CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, January 19, 2018

Diamantis on Reforming Corporations

Mihailis Diamantis (University of Iowa - College of Law) has posted Ditching Deterrence: Preventing Crime by Reforming Corporations Rather than Fining Them (Compliance & Enforcement (2018)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This short paper proposes abandoning the corporate criminal fine and exclusively punishing criminal corporations by reforming them. Fining corporations is not an effective way to prevent corporate misconduct. Corporate fines cannot reliably deter at the entity level because corporations faced with fines can invest in concealing misconduct rather than avoiding it. Corporate fines also fail to deter individuals within corporations because the corporate structure distributes the impact of fines among all corporate stakeholders. This paper argues that replacing corporate fines with corporate reform would address both these problems. Coerced reform could directly target entity-level compliance vulnerabilities and would give individuals within corporations stronger incentives to obey the law.

January 19, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shiner & Ho on Deferred Prosecution Agreements

Roger Shiner and Henry Ho (University of British Columbia Okanagan and Melbourne Law School) have posted Deferred Prosecution Agreements and the Presumption of Innocence (Criminal Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
A deferred prosecution agreement, or DPA, allows a corporation, instead of proceeding to trial on a criminal charge, to settle matters with the state by acknowledging the facts on which any charge would be based, paying a reduced fine, and agreeing to change the way they conduct business. Critics of DPAs have suggested that, because the defendant corporation must pay a fine and submit to structural reform without having been found guilty at trial, DPAs violate the Presumption of Innocence. This paper argues that they do not. The paper appeals to the role of civic trust in a liberal political community. The obligations a corporation assumes in a DPA can be framed as a reasonable retributive response to a breach by that corporation of the community’s laws, and an appropriate reassurance by that corporation to the community that such breaches will not reoccur. This framing is sufficient to deny that DPAs violate the PoI.

January 19, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Johnston & Flynn on Mental Health Courts and Sentencing Disparities

E. Lea Johnston and Conor Flynn (University of Florida - Levin College of Law and University of Florida - Levin College of Law) have posted Mental Health Courts and Sentencing Disparities (62 Vill. L. Rev. 685 (2017)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Despite the proliferation of mental health courts across the United States, virtually no attention has been paid to the criminal justice effects these courts carry for participants. This article provides the first empirical analysis of differential sentencing practices in mental health and traditional criminal courts. Using a case study approach, the article compares how Pennsylvania’s Erie County Mental Health Court and county criminal courts sentenced individuals who committed the same offenses and held the same average criminal history score. Information on the mental health court — including eligibility criteria, plea bargaining and sentencing procedure, sentencing policies, program length, graduation rates, likelihood of early discharge, and consequences of unsuccessful termination — derive from interviews with key mental health court professionals, five years of collected sentencing and dispositional data, and court materials. The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing provided the county-level data, which were disaggregated by offense and criminal history score. The article analyzes sentencing for twelve offenses spanning four offense grades. 

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January 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Lies, damn lies and fascinating statistics in the US Sentencing Commission FY 2017 sentencing data"

Doug Berman has this post at Sentencing Law & Policy. In part:

One can mine a lot more data from the FY 2017 report to tell a lot more stories about how, at least so far, formal and informal changes by AG Sessions have not yet made a dramatic impact on federal sentencing statistics.  Indeed, one might be heartened by the fact that fewer federal cases were sentenced in FY 2017 than in the last 15 years, and I think fewer federal drug trafficking sentences were imposed in FY17 than in nearly any other year in the past two decades (though the uptick in average sentence is interesting and may prompt a future post). 

Of course, these data may start looking very different in FY 2018 and beyond as new US Attorneys appointed by Prez Trump take over and their new cases make it all the way to sentencing. Still, I think it notable and interesting that the first run of federal sentencing data of the Trump Era shows a continued decline in overall sentences imposed and in drug trafficking sentences imposed.

