Adventures in Risk: Predicting Violent and Sexual Recidivism in Sentencing Law

2015, Past Issues, Print, Volume 47 (2015) Issue 1 (Spring)
Melissa Hamilton A new arena inviting collaboration between the law and sciences has emerged in criminal justice. The nation’s economic struggles and its record-breaking rate of incarceration have encouraged policymakers to embrace a new penology which seeks to simultaneously curb prison populations, reduce recidivism, and improve public safety. The new penology draws upon the behavioral sciences for techniques to identify and classify individuals based on their potential future risk and for current best evidence to inform decisions on how to manage offender populations accordingly. Empirically driven practices have been utilized in many criminal justice contexts for years, yet have historically remained “a largely untapped resource” in sentencing decisions. One reason is that sentencing law in America has for some time been largely driven by retributive theories.The new penology clearly incorporates utilitarian goals and…
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Regulating Tobacco Through Litigation

2015, Past Issues, Print, Volume 47 (2015) Issue 1 (Spring)
Patrick Luff This article takes a new approach to evaluating regulation of tobacco in general and the regulatory impact of the tobacco litigation in particular. Rather than viewing the tobacco litigation in isolation, regulation-through-litigation as an institutional response should be compared with potential alternative institutional responses such as regulation via administrative agency or the operation of market forces. Because courts have been better at generating technocratic information and at the same time can avoid the barriers to regulation that other institutions face, courts have been and will continue to be the preferred institution for regulating the social-costs externalities of tobacco consumption. In combination with an appreciation of the main regulatory problems that tobacco presents, this conclusion suggests a reevaluation of regulatory devices such as taxation, administrative compensation systems, and liability…
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Chimeras, Hybrids, and Cybrids: How Essentialism Distorts the Law and Stymies Scientific Research

2015, Past Issues, Print, Volume 47 (2015) Issue 1 (Spring)
Kerry Lynn Macintosh Imagine a scientist friend invites you to visit her research laboratory. She directs you to a cage. You see a small, furry creature with round ears and a long tail crouched in one corner of the cage. Based on these visual cues you assume the creature is a mouse. You quickly draw some basic inferences: the mouse is fond of cheese, afraid of cats, and none too bright. Then your friend surprises you. She informs you that she engrafted the mouse with human brain stem cells; as a result, all the neurons in its tiny brain are of human origin. She made the mouse so she could study the function of human neurons in a living model. You ask whether the mouse thinks like a human. Your…
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