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Full-Text Articles in Public Law and Legal Theory

After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne Aug 2019

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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Prosecutorial Discretion: The Difficulty And Necessity Of Public Inquiry, Bruce A. Green Apr 2019

Prosecutorial Discretion: The Difficulty And Necessity Of Public Inquiry, Bruce A. Green

Dickinson Law Review

Prosecutors’ discretionary decisions have enormous impact on individuals and communities. Often, prosecutors exercise their vast power and discretion in questionable ways. This Article argues that, to encourage prosecutors to use their power wisely and not abusively, there is a need for more informed public discussion of prosecutorial discretion, particularly with regard to prosecutors’ discretionary decisions about whether to bring criminal charges and which charges to bring. But the Article also highlights two reasons why informed public discussion is difficult—first, because public and professional expectations about how prosecutors should use their power are vague; and, second, because, particularly in individual ...


Codifying A Sharia-Based Criminal Law In Developing Muslim Countries, Paul H. Robinson Apr 2019

Codifying A Sharia-Based Criminal Law In Developing Muslim Countries, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper reproduces presentations made at the University of Tehran in March 2019 as part of the opening and closing remarks for a Conference on Criminal Law Development in Muslim-Majority Countries. The opening remarks discuss the challenges of codifying a Shari’a-based criminal code, drawing primarily from the experiences of Professor Robinson in directing codification projects in Somalia and the Maldives. The closing remarks apply many of those lessons to the situation currently existing in Iran. Included is a discussion of the implications for Muslim countries of Robinson’s social psychology work on the power of social influence and internalized ...


Mitigations: The Forgotten Side Of The Proportionality Principle, Paul H. Robinson Feb 2019

Mitigations: The Forgotten Side Of The Proportionality Principle, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the first change to the Model Penal Code since its promulgation in 1962, the American Law Institute in 2017 set blameworthiness proportionality as the dominant distributive principle for criminal punishment. Empirical studies suggest that this is in fact the principle that ordinary people use in assessing proper punishment. Its adoption as the governing distributive principle makes good sense because it promotes not only the classic desert retributivism of moral philosophers but also crime-control utilitarianism, by enhancing the criminal law’s moral credibility with the community and thereby promoting deference, compliance, acquiescence, and internalization of its norms, rather than suffering ...


Falling Between The Cracks: Understanding Why States Fail In Protecting Our Children From Crime, Michal Gilad Nov 2018

Falling Between The Cracks: Understanding Why States Fail In Protecting Our Children From Crime, Michal Gilad

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The article is the first to take an inclusive look at the monumental problem of crime exposure during childhood, which is estimated to be one of the most damaging and costly public health and public safety problem in our society today. It takes-on the challenging task of ‘naming’ the problem by coining the term Comprehensive Childhood Crime Impact or in short the Triple-C Impact. Informed by scientific findings, the term embodies the full effect of direct and indirect crime exposure on children due to their unique developmental characteristics, and the spillover effect the problem has on our society as a ...


A General Mitigation For Disturbance-Driven Crimes?: Psychic State, Personal Choice, And Normative Inquiries, Paul H. Robinson Oct 2018

A General Mitigation For Disturbance-Driven Crimes?: Psychic State, Personal Choice, And Normative Inquiries, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is argued here that the narrow provoked “heat of passion” mitigation available under current law ought to be significantly expanded to include not just murder but all felonies and not just “heat of passion” but potentially all mental or emotional disturbances, whenever the offender’s situation and capacities meaningfully reduce the offender’s blameworthiness for the violation. In determining eligibility for mitigation, the jury should take into account (a) the extent to which the offender was acting under the influence of mental or emotional disturbance (the psychic state inquiry), (b) given the offender’s situation and capacities, the extent ...