January 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rodriguez-Lopez on Corporations and Child Trafficking

Silvia Rodríguez-López (University of A Coruña, Faculty of Law) has posted Perpetrators or Preventers? The Double Role of Corporations in Child Trafficking in a Global Context (Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2018) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In recent years, the engagement of corporations in child trafficking has become a matter of growing importance. Many corporations have adopted global subcontracting systems and complex structures that boost their productivity and profits, but might also create more opportunities for trafficking and exploitation of both adults and children. Taking this context into account, the ways in which corporations can commit child trafficking are explored and exemplified to highlight their diversity. This paper also offers a brief overview of the response given by international and European anti-trafficking instruments concerning corporate criminal liability for child trafficking. Moreover, the mechanisms adopted by some companies to prevent trafficking and promote transparency within their supply chains are also addressed. Overall, this paper serves to illustrate the pivotal role of corporations from two perspectives: as potential perpetrators of this serious crime, and as necessary actors to prevent it.

January 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Delgado & Stefancic on Cops and Non-English Speakers

Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic (University of Alabama - School of Law and University of Alabama - School of Law) have posted ‘Alto, Cabron. A Ver Las Manos’: A Police Officer's Expectations of Instant Obedience When a Civilian Does Not Speak English - A Comment on United States v. Parker (68 Ala. L. Rev. Online 101 (2016)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Analyzes a notorious federal court ruling absolving an Alabama police officer who threw an unarmed, slightly built Indian grandfather to the ground, injuring him badly, when the grandfather, who spoke little English, was slow to respond to commands.

January 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pfefferkorn on The Fourth Amendment and Side-Channel Cryptanalysis

Riana Pfefferkorn (Stanford University - Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society) has posted Everything Radiates: Does the Fourth Amendment Regulate Side-Channel Cryptanalysis? (Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 49, No. 5, 2017) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Encryption shields private information from malicious eavesdroppers. After years of slow adoption, encryption is finally becoming widespread in consumer-oriented electronic devices and communications services. Consumer-oriented encryption software is now more user-friendly, and much of it turns on encryption by default. These advances enhance privacy and security for millions of people.

However, encryption also poses an impediment to law enforcement’s ability to gather electronic evidence. Law enforcement calls this the “going dark” problem. U.S. law enforcement agencies have responded through both legal and technological means to encryption’s perceived threat to their capabilities. The scope of encryption’s impact on those capabilities is not yet clear, and police still have a wealth of data and technical tools at their disposal. Nevertheless, sophisticated criminals can use encryption to stymie investigators, forcing them to resort to resource-intensive, tailored measures to investigate those individuals.

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January 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Schwartz et al. on Justice Reinvestment

Melanie SchwartzDavid Bentley Brown and Chris Cunneen (University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law and University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law) have posted Justice Reinvestment ((2017) Brief 21, Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Sydney) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Justice Reinvestment (JR) is a strategy for reducing the number of people in the prison system by investing funds drawn from the corrections budget into communities that produce large numbers of prisoners. This research brief provides a brief introduction to JR with a particular focus on developments in Indigenous communities in Australia.

January 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Langford et al. on Scandinavian Penal Practices

Malcolm LangfordAled Dilwyn FisherJohan Karlsson Schaffer and Frida Paréus (University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo - Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo - Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and University of Oslo - Norwegian Centre for Human Rights) have posted The View from Elsewhere: Scandinavian Penal Practices and International Critique on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
While the Scandinavian model of detention has been favorably received in comparative criminology, its reception in the international human rights community has been ambiguous. Initial reviews by international bodies of Scandinavian practices were positive: “models to which most other countries should aspire’. However, an increasing chorus of critique of particular detention practices from UN and Council of Europe human rights has clouded the picture. These negative appraisals deserve consideration. This chapter describes the evaluations of Scandinavian detention and punishment practices by UN bodies and provides a comparative analysis by contrasting them with reviews of four other Western European states. The chapter also argues that causal explanations based on the welfare state are important but need to be balanced by theories which foreground politics and the interplay between agency and structure.

January 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dubber on The Dual Penal State

Dubber markusMarkus D. Dubber (University of Toronto - Faculty of Law) has posted four manuscripts on SSRN from his forthcoming book, The Dual Penal State. Two are excerpted here. The first is The Dual Penal State: Criminal Law Science and Its Diversions (Pt. 1) . Here is the abstract:
This book is about the collective failure to address the fundamental challenge of legitimating the threat and use of penal violence in modern liberal states. The first part of the book investigates various ways in which criminal law doctrine and scholarship have managed not to meet this continuing struggle to legitimate state action that is so patently illegitimate on its face: the violent violation of the very autonomy of the very persons upon whose autonomy the legitimacy of the state is supposed to rest in a law state, or state under the rule of law. Part 1 focuses primarily on German criminal law, and German criminal law science, with regular comparative glances from outside the German penal system.

