Political Versus Administrative Justice

3 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2008 Last revised: 13 Apr 2009

See all articles by Stephanos Bibas

Stephanos Bibas

University of Pennsylvania Law School


This comment responds to an essay by Rachel Barkow, which insightfully links the decline of mercy in American criminal justice to the rise of a rule-of-law ideal inspired by administrative law. This comment notes the dangers of the administrative, rule-focused, judiciocentric approach to criminal justice. Instead, it suggests a more political approach, with more judicial deference to political actors and less judicial policing of equal treatment.

Keywords: criminal justice, criminal procedure, mercy, pardon, forgiveness, clemency, parole, prosecutors, rule of law, discretion, prosecutors

Suggested Citation

Bibas, Stephanos, Political Versus Administrative Justice. Criminal Law Conversations, 2009, U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 08-24, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1142910

Stephanos Bibas (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-746-2297 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/sbibas/

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