"Produced by religious intolerance, political fanaticism, or social resentment, denunciation is a modern democratic practice too long neglected by historians. This fascinating book, written by excellent specialists, establishes a first inventory of this practice, leading the reader through the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary cultures of the last two centuries."—Francois Furet
"This is a fascinating and highly original exploration of a familiar, though poorly understood, phenomenon of modern societies in general and totalitarian systems in particular. From the French Revolution to the NKVD, Gestapo, and Stasi, denunciation is analyzed both as a function of political surveillance and as deeply rooted in the social practices of community and the workplace. The book represents a refreshing amalgam of deeply archival research and theoretical rigor."—Norman M. Naimark, Stanford University
From random security checks at airports to the use of risk assessment in sentencing, actuarial methods are being used more than ever to determine whom law enforcement officials target and punish. And with the exception of racial profiling on our highways and streets, most people favor these methods because they believe they’re a more cost-effective way to fight crime.
In Against Prediction, Bernard E. Harcourt challenges this growing reliance on actuarial methods. These prediction tools, he demonstrates, may in fact increase the overall amount of crime in society, depending on the relative responsiveness of the profiled populations to heightened security. They may also aggravate the difficulties that minorities already have obtaining work, education, and a better quality of life—thus perpetuating the pattern of criminal behavior. Ultimately, Harcourt shows how the perceived success of actuarial methods has begun to distort our very conception of just punishment and to obscure alternate visions of social order. In place of the actuarial, he proposes instead a turn to randomization in punishment and policing. The presumption, Harcourt concludes, should be against prediction.
Rebecca Wittmann Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress KK73.5.A98W58 2005 | Dewey Decimal 341.690268
In 1963, West Germany was gripped by a dramatic trial of former guards who had worked at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. It was the largest and most public trial to take place in the country and attracted international attention. Using the pretrial files and extensive trial audiotapes, Rebecca Wittmann offers a fascinating reinterpretation of Germany’s first major attempt to confront its past.
Since the 1960s, recurring cycles of political activism over youth crime have motivated efforts to remove adolescents from the juvenile court. Periodic surges of crime—youth violence in the 1970s, the spread of gangs in the 1980s, and more recently, epidemic gun violence and drug-related crime—have spurred laws and policies aimed at narrowing the reach of the juvenile court. Despite declining juvenile crime rates, every state in the country has increased the number of youths tried and punished as adults.
Research in this area has not kept pace with these legislative developments. There has never been a detailed, sociolegal analytic book devoted to this topic. In this important collection, researchers discuss policy, substantive procedural and empirical dimensions of waivers, and where the boundaries of the courts lie. Part 1 provides an overview of the origins and development of law and contemporary policy on the jurisdiction of adolescents. Part 2 examines the effects of jurisdictional shifts. Part 3 offers valuable insight into the developmental and psychological aspects of current and future reforms.
Contributors: Donna Bishop, Richard Bonnie, M. A. Bortner, Elizabeth Cauffman, Linda Frost Clausel, Robert O. Dawson, Jeffrey Fagan, Barry Feld, Charles Frazier, Thomas Grisso, Darnell Hawkins, James C. Howell, Akiva Liberman, Richard Redding, Simon Singer, Laurence Steinberg, David Tanenhaus, Marjorie Zatz, and Franklin E. Zimring
Rule of law has vanished in America’s criminal justice system. Prosecutors decide whom to punish; most accused never face a jury; policing is inconsistent; plea bargaining is rampant; and draconian sentencing fills prisons with mostly minority defendants. A leading criminal law scholar looks to history for the roots of these problems—and solutions.
An Ethics of Interrogation
Michael Skerker University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress HV8073.3.S57 2010 | Dewey Decimal 174.9363254
The act of interrogation, and the debate over its use, pervades our culture, whether through fictionalized depictions in movies and television or discussions of real-life interrogations on the news. But despite daily mentions of the practice in the media, there is a lack of informed commentary on its moral implications. Moving beyond the narrow focus on torture that has characterized most work on the subject, An Ethics of Interrogation is the first book to fully address this complex issue.
In this important new examination of a controversial subject, Michael Skerker confronts a host of philosophical and legal issues, from the right to privacy and the privilege against compelled self-incrimination to prisoner rights and the legal consequences of different modes of interrogation for both domestic criminal and foreign terror suspects. These topics raise serious questions about the morality of keeping secrets as well as the rights of suspected terrorists and insurgents. Thoughtful consideration of these subjects leads Skerker to specific policy recommendations for law enforcement, military, and intelligence professionals.
