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Full-Text Articles in Law

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Nov 2017

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Michigan Law Review

Of the many diagnoses of American criminal justice’s ills, few focus on externalities. Yet American criminal justice systematically overpunishes in large part because few mechanisms exist to force consideration of the full social costs of criminal justice interventions. Actors often lack good information or incentives to minimize the harms they impose. Part of the problem is structural: criminal justice is fragmented vertically among governments, horizontally among agencies, and individually among self-interested actors. Part is a matter of focus: doctrinally and pragmatically, actors overwhelmingly view each case as an isolated, short-term transaction to the exclusion of broader, long-term, and aggregate effects. …


Innocent Suffering: The Unavailability Of Post-Conviction Relief In Virginia Courts, Kaitlyn Potter Nov 2016

Innocent Suffering: The Unavailability Of Post-Conviction Relief In Virginia Courts, Kaitlyn Potter

University of Richmond Law Review

This comment examines actual innocence in Virginia: the progress it has made, the problems it still faces, and the possibilities for reform. Part I addresses past reform to the system, spurred by the shocking tales of Thomas Haynesworth and others. Part II identifies three of the most prevalent systemic challenges marring Virginia's justice system: (1) flawed scientific evidence; (2) the premature destruction of evidence; and (3) false confessions and guilty pleas. Part III suggests ways in which Virginia can, and should, address these challenges to ensure that the justice system is actually serving justice.


The Territorial Principle In Penal Law: An Attempted Justification, Patrick J. Fitzgerald Apr 2016

The Territorial Principle In Penal Law: An Attempted Justification, Patrick J. Fitzgerald

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


The Complicated Economics Of Prison Reform, John F. Pfaff Jan 2016

The Complicated Economics Of Prison Reform, John F. Pfaff

Michigan Law Review

Two recent books on prison growth directly address the relationship between penal change and economic conditions: Hadar Aviram’s Cheap on Crime and Marie Gottschalk’s Caught. Aviram’s is the more optimistic of the two accounts, arguing that there is at least some potential in an economic-based reform effort. Gottschalk, on the other hand, fears not only that economic-based efforts could fail to lead to significant reforms, but that they could actually make prison life worse for inmates if states cut funding and support without cutting populations. Both books make many provocative points, but both also suffer from some surprising omissions. …


A Pink Cadillac, An Iq Of 63, And A Fourteen-Year-Old From South Carolina: Why I Can No Longer Support The Death Penalty, Mark Earley Sr. Mar 2015

A Pink Cadillac, An Iq Of 63, And A Fourteen-Year-Old From South Carolina: Why I Can No Longer Support The Death Penalty, Mark Earley Sr.

University of Richmond Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Role Of Race, Poverty, Intellectual Disability, And Mental Illness In The Decline Of The Death Penalty, Stephen B. Bright Mar 2015

The Role Of Race, Poverty, Intellectual Disability, And Mental Illness In The Decline Of The Death Penalty, Stephen B. Bright

University of Richmond Law Review

No abstract provided.


Discounting And Criminals' Implied Risk Preferences, Murat C. Mungan, Jonathan Klick Jan 2015

Discounting And Criminals' Implied Risk Preferences, Murat C. Mungan, Jonathan Klick

All Faculty Scholarship

It is commonly assumed that potential offenders are more responsive to increases in the certainty than increases in the severity of punishment. An important implication of this assumption within the Beckerian law enforcement model is that criminals are risk-seeking. This note adds to existing literature by showing that offenders who discount future monetary benefits can be more responsive to the certainty rather than the severity of punishment, even when they are risk averse, and even when their disutility from imprisonment rises proportionally (or more than proportionally) with the length of the sentence.


The ’73 Graft: Punishment, Political Economy, And The Genealogy Of Morals, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2015

The ’73 Graft: Punishment, Political Economy, And The Genealogy Of Morals, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In this essay, I explore the place of a genealogy of morals within the context of a history of political economy. More specifically, I investigate the types of moralization – of criminals and delinquents, of the disorderly, but also of political economic systems, of workers and managers, of rules and rule-breaking – that are necessary and integral to making a population accept new styles of political and economic governance, especially the punitive institutions that accompany modern political economies in the contemporary period.

The marriage of political economy and a genealogy of morals: this essay explores how the moralization of certain …


The Rise Of Carrots And The Decline Of Sticks, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Gerrit De Geest Jan 2013

The Rise Of Carrots And The Decline Of Sticks, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Gerrit De Geest

Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

There is a remarkable tendency in modern legal systems to increasingly use carrots. This trend is not limited to legal systems but can also be observed in, for instance, parenting styles, social control mechanisms, and even law schools’ teaching methods. Yet, at first glance, sticks appear to be a more efficient means of inducing people to comply with legal rules or social norms because they are not meant to be applied (thus minimizing transaction costs and risks) and may cause fewer unintended distributional distortions. So how can we justify the widespread use of carrots?