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January 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"State admits recording jail conversations between defense lawyers and clients"

From the Anchorage Daily News, via the NACDL news scan:

For four years, a tucked-away monitoring system in a certain visitation room at the Anchorage jail recorded conversations between attorneys and their clients — defendants in criminal court – without anyone knowing.

. . .

State corrections officials say the recordings generally were not listened to or provided to law enforcement, though in one case, that did happen. And defense lawyers suspect the problem may be prevalent.

January 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Larkin on Chevron and Federal Criminal Law

Paul J. Larkin Jr. (The Heritage Foundation) has posted Chevron and Federal Criminal Law
32 J. L. & Pol. 211 (2017) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984), launched a new approach to statutory interpretation in the post-New Deal administrative state based on the dubious presumption that, where it leaves ambiguity in a statute, Congress intended to delegate law-interpreting power to the federal agency charged with administering that act. That rule has come under attack on a variety of fronts, not the least of which is that it jettisons one of the oldest propositions in American legal history — that it is the duty of the courts to construe a law. Whatever the outcome of the challenges to the Chevron deference rule, it makes no sense to apply that rule to the Justice Department’s interpretation of a criminal law or to an agency’s non-scientific, non-technical, policy-laden judgment regarding what conduct should be made a crime.

January 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"Yes, the Positive Law Model of the Fourth Amendment is Originalist"

Will Baude has this post at The Volokh Conspiracy. In part:

I do think that our view is an originalist one, derived from what we know of the original law of the Fourth Amendment. In our article, we discuss both the original history of the Fourth Amendment and the original remedial structure, and I will let interested readers judge those arguments for themselves. But originalists should have no qualms about subscribing to it.

It is true that our article also contains other arguments in favor of our view, but at least for my part there are two good reasons for that. One is that you need not be an originalist to accept our view for the other reasons we give. The other is that even an originalist might think the historical evidence is equally consistent with more than one view, and might look to other arguments to decide which of the historically-permitted possibilities to adopt. In any event, consider this a correction of the record. We make an originalist argument, even if we also make some non-originalist arguments too.

January 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Detroit Kit Tests Indicate Hundreds Of Serial Rapists"

From NPR, via the NACDL news scan:

Eight years ago, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy made processing untested rape kits a priority. She tells NPR's Scott Simon her office has discovered more than 800 serial rapists in the process.

January 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"To Try to Save Client’s Life, a Lawyer Ignored His Wishes. Can He Do That?"

From The New York Times. In part:

It is not unusual for lawyers to admit their client’s guilt, especially in death penalty cases. Usually, the strategy is carried out with the cooperation of the accused. To go against a client’s wishes, however, violates the role lawyers are supposed to play in the legal system, said Lawrence J. Fox, a lecturer at Yale Law School.

“This is one of the most difficult questions that we’ve identified in being a lawyer,” said Mr. Fox, who filed a brief with several colleagues from the Ethics Bureau at Yale on Mr. McCoy’s behalf. “You start with the fundamental proposition that we are our client’s servants.”

January 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cohen & Graver on Big Data in Health Care and Predictive Policing

I. Glenn Cohen and Harry Graver (Harvard Law School and Harvard University, Law School, Students) have posted Cops, Docs, and Code: A Dialogue between Big Data in Health Care and Predictive Policing (UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 51, No. 437, 2017) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
“Big data” has become the ubiquitous watchword of this decade. Predictive analytics, which is something we want to do with big data -- to use of electronic algorithms to forecast future events in real time. Predictive analytics is interfacing with the law in a myriad of settings: how votes are counted and voter rolls revised, the targeting of taxpayers for auditing, the selection of travelers for more intensive searching, pharmacovigilance, the creation of new drugs and diagnostics, etc. 

In this paper, written for the symposium “Future Proofing the Law,” we want to engage in a bit of legal arbitrage; that is, we want to examine which insights from legal analysis of predictive analytics in better-trodden ground — predictive policing — can be useful for understanding relatively newer ground for legal scholars — the use of predictive analytics in health care. To the degree lessons can be learned from this dialogue, we think they go in both directions.

