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Full-Text Articles in Law

Proportionalities, Youngjae Lee Apr 2024

Proportionalities, Youngjae Lee

Notre Dame Law Review Reflection

“Proportionality” is ubiquitous. The idea that punishment should be proportional to crime is familiar in criminal law and has a lengthy history. But that is not the only place where one encounters the concept of proportionality in law and ethics. The idea of proportionality is important also in the self-defense context, where the right to defend oneself with force is limited by the principle of proportionality. Proportionality plays a role in the context of war, especially in the idea that the military advantage one side may draw from an attack must not be excessive in relation to the loss of …


Problem-Solving Courts And The Outcome Oversight Gap, Erin R. Collins Mar 2024

Problem-Solving Courts And The Outcome Oversight Gap, Erin R. Collins

UMKC Law Review

The creation of a specialized, “problem-solving” court is a ubiquitous response to the issues that plague our criminal legal system. The courts promise to address the factors believed to lead to repeated interactions with the system, such as addiction or mental illness, thereby reducing recidivism and saving money. And they do so effectively – at least according to their many proponents, who celebrate them as an example of a successful “evidence-based,” data-driven reform. But the actual data on their efficacy is underwhelming, inconclusive, or altogether lacking. So why do they persist?

This Article seeks to answer that question by scrutinizing …


The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan Jul 2023

The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan

All Faculty Scholarship

Every jurisdiction in the United States gives criminal defendants “credit” against their sentence for the time they spend detained pretrial. In a world of mass incarceration and overcriminalization that disproportionately impacts people of color, this practice appears to be a welcome mechanism for mercy and justice. In fact, however, crediting detainees for time served is perverse. It harms the innocent. A defendant who is found not guilty, or whose case is dismissed, gets nothing. Crediting time served also allows the state to avoid internalizing the full costs of pretrial detention, thereby making overinclusive detention standards less expensive. Finally, crediting time …


No Sense Of Decency, Kathryn E. Miller Mar 2023

No Sense Of Decency, Kathryn E. Miller

Articles

For nearly seventy years, the Court has assessed Eighth Amendment claims by evaluating “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” In this Article, I examine the evolving standards of decency test, which has long been a punching bag for critics on both the right and the left. Criticism of the doctrine has been fierce, but largely academic until recent years. Some fault the test for being too majoritarian, while others argue that it provides few constraints on the Justices’ discretion, permitting their personal predilections to rule the day. For many, the test is seen …


“Incorrigibility Is Inconsistent With Youth”: The Supreme Court’S Missed Opportunity To Cure The Contradiction Implicit In Discretionary Jlwop Sentencing, Ana Ionescu Feb 2022

“Incorrigibility Is Inconsistent With Youth”: The Supreme Court’S Missed Opportunity To Cure The Contradiction Implicit In Discretionary Jlwop Sentencing, Ana Ionescu

University of Miami Law Review

The juvenile life without parole (“JLWOP”) caselaw is based in part on the science underlying adolescent brain development. Numerous research studies have examined the behaviors and brain processes of adolescents. Courts have relied on these findings in reaching some of its most important decisions affecting juveniles implicated in the criminal justice system. The latest of those decisions came in 2021 with the Jones v. Mississippi case before the United States Supreme Court. The Court held that a sentencing court is not required to make a specific finding of permanent incorrigibility before sentencing the juvenile defendant to life without parole. This …


Informed Consent: Disclosure Of The Presentence Investigation Report Before A Guilty Plea, George D. Bell Jul 2021

Informed Consent: Disclosure Of The Presentence Investigation Report Before A Guilty Plea, George D. Bell

University of Miami Law Review

The Constitution bestows upon all accused persons the right to a trial by jury, the right to confront accusers, the right to remain silent, and the right to be presumed innocent. The law requires waiver of these rights to be done voluntarily, with the fullest possible knowledge of material consequences. Punishment is possibly the most material consequence of a guilty plea, yet criminal defendants who pleaded guilty are forced to relinquish their rights before punishment is determined. Our jurisprudence of due process prohibits this kind of practice, but it is routine in Federal court. For a guilty plea to comport …


After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne Jul 2021

After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne

All Faculty Scholarship

While an offender’s conduct before and during the crime is the traditional focus of criminal law and sentencing rules, an examination of post-offense conduct can also be important in promoting criminal justice goals. After the crime, different offenders make different choices and have different experiences, and those differences can suggest appropriately different treatment by judges, correctional officials, probation and parole supervisors, and other decision-makers in the criminal justice system.

