The Collapse of American Criminal Justice

Author: William J. Stuntz

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674051750

Category: Law

Page: 413

View: 9383

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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.

The Collapse of American Criminal Justice

Author: William J. Stuntz

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674062604

Category: Law

Page: 848

View: 2544

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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.

The Collapse of American Criminal Justice

Author: William J. Stuntz

Publisher: Belknap Press

ISBN: 9780674725874

Category: History

Page: 413

View: 7525

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The rule of law has vanished in America's criminal justice system. Prosecutors now decide whom to punish and how severely. Almost no one accused of a crime will ever face a jury. Inconsistent policing, rampant plea bargaining, overcrowded courtrooms, and ever more draconian sentencing have produced a gigantic prison population, with black citizens the primary defendants and victims of crime. In this passionately argued book, the leading criminal law scholar of his generation looks to history for the roots of these problems -- and for their solutions. The Collapse of American Criminal Justice takes us deep into the dramatic history of American crime -- bar fights in nineteenth-century Chicago, New Orleans bordellos, Prohibition, and decades of murderous lynching. Digging into these crimes and the strategies that attempted to control them, Stuntz reveals the costs of abandoning local democratic control. The system has become more centralized, with state legislators and federal judges given increasing power. The liberal Warren Supreme Court's emphasis on procedures, not equity, joined hands with conservative insistence on severe punishment to create a system that is both harsh and ineffective. What would get us out of this Kafkaesque world? More trials with local juries; laws that accurately define what prosecutors seek to punish; and an equal protection guarantee like the one that died in the 1870s, to make prosecution and punishment less discriminatory. Above all, Stuntz eloquently argues, Americans need to remember again that criminal punishment is a necessary but terrible tool, to use effectively, and sparingly. - Publisher.

Guilty

The Collapse of Criminal Justice

Author: Harold J. Rothwax

Publisher: Random House Incorporated

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 238

View: 9098

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A distinguished jurist describes the collapse of the American criminal justice system, arguing that criminals and defense attorneys hide behind problem laws and technicalities and calling for eight crucial reforms of the system. 75,000 first printing. $75,000 ad/promo. Tour.

The American Criminal Justice System

How it Works, how it Doesn't, and how to Fix it

Author: Gerhard Falk

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 0313383472

Category: Law

Page: 250

View: 9652

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This critical yet honest appraisal of our criminal justice system addresses its strengths and its flaws—and makes recommendations for improvement. * Provides an extensive bibliography including books, journal articles, newspaper accounts, and government documents * Includes a chronology

Trial and Error in Criminal Justice Reform

Learning from Failure

Author: Greg Berman,Aubrey Fox

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442268484

Category: Law

Page: 164

View: 2374

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In this revised edition of their concise, readable, yet wide-ranging book, Greg Berman and Aubrey Fox tackle a question students and scholars of law, criminology, and political science constantly face: what mistakes have led to the problems that pervade the criminal justice system in the United States? The reluctance of criminal justice policymakers to talk openly about failure, the authors argue, has stunted the public conversation about crime in this country and stifled new ideas. It has also contributed to our inability to address such problems as chronic offending in low-income neighborhoods, an overreliance on incarceration, the misuse of pretrial detention, and the high rates of recidivism among parolees. Berman and Fox offer students and policymakers an escape from this fate by writing about failure in the criminal justice system. Their goal is to encourage a more forthright dialogue about criminal justice, one that acknowledges that many new initiatives fail and that no one knows for certain how to reduce crime. For the authors, this is not a source of pessimism, but a call to action. This revised edition is updated with a new foreword by Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and afterword by Greg Berman.

The Machinery of Criminal Justice

Author: Stephanos Bibas

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190236760

Category: Law

Page: 320

View: 8055

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Two centuries ago, American criminal justice was run primarily by laymen. Jury trials passed moral judgment on crimes, vindicated victims and innocent defendants, and denounced the guilty. But since then, lawyers have gradually taken over the process, silencing victims and defendants and, in many cases, substituting plea bargaining for the voice of the jury. The public sees little of how this assembly-line justice works, and victims and defendants have largely lost their day in court. As a result, victims rarely hear defendants express remorse and apologize, and defendants rarely receive forgiveness. This lawyerized machinery has purchased efficient, speedy processing of many cases at the price of sacrificing softer values, such as reforming defendants and healing wounded victims and relationships. In other words, the U.S. legal system has bought quantity at the price of quality, without recognizing either the trade-off or the great gulf separating lawyers' and laymen's incentives, values, and powers. In The Machinery of Criminal Justice, author Stephanos Bibas surveys the developments over the last two centuries, considers what we have lost in our quest for efficient punishment, and suggests ways to include victims, defendants, and the public once again. Ideas range from requiring convicts to work or serve in the military, to moving power from prosecutors to restorative sentencing juries. Bibas argues that doing so might cost more, but it would better serve criminal procedure's interests in denouncing crime, vindicating victims, reforming wrongdoers, and healing the relationships torn by crime.

