Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Vanderbilt University Law School now has a Criminal Justice Program, directed by Professor Christopher Slobogin. The Program sponsored its first Roundtable on September 11 & 12 of this year. Participants included Douglas Berman (Ohio State), Stephanos Bibas (Pennsylvania), Dan Kahan (Yale), Tracey Meares (Yale), Joan Petersilia (Stanford), Kevin Reitz (Minnesota), Daniel Richman (Columbia), David Sklansky (Berkeley), Kate Stith (Yale), Robert Weisberg (Stanford). Also participating were members of Vanderbilt’s criminal justice faculty, including Slobogin, Nancy King, Ed Rubin, Nita Farahany, Terry Maroney, Robert Mikos, Alistair Newbern (Director, Appellate Litigation Clinic), Yolanda Redero (Director, Domestic Violence Clinic) and Susan Kay (Director, Criminal Clinic).
Six papers were introduced by discussants, followed by comments from the paper’s author and reaction by the rest of the participants. The featured papers were Tracey Meares & Bernard Harcourt, Randomization and the Fourth Amendment (discussant: Slobogin); David Sklansky, Hearsay’s Last Hurrah (discussant: Richman); Dan Kahan, Who Perceives What, and Why, in “Acquaintance Rape” Cases? An Experimental Investigation of Culture, Cognition, and Consent (discussant: Weisberg); Doug Berman, Can Checks and Balances, Penumbras and Footnote 4 Improve Eighth Amendment Jurisprudence (discussant: Mikos); Stephanos Bibas, Alternatives to Imprisonment (discussant: Stith); Kevin Reitz , The Illusion of Proportionality: Desert and Repeat Offenders (discussant: King).
On January 29 and 30, 2010, Vanderbilt’s Criminal Justice Program will be sponsoring a Roundtable for faculty who are early in their careers. In addition to Vanderbilt’s criminal justice faculty, participants will include Laura Appelman (Willamette), Josh Bowers (Virginia), Eve Brensike (Michigan), Samuel Buell (Washington University), Bennett Capers (Hofstra), Roger Fairfax (George Washington), Barbara Fedders (North Carolina), Lea Johnston (Florida), Erin Murphy (Berkeley), James J. Prescott (Michigan), and Alice Ristroph (Seton Hall).
Other projects, past and future, of Vanderbilt’s Criminal Justice Program include initiation last March of a Juvenile Justice Colloquium, composed of academics, practitioners and government officials from the Nashville area, and partial sponsorship of a visit this November by the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which will hear oral arguments at the school in a criminal case involving a privilege issue. Additionally, this spring four members of the Program, Farahany, King, Mikos and Slobogin, will teach a short course on “Sentencing, Corrections, and Punishment,” which will cover theories of criminal punishment, the relationship between sentencing and actual harms, guidelines sentencing, collateral consequences of convictions (e.g. deportation, disenfranchisement, and forfeiture), probation, state regulation of incarceration (e.g., good-time credits, supervised release, parole, mandatory and discretionary release sentencing systems), and innovations in punishment (e.g. preventive detention, sexual predator statutes, "dangerous offender" statutes, notification, monitoring, mental health courts, drug courts, habitual offender statutes, shaming penalties). One goal of the course is to develop materials that might be used in a sentencing component to the first year criminal law course, on the theory that a grasp of the nature and scope criminal sanctions and their alternatives is crucial to understanding the theory and current practice of criminal law.