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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Theorizing Failed Prosecutions, Jon B. Gould, Victoria M. Smiegocki, Richard A. Leo Jan 2022

Theorizing Failed Prosecutions, Jon B. Gould, Victoria M. Smiegocki, Richard A. Leo

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Over the last twenty years, the scholarly field of erroneous convictions has skyrocketed, with multiple articles and books exploring the failures that convict the innocent. However, there has been comparatively little attention to the other side of the coin, failed prosecutions, when the criminal justice system falls short in convicting the likely perpetrator. In this Article, we take up an analysis of failed prosecutions, simultaneously seeking to define its breadth and explain its relation to erroneous convictions. We explore potential hypotheses for the existence of failed prosecutions and then compare those theories to a set of failed prosecutions compiled from ...


Judicial Responses To Age And Other Mitigating Evidence: An Exploratory Case Study Of Juvenile Life Sentences In Pre-Miller Cases, José B. Ashford, Katherine Puzauskas, Robert Dormady Jan 2022

Judicial Responses To Age And Other Mitigating Evidence: An Exploratory Case Study Of Juvenile Life Sentences In Pre-Miller Cases, José B. Ashford, Katherine Puzauskas, Robert Dormady

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

This study describes how judges in Maricopa County, Arizona responded to age and other mitigation evidence in imposing “life” versus “natural life” sentences for juvenile offenders convicted of homicide in pre-Miller cases. Maricopa County was selected for this case study because of its history of adhering to “restrictive interpretations” of various kinds of mitigation evidence and because of the characteristics of this county’s local court community. The study employed a mixed-methods design consisting of a content analysis of relevant case documents and a quantitative analysis of the findings from the qualitative analyses of legal case documents. It examined ...


The Specific Deterrent Effects Of Criminal Sanctions For Intimate Partner Violence: A Meta-Analysis, Joel H. Garner, Christopher D. Maxwell, Jina Lee Jan 2021

The Specific Deterrent Effects Of Criminal Sanctions For Intimate Partner Violence: A Meta-Analysis, Joel H. Garner, Christopher D. Maxwell, Jina Lee

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

A dozen systematic reviews published since 1978 have sought to clarify the complexities of deterrence theory. These reviews emphasize the general deterrent effects of police presence, arrest, and incarceration on rates of homicide and other serious crimes, such as assault, rape, and burglary. These reviews provide less attention to specific deterrence processes and to the deterrent impacts of intermediate sanctions, such as prosecution or conviction; none of these reviews incorporate any of the research on criminal sanctions for intimate partner violence. To address these limitations, this research uses meta-analytic methods to assess the specific deterrent effects of three post-arrest criminal ...


"Defund The (School) Police"? Bringing Data To Key School-To-Prison Pipeline Claims, Michael Heise, Jason P. Nance Jan 2021

"Defund The (School) Police"? Bringing Data To Key School-To-Prison Pipeline Claims, Michael Heise, Jason P. Nance

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Nationwide calls to “Defund the Police,” largely attributable to the resurgent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, have motivated derivative calls for public school districts to consider “defunding” (or modifying) school resource officer (“SRO/police”) programs. To be sure, a school’s SRO/police presence—and the size of that presence—may influence the school’s student discipline reporting policies and practices. How schools report student discipline and whether that reporting involves referrals to law enforcement agencies matters, particularly as reports may fuel a growing “school-to-prison pipeline.” The school-to-prison pipeline research literature features two general claims that frame debates about changes in ...


Defending Constitutional Rights In Imbalanced Courtrooms, Esther Nir, Siyu Liu Jan 2021

Defending Constitutional Rights In Imbalanced Courtrooms, Esther Nir, Siyu Liu

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Safeguarding Fourth Amendment protections is critical to preserving individual privacy rights and fostering positive perceptions of police legitimacy within communities. Maintaining an effective accountability structure for police stops, searches, and seizures is a necessary step toward achieving these objectives. In this article, we use qualitative interviews and survey data with defense attorneys to explore—from a court community perspective— their use of discretion to uphold the Exclusionary Rule through bringing suppression motions. Data demonstrate that power dynamics within the court community lead defense attorneys to conclude that litigating rights violations is often a futile effort that interferes with favorable case ...


