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Full-Text Articles in Law

Forced Prison Labor: Punishment For A Crime?, Wafa Junaid Jan 2022

Forced Prison Labor: Punishment For A Crime?, Wafa Junaid

Northwestern University Law Review

The Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude carves out an exception to its protections that allows the use of forced labor as “punishment for a crime” when an individual is “duly convicted.” Courts have interpreted this language as placing a categorical bar on Thirteenth Amendment claims alleged by individuals who are incarcerated. Yet, a consistent understanding of the term “punishment” that draws from the term’s use in the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause supports a narrower interpretation of the Thirteenth Amendment’s punishment exception. This Note argues that individuals cannot be denied Thirteenth Amendment protections unless they are explicitly …


Mass Incarceration Paradigm Shift?: Convergence In An Age Of Divergence, Mugambi Jouet Jan 2019

Mass Incarceration Paradigm Shift?: Convergence In An Age Of Divergence, Mugambi Jouet

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The peculiar harshness of modern American justice has led to a vigorous scholarly debate about the roots of mass incarceration and its divergence from humanitarian sentencing norms prevalent in other Western democracies. Even though the United States reached virtually world-record imprisonment levels between 1983 and 2010, the Supreme Court never found a prison term to be “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment. By countenancing extreme punishments with no equivalent elsewhere in the West, such as life sentences for petty recidivists, the Justices’ reasoning came to exemplify the exceptional nature of American justice. Many scholars concluded that punitiveness had …


Torture And Respect, Jacob Bronsther Jan 2019

Torture And Respect, Jacob Bronsther

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

There are two well-worn arguments against a severe punishment like long-term incarceration: it is disproportionate to the offender’s wrongdoing and an inefficient use of state resources. This Article considers a third response, one which penal reformers and theorists have radically neglected, even though it is recognized in the law: the punishment is degrading. In considering penal degradation, this Article examines what judges and scholars have deemed the exemplar of degrading treatment—torture. What is torture, and why is it wrong to torture people? If we can answer this question, this Article maintains, then we can understand when and why certain …


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jun 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Northwestern University Law Review

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety …


The Thin Blue Line From Crime To Punishment, Alice Ristroph Jan 2018

The Thin Blue Line From Crime To Punishment, Alice Ristroph

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Criminal law scholarship is marked by a sharp fault line separating substantive criminal law from criminal procedure. Philosophical work focuses almost exclusively on the substantive side of that line, addressing adjudicative procedure (the trial process) rarely and investigative procedure (especially police conduct) almost never. Instead, criminal law theorists devote substantial attention to just two questions: what conduct should be criminal, and why is punishment justified? This essay argues that criminal law theory cannot adequately address these favored subjects—the definition of crime and the justification of punishment—without also addressing the enforcement mechanisms that link crimes to punishments. Specifically, philosophers of criminal …


Fragmentation And Democracy In The Constitutional Law Of Punishment, Richard A. Bierschbach Aug 2017

Fragmentation And Democracy In The Constitutional Law Of Punishment, Richard A. Bierschbach

Northwestern University Law Review

Scholars have long studied the relationship of structural constitutional principles like checks and balances to democracy. But the relationship of such principles to democracy in criminal punishment has received less attention. This Essay examines that relationship and finds it fraught with both promise and peril for the project of democratic criminal justice. On the one hand, by blending a range of inputs into punishment determinations, the constitutional fragmentation of the punishment power can enhance different types of influence in an area in which perspective is of special concern. At the same time, the potentially positive aspects of fragmentation can backfire, …


Finding A Right To Remain: Immigration, Deportation, And Due Process, Simon Y. Svirnovskiy May 2017

Finding A Right To Remain: Immigration, Deportation, And Due Process, Simon Y. Svirnovskiy

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Reforming School Discipline, Derek W. Black Dec 2016

Reforming School Discipline, Derek W. Black

Northwestern University Law Review

Public schools suspend millions of students each year, but less than ten percent of suspensions are for serious misbehavior. School leaders argue that these suspensions ensure an orderly educational environment for those students who remain. Social science demonstrates the opposite. The practice of regularly suspending students negatively affects misbehaving students as well as innocent bystanders. All things being equal, schools that manage student behavior through means other than suspension produce the highest achieving students. In this respect, the quality of education a school provides is closely connected to its discipline policies.

Reformers have largely overlooked the connection between discipline and …


Revisiting Beccaria's Vision: The Enlightenment, America's Death Penalty, And The Abolition Movement, John D. Bessler Jan 2009

Revisiting Beccaria's Vision: The Enlightenment, America's Death Penalty, And The Abolition Movement, John D. Bessler

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

In 1764, Cesare Beccaria, a 26-year-old Italian, penned . The treatise argued that state-sanctioned executions and torture violate natural law. As we near the 250th anniversary of its publication, author John D. Bessler provides a comprehensive review of the abolition movement, from before Beccaria's time to the present. Bessler reviews Beccaria's influence on Enlightenment thinkers and more importantly, on America's Founding Fathers. The Article also provides an extensive review of Eighth Amendment jurisprudence and then contrasts it with the trend in International Law towards the abolition of the death penalty. It then discusses the current state of the death penalty …