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Criminal liability

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Criminal Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Defining Crime, Delegating Authority – How Different Are Administrative Crimes?, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2021

Defining Crime, Delegating Authority – How Different Are Administrative Crimes?, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

As the Supreme Court reconsiders whether Congress can so freely provide for criminal enforcement of agency rules, this Article assesses the critique of administrative crimes though a federal criminal law lens. It explores the extent to which this critique carries over to other instances of mostly well-accepted, delegated federal criminal lawmaking – to courts, states, foreign governments, and international institutions. By considering these other delegations through the lens of the administrative crime critique, the Article destabilizes the critique’s doctrinal foundations. It then suggests that if one really cares about liberty – not the abstract “liberty” said to be protected by …


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 …


Corporate Criminal Responsibility For Human Rights Violations: Jurisdiction And Reparations, Kenneth S. Gallant Jan 2017

Corporate Criminal Responsibility For Human Rights Violations: Jurisdiction And Reparations, Kenneth S. Gallant

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Development And Evolution Of The U.S. Law Of Corporate Criminal Liability And The Yates Memo, Sara Sun Beale Jan 2016

The Development And Evolution Of The U.S. Law Of Corporate Criminal Liability And The Yates Memo, Sara Sun Beale

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Pendulum Swings: Reconsidering Corporate Criminal Prosecution, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2016

The Pendulum Swings: Reconsidering Corporate Criminal Prosecution, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

Corporate crime continues to occur at an alarming rate, yet disagreement persists among scholars and practitioners about the role of corporate criminal prosecution. Some argue that corporations should face criminal prosecution for their misconduct, while others would reserve criminal prosecution for individual corporate officials. Perhaps as a result of this conflict, there has been a dramatic increase over the last decade in the use of deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements for some corporate crimes, even as the government continues to bring criminal charges for other corporate crimes. To move beyond our erratic approach to corporate crime, we need a better …


Introduction To The Structure And Limits Of Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson, Joshua Samuel Barton Jul 2014

Introduction To The Structure And Limits Of Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson, Joshua Samuel Barton

All Faculty Scholarship

The book The Structure and Limits of Criminal Law (Ashgate) collects and reprints classic articles on three topics: the conceptual structure of criminal law doctrine, the conduct necessary and that sufficient for criminal liability, and the offender culpability and blameworthiness necessary and that sufficient for criminal liability. The collection includes articles by H.L.A. Hart, Sanford Kadish, George Fletcher, Herbert Packer, Norval Morris, Gordon Hawkins, Andrew von Hirsch, Bernard Harcourt, Richard Wasserstrom, Andrew Simester, John Darley, Kent Greenawalt, and Paul Robinson. This essay serves as an introduction to the collection, explaining how each article fits into the larger debate and giving …


Innovation And Incarceration: An Economic Analysis Of Criminal Intellectual Property Law, Christopher Buccafusco, Jonathan S. Masur Jan 2014

Innovation And Incarceration: An Economic Analysis Of Criminal Intellectual Property Law, Christopher Buccafusco, Jonathan S. Masur

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Only Thing That Stops A Guy With A Bad Policy Is A Guy With A Good Policy: An Examination Of The Nra’S “National School Shield” Proposal, Gordon A. Crews, Angela D. Crews, Catherine E. Burton Jun 2013

The Only Thing That Stops A Guy With A Bad Policy Is A Guy With A Good Policy: An Examination Of The Nra’S “National School Shield” Proposal, Gordon A. Crews, Angela D. Crews, Catherine E. Burton

Criminal Justice Faculty Research

With the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, the public and the government are looking for solutions to school violence. The National Rifle Association (NRA), a Second Amendment, pro-gun advocacy group, has proposed an “education and training emergency response program” called The National School Shield, which advocates the placement of armed security in schools. Although the program sounds provocative, serious questions complicate its plausibility, necessity, motive, and effectiveness. Furthermore, the potential policy and practical ramifications of encouraging armed security forces in U.S. schools are complex. The authors examined the proposal’s key elements from a public policy perspective …


Responsible Shares And Shared Responsibility: In Defense Of Responsible Corporate Officer Liability, Amy J. Sepinwall Jan 2013

