal framework, the application of copyright law to graffiti and street art reveals a complex web of interwoven issues about the protection of the graffiti artist’s economic and moral rights and questions of illegality and public policy, and about the rights of the property owner of the “wall” on which the art resides, and the public. This book ...


Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts Jan 2019

Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Foreword, I make the case for an abolition constitutionalism that attends to the theorizing of prison abolitionists. In Part I, I provide a summary of prison abolition theory and highlight its foundational tenets that engage with the institution of slavery and its eradication. I discuss how abolition theorists view the current prison industrial complex as originating in, though distinct from, racialized chattel slavery and the racial capitalist regime that relied on and sustained it, and their movement as completing the “unfinished liberation” sought by slavery abolitionists in the past. Part II considers whether the U.S. Constitution is ...


The Temptations Of Scapegoating, Daniel B. Yeager Jan 2019

The Temptations Of Scapegoating, Daniel B. Yeager

Faculty Scholarship

We say “it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than one innocent suffer.” Evidence of the law’s 10:1 preference for false acquittals, however, is weak. In actuality, the “twofold aim … that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer” weights the avoidance of false convictions and false acquittals equally. Likewise, the Supreme Court’s claim that “the central purpose of a criminal trial is to decide the factual question of the defendant’s guilt or innocence” is, it turns out, porous. The truth sought at trial need be only true enough—verdicts are legally true if fairly arrived ...


Death By Stereotype: Race, Ethnicity, And California’S Failure To Implement Furman’S Narrowing Requirement, Catherine M. Grosso, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Michael Laurence, David C. Baldus, George W. Woodworth, Richard Newell Jan 2019

Death By Stereotype: Race, Ethnicity, And California’S Failure To Implement Furman’S Narrowing Requirement, Catherine M. Grosso, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Michael Laurence, David C. Baldus, George W. Woodworth, Richard Newell

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the possible racial and ethnic implications of California’s expansive death penalty statute in light of the Eighth Amendment’s requirement that each state statute narrow the subclass of offenders on whom a death sentence may be imposed. The narrowing requirement derives from the holding in Furman v. Georgia over forty-five years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that existing death penalty statutes violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments. Citing statistics demonstrating arbitrary and capricious application of capital punishment, a majority of the Justices concluded that a death sentencing scheme ...


Constitutionally Incapable: Parole Boards As Sentencing Courts, Mae C. Quinn Jan 2019

Constitutionally Incapable: Parole Boards As Sentencing Courts, Mae C. Quinn

Journal Articles

Courtroom sentencing, as part of the judicial process, is a long-standing norm in the justice system of the United States. But this basic criminal law precept is currently under quiet attack. This is because some states are now allowing parole boards to step in to decide criminal penalties without first affording defendants lawful judicial branch sentencing proceedings and sentences. These outside-of-court punishment decisions are occurring in the cases of youthful offenders entitled to sentencing relief under Miller v. Alabama, which outlawed automatic life-without-parole sentences for children. Thus, some Miller-impacted defendants are being sentenced by paroleboards as executive branch agents, rather ...