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Juvenile Life Without Parole: Exposing The Parallels Between Juvenile Offenders And Those Who Sentence Them, Autumn Fortenberry May 2022

Juvenile Life Without Parole: Exposing The Parallels Between Juvenile Offenders And Those Who Sentence Them, Autumn Fortenberry

Honors Theses

This thesis will discuss Juvenile Life Without Parole sentencing (JLWOP) from three perspectives: (1) the evolving standard of decency as developed through relevant U.S. Supreme Court cases; (2) the cognitive and psychosocial development of adolescents that creates reduced culpability in juvenile offenders; and (3) the justifications and implications of punishment as-applied to juvenile offenders. In my fourth chapter, I argue that JLWOP sentencing disregards the humanity and transformable nature of juvenile offenders. I will then draw a parallel between the implications of a juvenile offender's underdeveloped cognitive functions on their decision-making processes and the implications of a trial judge's underdeveloped …


On "Broken Nest: Deterring China From Invading Taiwan" And Authors' Response, Eric Chan Mar 2022

On "Broken Nest: Deterring China From Invading Taiwan" And Authors' Response, Eric Chan

The US Army War College Quarterly: Parameters

No abstract provided.


Proportionality, Constraint, And Culpability, Mitchell N. Berman Sep 2021

Proportionality, Constraint, And Culpability, Mitchell N. Berman

All Faculty Scholarship

Philosophers of criminal punishment widely agree that criminal punishment should be “proportional” to the “seriousness” of the offense. But this apparent consensus is only superficial, masking significant dissensus below the surface. Proposed proportionality principles differ on several distinct dimensions, including: (1) regarding which offense or offender properties determine offense “seriousness” and thus constitute a proportionality relatum; (2) regarding whether punishment is objectionably disproportionate only when excessively severe, or also when excessively lenient; and (3) regarding whether the principle can deliver absolute (“cardinal”) judgments, or only comparative (“ordinal”) ones. This essay proposes that these differences cannot be successfully adjudicated, and one …


In Defense Of Penalizing (But Not Punishing) Civil Disobedience, David Lefkowitz Jan 2018

In Defense Of Penalizing (But Not Punishing) Civil Disobedience, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

While many contemporary political philosophers agree that citizens of a legitimate state enjoy a moral right to civil disobedience, they differ over both the grounds of that right and its content. This essay defends the view that the moral right to civil disobedience derives from (or is a facet of) a general right to political participation, and the characterization of that right as precluding the state from punishing, but not from penalizing, those who exercise it. The argument proceeds by way of rebuttals to criticisms of both claims recently advanced by Kimberley Brownlee. While in some cases those criticisms fail …


Fortifying The Self-Defense Justification Of Punishment, Zac Cogley Sep 2017

Fortifying The Self-Defense Justification Of Punishment, Zac Cogley

Zac Cogley

David Boonin has recently advanced several challenges to the self-defense justification of punishment. Boonin argues that the self-defense justification of punishment justifies punishing the innocent, justifies disproportionate punishment, cannot account for mitigating excuses, and does not justify intentionally harming offenders as we do when we punish them. In this paper, I argue that the self-defense justification, suitably understood, can avoid all of these problems. To help demonstrate the self-defense theory’s attraction, I also develop some contrasts between the self-defense justification, Warren Quinn’s better known ‘auto-retaliator’ argument, and desert-based justifications of punishment. In sum, I show that the self-defense justification of …


Strict Liability's Criminogenic Effect, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2017

Strict Liability's Criminogenic Effect, Paul H. Robinson

All Faculty Scholarship

It is easy to understand the apparent appeal of strict liability to policymakers and legal reformers seeking to reduce crime: if the criminal law can do away with its traditional culpability requirement, it can increase the likelihood of conviction and punishment of those who engage in prohibited conduct or bring about prohibited harm or evil. And such an increase in punishment rate can enhance the crime-control effectiveness of a system built upon general deterrence or incapacitation of the dangerous. Similar arguments support the use of criminal liability for regulatory offenses. Greater punishment rates suggest greater compliance.