This Article shows that carrots can …


On The Role Of Cost-Benefit Analysis In Criminal Justice Policy: A Response To The Imprisoner's Dilemma, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2013

On The Role Of Cost-Benefit Analysis In Criminal Justice Policy: A Response To The Imprisoner's Dilemma, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

With one in 100 adult Americans behind bars, and prison budgets consuming an increasing share of state budgets, few social policy issues compare in significance to the debate over which criminal offenders should be incarcerated and for how long. David Abrams' article, The Impriasoner's Dilemma: A Cost-Benefit Approach to Incarceration,' makes an important contribution to that debate, offering an economic approach to assessing the net benefits of holding or freeing prisoners on the incarceration margin. In this short Response, I first highlight several strengths of Abrams' piece and discuss the possible case that could be made for incorporating formal cost-benefit …


Do Judges Vary In Their Treatment Of Race?, David S. Abrams, Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan Sep 2010

Do Judges Vary In Their Treatment Of Race?, David S. Abrams, Marianne Bertrand, Sendhil Mullainathan

All Faculty Scholarship

Are minorities treated differently by the legal system? Systematic racial differences in case characteristics, many unobservable, make this a difficult question to answer directly. In this paper, we estimate whether judges differ from each other in how they sentence minorities, avoiding potential bias from unobservable case characteristics by exploiting the random assignment of cases to judges. We measure the between-judge variation in the difference in incarceration rates and sentence lengths between African-American and White defendants. We perform a Monte Carlo simulation in order to explicitly construct the appropriate counterfactual, where race does not influence judicial sentencing. In our data set, …


Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: A Brief Genealogy, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The turn of the twenty first century witnessed important shifts in punishment practices. The most shocking is mass incarceration – the exponential rise in prisoners in state and federal penitentiaries and in county jails beginning in 1973. It is tempting to view these developments as evidence of something new that emerged in the 1970s – of a new culture of control, a new penology, or a new turn to biopower. But it would be a mistake to place too much emphasis on the 1970s since most of the recent trends have antecedents and parallels in the early twentieth century. It …


Neoliberal Penality: The Birth Of Natural Order, The Illusion Of Free Markets, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2009

Neoliberal Penality: The Birth Of Natural Order, The Illusion Of Free Markets, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

What work do the categories “the free market” and “regulation” do for us? Why do we incarcerate one out of every one hundred adults? These seemingly unrelated questions, it turns out, are deeply interconnected. The categories of free and regulated markets emerged as an effort to make sense of irreducibly individual phenomena – unique forms of market organization. In the process, these categories helped shape our belief that the economic realm is characterized by natural order and equilibrium, and that the only legitimate sphere of government intervention is policing and punishment. The consequences have been devastating: first, in distorting and …


The Model Federal Sentencing Guidelines Project: Adjustments For Guilty Pleas And Cooperation With The Government, Model Sentencing Guidelines §3.7 - 3.8, Frank O. Bowman Iii Jul 2006

The Model Federal Sentencing Guidelines Project: Adjustments For Guilty Pleas And Cooperation With The Government, Model Sentencing Guidelines §3.7 - 3.8, Frank O. Bowman Iii

Faculty Publications

This Article is the tenth of twelve parts of a set of Model Federal Sentencing Guidelines designed to illustrate the feasibility and advantages of a simplified approach to federal sentencing proposed by the Constitution Project Sentencing Initiative. The Model Sentencing Guidelines and the Constitution Project report are all to be published in Volume 18, Number 5 of the Federal Sentencing Reporter. The project is described in an essay titled 'Tis a Gift To Be Simple: A Model Reform of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, available on SSRN at http://ssrn.com/abstract=927929. This segment of the project contains rules addressing cases in which the …


Crime, Criminals, And Competitive Crime Control, Wayne A. Logan Jun 2006

Crime, Criminals, And Competitive Crime Control, Wayne A. Logan

Michigan Law Review

Given the negative consequences of crime, it should come as no surprise that states will endeavor to make their dominions less hospitable to potential criminal actors. This predisposition, when played out on a national stage, would appear ripe for a dynamic in which states will seek to "out-tough" one another, leading to a spiral of detrimental competitiveness. Doran Teichman, in an article recently appearing in these pages, advances just such a view. Teichman posits that the decentralized structure of America's federalist system provides states with "an incentive to increasingly harshen" their crime control efforts, with the net result being excessive …


