The Center for Law, Society, and Culture (http://www.law.indiana.edu/centers/lawsociety/) is sponsored by the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. The Center actively supports and promotes multidisciplinary understanding of law and legal problems through scholarship, teaching, and discussion. The Center is located in the School of Law on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University, but produces, presents and coordinates research conducted by more than 70 scholars from schools and departments across Indiana University. The Center's affiliated scholars hold appointments in African-American studies, business, criminal justice, journalism, history, economics, English, law, and gender studies, among others, and are dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the role of law in society and culture. The Center supports research related to the law in a broad sense, including the cultural aspects of law expressed through political theory and scientific aspects of law expressed through technological advances in biotechnology, environmental science and information technology.
LAW & SOCIETY: PUBLIC LAW - CRIME, CRIMINAL LAW, & PUNISHMENT eJOURNAL
Sponsored by: Indiana University Maurer School of Law
"From Jones to Jones: Fifteen Years of Incoherence in the Constitutional Law of Sentencing Factfinding"
BENJAMIN J. PRIESTER, Florida Coastal School of Law
With tens of thousands of persons sentenced every year in the United States, the contemporary American criminal justice system places undeniable importance upon the constitutional constraints governing the scope of the permissible and impermissible exercises of factfinding authority by sentencing judges in the course of determining the specific punishment to be imposed upon an individual convicted of a criminal offense. Yet for the past fifteen years the United States Supreme Court has failed to provide doctrinal stability and consistency to this crucial area of constitutional law. Even the most recent decisions, such as Alleyne v. United States (2013) regarding mandatory minimum sentencing provisions, have generated only more unpredictability in the doctrine and more disagreements among the justicesâ€™ viewpoints. The path to an enduring doctrinal solution is not readily evident, and the Courtâ€™s unwillingness to reach consensus leaves the constitutional law of sentencing factfinding trapped in an ongoing cycle of unpredictability and doctrinal incoherence.
"Skin Color and the Criminal Justice System: Beyond Blackâ€?White Disparities in Sentencing"
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 12, Issue 3, pp. 395-420, 2015
TRACI BURCH, Northwestern University & American Bar Foundation, American Bar Foundation
This article analyzes sentencing outcomes for black and white men in Georgia. The analysis uses sentencing data collected by the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC). Among firstâ€?time offenders, both the raceâ€?only models and race and skin color models estimate that, on average, blacks receive sentences that are 4.25 percent higher than those of whites even after controlling for legallyâ€?relevant factors such as the type of crime. However, the skin color model also shows us that this figure hides important intraracial differences in sentence length: while mediumâ€? and darkâ€?skinned blacks receive sentences that are about 4.8 percent higher than those of whites, lighterâ€?skinned blacks receive sentences that are not statistically significantly different from those of whites. After controlling for socioeconomic status in the raceâ€?only and race and skin color models the remaining difference between whites and darkâ€? and mediumâ€?skinned blacks increases slightly, to 5.5 percent. These findings are discussed with respect to the implications for public policy and for racial hierarchy in the United States.
"Reflexive Intergroup Bias in Third-Party Punishment"
DANIEL A. YUDKIN, New York University (NYU)
TOBIAS ROTHMUND, University of Koblenz-Landau
MATHIAS TWARDAWSKI, University of Koblenz-Landau
NATASHA THALLA, Lehigh University
JAY J VAN BAVEL, New York University (NYU) - Department of Psychology
Human society is made possible by long-term cooperation among unrelated individuals. One human tendency critical to sustaining cooperation is the willingness to enact third-party punishment â€” the sanctioning, sometimes even at personal cost, of individuals who have not directly harmed the self. Research has found that third-party punishment is subject to intergroup bias, in which people punish out-group members more severely than in-group. However, the psychological processes underlying this tendency remain unexplored. Some work suggests that this bias stems from peopleâ€™s evolutionarily adapted predisposition to seek out and maintain alliances. As a result, people may automatically engage in biased forms of punishment, favoring in-group over out-group members when their capacity for deliberation is impaired. Here we test this hypothesis directly, examining whether intergroup bias in third-party punishment emerges from reflexive, versus deliberative, components of moral cognition. In three experiments, utilizing a simulated economic game, we varied participantsâ€™ group relationship to a transgressor, measured or manipulated the extent to which they relied on reflexive or deliberative judgment, and observed punishment decisions. Across group-membership manipulations (American football teams, nationalities, and baseball teams) and two assessments of reflexive judgment (response time and cognitive load) reflexive judgment heightened intergroup bias in third-party punishment. In other words, people punished out-group members more severely than in-group members, especially when punishing reflexively. We discuss this findingâ€™s implications for theories of punishment, cooperation, and legal practice.
"Guns and Drugs"
Fordham Law Review, Forthcoming
BENJAMIN LEVIN, Harvard Law School
This Article argues that the increasingly prevalent critiques of the War on Drugs apply to other areas of criminal law. To highlight the broader relevance of these critiques, the Article uses as its test case the criminal regulation of gun possession. The Article identifies and distills three lines of drug-war criticism, and argues that they apply to possessory gun crimes in much the same way that they apply to drug crimes. Specifically, the Article focuses on: (1) race- and class-based critiques; (2) concerns about police and prosecutorial power; and (3) worries about the social costs of mass incarceration. Scholars have identified structural flaws in policing, prosecuting, and sentencing in the drug context; in the Article, I highlight the ways that the same issues persist in an area - possessory gun crime - that receives much less criticism. Appreciating the broader applicability of the drug warâ€™s critiques, I contend, should lead to an examination of the flaws in the criminal justice system that lessen its capacity for solving social problems.