Constitutional Pandemic Surveillance, Matthew B. Kugler, Mariana Oliver Jan 2021

Constitutional Pandemic Surveillance, Matthew B. Kugler, Mariana Oliver

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

How do people view governmental pandemic surveillance? And how can their views inform courts considering the constitutionality of digital monitoring programs aimed at containing the spread of a highly contagious diseases? We measure the perceived intrusiveness of pandemic surveillance through two nationally representative surveys of Americans. Our results show that even at the height of a pandemic people find surveillance for public health to be more intrusive than surveillance for traditional law enforcement purposes. To account for these strong privacy concerns, we propose safeguards that we believe would make cell phone location tracking and other similar digital monitoring regimes constitutionally ...


The Prosecutor As A Final Safeguard Against False Convictions: How Prosecutors Assist With Exoneration, Elizabeth Webster Jan 2020

The Prosecutor As A Final Safeguard Against False Convictions: How Prosecutors Assist With Exoneration, Elizabeth Webster

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Prosecutors have helped secure an unprecedented number of recent exonerations. This development, combined with the rapid emergence of district attorney-initiated conviction integrity units (CIUs) raises several questions. How do prosecutors’ offices review postconviction innocence claims? How do they make decisions about the merits of those claims? How do CIU processes differ from non-CIU processes? This study examines the circumstances surrounding prosecutor-assisted exoneration cases through semi-structured interviews with 20 prosecutors and 19 defense attorneys. It draws from a sample of both CIU and non-CIU prosecutors, thereby enabling comparisons. Respondents were asked about their experiences and decision-making structures in specific, post-2005 exoneration ...


The Perceptions Of Juvenile Judges Regarding Adolescent Development In Evaluating Juvenile Competency, Colleen M. Berryessa, Jillian Reeves Jan 2020

The Perceptions Of Juvenile Judges Regarding Adolescent Development In Evaluating Juvenile Competency, Colleen M. Berryessa, Jillian Reeves

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

This analysis provides the first known in-depth qualitative inquiry into if and how juvenile court judges take the psycho-social immaturity and development of adolescents into consideration when making attributions of adjudicative competency of offenders in juvenile court. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-seven U.S. juvenile court judges, followed by grounded theory analysis. Competency evaluations from psychologists and the juvenile’s age, history, awareness, and mental capacity influence judicial determinations of competency. Although data show that understandings of adolescent development do play a large role in shaping judges’ understandings of juvenile behavior—particularly related to emotional control, irrational behavior, lack ...


"I Heard It Through The Grapevine": A Randomized Controlled Trial On The Direct And Vicarious Effects Of Preventative Specific Deterrence Initiatives In Criminal Networks, Barak Ariel, Ashley Englefield, John Denley Jan 2019

"I Heard It Through The Grapevine": A Randomized Controlled Trial On The Direct And Vicarious Effects Of Preventative Specific Deterrence Initiatives In Criminal Networks, Barak Ariel, Ashley Englefield, John Denley

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

A rich body of literature exists on deterrence, yet little is known about how deterrence messages are communicated through social networks. This is an important gap in our understanding, because such communication gives rise to the possibility that social institutions can utilize the vicarious effect of the threat of punishment against one individual to reduce the rate of reoffending amongst their criminal associates. To test this, we identified criminals with an extensive offending history (prolific offenders) and their co-offenders using social network analysis and then conducted a randomized controlled trial to measure the effect on both prolific offenders and their ...


Now You See Me: Problems And Strategies For Introducing Gender Self-Determination Into The Eighth Amendment For Gender Nonconforming Prisoners, Lizzie Bright Jan 2018

Now You See Me: Problems And Strategies For Introducing Gender Self-Determination Into The Eighth Amendment For Gender Nonconforming Prisoners, Lizzie Bright

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

As the fight for transgender rights becomes more visible in the United States, the plight of incarcerated transgender individuals seeking medical care behind bars is likewise gaining attention—and some trans prisoners are gaining access to gender-affirming care. However, progress for incarcerated members of the trans community has been slow, piecemeal, and not without problems. As federal court opinions in Eighth Amendment access-to-care cases brought by trans prisoners show, how a court interprets the subjective intent requirements of the Eighth Amendment and how the imprisoned plaintiff pleads his/her/their case can make or break the claim. Further, courts and ...


The Republican Party, Conservatives, And The Future Of Capital Punishment, Ben Jones Jan 2018

The Republican Party, Conservatives, And The Future Of Capital Punishment, Ben Jones

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The United States has experienced a significant decline in the death penalty during the first part of the twenty-first century, as death sentences, executions, public support, and states with capital punishment all have declined. Many recent reforms banning or placing a moratorium on executions have occurred in blue states, in line with the notion that ending the death penalty is a progressive cause. Challenging this narrative, however, is the emergence of Republican lawmakers as champions of death penalty repeal legislation in red states. This Article puts these efforts by Republican lawmakers into historical context and explains the conservative case against ...