But this analysis fails …


The Legal Limits Of “Yes Means Yes”, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2016

The Legal Limits Of “Yes Means Yes”, Paul H. Robinson

All Faculty Scholarship

This op-ed piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education argues that the affirmative consent rule of "yes means yes" is a useful standard that can help educate and ideally change norms regarding consent to sexual intercourse. But that goal can best be achieved by using “yes means yes” as an ex ante announcement of the society's desired rule of conduct. That standard only becomes problematic when used as the ex post principle of adjudication for allegations of rape. Indeed, those most interested in changing existing norms ought to be the persons most in support of distinguishing these two importantly different …


Should The Law Convict Those Who Act From Conviction? Reflections On A Demands-Of-Conscience Criminal Defense, David Lefkowitz Jan 2016

Should The Law Convict Those Who Act From Conviction? Reflections On A Demands-Of-Conscience Criminal Defense, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

How should the judge or jury in a just criminal court treat a civil disobedient, someone who performs a conscientiously motivated communicative breach of the criminal law? Kimberley Brownlee contends that all else equal a court of law should neither convict nor punish such offenders. Though I agree with this conclusion, I contend that Brownlee mischaracterizes the nature of the criminal defense to which civil disobedients are entitled. Whereas Brownlee maintains that such actors ought to be excused for their criminal breach, I argue that they ought to enjoy a justification defense. Acts of civil disobedience are not (morally) wrongful …


Blame And The Criminal Law, David Lefkowitz Jan 2015

Blame And The Criminal Law, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Many retributivists appear to presume that the concept of blame that figures in their accounts of just punishment is the same one people employ in their interpersonal moral relationships. David Shoemaker contends that this presumption is mistaken. Moral blameworthiness, he maintains, tracks only the meaning of a person's action––his reasons for acting as he did––while criminal blameworthiness, which he equates with liability to punishment, tracks only the impermissibility of an agent's action. I contest the second of these two claims, and in doing so defend the retributivists’ presumption. First, I argue that the purpose of a criminal trial can be …


Empirical Desert, Individual Prevention, And Limiting Retributivism: A Reply, Paul H. Robinson, Joshua Samuel Barton, Matthew J. Lister Jan 2014

Empirical Desert, Individual Prevention, And Limiting Retributivism: A Reply, Paul H. Robinson, Joshua Samuel Barton, Matthew J. Lister

All Faculty Scholarship

A number of articles and empirical studies over the past decade, most by Paul Robinson and co-authors, have suggested a relationship between the extent of the criminal law's reputation for being just in its distribution of criminal liability and punishment in the eyes of the community – its "moral credibility" – and its ability to gain that community's deference and compliance through a variety of mechanisms that enhance its crime-control effectiveness. This has led to proposals to have criminal liability and punishment rules reflect lay intuitions of justice – "empirical desert" – as a means of enhancing the system's moral …


Two Kinds Of Retributivism, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2011

Two Kinds Of Retributivism, Mitchell N. Berman

All Faculty Scholarship

This essay, written as a contribution to a forthcoming volume on the philosophical foundations of the criminal law, challenges the longstanding dominant framework for classifying justifications for criminal punishment. The familiar binary distinction between consequentialism and retributivism is no longer most perspicuous, I argue, because many recognizably retributivist theories of punishment employ a consequentialist justificatory structure. However, because not all do, it might prove most illuminating to carve the retributivist field in two – distinguishing what we might term “consequentialist retributivism” (perhaps better labeled “instrumentalist retributivism”) from “non-consequentialist retributivism” (“non-instrumentalist retributivism”).

Whether or not it is ultimately persuasive, consequentialist retributivism …


Restoration But Also More Justice, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2009

Restoration But Also More Justice, Stephanos Bibas

All Faculty Scholarship

This short essay replies to Erik Luna's endorsement of restorative justice. He is right that the goal of healing victims, defendants, and their families is important but all too often neglected by substantive criminal law and procedure, which is far too state-centered and impersonal. The problem with restorative justice is that too often it seeks to sweep away punishment as barbaric and downplays the need for deterrence and incapacitation as well. In short, restorative justice deserves more of a role in American criminal justice. Shorn of its political baggage and reflexive hostility to punishment, restorative justice has much to teach …


Competing Conceptions Of Modern Desert: Vengeful, Deontological, And Empirical, Paul H. Robinson Mar 2008