Positive post-offense conduct ought to be acknowledged and rewarded, not only to encourage it but also as a matter of fair and just treatment. This essay describes four kinds of positive …


Restorative Retributivism, Brian M. Murray Jun 2021

Restorative Retributivism, Brian M. Murray

University of Miami Law Review

The current criminal justice moment is ripe for discussion of first principles. What the criminal law is, what it should do, and why society punishes is as relevant as ever as communities reconsider the reach of the criminal law and forms of punishment like incarceration. One theory recently put forth—reconstructivism—purports to offer a descriptive and normative theory of the criminal law and punishment while critiquing the ills of the American system. It comprehends the criminal law and punishment as functional endeavors, with the particular goal of restitching or “reconstructing” the social fabric that crime disrupts. In particular, reconstructivism is a …


Can Prosecutors End Mass Incarceration?, Rachel E. Barkow Apr 2021

Can Prosecutors End Mass Incarceration?, Rachel E. Barkow

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. by Emily Bazelon.


Is Executive Function The Universal Acid?, Stephen J. Morse Nov 2020

Is Executive Function The Universal Acid?, Stephen J. Morse

All Faculty Scholarship

This essay responds to Hirstein, Sifferd and Fagan’s book, Responsible Brains (MIT Press, 2018), which claims that executive function is the guiding mechanism that supports both responsible agency and the necessity for some excuses. In contrast, I suggest that executive function is not the universal acid and the neuroscience at present contributes almost nothing to the necessary psychological level of explanation and analysis. To the extent neuroscience can be useful, it is virtually entirely dependent on well-validated psychology to correlate with the neuroscientific variables under investigation. The essay considers what executive function is and what the neuroscience adds to our …


Law School News: 'Injustice Dehumanizes Everyone It Touches' 1-31-2020, Michael M. Bowden Jan 2020

Law School News: 'Injustice Dehumanizes Everyone It Touches' 1-31-2020, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Remorse, Not Race: Essence Of Parole Release?, Lovashni Khalikaprasad Jan 2020

Remorse, Not Race: Essence Of Parole Release?, Lovashni Khalikaprasad

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Reckless Juveniles, Kimberly Thomas Feb 2019

Reckless Juveniles, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

Modern doctrine and scholarship largely take it for granted that offenders should be criminally punished for reckless acts.1 Yet, developments in our understanding of human behavior can shed light on how we define and attribute criminal liability, or at least force us to grapple with the categories that have existed for so long. This Article examines recklessness and related doctrines in light of the shifts in understanding of adolescent behavior and its biological roots, to see what insights we might attain, or what challenges these understandings pose to this foundational mens rea doctrine. Over the past decade, the U.S. Supreme …


In Fear We Trust: Anxious Political Rhetoric & The Politics Of Punishment, 1960s-80s, Stella Michelle Frank Jan 2019

In Fear We Trust: Anxious Political Rhetoric & The Politics Of Punishment, 1960s-80s, Stella Michelle Frank

Senior Projects Spring 2019

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts Jan 2019

Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts

All Faculty Scholarship

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 an …


Small Crimes, Big Injustices, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2019

Small Crimes, Big Injustices, Stephanos Bibas

Michigan Law Review

Review of Alexandra Natapoff's Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal.


Breaking The Silence: Holding Texas Lawyers Accountable For Sexual Harassment, Savannah Files Dec 2018

Breaking The Silence: Holding Texas Lawyers Accountable For Sexual Harassment, Savannah Files

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Following the 2017 exposure of Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement spread rapidly across social media platforms calling for increased awareness of the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault and demanding change. The widespread use of the hashtag brought attention to the issue and successfully facilitated a much-needed discussion in today’s society. However, this is not the first incident prompting a demand for change.