The Downstream Effects Of Bail And Pretrial Detention On Racial Disparities In Incarceration, Ellen A. Donnelly, John M. Macdonald Jan 2018

The Downstream Effects Of Bail And Pretrial Detention On Racial Disparities In Incarceration, Ellen A. Donnelly, John M. Macdonald

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Bail and pretrial detention decisions may have important consequences for racial disparities in incarceration rates. Poor minority defendants who are unable to post bail and get released from jail before trial may be more likely to plead guilty and accept longer sentences of incarceration. Racial disparities in incarceration sentences may then reflect a combination of differences in the seriousness of a defendant’s case, criminal history, and economic resources to pay bail. This study examines the extent to which bail decision-making and pretrial detention explain Black-White disparities in criminal adjudications and sentences in the Delaware courts from 2012 to 2014 ...


Race And Death Sentencing For Oklahoma Homicides Committed Between 1990 And 2012, Glenn L. Pierce, Michael L. Radelet, Susan Sharp Jan 2017

Race And Death Sentencing For Oklahoma Homicides Committed Between 1990 And 2012, Glenn L. Pierce, Michael L. Radelet, Susan Sharp

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

This Article examines 4,668 Oklahoma homicide cases with an identified suspect that occurred during a twenty-three year period between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2012. Among these, we identified 153 cases that ended with a death sentence. Overall we found that while the defendant’s race did not correlate with a death sentence, there was a strong correlation with the race of the victim, with cases with white victims significantly more likely to end with a death sentence than cases with non-white victims. Homicides with female victims were also more likely to result in a death sentence than ...


Fulfilling Daubert's Gatekeeping Mandate Through Court-Appointed Experts, Stephanie Domitrovich Jan 2016

Fulfilling Daubert's Gatekeeping Mandate Through Court-Appointed Experts, Stephanie Domitrovich

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

No abstract provided.


Small Cells, Big Problems: The Increasing Precision Of Cell Site Location Information And The Need For Fourth Amendment Protections, Robert M. Bloom, William T. Clark Jan 2016

Small Cells, Big Problems: The Increasing Precision Of Cell Site Location Information And The Need For Fourth Amendment Protections, Robert M. Bloom, William T. Clark

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The past fifty years has witnessed an evolution in technology advancement in police surveillance. Today, one of the essential tools of police surveillance is something most Americans carry with them in their pockets every day, the cell phone. Cell phones not only contain a huge repository of personal data, they also provide continuous surveillance of a person’s movement known as cell site location information (CSLI).

In 1986, Congress sought to provide some privacy protections to CSLI in the Stored Communication Act. Although this solution may have struck the proper balance in an age when cell phones were a mere ...


An Empirical Research Agenda For The Forensic Sciences, Jonathan J. Koehler, John B. Meixner Jr. Jan 2016

An Empirical Research Agenda For The Forensic Sciences, Jonathan J. Koehler, John B. Meixner Jr.

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

After the National Academy of Sciences issued a stunning report in 2009 on the unscientific state of many forensic science subfields, forensic science has undergone internal and external scrutiny that it had managed to avoid for decades. Although some reform efforts are underway, forensic science writ large has yet to embrace and settle upon an empirical research agenda that addresses knowledge gaps pertaining to the reliability of its methods. Our paper addresses this problem by proposing a preliminary set of fourteen empirical studies for the forensic sciences. Following a brief discussion of the courtroom treatment of forensic science evidence, we ...


Looking Backwards At Old Cases: When Science Moves Forward, Jules Epstein Jan 2016

Looking Backwards At Old Cases: When Science Moves Forward, Jules Epstein

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Forensic evidence—be it in the form of science-derived analyses such as DNA profiling or drug identification, or in more subjective analyses such as pattern or impression [latent print, handwriting, firearms] examinations—is prevalent and often critical in criminal prosecutions. Yet, while the criminal court processes prize finality of verdicts, science evolves and often proves that earlier analyses were inadequate or plainly wrong. This article examines the tension between those two concerns by focusing on the 2015 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Maryland v. Kulbicki, addresses the inadequacies of the Court’s analysis, and suggests some factors ...