Responsible Shares And Shared Responsibility: In Defense Of Responsible Corporate Officer Liability, Amy J. Sepinwall

Studio for Law and Culture

When a corporation commits a crime, whom may we hold criminally liable? One obvious set of defendants consists of the individuals who perpetrated the crime on the corporation’s behalf. But according to the responsible corporate officer (RCO) doctrine – a doctrine that is growing more widespread – the state may also prosecute and punish those corporate executives who, although perhaps lacking “consciousness of wrongdoing,” nonetheless have “a responsible share in the furtherance of the transaction which the statute outlaws.” In other words, the RCO doctrine imposes criminal liability on the executive who need not have participated in her corporation’s crime; …


The Only Thing That Stops A Guy With A Bad Policy Is A Guy With A Good Policy: An Examination Of The Nra’S “National School Shield” Proposal, Gordon A. Crews, Angela D. Crews, Catherine E. Burton Jan 2013

The Only Thing That Stops A Guy With A Bad Policy Is A Guy With A Good Policy: An Examination Of The Nra’S “National School Shield” Proposal, Gordon A. Crews, Angela D. Crews, Catherine E. Burton

Criminal Justice Faculty Publications and Presentations

With the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, the public and the government are looking for solutions to school violence. The National Rifle Association (NRA), a Second Amendment, pro-gun advocacy group, has proposed an “education and training emergency response program” called The National School Shield, which advocates the placement of armed security in schools. Although the program sounds provocative, serious questions complicate its plausibility, necessity, motive, and effectiveness. Furthermore, the potential policy and practical ramifications of encouraging armed security forces in U.S. schools are complex. The authors examined the proposal’s key elements from a public policy …


Deferred Prosecution And Non-Prosecution Agreements And The Erosion Of Corporate Criminal Liability, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2013

Deferred Prosecution And Non-Prosecution Agreements And The Erosion Of Corporate Criminal Liability, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

On April 5, 2010, a massive explosion killed twenty-nine miners at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine near Montcoal, West Virginia. Following the explosion, President Barack Obama vowed that the U.S. Department of Labor would conduct "the most thorough and comprehensive investigation possible" and work with the U.S. Department of Justice ("Justice Department" or the "Department") to address any criminal violations. Later in the month, the President and Vice President flew to West Virginia to eulogize the victims and comfort their families. It was the nation's worst coal mining disaster in forty years. The tragic loss of life at the …


Attempts, In Language And In Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2012

Attempts, In Language And In Law, Mitchell N. Berman

All Faculty Scholarship

On what grounds does the law punish attempted offenses? The dominant answer is that the law punishes attempts to commit an offense precisely because they are attempts (extra-legally), and it is true as a general moral principle that if one should not X, one should not attempt to X. If this is right, then the proper contours of the law of attempts should track the contours of what are attempts (extra-legally). At least to a first approximation, that is, law should track metaphysics. Call this the “Attempt Theory” of attempt liability. Gideon Yaffe’s recent book, "Attempts," is a rigorous and …


After The Spill Is Gone: The Gulf Of Mexico, Environmental Crime, And Criminal Law, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2011

After The Spill Is Gone: The Gulf Of Mexico, Environmental Crime, And Criminal Law, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

The Gulf oil spill was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, and will be the most significant criminal case ever prosecuted under U.S. environmental laws. The Justice Department is likely to prosecute BP, Transocean, and Halliburton for criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which will result in the largest fines ever imposed in the United States for any form of corporate crime. The Justice Department also may decide to pursue charges for manslaughter, false statements, and obstruction of justice. The prosecution will shape public perceptions about environmental crime, for reasons that are …


Killing, Letting Die, And The Case For Mildly Punishing Bad Samaritanism, Ken M. Levy Jan 2010

Killing, Letting Die, And The Case For Mildly Punishing Bad Samaritanism, Ken M. Levy

Journal Articles

For over a century now, American scholars (among others) have been debating the merits of “bad-samaritan” laws – laws punishing people for failing to attempt “easy rescues.” Unfortunately, the opponents of bad-samaritan laws have mostly prevailed. In the United States, the “no-duty-to-rescue” rule dominates. Only four states even have bad-samaritan laws, and these laws impose only the most minimal punishment – either sub-$500 fines or short-term imprisonment.