Criminal defense attorneys protect the innocent and guilty alike, but, the majority of criminal defendants are guilty. This is as it should be in a free society. Yet there are many different types of crime and degrees of guilt, and the defense must navigate through a complex criminal justice system that is not always equipped to recognize nuances.
In Guilty People, law professor and longtime criminal defense attorney Abbe Smith gives us a thoughtful and honest look at guilty individuals on trial. Each chapter tells compelling stories about real cases she handled; some of her clients were guilty of only petty crimes and misdemeanors, while others committed offenses as grave as rape and murder. In the process, she answers the question that every defense attorney is routinely asked: How can you represent these people?
Smith’s answer also tackles seldom-addressed but equally important questions such as: Who are the people filling our nation’s jails and prisons? Are they as dangerous and depraved as they are usually portrayed? How did they get caught up in the system? And what happens to them there?
This book challenges the assumption that the guilty are a separate species, unworthy of humane treatment. It is dedicated to guilty people—every single one of us.
These twelve previously unpublished essays explore the international phenomenon of hate crime, examining the socio-psychological dynamics of these crimes and the settings in which they occur, the relationships between offenders and their victims, the emotional states of the participants, and the legal and law enforcement responses to these crimes.
The essays address religious, racial, ethnic, and sexual crimes in the United States, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The essayists provide historical reviews of the problems and the ways local authorities understand and cope with the dilemmas as well as prognoses about the persistence of hate crime and the measures that can be taken to control and contain it.
Is drug addiction a disease that can be treated, or is it a crime that should be punished? In her probing study, Illness or Deviance?, Jennifer Murphy investigates the various perspectives on addiction, and how society has myriad ways of handling it—incarcerating some drug users while putting others in treatment.
Illness or Deviance? highlights the confusion and contradictions about labeling addiction. Murphy’s fieldwork in a drug court and an outpatient drug treatment facility yields fascinating insights, such as how courts and treatment centers both enforce the “disease” label of addiction, yet their management tactics overlap treatment with “therapeutic punishment.” The “addict" label is a result not just of using drugs, but also of being a part of the drug lifestyle, by selling drugs. In addition, Murphy observes that drug courts and treatment facilities benefit economically from their cooperation, creating a very powerful institutional arrangement.
Murphy contextualizes her findings within theories of medical sociology as well as criminology to identify the policy implications of a medicalized view of addiction.
More and more states are legalizing marijuana in some form. Moreover, a majority of the U.S. population is in favor of the drug for recreational use. In the Weeds looks at how our society has become more permissive in the past 150 years—even though marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug by the American government.
Sociologists Clayton Mosher and Scott Akins take a deep dive into marijuana policy reform, looking at the incremental developments and the historical, legal, social, and political implications of these changes. They investigate the effects, medicinal applications, and possible harms of marijuana. In the Weeds also considers arguments that youth will be heavy users of legalized cannabis, and shows how “weed” is demonized by exaggerations of the drug’s risks and claims of its lack of medicinal value. Mosher and Akins end their timely and insightful book by tracing the distinct paths to the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States and other countries as well as discussing what the future of marijuana law holds.
The Trial is actually closer to reality than fantasy as far as the client’s perception of the system. It’s supposed to be a fantastic allegory, but it’s reality. It’s very important that lawyers read it and understand this.” Justice Anthony Kennedy famously offered this assessment of the Kafkaesque character of the American criminal justice system in 1993. While Kafka’s vision of the “Law” in The Trial appears at first glance to be the antithesis of modern American legal practice, might the characteristics of this strange and arbitrary system allow us to identify features of our own system that show signs of becoming similarly nightmarish?
With Kafka’s Law, Robert P. Burns shows how The Trial provides an uncanny lens through which to consider flaws in the American criminal justice system today. Burns begins with the story, at once funny and grim, of Josef K., caught in the Law’s grip and then crushed by it. Laying out the features of the Law that eventually destroy K., Burns argues that the American criminal justice system has taken on many of these same features. In the overwhelming majority of contemporary cases, police interrogation is followed by a plea bargain, in which the court’s only function is to set a largely predetermined sentence for an individual already presumed guilty. Like Kafka’s nightmarish vision, much of American criminal law and procedure has become unknowable, ubiquitous, and bureaucratic. It, too, has come to rely on deception in dealing with suspects and jurors, to limit the role of defense, and to increasingly dispense justice without the protection of formal procedures. But, while Kennedy may be correct in his grim assessment, a remedy is available in the tradition of trial by jury, and Burns concludes by convincingly arguing for its return to a more central place in American criminal justice.
Read him his rights. We all recognize this line from cop dramas. But what happens afterward? In this book, Leo sheds light on a little-known corner of our criminal justice system--the police interrogation. An important study of the criminal justice system, this book provides interesting answers and raises some unsettling questions.
