In the digital age, the use of advanced technology is becoming a new paradigm in police work, criminaljustice, and the penal system. Algorithms promise to predict delinquent behaviour, identify potentially dangerous persons, and support crime investigation. Algorithm-based applications are often deployed in this context, laying the groundwork for a ‘smart criminaljustice’. In this qualitative study based on 32 interviews with criminaljustice and police officials, we explore the reasons why and extent to (...) which such a smart criminaljustice system has already been established in Switzerland, and the benefits perceived by users. Drawing upon this research, we address the spread, application, technical background, institutional implementation, and psychological aspects of the use of algorithms in the criminaljustice system. We find that the Swiss criminaljustice system is already significantly shaped by algorithms, a change motivated by political expectations and demands for efficiency. Until now, algorithms have only been used at a low level of automation and technical complexity and the levels of benefit perceived vary. This study also identifies the need for critical evaluation and research-based optimization of the implementation of advanced technology. Societal implications, as well as the legal foundations of the use of algorithms, are often insufficiently taken into account. By discussing the main challenges to and issues with algorithm use in this field, this work lays the foundation for further research and debate regarding how to guarantee that ‘smart’ criminaljustice is actually carried out smartly. (shrink)
The American criminaljustice system creates incentives for false conviction. For example, many public crime labs are funded in part per conviction. We show that the number of false convictions per year in the American criminaljustice system should be considered ?high.? We examine the incentives of police, forensic scientists, prosecutors, and public defenders in the U.S. Police, prosecutors, and forensic scientists often have an incentive to garner convictions with little incentive to convict the right person. (...) These incentives create what economists call a ?multitask problem? that seems to be resulting in a needlessly high rate of false convictions. Public defenders lack the resources and incentives needed to provide a vigorous defense for their clients. Corrective measures are discussed, along with a call for more research. (shrink)
This new text will encourage students to develop a deeper understanding of the context and the current workings of the criminaljustice system. Part One offers a clear, accessible and comprehensive review of the major philosophical aims and sociological theories of punishment, the history of justice and punishment, and the developing perspective of victimology. In Part Two, the focus is on the main areas of the contemporary criminaljustice system including the police, the courts and (...) judiciary, prisons, and community penalties. The active engagement of students with the material covered distinguishes this text from others in the area and makes it a real teaching resource and invaluable text. (shrink)
Within the criminaljustice system, one of the most prominent justifications for legal punishment is retributivism. The retributive justification of legal punishment maintains that wrongdoers are morally responsible for their actions and deserve to be punished in proportion to their wrongdoing. This book argues against retributivism and develops a viable alternative that is both ethically defensible and practical. Introducing six distinct reasons for rejecting retributivism, Gregg D. Caruso contends that it is unclear that agents possess the kind of (...) free will and moral responsibility needed to justify this view of punishment. While a number of alternatives to retributivism exist - including consequentialist deterrence, educational, and communicative theories - they have ethical problems of their own. Moving beyond existing theories, Caruso presents a new non-retributive approach called the public health-quarantine model. In stark contrast to retributivism, the public health-quarantine model provides a more human, holistic, and effective approach to dealing with criminal behavior. (shrink)
This article starts from the observation that in classical Athens the discovery of democracy as a normative model of politics has been from the beginning not only a political and a legal but at the same time a philosophical enterprise. Reflections on the concept of criminal law and on the meaning of punishment can greatly benefit from reflections on Athenian democracy as a germ for our contemporary debate on criminaljustice in a democracy. Three main characteristics of (...) the Athenian model will be analysed: the self-instituting capacity of a democracy based on participatory and reflective citizenship, political power as the capacity of citizens for co-operating and co-acting with others, and the crime of hubris as one of the key issues in Athenian criminal law. These analyses will lead to the conclusion that one of the key issues of a democratic legal order lies in its capacity of recognizing the fragility of the human condition and of developing workable and effective standards of justice in that context. A relational conception of criminal law and punishment, based on proportionality, reflexivity, mutual respect and responsibility fits best with a democracy under the rule of law. (shrink)