January 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Green on Prosecutors and Urban Policing

Green bruceBruce A. Green (Fordham University School of Law) has posted Urban Policing and Public Policy — The Prosecutor’s Role (Georgia Law Review, Vol. 51, No. 1179, 2017) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In 2013, a federal district judge found that New York City police stop-and-frisk practices were unconstitutional and must be remedied. Leading up to the court’s ruling, many civic groups, public officials, editorialists, and others chose sides, but the city’s district attorneys mostly stayed on the sideline, playing virtually no visible role in the public discussions before or during the lawsuits. This Essay uses prosecutors’ response to New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy as a lens through which to examine larger questions about elected prosecutors’ functions as public officials. The Essay asks whether elected prosecutors, in the course of their work, should formulate views on controverted public policy issues, such as stop-and-frisk, about which they may have expertise and perspectives. And if so, how can prosecutors’ public policy perspectives legitimately factor into their work, given the functions they serve? 

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January 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Laurency on Hybrid Police Work in Mexico

Patrick Laurency (University of Konstanz) has posted Hybrid Police Work and Insecurity in the Mexican Federal State (Centre for Security Governance - CSG Papers, No.17) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In the years leading up to 2015, the level of violent crime against ordinary citizens continued to rise in some Mexican states. It remains alarming today, despite a steady decrease in violence related to drug trafficking since 2011. Conventional analysis suggests that citizen security deteriorated mainly as a result of the Mexican government’s sudden turn toward a more confrontational policing approach, including the reliance on military and paramilitary actors. This view holds that new policing strategies — commonly referred to as mano dura in the Latin American context — ultimately provoked a splintering of drug cartels into smaller criminal units, which subsequently felt compelled to generate sufficient income by diversifying their criminal portfolio into extortion, kidnapping or armed robbery. By contrast, this paper argues that the persistence of or increase in the insecurity of ordinary citizens beyond 2011 is connected to hybridized policing systems that are increasingly marked by an undifferentiated deployment of actors of different origin (military, paramilitary, police) for public security tasks.

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January 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stoughton on Police Body-Worn Cameras

Stoughton sethSeth W. Stoughton (University of South Carolina School of Law) has posted Police Body-Worn Cameras (North Carolina Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Since the summer of 2014, community members, politicians, and police executives across the country have called for greater police accountability and improvements in police-community relations. Body-worn cameras are widely seen as serving both ends. Today, thousands of police agencies are exploring, adopting, and implementing body-cam programs. A survey by the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Major County Sheriffs’ Association found that 95% of surveyed agencies had either implemented or were committed to implementing a BWC program.

Body-worn cameras are here, and more are coming. Mary Fan, for example, has described a “camera cultural revolution,” in which “the future will be recorded.” Legal scholars have largely responded to this burgeoning new technology by addressing it through the framework of traditional discussions about privacy, police accountability, or the rules of evidence. Relatively few articles have gone further by identifying the potential benefits of BWCs and critically examining whether the adoption of this technology by police agencies can truly do what the many proponents claim. This Article falls solidly into the latter camp.

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January 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads in Criminal Law eJournal

Ssrn logoare here.  The usual disclaimers apply.

Rank Paper Downloads

Decoding Guilty Minds

Court of Federal Claims - Office of Special Masters, University of Minnesota Law School, University of Virginia - School of Law, Second Judicial District Court Judge, State of Colorado, Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences and University of California, Irvine School of Law

What Not to Do When Your Roommate Is Murdered in Italy: Amanda Knox, Her 'Strange' Behavior, and the Italian Legal System

Emory University School of Law

Law, Coercive Enforcement, and Practical Reason

University of Washington - School of Law

Daredevil: Legal (and Moral?) Vigilante

University of Oklahoma College of Law

Moral and Criminal Responsibility: Answering and Refusing to Answer

University of Stirling - Department of Philosophy

Backdoor Man: A Radiograph of Computer Source Code Theft Cases

Babes-Bolyai University - Faculty of Law and Independent

Balancing Section 230 and Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiatives

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Decoding the Impossibility Defense

California Western School of Law

The Elusive Object of Punishment

University of Michigan Law School

Finality and the Capital/Non-Capital Punishment Divide

University of North Carolina School of Law

January 15, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)