Sarah Seo shows that the rise of the car, the symbol of American personal freedom, led to ever more intrusive policing, with devastating consequences for racial equality in our criminal justice system. Criminal procedures designed to safeguard us on the road undermined the nation’s commitment to equal protection before the law.
It is conventional wisdom that there is a grave crisis in our criminal courts: the widespread reliance on plea-bargaining and the settlement of most cases with just a few seconds before the judge endanger the rights of defendants. Not so, says Malcolm Feeley in this provocative and original book. Basing his argument on intensive study of the lower criminal court system, Feeley demonstrates that the absence of formal "due process" is preferred by all of the court's participants, and especially by defendants. Moreover, he argues, "it is not all clear that as a group defendants would be better off in a more 'formal' court system," since the real costs to those accused of misdemeanors and lesser felonies are not the fines and prison sentences meted out by the court, but the costs incurred before the case even comes before the judge—lost wages from missed work, commissions to bail bondsmen, attorney's fees, and wasted time. Therefore, the overriding interest of the accused is not to secure the formal trappings of the judicial process, but to minimize the time, and money, spent dealing with the court. Focusing on New Haven, Connecticut's, lower court, Feeley found that the defense and prosecution often agreed that the pre-trial process was sufficient to "teach the defendant a lesson." In effect, Feeley demonstrates that the informal practices of the lower courts as they are presently constituted are more "just" than they are usually given credit for being. "... a book that should be read by anyone who is interested in understanding how courts work and how the criminal sanction is administered in modern, complex societies."— Barry Mahoney, Institute for Court Management, Denver "It is grounded in a firm grasp of theory as well as thorough field research."—Jack B. Weinstein, U.S. District Court Judge." a feature that has long been the hallmark of good American sociology: it recreates a believable world of real men and women."—Paul Wiles, Law & Society Review. "This book's findings are well worth the attention of the serious criminal justice student, and the analyses reveal a thoughtful, probing, and provocative intelligence....an important contribution to the debate on the role and limits of discretion in American criminal justice. It deserves to be read by all those who are interested in the outcome of the debate." —Jerome H. Skolnick, American Bar Foundation Research Journal
In sheer numbers, no form of government control comes close to the police stop. Each year, twelve percent of drivers in the United States are stopped by the police, and the figure is almost double among racial minorities. Police stops are among the most recognizable and frequently criticized incidences of racial profiling, but, while numerous studies have shown that minorities are pulled over at higher rates, none have examined how police stops have come to be both encouraged and institutionalized.
Pulled Over deftly traces the strange history of the investigatory police stop, from its discredited beginning as “aggressive patrolling” to its current status as accepted institutional practice. Drawing on the richest study of police stops to date, the authors show that who is stopped and how they are treated convey powerful messages about citizenship and racial disparity in the United States. For African Americans, for instance, the experience of investigatory stops erodes the perceived legitimacy of police stops and of the police generally, leading to decreased trust in the police and less willingness to solicit police assistance or to self-censor in terms of clothing or where they drive. This holds true even when police are courteous and respectful throughout the encounters and follow seemingly colorblind institutional protocols. With a growing push in recent years to use local police in immigration efforts, Hispanics stand poised to share African Americans’ long experience of investigative stops.
In a country that celebrates democracy and racial equality, investigatory stops have a profound and deleterious effect on African American and other minority communities that merits serious reconsideration. Pulled Over offers practical recommendations on how reforms can protect the rights of citizens and still effectively combat crime.
Who is responsible for juvenile delinquency? Mark D. Jacobs uses ethnographic, statistical, and literary methods to uncover the many levels of disorganization in American juvenile justice. By analyzing the continuities betwen normal casework and exceptional cases, he reveals that probation officers must commonly contrive informal measures to circumvent a system which routinely obstructs the delivery of services to their clients. Jacobs defines the concept of the "no-fault society" to describe the larger context of societal disorder and interpersonal manipulation that the juvenile justice system at once reflects and exacerbates.
Sentencing in Time
Linda Ross Meyer Amherst College Press, 2017 Library of Congress KF9685.M49 2017
Exactly how is it we think the ends of justice are accomplished by sentencing someone to a term in prison? How do we relate a quantitative measure of time—months and years—to the objectives of deterring crime, punishing wrongdoers, and accomplishing justice for those touched by a criminal act? Linda Ross Meyer investigates these questions, examining the disconnect between our two basic modes of thinking about time—chronologically (seconds, minutes, hours), or phenomenologically (observing, taking note of, or being aware of the passing of time). In Sentencing in Time, Meyer asks whether—in overlooking the irreconcilability of these two modes of thinking about time—we are failing to accomplish the ends we believe the criminal justice system is designed to serve. Drawing on work in philosophy, legal theory, jurisprudence, and the history of penology, Meyer explores how, rather than condemning prisoners to an experience of time bereft of meaning, we might instead make the experience of incarceration constructively meaningful—and thus better aligned with social objectives of deterring crime, reforming offenders, and restoring justice.
