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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Tragedy, Outrage & Reform Crimes That Changed Our World: 1911 – Triangle Factory Fire – Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Dec 2016

Tragedy, Outrage & Reform Crimes That Changed Our World: 1911 – Triangle Factory Fire – Building Safety Codes, 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 ...


Crime, Morality, And Republicanism, Richard Dagger Jul 2016

Crime, Morality, And Republicanism, Richard Dagger

Political Science Faculty Publications

One of the abiding concerns of the philosophy of law has been to establish the relationship between law and morality. Within the criminal law, this concern often takes the form of debates over legal moralism--that is, "the position that immorality is sufficient for criminalization" (Alexander 2003: 131). This paper approaches these debates from the perspective of the recently revived republican tradition in politics and law. Contrary to what is usually taken to be liberalism's hostility to legal moralism, and especially to attempts to promote virtue through the criminal law, the republican approach takes the promotion of virtue to be ...


What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2016

What's Wrong With Sentencing Equality?, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Equality in criminal sentencing often translates into equalizing outcomes and stamping out variations, whether race-based, geographic, or random. This approach conflates the concept of equality with one contestable conception focused on outputs and numbers, not inputs and processes. Racial equality is crucial, but a concern with eliminating racism has hypertrophied well beyond race. Equalizing outcomes seems appealing as a neutral way to dodge contentious substantive policy debates about the purposes of punishment. But it actually privileges deterrence and incapacitation over rehabilitation, subjective elements of retribution, and procedural justice, and it provides little normative guidance for punishment. It also has unintended ...


When Society Becomes The Criminal: An Exploration Of Society’S Responsibilities To The Wrongfully Convicted, Amelia A. Haselkorn Jan 2016

When Society Becomes The Criminal: An Exploration Of Society’S Responsibilities To The Wrongfully Convicted, Amelia A. Haselkorn

Pitzer Senior Theses

This thesis explores how society can and should compensate those who have been wrongfully convicted after they are exonerated and how we can prevent these mistakes from happening to others in the future. It begins by presenting research on the scope of the problem. Then it suggests possible reforms to the U.S. justice system that would minimize the rate of innocent convictions. Lastly, it takes both a philosophical and political look at what just compensation would entail as well as a variety of state compensation laws.