Judicial Delegation

32 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2018  

David Abrams

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Roberto Galbiati

Sciences Po

Emeric Henry

Sciences Po

Arnaud Philippe

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Date Written: June 29, 2018

Abstract

Greater delegation of authority to judges allows them to tailor decisions more precisely to the facts of the case and local norms, but also increases the likelihood of judicial capture, especially by repeat litigants. Three main approach have historically been taken to address this in the criminal law realm: judicial elections, judicial rotation and sentencing guidelines. We investigate some of the trade-offs inherent in the different approaches using data from North Carolina which has the unusual feature of frequent judicial rotation as well as elections and sentencing guidelines. We find that sentences converge over time within a judicial spell in a district to the local average sentence. We also document that the more prior interactions a judge has with a defense attorney, the more sentences decline. Finally, we show that judges respond to electoral cycles and that elections thus can be a way to discipline them.

Keywords: judges, crime, political economy, federalism

JEL Classification: K14, K41, P16, P48

Suggested Citation

Abrams, David and Galbiati, Roberto and Henry, Emeric and Philippe, Arnaud, Judicial Delegation (June 29, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3205755 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3205755

David S. Abrams (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Roberto Galbiati

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

Emeric Henry

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

Arnaud Philippe

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
18
Abstract Views
105
PlumX