Competing Conceptions Of Modern Desert: Vengeful, Deontological, And Empirical, Paul H. Robinson

All Faculty Scholarship

The dispute over the role desert should play, if any, in assessing criminal liability and punishment has a long and turbulent history. There is some indication that deserved punishment -- referred to variously as desert, just punishment, retributive punishment, or simply doing justice -- may be in ascendance, both in academic debate and in real world institutions. A number of modern sentencing guidelines have adopted it as their distributive principle. Desert is increasingly given deference in the purposes section of state criminal codes, where it can be the guiding principle in the interpretation and application of the code's provisions. Indeed, …


The Uneasy Entente Between Legal Insanity And Mens Rea: Beyond Clark V. Arizona, Stephen J. Morse, Morris B. Hoffman Jan 2007

The Uneasy Entente Between Legal Insanity And Mens Rea: Beyond Clark V. Arizona, Stephen J. Morse, Morris B. Hoffman

All Faculty Scholarship

There is uneasy tension in the criminal law between the doctrines of mens rea and the defense of legal insanity. Last term, the Supreme Court addressed both these issues, but failed to clarify the relation between them. Using a wide range of interdisciplinary materials, this article discusses the broad doctrinal, theoretical, and normative issues concerning responsibility that arise in this context. We clarify the meaning of mental disorder, mens rea and legal insanity, the justification for and the relation between the latter two, and the relation among all three. Next we consider the reasoning in Clark, and for the most …


Before And After: Temporal Anomalies In Legal Doctrine, Leo Katz Jan 2003

Before And After: Temporal Anomalies In Legal Doctrine, Leo Katz

All Faculty Scholarship

Legal doctrine exhibits some striking temporal anomalies, previously not much adverted to. Wrongdoing looked at before it has occurred, and after is has occurred, is apt to look very different. I take up the two key components of wrongdoing seriatim, the harm-portion and the misconduct-portion: the "damage" part and the "liability" part. We tend to look at harm in a harm-agnifying way before it has occurred, and in a harm-inimizing way afterwards. We thus tend to think about negligence and the harm it wreaks in seemingly inconsistent ways. I examine and reject some possible explanations of this. Misconduct too looks …


The Utility Of Desert, Paul H. Robinson, John M. Darley Jan 1997

The Utility Of Desert, Paul H. Robinson, John M. Darley

All Faculty Scholarship

The article takes up the debate between utility and desert as distributive principles for criminal liability and punishment and concludes that a utilitarian analysis that takes account of all costs and benefits will support the distribution of liability and punishment according to desert, or at least according to the principles of desert as perceived by the community. It reaches this conclusion after an examination of a variety of recent social science data. On the one hand, it finds the traditional utilitarian theories of deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation to have little effect in many instances. It finds instead that the real …


The Role Of Harm And Evil In Criminal Law: A Study In Legislative Deception?, Paul H. Robinson Jan 1994

The Role Of Harm And Evil In Criminal Law: A Study In Legislative Deception?, Paul H. Robinson

All Faculty Scholarship

What is the role of the occurrence of harm or evil in criminal law? What should it be? Answers to these questions commonly use the distinction between what is called an objective and a subjective view of criminality. To oversimplify, the objective view maintains that the occurrence of the harm or evil defined by the offense is highly relevant. The subjectivist view maintains that such harm or evil is irrelevant; only the actor's culpable state of mind regarding the occurrence of the harm or evil is important. The labels tend to overstate a rather subtle distinction. The objectivist or harmful …


Hybrid Principles For The Distribution Of Criminal Sanctions, Paul H. Robinson Jan 1987

Hybrid Principles For The Distribution Of Criminal Sanctions, Paul H. Robinson

All Faculty Scholarship

Most criminal codes, and most criminal law courses, begin with the 'familiar litany' of the purposes of criminal law sanctions - just punishment, deterrence, incapacitation of the dangerous, and rehabilitation. We train and direct our lawyers, judges, and legislators to use these purposes as guiding principles for the distribution of criminal sanctions. The purposes are thus to guide both the drafting and interpretation of criminal statutes and the imposition of criminal sentences in individual cases. The purposes frequently conflict, however, as part I will demonstrate. Conflicts arise because each purpose requires consideration of different criteria; in some cases, a particular …