Efforts to bring awareness and exact change in regards to sexual harassment in the legal profession date back to the 1990s. This demonstrates that the legal profession is not immune from these issues. In fact, at least …


Divine Justice And The Library Of Babel: Or, Was Al Capone Really Punished For Tax Evasion?, Gabriel Mendlow Oct 2018

Divine Justice And The Library Of Babel: Or, Was Al Capone Really Punished For Tax Evasion?, Gabriel Mendlow

Articles

A criminal defendant enjoys an array of legal rights. These include the right not to be punished for an offense unless charged, tried, and proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; the right not to be punished disproportionately; and the right not to be punished for the same offense more than once. I contend that the design of our criminal legal system imperils these rights in ways few observers appreciate. Because criminal codes describe misconduct imprecisely and prohibit more misconduct than any legislature actually aspires to punish, prosecutors decide which violations of the code merit punishment, and judges decide how much …


Trapped In The Shackles Of America's Criminal Justice System, Shristi Devu May 2018

Trapped In The Shackles Of America's Criminal Justice System, Shristi Devu

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming


Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


Deterrence, David Crump Jan 2018

Deterrence, David Crump

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Michigan Law Review

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame); and …


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. …


Trending @ Rwu Law: Dean Yelnosky's Post: Chelsea Manning, Professor David Coombs, And The "Wikileaks Trial" 08-28-2017, Edward Fitzpatrick, Roger Williams University School Of Law Aug 2017

Trending @ Rwu Law: Dean Yelnosky's Post: Chelsea Manning, Professor David Coombs, And The "Wikileaks Trial" 08-28-2017, Edward Fitzpatrick, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law School Blogs

No abstract provided.


Does Hard Incompatibilism Really Abolish ‘Right’ And ‘Wrong’? Some Thoughts In Response To Larry Alexander, John A. Humbach Mr. Mar 2017

Does Hard Incompatibilism Really Abolish ‘Right’ And ‘Wrong’? Some Thoughts In Response To Larry Alexander, John A. Humbach Mr.

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

In a challenge to recent writings of Derk Pereboom and Gregg Caruso,3 Larry Alexander makes the following claim: If one accepts the Pereboom-Caruso “hard incompatibilist” view of choice, which regards blame and retributive punishment as morally unjustified because free will is an illusion, then “normativity completely disappears.” In making this claim, Professor Alexander appears to hold that the moral distinction between right and wrong conduct (“normativity”) cannot effectively exist unless those who do wrong “deserve” to receive blame and punishment in response to their misbehavior. This is not, however, necessarily so.


How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, Owen D. Jones, B. J. Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Et Al . Feb 2017

How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, Owen D. Jones, B. J. Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Et Al .

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The justice system in the United States has long recognized that juvenile offenders are not the same as adults, and has tried to incorporate those differences into law and policy. But only in recent decades have behavioral scientists and neuroscientists, along with policymakers, looked rigorously at developmental differences, seeking answers to two overarching questions: Are young offenders, purely by virtue of their immaturity, different from older individuals who commit crimes? And, if they are, how should justice policy take this into account?

A growing body of research on adolescent development now confirms that teenagers are indeed inherently different from adults, …


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 …


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

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

All Faculty Scholarship

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. …


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.


Restorative Practices: Righting The Wrongs Of Exclusionary School Discipline, Marilyn Armour Mar 2016

Restorative Practices: Righting The Wrongs Of Exclusionary School Discipline, Marilyn Armour

University of Richmond Law Review

The purpose of this article is to explain the pressing need for school-based restorative justice as a philosophy and mechanism to alter increasingly negative school climates, redress educators' retributive orientation to student behavior, and redirect the school-to-prison pipeline. Part I discusses the manifestations ofthe current crisis in education. Although zero tolerance was intended to increase school safety, recent studies attest to the severe iatrogenic consequences including high rates of in-school and out-of-school suspensions, ever-increasing racial disparities in the use of punishment, the misuse of harsh disciplinary procedures with traumatized youth, and growing evidence of educator dropout that parallels the failure …