This Article argues that this situation needs to be remedied. Every state should criminalize bad samaritanism. For, first, criminalization is required by the supreme value that we place on protecting human life, a …


Crimes On The Gulf, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2010

Crimes On The Gulf, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

The explosion that rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010, killed 11 workers and triggered the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. After six weeks of failed efforts to stop the gushing oil and protect the fragile ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico and the communities along its shores, President Obama pledged on June 1 that “if our laws were broken . . . we will bring those responsible to justice.”


Proportional Mens Rea, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2009

Proportional Mens Rea, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

This Essay makes the case for "proportional mens rea," a proportionality-based approach to mens rea selection. Proportional mens rea would provide proportionality safeguards that are otherwise entirely lacking in substantive criminal law and,as a practical matter, unavailable in constitutional law. Creating implied mens rea requirements, where necessary to ensure proportional punishment, is not a judicial usurpation of a legislative function. Rather, it is to take seriously the role that courts play, under both constitutional and substantive criminal law, to ensure that punishment "fits" the crime. Moreover, proportional mens rea would represent a needed counterweight to prosecutorial behavior whereas current doctrine …


Environmental Crime Comes Of Age: The Evolution Of Criminal Enforcement In The Environmental Regulatory Scheme, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2009

Environmental Crime Comes Of Age: The Evolution Of Criminal Enforcement In The Environmental Regulatory Scheme, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 often is considered the first environmental criminal statute because it contains strict liability provisions that make it a misdemeanor to discharge refuse into navigable waters of the United States without a permit. When Congress passed the Rivers and Harbors Act, however, it was far more concerned with preventing interference with interstate commerce than environmental protection. For practical purposes, the environmental crimes program in the United States dates to the development of the modem environmental regulatory system during the 1970s, and amendments to the environmental laws during the 1980s, which upgraded criminal violations of …


The Upside Of Overbreadth, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2008

The Upside Of Overbreadth, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

Overbreadth in criminal liability rules, especially in federal law, is abundant and much lamented. Overbreadth is avoidable if it results from normative mistakes about how much conduct to criminalize or from insufficient care to limit open texture in statutes. Social planners cannot so easily avoid overbreadth if they cannot reach behaviors for which criminalization is well justified without also reaching behaviors for which it is not. This mismatch problem is acute if persons engaging in properly criminalized behaviors deliberately alter their conduct to avoid punishment and have resources to devote to avoidance efforts. In response to such efforts, legal actors …


The Cultural Defense: Reflections In Light Of The Model Penal Code And The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Kent Greenawalt Jan 2008

The Cultural Defense: Reflections In Light Of The Model Penal Code And The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Kent Greenawalt

Faculty Scholarship

Much of this essay is an inquiry into just how cultural factors might figure in claims about elements of offenses, justifications, excuses, and mitigations under the Model Penal Code – still the most comprehensive and systematic code of criminal law in the United States. That exploration gives us a sense of how culture may matter for criminal liability absent a specifically labeled "cultural defense"; it also provides an idea of how much could be accomplished by expansions of the standard defenses.

In the latter part of the essay, I think about cultural practices as a potential justification or generalized exemption …


Purposes And Effects In Criminal Law, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2007

Purposes And Effects In Criminal Law, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

This brief comment, published in the Virginia Law Review's online companion, responds to Richard Bierschbach's and Alex Stein's article, Mediating Rules in Criminal Law.


The Impact On Director And Officer Behavior: Reflective Essays, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2007

The Impact On Director And Officer Behavior: Reflective Essays, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

I fall on the side of the skeptics about whether criminal liability in financial reporting cases is a healthy tool because I have doubts about whether judgments are likely to be proportionate. And proportionality is a very important measure in criminal law for two reasons. First, we expect the punishment to fit the crime as a matter of justice. Secondly, if we have disproportionately harsh treatment, then the behavior of officers and directors in response to over-deterrence is that they will pay too much attention to matters that are precautionary as opposed to profit-generating. And the point of a business …


Is Corporate Criminal Liability Unique?, Sara Sun Beale Jan 2007

Is Corporate Criminal Liability Unique?, Sara Sun Beale

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Intuitions Of Justice: Implications For Criminal Law And Justice Policy, Paul H. Robinson, John M. Darley Jan 2007