Too Big to Jail
Brandon L. Garrett Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress KF1301.A2G37 2014 | Dewey Decimal 345.730268
American courts routinely hand down harsh sentences to individuals, but a very different standard of justice applies to corporations. Too Big to Jail takes readers into a complex, compromised world of backroom deals, for an unprecedented look at what happens when criminal charges are brought against a major company in the United States.
Perhaps no legal case has done more to reshape America's debate over the death penalty than Illinois's prosecution and conviction of Rolando Cruz. This updated and significantly expanded edition of Victims of Justice tells the pivotal story of Cruz and his two co-defendants after the 1983 murder of ten-year-old Jeanine Nicarico of Naperville, Illinois. The book follows the story from the day the crime occurred to the groundbreaking trial of seven law officers accused of conspiring to deny Cruz a fair trial.
The kidnapping of Jeanine Nicarico from her quiet suburban home and her brutal slaying sparked a public demand for justice. But the longer authorities strove to execute Cruz and the two other men, the more evidence emerged that the defendants were innocent-and that the death penalty process in America itself was deeply flawed.
Here is the start of a chain reaction that led to a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois and the clearing out of Death Row, as Illinois Governor George Ryan-worried about unfairness in death penalty convictions-granted clemency to all those awaiting execution. This is a detailed study of a nationally known case that should be cited whenever serious scholars examine how capital cases are prosecuted in America. Here is the most thorough investigation yet published into the background of the man who-after Cruz already was on Death Row-claimed to be the real killer.
A tragedy and a trial placed Ann-Janine Morey in an ideal position to write this wrenching exploration of the havoc wreaked on a family by Shaken Baby Syndrome. As an alternate juror in a 1995 murder trial in Murphysboro, Illinois, she observed a case that has become too common: that of an adult caregiver shaking to death a baby. A seasoned researcher and published scholar, in this book Morey witnesses the court proceedings firsthand, comes to know the families of the toddler intimately, and augments her observations and interviews through research into Shaken Baby Syndrome. The result is an agonizingly human tale supported by the evidence of science, sociology, and criminology.
Morey's What Happened to Christopher memorializes the short life of nineteen-month-old Christopher Attig (1992–1994). To reveal what Christopher meant to those closest to him, Morey conducts extensive interviews with the child's parents and grand-parents. She also interviews the officials involved in the case to set the scene from a legal and police angle. Gary Lynn Gould, who was convicted of and imprisoned for killing Christopher, did not answer Morey's requests for interviews.
Morey characterizes her investigation as a "story of quiet horror because it takes place in a way and a setting that could be any town and many families." Nonetheless, Morey's narrative skill transforms Christopher into much more than an ordinary child, senselessly slain. He is Christopher, irreplaceable and unique. And by the time she reconstructs Christopher's final days and the aftermath of his murder, Morey has depicted the principals in the case so deftly and imbued them with such humanity that we experience their torment and their hope.
Morey also provides a juror's insight into the trial. By showing what happened to Christopher Attig and by presenting the accumulated findings relative to Shaken Baby Syndrome, she seeks through education to help prevent future deaths like Christopher's.
It is often said that a teen "old enough to do the crime is old enough to do the time," but are teens really mature and capable enough to participate fully and fairly in adult criminal court? In this book—the fruit of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice—a wide range of leaders in developmental psychology and law combine their expertise to investigate the current limitations of our youth policy. The first part of the book establishes a developmental perspective on juvenile justice; the second and third parts then apply this perspective to issues of adolescents' capacities as trial defendants and questions of legal culpability. Underlying the entire work is the assumption that an enlightened juvenile justice system cannot ignore the developmental psychological realities of adolescence.
Not only a state-of-the-art assessment of the conceptual and empirical issues in the forensic assessment of youth, Youth on Trial is also a call to reintroduce sound, humane public policy into our justice system..
Contributors: Richard Barnum, Richard J. Bonnie, Emily Buss, Elizabeth Cauffman, Gary L. Crippen, Jeffrey Fagan, Barry C. Feld, Sandra Graham, Thomas Grisso, Colleen Halliday, Alan E. Kazdin, N. Dickon Reppucci, Robert G. Schwartz, Elizabeth Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Ann Tobey, Jennifer L. Woolard, Franklin E. Zimring