Illusion of Order

The False Promise of Broken Windows Policing

Author: Bernard E. Harcourt

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674038318

Category: Law

Page: 304

View: 5900

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This is the first book to challenge the "broken-windows" theory of crime, which argues that permitting minor misdemeanors, such as loitering and vagrancy, to go unpunished only encourages more serious crime. The theory has revolutionized policing in the United States and abroad, with its emphasis on policies that crack down on disorderly conduct and aggressively enforce misdemeanor laws. The problem, argues Bernard Harcourt, is that although the broken-windows theory has been around for nearly thirty years, it has never been empirically verified. Indeed, existing data suggest that it is false. Conceptually, it rests on unexamined categories of "law abiders" and "disorderly people" and of "order" and "disorder," which have no intrinsic reality, independent of the techniques of punishment that we implement in our society. How did the new order-maintenance approach to criminal justice--a theory without solid empirical support, a theory that is conceptually flawed and results in aggressive detentions of tens of thousands of our fellow citizens--come to be one of the leading criminal justice theories embraced by progressive reformers, policymakers, and academics throughout the world? This book explores the reasons why. It also presents a new, more thoughtful vision of criminal justice.

The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law

Author: Markus D Dubber,Tatjana Hörnle

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191654604

Category: Law

Page: 1100

View: 4694

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The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law reflects the continued transformation of criminal law into a global discipline, providing scholars with a comprehensive international resource, a common point of entry into cutting edge contemporary research and a snapshot of the state and scope of the field. To this end, the Handbook takes a broad approach to its subject matter, disciplinarily, geographically, and systematically. Its contributors include current and future research leaders representing a variety of legal systems, methodologies, areas of expertise, and research agendas. The Handbook is divided into four parts: Approaches & Methods (I), Systems & Methods (II), Aspects & Issues (III), and Contexts & Comparisons (IV). Part I includes essays exploring various methodological approaches to criminal law (such as criminology, feminist studies, and history). Part II provides an overview of systems or models of criminal law, laying the foundation for further inquiry into specific conceptions of criminal law as well as for comparative analysis (such as Islamic, Marxist, and military law). Part III covers the three aspects of the penal process: the definition of norms and principles of liability (substantive criminal law), along with a less detailed treatment of the imposition of norms (criminal procedure) and the infliction of sanctions (prison or corrections law). Contributors consider the basic topics traditionally addressed in scholarship on the general and special parts of the substantive criminal law (such as jurisdiction, mens rea, justifications, and excuses). Part IV places criminal law in context, both domestically and transnationally, by exploring the contrasts between criminal law and other species of law and state power and by investigating criminal law's place in the projects of comparative law, transnational, and international law.

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Author: Michelle Alexander

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1595586431

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 6323

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Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education and public benefits create a permanent under-caste based largely on race. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

The Divide

American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

Author: Matt Taibbi

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 0679645462

Category: Political Science

Page: 448

View: 6227

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, AND KIRKUS REVIEWS A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery: Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime—but it’s impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side. In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights. Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all. Praise for The Divide “Ambitious . . . deeply reported, highly compelling . . . impossible to put down.”—The New York Times Book Review “These are the stories that will keep you up at night. . . . The Divide is not just a report from the new America; it is advocacy journalism at its finest.”—Los Angeles Times “Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants. . . . The Divide is an important book. Its documentation is powerful and shocking.”—The Washington Post “Captivating . . . The Divide enshrines its author’s position as one of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism.”—The Independent (UK) “Taibbi [is] perhaps the greatest reporter on Wall Street’s crimes in the modern era.”—Salon From the Hardcover edition.

Overcriminalization

The Limits of the Criminal Law

Author: Douglas Husak

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198043997

Category: Law

Page: 248

View: 3484

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The United States today suffers from too much criminal law and too much punishment. Husak describes the phenomena in some detail and explores their relation, and why these trends produce massive injustice. His primary goal is to defend a set of constraints that limit the authority of states to enact and enforce penal offenses. The book urges the weight and relevance of this topic in the real world, and notes that most Anglo-American legal philosophers have neglected it. Husak's secondary goal is to situate this endeavor in criminal theory as traditionally construed. He argues that many of the resources to reduce the size and scope of the criminal law can be derived from within the criminal law itself-even though these resources have not been used explicitly for this purpose. Additional constraints emerge from a political view about the conditions under which important rights such as the right implicated by punishment-may be infringed. When conjoined, these constraints produce what Husak calls a minimalist theory of criminal liability. Husak applies these constraints to a handful of examples-most notably, to the justifiability of drug proscriptions.