Intuitions Of Justice: Implications For Criminal Law And Justice Policy, Paul H. Robinson, John M. Darley

All Faculty Scholarship

Recent social science research suggests that many if not most judgements about criminal liability and punishment for serious wrongdoing are intuitional rather than reasoned. Further, such intuitions of justice are nuanced and widely shared, even though they concern matters that seem quite complex and subjective. While people may debate the source of these intuitions, it seems clear that, whatever their source, it must be one that is insulated from the influence of much of human experience because, if it were not, one would see differences in intuitions reflecting the vast differences in human existence across demographics and societies. This article …


The Blaming Function Of Entity Criminal Liability, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2006

The Blaming Function Of Entity Criminal Liability, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

Application of the doctrine of entity criminal liability, which had only a thin tort-like rationale at inception, now sometimes instantiates a social practice of blaming institutions. Examining that social practice can ameliorate persistent controversy over entity liability's place in the criminal law. An organization's role in its agent's bad act is often evaluated with a moral slant characteristic of judgments of criminality and with inquiry into whether the institution qua institution contributed to the agent's wrong. Legal process, by lending clarity and authority, enhances the communicative impact, in the form of reputational effects, of blaming an institution for a wrong. …


Collective Violence And Individual Punishment: The Criminality Of Mass Atrocity, Mark A. Drumbl Jan 2005

Collective Violence And Individual Punishment: The Criminality Of Mass Atrocity, Mark A. Drumbl

Scholarly Articles

There is a recent proliferation of courts and tribunals to prosecute perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The zenith of this institution-building is the permanent International Criminal Court, which came into force in 2002. Each of these new institutions rests on the foundational premise that it is appropriate to treat the perpetrator of mass atrocity in the same manner that domestic criminal law treats the common criminal. The modalities and rationales of international criminal law are directly borrowed from the domestic criminal law of those states that dominate the international order. In this Article, I challenge this …


When Does An Unsafe Act Become A Crime?, Charles J. Dunlap Jr. Jan 2001

When Does An Unsafe Act Become A Crime?, Charles J. Dunlap Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Border Guard Trials And The East German Past - Seven Arguments, Peter E. Quint Jan 2000

The Border Guard Trials And The East German Past - Seven Arguments, Peter E. Quint

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Truth In Codification, George P. Fletcher Jan 1998

Truth In Codification, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

Some men think that the earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?

These are the words of Thomas More as interpreted by Robert Bolt in his play A Man for All Seasons. More invokes the issue of scientific truth to question Parliament's authority to determine whether King Henry VIII should be recognized as the head of the Church of England. The point is well taken. When the issue is scientific …


Defiling The Dead: Necrophilia And The Law, Tyler T. Ochoa, Christine Jones Jan 1997

Defiling The Dead: Necrophilia And The Law, Tyler T. Ochoa, Christine Jones

Faculty Publications

This article will examine the issue of criminal liability for necrophilia. Part II will address necrophilia in general and will discuss briefly why society finds such acts reprehensible. Part III will discuss existing criminal prohibitions against necrophilia in California and other states. Part IV will discuss the evidentiary use of necrophilia in proving other crimes. Finally, Part V will evaluate proposed legislation outlawing necrophilia.


Reflections On Reves V. Ernst & Young: Its Meaning And Impact On Substantive, Accessory, Aiding Abetting And Conspiracy Liability Under Rico, G. Robert Blakey, Kevin P. Roddy Jan 1996

Reflections On Reves V. Ernst & Young: Its Meaning And Impact On Substantive, Accessory, Aiding Abetting And Conspiracy Liability Under Rico, G. Robert Blakey, Kevin P. Roddy

Journal Articles

In March 1993, accountants, attorneys and other professionals—who generally view RICO with suspicion—breathed a sigh of relief when they read the Washington Post: "People who lose money in thrifts and other businesses that go belly up because of wrongdoing can no longer use [RICO] to sue lawyers, accountants, or other advisers who played key roles in the enterprise." Unfortunately, this terse description of the Supreme Court's decision issued the previous day in Reves v. Ernst & Young may persuade professionals that they dropped an anchor in a tranquil safe-harbor, far from an exposure to the perils of the private enforcement …