"The Degree of Corruption and Corporate Cash Holdings"
JIAYI DENG, Hunan University
YANYANG YAN, Hunan University
DANYAN WEN, Hunan University
This paper empirically investigates whether the degree of corruption affected the corporate cash holdings of Chinese-listed non-financial firms over the 2003-2013 period. We find that corporate cash holdings are negatively correlated with measures of corruption. For firms facing fewer financing constraints, the effect of corruption is more likely to reduce their cash holdings and exacerbate the tunneling of corporate controlling shareholders. These results indicate that corruption cannot reduce a business' degree of uncertainty. In addition, corruption will harm corporate value by controlling shareholders' tunneling. Our findings provide useful policy implications for China's economic reforms.
"The Good Hacker: A Look at the Role of Hacktivisim in Democracy"
BEN MONARCH, University of Kentucky, College of Law, Students
â€œHackerâ€? is an extremely opaque, arguably insidious word. It conjures images of a computer mastermind with an appetite for destruction, theft, and a cocktail of illegal ambitions. This stereotype leaves little room for images of moral crusaders in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Ghandi. Yet, there are hackers who more closely resemble such icons than the cyber-criminals often associated with the hacker moniker. These other hackers have their own label â€” hacktivists. This article explores the role of hacktivists in democracy and discusses domestic laws that make hacktivist activities illegal. The article further explores how these restrictive laws are inconsistent with democratic tradition and international law, and how domestic law should be reformed to eliminate this inconsistency.
"Broken Promises in the Quest for Truth: Examining Victimsâ€™ Perceptions of Truth Commission Participation in Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste"
HOLLY L. GUTHREY, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University
Existing research suggests that victimsâ€™ needs and desires often go unfulfilled after testifying in truth commissions, which commonly leads to disappointment with transitional justice processes. What is not discussed, however, is why victims anticipate receiving particular benefits or outcomes following truth-telling and possible consequences when nothing results after the process ends. Semi-structured interviews conducted with victims of mass violence in Solomon Island and Timor-Leste who gave public testimony during their countryâ€™s truth commission indicate that victims clearly anticipated receiving tangible or intangible reciprocation in exchange for giving testimony, because of either explicit or implicit promises made by their countryâ€™s truth commission/government. When these promises were broken, victims experienced an array of negative feelings including frustration, disappointment, and sadness. This finding parallels the â€˜psychological contractâ€™ theory found in organizational psychology, which is introduced in this article as a new framework for understanding victimsâ€™ interactions with truth commissions.
About this eJournal
Sponsored by: Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts of empirical or theoretical scholarship on topics related to crime, criminal law, and criminal punishment (including the death penalty), from any disciplinary perspective. Covered topics include victims' rights, criminal sentencing rules, criminal sentencing procedures, criminal punishment, theories of criminal punishment, alternatives to traditional criminal punishment, criminal law doctrine, and administration of criminal justice.
Editor: Joseph L. Hoffmann, Indiana University
To submit your research to SSRN, sign in to the SSRN User HeadQuarters, click the My Papers link on left menu and then the Start New Submission button at top of page.
If your organization is interested in increasing readership for its research by starting a Research Paper Series, or sponsoring a Subject Matter eJournal, please email: RPS@SSRN.com
Legal Scholarship Network (LSN), a division of Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP) and Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
LAW & SOCIETY EJOURNALS
BERNARD S. BLACK
Northwestern University - School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
RONALD J. GILSON
Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Please contact us at the above addresses with your comments, questions or suggestions for LSN-Sub.
Law & Society: Public Law - Crime, Criminal Law, & Punishment eJournal
ALFRED C. AMAN
Roscoe C. O'Byrne Professor of Law, Indiana University-Bloomington, Maurer School of Law
Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
PETER C. CARSTENSEN
George H. Young-Bascom Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
KENNETH GLENN DAU-SCHMIDT
Willard and Margaret Carr Professor of Labor and Employment Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
LAUREN B. EDELMAN
Director, Center for the Study of Law and Society, Agnes Roddy Robb Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program and Center for the Study of Law and Society
SALLY ENGLE MERRY
Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas, Wellesley College - Department of Anthropology
HOWARD S. ERLANGER
Voss-Bascom Professor of Law, Professor of Sociology [Emeritus] Review Section Editor - Law & Social Inquiry, University of Wisconsin Law School
LUIS E. FUENTES-ROHWER
Professor of Law, Adjunct Professor of Latino Studies, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
MARC S. GALANTER
John & Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison
Co-Director, Center for Law, Society and Culture, Professor of History & Law, Indiana University-Bloomington, Maurer School of Law
WILLIAM D. HENDERSON
Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Editorial Advisory Board, Law and Society Review, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Sociology
Professor of Law and Political Science, SUNY Buffalo Law School
JOYCE S. STERLING
Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law