A defendant’s failure to show remorse is one of the most powerful factors in criminal sentencing, including capital sentencing. Yet there is currently no evidence that remorse can be accurately evaluated in a courtroom. Conversely there is evidence that race and other impermissible factors create hurdles to evaluating remorse. There is thus an urgent need for studies about whether and how remorse can be accurately evaluated. Moreover, there is little evidence that remorse is correlated with future law-abiding behavior or (...) other legitimate penal purposes, and, in fact, there is evidence that remorse is often conflated with shame, which is correlated with increased future criminality. More accurate information on the nature and evaluation of remorse can be used to reform the criminaljustice system. (shrink)
This, the twenty-seventh volume in the annual series of publications by the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, features a number of distinguised contributors addressing the topic of criminaljustice. Part I considers "The Moral and Metaphysical Sources of the Criminal Law," with contributions by Michael S. Moore, Lawrence Rosen, and Martin Shapiro. The four chapters in Part II all relate, more or less directly, to the issue of retribution, with papers by Hugo Adam Bedau, Michael (...) Davis, Jeffrie G. Murphy, and R. B. Brandt. In the following part, Dennis F. Thompson, Christopher D. Stone, and Susan Wolf deal with the special problem of criminal responsibility in government-one of great importance in modern society. The fourth and final part, echoing the topic of NOMOS XXIV, Ethics, Economics, and the Law , addresses the economic theory of crime. The section includes contributions by Alvin K. Klevorick, Richard A. Posner, Jules L. Coleman, and Stephen J. Schulhofer. A valuable bibiography on criminaljustice by Andrew C. Blanar concludes this volume of NOMOS. (shrink)
Violence risk assessment tools are increasingly used within criminaljustice and forensic psychiatry, however there is little relevant, reliable and unbiased data regarding their predictive accuracy. We argue that such data are needed to (i) prevent excessive reliance on risk assessment scores, (ii) allow matching of different risk assessment tools to different contexts of application, (iii) protect against problematic forms of discrimination and stigmatisation, and (iv) ensure that contentious demographic variables are not prematurely removed from risk assessment tools.
In this broad consideration of American criminaljustice today, Allen suggests that the way to a more effective penal policy can be found in a closer adherence to the law rather than in the current tendency to bypass certain laws in the name of the "war on crime".
This textbook looks at the main ethical questions that confront the criminaljustice system - legislature, law enforcement, courts, and corrections - and those who work within that system, especially police officers, prosecutors, defence lawyers, judges, juries, and prison officers. John Kleinig sets the issues in the context of a liberal democratic society and its ethical and legislative underpinnings, and illustrates them with a wide and international range of real-life case studies. Topics covered include discretion, capital punishment, terrorism, (...) restorative justice, and re-entry. Kleinig's discussion is both philosophically acute and grounded in institutional realities, and will enable students to engage productively with the ethical questions which they encounter both now and in the future - whether as criminaljustice professionals or as reflective citizens. (shrink)
The present article discusses the “peace versus justice” dilemma in international criminaljustice through the lenses of the respective legal theories of Judith Shklar and Hannah Arendt—two thinkers who have recently been described as theorists of international criminal law. The article claims that in interventions carried out by the International Criminal Court, there is an ever-present potentiality for the “peace versus justice” dilemma to occur. Unfortunately, there is no abstract solution to this problem, insofar (...) as ICC interventions will in some cases be conducive while in others, they will be deleterious to peace. If a tension between peace and justice arises in a particular case, the article asserts, the former must be prioritised over the latter. Such a prioritisation, however, requires a vision of the ICC as a flexible actor of world politics which is situated at the intersection of law, ethics and politics, rather than a strictly legalistic view of the court. Ultimately, then, the present article seeks to probe whether the legal and political theories of Shklar and Arendt—in isolation, but ultimately also in combination—support such a flexible vision of the ICC. (shrink)