Sleuthing Scientific Evidence Information On The Internet, Carol Henderson, Diana Botluk Jan 2016

Sleuthing Scientific Evidence Information On The Internet, Carol Henderson, Diana Botluk

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

No abstract provided.


Recidivism And Time Served In Prison, Daniel P. Mears, Joshua C. Cochran, William D. Bales, Avinash S. Bhati Jan 2016

Recidivism And Time Served In Prison, Daniel P. Mears, Joshua C. Cochran, William D. Bales, Avinash S. Bhati

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

A justification for lengthier stays in prison stems from the belief that spending more time in prison reduces recidivism. Extant studies, however, have provided limited evidence for that belief and, indeed, suggest the effect of time served may be minimal. Few studies have employed rigorous methodological approaches, examined time spans of more than one to two years, or investigated the potential for the relationship between recidivism and time served to be curvilinear. Drawing on prior scholarship, this paper identifies three sets of hypotheses about the functional form of the time served and recidivism relationship. Using generalized propensity score analysis to ...


The Exercise Of Power In Prison Organizations And Implications For Legitimacy, John Wooldredge, Benjamin Steiner Jan 2016

The Exercise Of Power In Prison Organizations And Implications For Legitimacy, John Wooldredge, Benjamin Steiner

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Extrapolating from Bottoms and Tankebe’s framework for a social scientific understanding of “legitimacy,” we argue that differences in how correctional officers exercise “power” over prisoners can potentially impact their rightful claims to legitimate authority. Given the implications of this argument for the “cultivation” of legitimacy (as discussed by Weber), the study described here focused on (a) individual and prison level effects on the degree to which officers generally rely on different power bases when exercising their authority, and (b) whether more or less reliance on different power bases at the facility level impacts prisoners’ general perceptions of officers as ...


The Psychology Of Workplace Deviant & Criminal Behavior, William Brice, Deborah E. Rupp Jan 2015

The Psychology Of Workplace Deviant & Criminal Behavior, William Brice, Deborah E. Rupp

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The 2013 book Deviant and Criminal Behavior in the Workplace addresses the psychological constructs, situations, and environments underlying active counterproductive workplace behaviors. Building on a diverse range of psychological findings, this book highlights that the field of criminology needs to expand outside of the realm of violence and instead look at how deviant workplace behaviors can tie into—and motivate—other types of crime.


Symposium On The Center On Wrongful Convictions: Foreward, Karen L. Daniel Jan 2015

Symposium On The Center On Wrongful Convictions: Foreward, Karen L. Daniel

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

No abstract provided.


Prosecutors And Victims: Why Wrongful Convictions Matter, Jeanne Bishop, Mark Osler Jan 2015

Prosecutors And Victims: Why Wrongful Convictions Matter, Jeanne Bishop, Mark Osler

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Often, discussions of wrongful convictions focus almost entirely on the wrongfully convicted and ignore two important constituencies: prosecutors and crime victims. Both constituencies have unique connections to wrongful convictions and should be recognized as potentially powerful allies for change. Prosecutors are deeply committed to justice and to the outcomes of their cases; they can help identify and correct wrongful convictions and introduce policies to avoid wrongful convictions in the first place. Wrongful convictions matter to crime victims because convicting the wrong person leaves the real perpetrator free to commit more crimes, creates a new, innocent victim, and drains resources that ...


Trevino V. Thaler: Falling Short Of Meaningful Federal Habeas Corpus Reform, Cristina Law Jan 2015

Trevino V. Thaler: Falling Short Of Meaningful Federal Habeas Corpus Reform, Cristina Law

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Prisoners face many barriers when petitioning for federal habeas corpus relief, especially when asserting ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Trevino v. Thaler attempted to lower these barriers by carving out a narrow exception to the procedural default rule. Although a step in the right direction, this narrow exception fell short of meaningful habeas corpus reform. This Comment argues that although the Supreme Court’s decision in Trevino appears to guarantee habeas corpus petitioners the ability to raise ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims in federal court, it is unlikely to provide prisoners meaningful ...