Chasing Gideon

The Elusive Quest for Poor People's Justice

Author: Karen Houppert

Publisher: New Press, The

ISBN: 1595588922

Category: Law

Page: 288

View: 1820

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On March 18, 1963, in one of its most significant legal decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Gideon v. Wainwright that all defendants facing significant jail time have the constitutional right to a free attorney if they cannot afford their own. Fifty years later, 80 percent of criminal defendants are served by public defenders. In a book that combines the sweep of history with the intimate details of individual lives and legal cases, veteran reporter Karen Houppert movingly chronicles the stories of people in all parts of the country who have relied on Gideon’s promise. There is the harrowing saga of a young man who is charged with involuntary vehicular homicide in Washington State, where overextended public defenders juggle impossible caseloads, forcing his defender to go to court to protect her own right to provide an adequate defense. In Florida, Houppert describes a public defender’s office, loaded with upward of seven hundred cases per attorney, and discovers the degree to which Clarence Earl Gideon’s promise is still unrealized. In New Orleans, she follows the case of a man imprisoned for twenty-seven years for a crime he didn’t commit, finding a public defense system already near collapse before Katrina and chronicling the harrowing months after the storm, during which overworked volunteers and students struggled to get the system working again. In Georgia, Houppert finds a mentally disabled man who is to be executed for murder, despite the best efforts of a dedicated but severely overworked and underfunded capital defender. Half a century after Anthony Lewis’s award-winning Gideon’s Trumpet brought us the story of the court case that changed the American justice system, Chasing Gideon is a crucial book that provides essential reckoning of our attempts to implement this fundamental constitutional right.

Inferno

Author: Robert A. Ferguson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674728684

Category: Law

Page: 351

View: 786

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Robert Ferguson diagnoses all parts of a massive, out-of-control punishment regime. Turning the spotlight on the plight of prisoners, he asks the American people, Do we want our prisons to be this way? Acknowledging the suffering of prisoners and understanding what punishers do when they punish are the first steps toward a better, more just system.

Thomas Aquinas and the Philosophy of Punishment

Author: Peter Karl Koritansky

Publisher: CUA Press

ISBN: 0813218837

Category: Philosophy

Page: 209

View: 6653

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Thomas Aquinas and the Philosophy of Punishment explores how Aquinas's understandings of natural law and the common good apply to the contemporary philosophical discussion of punitive justice.

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)

A True Story of the Fight for Justice

Author: Bryan A. Stevenson

Publisher: Delacorte Press

ISBN: 0525580050

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 288

View: 5225

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In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestselling Just Mercy, which the New York Times calls "as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so," Bryan Stevenson delves deep into the broken U.S. justice system, detailing from his personal experience his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America's most rejected and marginalized people. In this very personal work--proceeds of which will go to charity--Bryan Stevenson recounts many and varied stories of his work as a lawyer in the U.S. criminal justice system on behalf of those in society who have experienced some type of discrimination and/or have been wrongly accused of a crime and who deserve a powerful advocate and due justice under the law. Through the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization Stevenson founded as a young lawyer and for which he currently serves as Executive Director, this important work continues. EJI strives to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. "A deeply moving collage of true stories . . . .This is required reading." --Kirkus, Starred Review Praise for Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption: "Important and compelling." --Pulitzer Prize-winning author TRACY KIDDER "Gripping. . . . What hangs in the balance is nothing less than the soul of a great nation." --DESMOND TUTU, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate "An inspiring and powerful story." --#1 New York Times bestselling author JOHN GRISHAM

The Political Heart of Criminal Procedure

Essays on Themes of William J. Stuntz

Author: Michael Klarman,David Skeel,Carol Steiker

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107019419

Category: Law

Page: 237

View: 1718

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This volume brings together twelve leading American criminal justice scholars whose own writings have been profoundly influenced by William Stuntz and his work. Both as a tribute to Stuntz's work and as a source of profound new insights, this book examines his role in the renaissance of criminal procedure as a cutting-edge discipline, and as inseparably linked to substantive criminal law.

A Plague of Prisons

The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America

Author: Ernest Drucker

Publisher: New Press, The

ISBN: 1595589538

Category: Law

Page: 272

View: 1596

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When Dr. John Snow first traced an outbreak of cholera to a water pump in the Soho district of London in 1854, the field of epidemiology was born. Ernest Drucker’s A Plague of Prisons takes the same concepts and tools of public health that have successfully tracked epidemics of flu, tuberculosis, and AIDS to make the case that our current unprecedented level of imprisonment has become an epidemic. Drucker passionately argues that imprisonment—originally conceived as a response to the crimes of individuals—has become mass incarceration: a destabilizing force, a plague upon our body politic, that undermines families and communities, damaging the very social structures that prevent crime. Described as a “towering achievement” (Ira Glasser) and “the clearest and most intelligible case for a reevaluation of how we view incarceration” (Spectrum Culture), A Plague of Prisons offers a cutting-edge perspective on criminal justice in twenty-first-century America that “could help to shame the U.S. public into demanding remedial action” (The Lancet).

Bowling Alone

The Collapse and Revival of American Community

Author: Robert D. Putnam

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743203046

Category: History

Page: 541

View: 5266

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Shows how changes in work, family structure, women's roles, and other factors have caused people to become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and democratic structures--and how they may reconnect.

Locking Up Our Own

Crime and Punishment in Black America

Author: James Forman, Jr.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374712905

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 3101

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In recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman, Jr., points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.