In recent years, discussion around memory modification interventions has gained attention. However, discussion around the use of memory interventions in the criminaljustice system has been mostly absent. In this paper we start by highlighting the importance memory has for human well-being and personal identity, as well as its role within the criminal forensic setting; in particular, for claiming and accepting legal responsibility, for moral learning, and for retribution. We provide examples of memory interventions that are currently (...) available for medical purposes, but that in the future could be used in the forensic setting to modify criminal offenders’ memories. In this section we contrast the cases of dampening and enhancing memories of criminal offenders. We then present from a pragmatic approach some pressing ethical issues associated with these types of memory interventions. The paper ends up highlighting how these pragmatic considerations can help establish ethically justified criteria regarding the possibility of interventions aimed at modifying criminal offenders’ memories. (shrink)
The punitive, moralizing conception of individual responsibility commonly associated with retributive justice exaggerates the moral meaning of criminal guilt. Criminal guilt does not imply moral desert, nor does it justify moral blame. Mental illness, intellectual disability, addiction, immaturity, poverty, and racial oppression are factors that mitigate our sense of a wrongdoer’s moral desert, though they are mostly not treated by the criminaljustice system as relevant to criminal culpability. The retributive theory also distracts from (...) shared responsibility for social injustice. Instead of highlighting the moral urgency of correcting conditions that help to explain the crime rate, a commitment to retribution diverts attention from the social conditions that engender crime. These conditions include an unequal distribution of social, economic, and political power, which poses a serious problem for the retributive theory. When disadvantaged members of society act in ways that violate the criminal law, they are less morally blameworthy, even when the laws they violate are justified. Judgments of blame and desert, in relation to criminaljustice, vary in accordance with political status. The diminished political power of oppressed groups is at odds with a retributive justification of punishment. (shrink)
There are several reasonable conceptions of liberalism. A liberal polity can survive a measure of disagreement over just what constitutes liberalism. In part, this is because of the way a liberal order makes possible a dynamic, heterogeneous civil society and how that, in turn, can supply participants with reasons to support a liberal political order. Despite the different conceptions of justice associated with different conceptions of liberalism, there are reasons to distinguish the normative focus of criminaljustice (...) from other aspects of justice in a liberal polity. Given the fundamental commitments of liberalism?of whatever variant?there are reasons for criminaljustice not to be assimilated to wider conceptions of justice overall. Such assimilation risks undermining some of liberalism's distinctive commitments concerning the standing of individuals as voluntary, responsible agents. Criminaljustice is not independent of other aspects of justice but has a distinct focus in a liberal polity. (shrink)
This collection examines questions of medical accountability and ethics. It analyses how the criminaljustice system regulates health care practice, and to what extent it is appropriate to use it as a tool to resolve ethical conflict in health care.
According to the main argument in favour of the practice of racial profiling as a low enforcement tactic, the use of race as a targeting factor helps the police to apprehend more criminals. In the following, this argument is challenged. It is argued that, given the assumption that criminals are currently being punished too severely in Western countries, the apprehension of more criminals may not constitute a reason in favour of racial profiling at all.
Over the past few decades, a body of research has developed examining the academic dishonesty of university and college students. While research has explored academic dishonesty amongst American criminaljustice and policing students, no research has specifically focused on investigating the dynamics and correlates of academic dishonesty amongst Australian criminology students. This study drew upon data obtained from a survey of 79 undergraduate criminaljustice and policing students studying at an Australian university. Overall, the results suggest (...) that male gender, viewing academic dishonesty as less serious and holding justifications for engaging in this type of behaviour were significant predictors of self-reported academic dishonesty. The findings suggest that more proactive strategies need to be implemented by universities to prevent student involvement in academic dishonesty. (shrink)
This special issue of The Journal of Ethics is devoted to ethical considerations of the use of neuroscience in the criminaljustice system. In this introduction, an overview is provided of the different topics dealt with in the volume.