The Chronic Failure To Discipline Prosecutors For Misconduct: Proposals For Reform, Thomas P. Sullivan, Maurice Possley Jan 2015

The Chronic Failure To Discipline Prosecutors For Misconduct: Proposals For Reform, Thomas P. Sullivan, Maurice Possley

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

While most prosecutors adhere to the maxim that their primary task is to obtain just results, there are some who violate their ethical responsibilities in order to rack up convictions. This article describes the distressing, decades-long absence of discipline imposed on prosecutors whose knowing misconduct has resulted in terrible injustices being visited upon defendants throughout the country. Many honorable lawyers have failed to speak out about errant prosecutors, thus enabling their ethical breaches. The silent accessories include practicing lawyers and judges of trial and reviewing courts who, having observed prosecutorial misconduct, failed to take corrective action. Fault also lies with ...


Who Could It Be Now? Challenging The Reliability Of First Time In-Court Identifications After State V. Henderson And State V. Lawson, Aliza B. Kaplan, Janis C. Puracal Jan 2015

Who Could It Be Now? Challenging The Reliability Of First Time In-Court Identifications After State V. Henderson And State V. Lawson, Aliza B. Kaplan, Janis C. Puracal

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Despite the recent advances in assessing the reliability of eyewitness identifications, the focus to date has largely been identifications made pretrial. Little has been written about identifications made for the first time in the courtroom. While in-court identifications have an extraordinarily powerful effect on juries, all such identifications are potentially vulnerable to post-event memory distortion and decay. Absent an identification procedure that effectively tests the witness’s memory, it is impossible to know if the witness’s identification of the defendant is a product of his or her original memory or a product of the extraordinarily suggestive circumstances created by ...


Prohibition, Stare Decisis, And The Lagging Ability Of Science To Influence Criminal Procedure, Wesley M. Oliver Jan 2015

Prohibition, Stare Decisis, And The Lagging Ability Of Science To Influence Criminal Procedure, Wesley M. Oliver

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Science has revealed that, contrary to longstanding intuitions, eyewitnesses are sometimes mistaken and false confessions do occur. The methods police use to obtain identifications and confessions can affect their reliability. Yet criminal procedure does not deter investigatory methods that produce unreliable evidence as thoroughly as it does those methods that produce reliable evidence. If an officer conducts an illegal search of a car trunk, the evidence is excluded and subsequently officers know that they must follow the rules if they hope to admit the fruits of such searches. If, however, an officer creates a suggestive lineup—which risks a false ...


Investigating The Programmatic Attack: A National Survey Of Veterans Treatment Courts, Julie Marie Baldwin Jan 2015

Investigating The Programmatic Attack: A National Survey Of Veterans Treatment Courts, Julie Marie Baldwin

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Veterans treatment courts (VTCs), a recent emergence from the specialized court movement, target the population of veterans in contact with the criminal justice system. Due to the contemporary nature of their dissemination, published empirical research on VTCs is only beginning to materialize. Additionally, national surveys of specialized courts are rare and typically occur decades after the courts emerge. This Article presents descriptive results regarding the establishment, policy, structure, and procedures of VTCs using data from the first national survey of these courts, conducted in the early stages of their emergence. A national compendium of VTCs (N = 114) was created. Seventy-nine ...


Lawful Or Fair? How Cops And Laypeople Perceive Good Policing, Tracey L. Meares, Tom R. Tyler, Jacob Gardener Jan 2015

Lawful Or Fair? How Cops And Laypeople Perceive Good Policing, Tracey L. Meares, Tom R. Tyler, Jacob Gardener

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Legal authorities and the public live in two separate worlds. One world is suffused with law, and the other world is suffused with people’s lived experiences that support their evaluations of fairness. When legal authorities consider whether police policies and practices are desirable, a framework regarding the lawfulness of the relevant policies and practices dominates the conversation. Police departments, their policies, and police officers’ actions are viewed as right or wrong with reference to constitutional standards, as interpreted by prosecutors, judges, and other legal actors. In contrast, we argue that the public is generally insensitive to the question of ...


What Is Wrong With Sex In Authority Relations? A Study In Law And Social Theory, Galia Schneebaum Jan 2015

What Is Wrong With Sex In Authority Relations? A Study In Law And Social Theory, Galia Schneebaum

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Criminalization of Sex within Authority Relations (SAR)—such as sex in the relationship between a therapist and a patient or an employer and an employee—is a growing phenomenon. Current theories conceptualize and consequently justify SAR offenses either under a liberal conception of sexual autonomy or under a feminist conception of gender inequality. Yet both conceptualizations are inadequate and fail to capture the distinctiveness of this new legal category. Specifically, they fail to explain the main puzzle underlying SAR offenses, which proscribe sexual contact in the absence of coercion by the offender. Rejecting both liberal and feminist analytical frameworks, this ...