Effects Of Senate Bill 4 On Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are At Risk In Low-Income Occupations, Daniella Salas-Chacon Aug 2018

Effects Of Senate Bill 4 On Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are At Risk In Low-Income Occupations, Daniella Salas-Chacon

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

Abstract forthcoming


Exploring Creative Problem Solving In Public Policy, Jade A. Costello May 2018

Exploring Creative Problem Solving In Public Policy, Jade A. Costello

Creative Studies Graduate Student Master's Projects

This project explores the connection between creativity and public policy-making through guided facilitation. In this exploration, there are several products that have been developed. The first is an index that provides definitions, charts, and process explanations for creativity, facilitation and public policy. The second is a completed facilitation plan that incorporates both the FourSight model for group facilitation (Miller, Vehar, Firestein, Thurber & Nielsen, 2011a) and Marvin Weisbord’s (1992) exploration of creative strategies for discovering common ground through policy conferences. The third product is an evaluation matrix, which would be used post-facilitation to understand the strengths and weaknesses from the ...


Anticompetitive Mergers In Labor Markets, Ioana Marinescu, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2018

Anticompetitive Mergers In Labor Markets, Ioana Marinescu, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Mergers of competitors are conventionally challenged under the federal antitrust laws when they threaten to lessen competition in some product or service market in which the merging firms sell. Mergers can also injure competition in markets where the firms purchase. Although that principle is widely recognized, very few litigated cases have applied merger law to buyers. This article concerns an even more rarefied subset, and one that has barely been mentioned. Nevertheless, its implications are staggering. Some mergers may be unlawful because they injure competition in the labor market by enabling the post-merger firm anticompetitively to suppress wages or salaries ...


The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Jan 2018

The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This excerpt from the recently published Shadow Vigilantes book argues that, while vigilantism, even moral vigilantism, can be dangerous to a society, the real danger is not of hordes of citizens, frustrated by the system’s doctrines of disillusionment, rising up to take the law into their own hands. Frustration can spark a vigilante impulse, but such classic aggressive vigilantism is not the typical response. More common is the expression of disillusionment in less brazen ways by a more surreptitious undermining and distortion of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Shadow vigilantes, as they might be called, can affect ...


Mapping American Criminal Law: Variations Across The 50 States: Chapter One: Distributive Principles Of Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams Jan 2018

Mapping American Criminal Law: Variations Across The 50 States: Chapter One: Distributive Principles Of Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This first chapter from the recently published book Mapping American Criminal Law: Variations across the 50 States documents the alternative distributive principles for criminal liability and punishment — desert, deterrence, incapacitation of the dangerous — that are officially recognized by law in each of the American states. The chapter contains two maps visually coded to display important differences: the first map shows which states have adopted desert, deterrence, or incapacitation as a distributive principle, while the second map shows which form of desert is adopted in those jurisdictions that recognize desert. Like all 38 chapters in the book, which covers a wide ...


The Loving Story: Using A Documentary To Reconsider The Status Of An Iconic Interracial Married Couple, Regina Austin Jan 2018

The Loving Story: Using A Documentary To Reconsider The Status Of An Iconic Interracial Married Couple, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Loving Story (Augusta Films 2011), directed by Nancy Buirski, tells the backstory of the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, that overturned state laws barring interracial marriage. The article looks to the documentary to explain why the Lovings should be considered icons of racial and ethnic civil rights, however much they might be associated with marriage equality today. The film shows the Lovings to be ordinary people who took their nearly decade long struggle against white supremacy to the nation’s highest court out of a genuine commitment to each other and a determination to live ...


A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2018

A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay provides an overview of the legal issues relating to intoxication, including the effect of voluntary intoxication in imputing to an offender a required offense culpable state of mind that he may not actually have had at the time of the offense; the effect of involuntary intoxication in providing a defense by negating a required offense culpability element or by satisfying the conditions of a general excuse; the legal effect of alcoholism or addiction in rendering intoxication involuntary; and the limitation on using alcoholism or addiction in this way if the offender can be judged to be reasonably responsible ...


“Long Past Time”: Cedaw Ratification In The United States, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Amanda M. Martin Jan 2018

“Long Past Time”: Cedaw Ratification In The United States, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Amanda M. Martin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

More than 70 years after Eleanor Roosevelt pioneered the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the US has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW or what is known as the global Bill of Rights for Women). The Trump administration is planning measures such as paid parental leave and child care legislation which are supported by the CEDAW. Despite the Trump administration's caution about human rights treaties, we argue that an enlightened self-interest on the part of the administration will draw it towards the CEDAW ratification despite the ratification ...