This article challenges the use of social deprivation as a punishment, and offers a preliminary examination of the human rights implications of exile and solitary confinement. The article considers whether a human right against coercive social deprivation is conceptually redundant, as there are recognised rights against torture, extremely cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment as well as rights to basic health care, education, and security, which might encompass what this right protects. The article argues that the right is not conceptually redundant, (...) but that, even if it were, there would be significant reasons to articulate it. (shrink)
We argue in this essay that any society that organizes itself to punish criminals should in justice consider itself strictly liable to punish only those who are guilty in fact of the crimes for which they are punished. We argue that justice, not utility, is the basis of the obligation society has not to punish the innocent and that any society that is just would bind itself by statute to compensate the innocents it punishes by mistake. We hope (...) to have made it evident that when the justice of criminal punishment is the issue justice and strict liability are not incompatible; rather, we hope to have shown that one does not understand the nature of justice unless one recognizes that society is strictly liable and therefore owes compensation when, through no fault of its own, it punishes the innocent. (shrink)
In the history of Lithuania during the period between the two world wars, the criminal law sources were received from Russia (Criminal Statute of 1903) and adapted for the requirements of those States, where the conditions of life were notably different from those in Lithuania. The Criminal Statute of 1903 was the main criminal law source in Lithuania until 1940. Prior to the second occupation—the return of the Soviets—tens of thousands of Lithuanian citizens fled to the (...) West, including a very large segment of the intelligentsia, university lecturers, professors and many lawyers. The lawyers in emigration were very socially active and founded a paper of law research—“Teisininkų žinios.” The article deals with the works and research of the emigration lawyers B. Nemickas, V. Vaitkevičius, P. Raulinaitis,V. Rastenis, D. Krivickas and others, in which they deal with the problem of Soviet criminal law. The lawyers analyse the sources of Soviet criminal law, which was the criminal law source in occupied Lithuania. (shrink)
‘Optimistic’ normative theories of criminaljustice aim to justify criminal sanction in terms of its reprobative/rehabilitative value rather than its punitive nature as such. But do such theories accord with ordinary intuitions about what constitutes a ‘just’ response to wrongdoing? Recent empirical work on the psychology of punishers suggests that human beings have a ‘brutely retributive’ moral psychology, making them unlikely to endorse normative theories that sacrifice retribution for the sake of reprobation or rehabilitation; it would mean, (...) for example, that we cannot expect people to support such optimistic theories democratically, calling their feasibility into question. Taking the civic republican theory as an exemplar of optimistic theories, we argue that it does not fail this feasibility test. We review recent empirical research, including studies of our own, to support the claim that, far from being brute retributivists, human beings are generally satisfied only with punishment that delivers something other than mere retribution. And we show that this coheres very closely with the goals and policies that civic republicanism would support, as it may be expected to cohere also with other optimistic proposals. (shrink)
It is argued that the standard way that the criminaljustice debate regarding the permissible extent of wrongful convictions is cast is fundamentally flawed. In particular, it is claimed that there is an inherent danger in focussing our attention in this debate on different ways of measuring the probabilistic likelihood of wrongful conviction and then evaluating whether these probabilities are unacceptably high. This is because such probabilistic measures are clumsy ways of capturing the level of risk involved, to (...) the extent that a defendant can be subject to an unacceptably high level of legal risk in this regard even where the relevant probabilities are very low. An alternative conception of legal risk – one that is primarily cast along modal rather than probabilistic lines – is set out which offers a much better way of framing the debate regarding what would be an acceptable level of wrongful conviction. It is further argued that with this modal conception of legal risk in play we can capture an important necessary condition that should be imposed on legal evidence, one that has application beyond the context of the criminal trial. (shrink)
Moral condemnation has become the public narrative of our criminaljustice practices, but the distribution of criminal sanctions is not and should not be guided by judgments of what individual wrongdoers morally deserve. Criteria for evaluating a person’s liability to criminal sanctions are general standards that are influenced by how we understand the relative social urgency and priority of reducing crimes of various types. These standards thus depend on considerations that are not a matter of individual (...) moral desert. Furthermore, the moral desert is doubtful when members of socially disadvantaged groups face unequal prospects for being subjected to criminaljustice sanctions. Social injustice is an intolerable context for distributing punishment according to individual desert. A rightsprotectingscheme of criminaljustice might permissibly burden individual offenders, but not as an expression of what they morally deserve. (shrink)
It has been suggested that neuroenhancements could be used to improve the abilities of criminaljustice authorities. Judges could be made more able to make adequately informed and unbiased decisions, for example. Yet, while such a prospect appears appealing, the views of neuroenhanced criminaljustice authorities could also be alien to the unenhanced public. This could compromise the legitimacy and functioning of the criminaljustice system. In this article, I assess possible solutions to this (...) problem. I maintain that none of them qualifies as a satisfactory general solution to it, a solution that could reasonably be taken to solve the problem or to suffice for dealing with it in at least most cases. Yet I also suggest that, depending on contingent empirical circumstances, the responses – either singly or together – can sometimes amount to a sufficient answer to it. (shrink)
Traditional means of crime prevention, such as incarceration and psychological rehabilitation, are frequently ineffective. This collection considers how crime preventing neurointerventions could present a more humane alternative but, on the other hand, how neuroscientific developments and interventions may threaten fundamental human values.
