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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Crimes That Changed Our World: Tragedy, Outrage, And Reform: Chapter One: 1911 Triangle Factory Fire: Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Jan 2018

Crimes That Changed Our World: Tragedy, Outrage, And Reform: Chapter One: 1911 Triangle Factory Fire: Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This first chapter of the recently published book Crimes That Changed Our World: Tragedy, Outrage, and Reform, examines the process by which the tragic 1911 Triangle Factory Fire provoked enormous outrage that in turn created a local then national movement for workplace and building safety that ultimately became the foundation for today’s building safety codes. What is particularly interesting, however, is that the Triangle Fire was not the worst such tragedy in its day. Why should it be the one that ultimately triggers social progress?

The book has 21 chapters, each of which traces the tragedy-outrage-reform dynamic in a ...


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 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


The Rise And Fall And Resurrection Of American Criminal Codes, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2015

The Rise And Fall And Resurrection Of American Criminal Codes, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This brief essay summarizes the virtues of the modern American codification movement of the 1960s and 70s, putting it in a larger global context, then describes how these once-enviable codes have been systematically degraded with thoughtless amendments, a process of degradation that is accelerating each year. After exploring the political dynamics that promote such degradation, the essay suggests the principles and procedures for fixing the current codes and, more importantly, structural changes to the process that could avoid the restart of degradation in the future.


Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction Under The Antitrust Laws, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2013

Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction Under The Antitrust Laws, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Ninth Circuit may soon consider whether challenges to antitrust activity that occurs abroad must invariably be addressed under the rule of reason, which will make criminal prosecution difficult or impossible.

When antitrust cases involve foreign conduct, the courts customarily appraise its substantive antitrust significance only after deciding whether the Sherman Act reaches the activity. Nevertheless, "jurisdictional" and "substantive" inquiries are not wholly independent. Both reflect two sound propositions: that Congress did not intend American antitrust law to rule the entire commercial world and that Congress knew that domestic economic circumstances often differ from those abroad where mechanical application of ...


Risk Taking And Force Protection, David Luban Jan 2011

Risk Taking And Force Protection, David Luban

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This paper addresses two questions about the morality of warfare: (1) how much risk must soldiers take to minimize unintended civilian casualties caused by their own actions (“collateral damage”), and (2) whether it is the same for the enemy's civilians as for one's own.

The questions take on special importance in warfare where one side is able to attack the other side from a safe distance, but at the cost of civilian lives, while safeguarding civilians may require soldiers to take precautions that expose them to greater risk. In a well-known article, Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin argue ...


Advantaging Aggressors: Justice & Deterrence In International Law, Paul H. Robinson, Adil Ahmad Haque Jan 2011

Advantaging Aggressors: Justice & Deterrence In International Law, Paul H. Robinson, Adil Ahmad Haque

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Current international law imposes limitations on the use of force to defend against unlawful aggression that improperly advantage unlawful aggressors and disadvantage their victims. The Article gives examples of such rules, governing a variety of situations, showing how clearly unjust they can be. No domestic criminal law system would tolerate their use.


There are good practical reasons why international law should care that its rules are perceived as unjust. Given the lack of an effective international law enforcement mechanism, compliance depends to a large degree upon the moral authority with which international law speaks. Compliance is less likely when its ...


Final Report Of The Kentucky Penal Code Revision Project, Paul H. Robinson, Kentucky Criminal Justice Council Staff Jan 2003

Final Report Of The Kentucky Penal Code Revision Project, Paul H. Robinson, Kentucky Criminal Justice Council Staff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Kentucky Criminal Justice Council, a constitutional body in Kentucky, undertook this project to examine the problems with Kentucky criminal law and to rewrite the Kentucky criminal code. This two-volume Final Report of the Kentucky Penal Code Revision Project proposes a new criminal code, in volume 1, together with an official commentary, in volume 2, that explains each provision and how and why it differs from existing law. The introduction to the Report summarizes the reasons for and the importance of criminal code reform, and describes the techniques used in this rewrite project, including both the project’s drafting principles ...


Final Report Of The Illinois Criminal Code Rewrite And Reform Commission, Paul H. Robinson, Michael T. Cahill Jan 2003

Final Report Of The Illinois Criminal Code Rewrite And Reform Commission, Paul H. Robinson, Michael T. Cahill

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Governor of Illinois created a commission to examine the problems with Illinois criminal law and to rewrite the Illinois criminal code. This two-volume Final Report of the Illinois Criminal Code Rewrite and Reform Commission proposes a new criminal code, in volume 1, together with an official commentary, in volume 2, that explains each provision and how and why it differs from existing law. The introduction to the Report summarizes the reasons for and the importance of criminal code reform, and describes the techniques used in this rewrite project, including both the project’s drafting principles and the methods by ...


Punishment Theory: Moral Or Political?, Guyora Binder Jan 2002

Punishment Theory: Moral Or Political?, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

This article argues that the justification of punishment is best conceived as a problem of political theory rather than moral philosophy. Noting the familiar charge that utilitarianism permits framing the innocent, it argues that retributivism is equally vulnerable to the charge that it permits lynching the guilty. It argues that both critiques unfairly attribute lawlessness and dishonesty to the respective punishment theories. As a result, they mischaracterize both as theories about what individuals should do, rather than what acts legitimate government should authorize. In so doing, they disregard how committed the founders of the respective theories were to the rule ...


Charge Of Chief Justice Durfee, Job Durfee Mar 1842

Charge Of Chief Justice Durfee, Job Durfee

Pamphlets: Contemporary Assessments of the Dorr Rebellion

No abstract provided.