The Progressives: Racism And Public Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Nov 2017

The Progressives: Racism And Public Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

American Progressivism inaugurated the beginning of the end of American scientific racism. Its critics have been vocal, however. Progressives have been charged with promotion of eugenics, and thus with mainstreaming practices such as compulsory housing segregation, sterilization of those deemed unfit, and exclusion of immigrants on racial grounds. But if the Progressives were such racists, why is it that since the 1930s Afro-Americans and other people of color have consistently supported self-proclaimed progressive political candidates, and typically by very wide margins?

When examining the Progressives on race, it is critical to distinguish the views that they inherited from those that ...


Tragedy, Outrage & Reform: Crimes That Changed Our World: 1983 – Thurman Beating - Domestic Violence, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2017

Tragedy, Outrage & Reform: Crimes That Changed Our World: 1983 – Thurman Beating - Domestic Violence, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. As it turns out, it is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of our everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous, or so curious, or so heart-wrenching. These “trigger crimes” are the cases that this book is about.

They offer some incredible stories about how people, good and bad, change the world around ...


Trigger Crimes & Social Progress: The Tragedy-Outrage-Reform Dynamic In America, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2017

Trigger Crimes & Social Progress: The Tragedy-Outrage-Reform Dynamic In America, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. It is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous or so heart-wrenching.

This brief essay explores the dynamic of tragedy, outrage, and reform, illustrating how certain kinds of crimes can trigger real social progress. Several dozen such “trigger crimes” are identified but four in particular are ...


Report Of The Delaware Criminal Law Recodification Project, Paul H. Robinson, Matthew Kussmaul, Ilya Rudyak, Criminal Law Research Group Jul 2017

Report Of The Delaware Criminal Law Recodification Project, Paul H. Robinson, Matthew Kussmaul, Ilya Rudyak, Criminal Law Research Group

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In 1973, during the “first wave” of American criminal law recodification efforts following the publication of the Model Penal Code, Delaware adopted a new criminal code. While it represented a dramatic improvement over the law it replaced, its initial clarity and utility were greatly diminished by subsequent piecemeal legislation. Delaware’s current criminal code is lengthy, inconsistent, and replete with duplicative and outdated offenses that impose disproportional punishments. This process of criminal code deterioration is not unique to Delaware and plagues other U.S. jurisdictions. In 2015, however, stakeholders in Delaware’s criminal justice system initiated a code revision process ...


I Share, Therefore It's Mine, Donald J. Kochan Apr 2017

I Share, Therefore It's Mine, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Uniquely interconnecting lessons from law, psychology, and economics, this article aims to provide a more enriched understanding of what it means to “share” property in the sharing economy. It explains that there is an “ownership prerequisite” to the sharing of property, drawing in part from the findings of research in the psychology of child development to show when and why children start to share. They do so only after developing what psychologists call “ownership understanding.” What the psychological research reveals, then, is that the property system is well suited to create recognizable and enforceable ownership norms that include the rights ...


Bail Reform: New Directions For Pretrial Detention And Release, Megan Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson Mar 2017

Bail Reform: New Directions For Pretrial Detention And Release, Megan Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our current pretrial system imposes high costs on both the people who are detained pretrial and the taxpayers who foot the bill. These costs have prompted a surge of bail reform around the country. Reformers seek to reduce pretrial detention rates, as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities in the pretrial system, while simultaneously improving appearance rates and reducing pretrial crime. The current state of pretrial practice suggests that there is ample room for improvement. Bail hearings are often cursory, with no defense counsel present. Money-bail practices lead to high rates of detention even among misdemeanor defendants and those who ...


How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, B J. Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim A. Taylor-Thompson, Anthony D. Wagner Feb 2017

How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, B J. Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim A. Taylor-Thompson, Anthony D. Wagner

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Mapping American Criminal Law Variations Across The 50 States: Ch. 20 Statutory Rape, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams Jan 2017

Mapping American Criminal Law Variations Across The 50 States: Ch. 20 Statutory Rape, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is common for criminal law scholars from outside the United States to discuss the “American rule” and compare it to the rule of other countries. As this volume makes clear, however, there is no such thing as an “American rule.” Because each of the states, plus the District of Columbia and the federal system, have their own criminal law, there are fifty-two American criminal codes.