The Political Market For Criminal Justice, Rachel E. Barkow Jun 2006

The Political Market For Criminal Justice, Rachel E. Barkow

Michigan Law Review

In 2004, the number of individuals incarcerated in the United States exceeded the two million mark. The current incarceration rate in the United States is 726 per 100,000 residents, the highest incarceration rate in the Western world and a dramatic increase from just three decades ago. Not only are more people serving time, but sentences have markedly lengthened. What should we make of these trends? The answer has been easy for most legal scholars: to them, the incarceration rate in the United States is too high, and reforms are necessary to lower sentences. But many political leaders and voters reach …


Decentralizing Crime Control: The Political Economy Perspective, Doron Teichman Jun 2006

Decentralizing Crime Control: The Political Economy Perspective, Doron Teichman

Michigan Law Review

In an article recently published on the pages of this Law Review, The Market for Criminal Justice: Federalism, Crime Control, and Jurisdictional Competition ("The Market"), I put forward a theory of crime control in a decentralized government. Specifically, I made three distinct claims. First, criminal justice policies affect the geographic decision of criminals as to where to commit their crimes. Other things being equal, criminal activity will tend to shift to areas in which the expected sanction is lower. Second, local jurisdictions attempting to lower their crime rates will react to policies adopted by neighboring jurisdictions and try …


Murder, Meth, Mammon & Moral Values: The Political Landscape Of American Sentencing Reform (In Symposium On White Collar Crime), Frank O. Bowman Iii Apr 2005

Murder, Meth, Mammon & Moral Values: The Political Landscape Of American Sentencing Reform (In Symposium On White Collar Crime), Frank O. Bowman Iii

Faculty Publications

This Article examines the ongoing American experiment in mass incarceration and considers the prospects for meaningful sentencing reform.


Briefing Paper On Problems In Redefining "Loss" (U.S. Sentencing Commission Economic Crime Symposium), Frank O. Bowman Iii Jul 2000

Briefing Paper On Problems In Redefining "Loss" (U.S. Sentencing Commission Economic Crime Symposium), Frank O. Bowman Iii

Faculty Publications

On October 12-13, 2000, the U.S. Sentencing Commission sponsored its Third Symposium On Crime and Punishment in the United States: Federal Sentencing Policy for Economic Crimes and New Technology Offenses. The afternoon of the first day of the meeting was devoted to discussing the concept of “loss” as a measurement of defendant culpability and offense seriousness. The conferees were divided into small groups to discuss discrete sub-issues relating to “loss” and its place in sentencing economic crimes under the Guidelines. Following the small group discussions, the discussion leaders (“facilitators”) addressed a plenary session of the conference to report on the …


Deterrence And Damages: The Multiplier Principle And Its Alternatives, Richard Craswell Jun 1999

Deterrence And Damages: The Multiplier Principle And Its Alternatives, Richard Craswell

Michigan Law Review

One purpose of fines and damage awards is to deter harmful behavior. When enforcement is imperfect, however, so the probability that any given violation will be punished is less than 100%, the law's deterrent effect is usually thought to be reduced. Thus, it is often said that the ideal penalty (insofar as deterrence is concerned) equals the harm caused by the violation multiplied by one over the probability of punishment. For example, if a violation faces only a 25% (or one-in-four) chance of being punished, on this view the optimal penalty would be four times the harm caused by the …


Revenge On Utilitarianism: Renouncing A Comprehensive Economic Theory Of Crime And Punishment, William L. Barnes Jr. Apr 1999

Revenge On Utilitarianism: Renouncing A Comprehensive Economic Theory Of Crime And Punishment, William L. Barnes Jr.

Indiana Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Deterrence's Difficulty, Neal Kumar Katyal Aug 1997

Deterrence's Difficulty, Neal Kumar Katyal

Michigan Law Review

We all crave simple elegance. Physicists since Einstein have been searching for a grand unified theory that will tie everything together in a simple model. Law professors have their own grand theories - law and economics's Coase Theorem and constitutional law's Originalism immediately spring to mind. Criminal law is no different, for the analogue is our faith in deterrence - the belief that increasing the penalty on an activity will mean that fewer people will perform it. This theory has much to commend it. After all, economists and shoppers have known for ages that a price increase in a good …


The Allocation Of Prosecution: An Economic Analysis, Michigan Law Review Jan 1976

The Allocation Of Prosecution: An Economic Analysis, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note uses economic theory to reassess the division of prosecutorial tasks between victims and the government for offenses other than victimless offenses. It attempts to answer in a general manner questions such as why the prosecutor should differ from offense to offense and where ,the line should be drawn between governmental and individual prosecution. Work done in the areas of welfare economics and public finance concerning the effectiveness of government and the private sector in providing different sorts of goods is drawn upon heavily. This Note views prosecution as an economic good and a victim's prosecution of an offender …