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White Collar Criminal Sentences: How Long Is Too Much?

On November 1, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , , With No Comments

(Daniel Solove) An article in the New York Times discusses the debate over the increasingly long sentences for those convicted of white collar crimes: Bernard J. Ebbers, the former chairman of WorldCom who was convicted of masterminding an $11 billion accounting fraud that bankrupted the company, was sentenced to 25…

Why the Necessity Defense is Unneccesary

On October 27, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , With No Comments

From a deterrence standpoint, I’ve never understood why there is such a thing as a necessity or duress defense in criminal law. The deterrence view of criminal law is that we choose punishments to deter judgment-proof individuals from committing acts that harm social welfare. If this is the case, then…

Same Crime, Different Sentence

On October 23, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , , With No Comments

One of the many interesting questions in the world of post-Booker federal sentencing is whether a judge, in sentencing one defendant, is required (or permitted) to take into account the sentences imposed on codefendants. Yesterday, the Third Circuit issued an interesting opinion on this question. (Doug Berman has an excerpt…

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On October 14, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , With No Comments

(Mark Drumbl) There’s been a lot of talk about the referral by the United Nations Security Council of the Darfur situation to the International Criminal Court(ICC).  Yet, the ICC is involved in more than just Darfur.  Its first case, now moving toward trial, involves a Congolese national, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo,…

Defending “Dollar” Bill

On October 13, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By ,, , With No Comments

(Stuart Green) One of the reasons that I merely teach and write about white collar crime, rather than actually represent any white collar defendants, is that I lack the kind of imagination and hubris that are necessary to do a really effective job at the latter.  Consider the task confronting…

Analyzing Family Ties Burdens: A Framework

On October 9, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , , With No Comments

(Dan Markel) In two previous posts, Ethan, Jennifer Collins and I identified some practices that we characterize as family ties burdens.  Here, we present a normative framework for analyzing whether such penalties or burdens can be justified.  First, we quickly explain why we adopt a defendant-centered perspective in this project….

Drug Prosecutions: Racial Disparity, San Diego State and U.S. News Rankings

On October 7, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By ,, , With No Comments

(Marc Miller) Human Rights Watch recently reported that the depressing old story that African Americans are disproportionately drug defendants remains true. (News story here.)  One reason may be political;  drug search warrants of wealthier, whiter neighborhoods have a higher success rate (see Lawrence Benner, Racial Disparity in Narcotics Search Warrants,…

Workplace Violence? Making Sense of Annie Le’s Murder

On September 15, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, With No Comments

(Jonathan Simon) Am I the only one that was bothered by the effort of the New Haven Police Chief to make sure we didn’t think the murder of Annie Le had anything to do with either New Haven or Yale?  In their coverage in the New York Times Javier Hernandez and Serge…

Pre Crime: Why are we so confident that we can prevent acts of terrible violence?

On September 15, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By ,, , With No Comments

(Jonathan Simon) As politicians and officials in Washington (state) and Arkansas battle over who should have stopped Maurice Clemmons before he apparently shot to death four Washington state police officers outside a strip mall coffee shop near Tacoma last weekend before being shot dead by Seattle police, we can observe a…

The Duty to Rescue and the Registry for Caregivers: A Guest Post

On September 15, 2014, Posted by , In Criminal Law, By , , With No Comments

By STEPHEN J. DUBNER We have recently featured several guest posts (here, here, and here) by the authors of a new book about criminal justice and the family called Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties. The authors are Ethan Leib, who is a scholar-in-residence at Columbia Law School, and an…