American criminal law scholars know this, of course, but they too commonly speak of the “general rule” as if it reflects some consensus or near consensus position among the states. But the truth is ...


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

Strict Liability's Criminogenic Effect, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Mapping American Criminal Law Variations Across The 50 States: Ch. 14 Insanity Defense, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams Jan 2017

Mapping American Criminal Law Variations Across The 50 States: Ch. 14 Insanity Defense, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is common for criminal law scholars from outside the United States to discuss the “American rule” and compare it to the rule of other countries. As this volume makes clear, however, there is no such thing as an “American rule.” Because each of the states, plus the District of Columbia and the federal system, have their own criminal law, there are fifty-two American criminal codes.

American criminal law scholars know this, of course, but they too commonly speak of the “general rule” as if it reflects some consensus or near consensus position among the states. But the truth is ...


Mapping American Criminal Law Variations Across The 50 States: Ch. 5 Felony-Murder Rule, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams Jan 2017

Mapping American Criminal Law Variations Across The 50 States: Ch. 5 Felony-Murder Rule, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is common for criminal law scholars from outside the United States to discuss the “American rule” and compare it to the rule of other countries. As this volume makes clear, however, there is no such thing as an “American rule.” Because each of the states, plus the District of Columbia and the federal system, have their own criminal law, there are fifty-two American criminal codes.

American criminal law scholars know this, of course, but they too commonly speak of the “general rule” as if it reflects some consensus or near consensus position among the states. But the truth is ...


The Reflection And Reification Of Racialized Language In Popular Media, Kelly E. Wright Jan 2017

The Reflection And Reification Of Racialized Language In Popular Media, Kelly E. Wright

Theses and Dissertations--Linguistics

This work highlights specific lexical items that have become racialized in specific contextual applications and tests how these words are cognitively processed. This work presents the results of a visual world (Huettig et al 2011) eye-tracking study designed to determine the perception and application of racialized (Coates 2011) adjectives. To objectively select the racialized adjectives used, I developed a corpus comprised of popular media sources, designed specifically to suit my research question. I collected publications from digital media sources such as Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and Fortune by scraping articles featuring specific search terms from their websites. This experiment seeks ...


Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri Jan 2017

Intersectionality And The Constitution Of Family Status, Serena Mayeri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—is, and always has been, deeply intertwined with inequalities of race, class, gender, and region. Many if not most of the plaintiffs who challenged legal discrimination based on family status in the 1960s and 1970s were impoverished women, men, and children of color who made constitutional equality claims. Yet the constitutional law of the family is largely silent about the status-based impact of laws that prefer marriage and disadvantage non-marital families. While some lower courts engaged with race-, sex-, and wealth-based discrimination arguments in family status cases, the Supreme Court largely avoided recognizing ...


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

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Women And The Making Of The Tunisian Constitution, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Anware Mnasri, Estee Ward Jan 2017

Women And The Making Of The Tunisian Constitution, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Anware Mnasri, Estee Ward

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article attempts to glean from field interviews and secondary sources some of the sociopolitical complexities that underlay women’s engagement in Tunisia’s 2011-14 constitution-making process. Elucidating such complexities can provide further insight into how women’s engagement impacted the substance and enforceability of the constitution’s final text. We argue that, in spite of longstanding roadblocks to implement and enforce constitutional guarantees, the greater involvement of Tunisian women in the constitution drafting process did make a difference in the final gender provisions of Tunisia’s constitution. Although not all recommendations were adopted, Tunisian women were able to use ...


Democratizing Criminal Law: Feasibility, Utility, And The Challenge Of Social Change, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2017

Democratizing Criminal Law: Feasibility, Utility, And The Challenge Of Social Change, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The notion of “democratizing criminal law” has an initial appeal because, after all, we believe in the importance of democracy and because criminal law is so important – it protects us from the most egregious wrongs and is the vehicle by which we allow the most serious governmental intrusions in the lives of individuals. Given criminal law’s special status, isn’t it appropriate that this most important and most intrusive governmental power be subject to the constraints of democratic determination?

But perhaps the initial appeal of this grand principle must give way to practical realities. As much as we are ...