In recent years, political philosophers have hotly debated whether ordinary citizens have a general pro tanto moral obligation to follow the law. Contemporary philosophers have had less to say about the same question when applied to public officials. In this paper, I consider the latter question in the morally complex context of criminaljustice. I argue that criminaljustice officials have no general pro tanto moral obligation to adhere to the legal dictates and lawful rules of (...) their offices. My claim diverges not only from the commonsense view about such officials, but also from the positions standardly taken in legal theory and political science debates, which presume there is some general obligation that must arise from legal norms and be reconciled with political realities. I defend my claim by highlighting the conceptual gap between the rigid, generalised, codified rules that define a criminaljustice office and the special moral responsibilities of the various moral roles that may underpin that office (such as guard, guardian, healer, educator, mediator, counsellor, advocate, and carer). After addressing four objections to my view, I consider specific contexts in which criminaljustice officials are obligated not to adhere to the demands of their offices. Amongst other things, the arguments advanced in this paper raise questions about both the distribution of formal discretion in the criminaljustice system and the normative validity of some of the offices that presently exist in criminaljustice systems. (shrink)
This essay asks if there is a role for an active public in ratcheting down the harsh politics of crime control in the United States and the United Kingdom that has led to increased use of the criminal law and greater severity in punishment. It considers two opposing answers offered by political and legal theorists and then begins to develop a participatory democratic framework for institutional reform.
The enormous financial cost of criminaljustice has motivated increased scrutiny and recognition of the need for constructive change, but what of the ethical costs of current practices and policies? Moreover, if we seriously value the principles of liberal democracy then there is no question that the ethics of criminaljustice are everybody’s business, concerns for the entire society. _The Routledge Handbook of CriminalJustice Ethics_ brings together international scholars to explore the most significant (...) ethical issues throughout their many areas of expertise, anchoring their discussions in the empirical realities of the issues faced rather than applying moral theory at a distance. Contributions from philosophers, legal scholars, criminologists and psychologists bring a fresh and interdisciplinary approach to the field. The _Handbook _is divided into three parts: Part I addresses the core issues concerning criminal sanction, the moral and political aspects of the justification of punishment, and the relationship between law and morality. Part II examines criminalization and criminal liability, and the assumptions and attitudes shaping those aspects of contemporary criminaljustice. Part III evaluates current policies and practices of criminal procedure, exploring the roles of police, prosecutors, judges, and juries and suggesting directions for revising how criminaljustice is achieved. Throughout, scholars seek pathways for change and suggest new solutions to address the central concerns of criminaljustice ethics. This book is an ideal resource for upper-undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses in criminaljustice ethics, criminology, and criminaljustice theory, and also for students of philosophy interested in punishment, law and society, and law and ethics. (shrink)
A new approach to sentencing Not Just Deserts inaugurates a radical shift in the research agenda of criminology. The authors attack currently fashionable retributivist theories of punishment, arguing that the criminaljustice system is so integrated that sentencing policy has to be considered in the system-wide context. They offer a comprehensive theory of criminaljustice which draws on a philosophical view of the good and the right, and which points the way to practical intervention in the (...) real world of incremental reform. They put the case for a criminaljustice system which maximizes freedom in the old republican sense of the term, and which they call `dominion'. (shrink)
Big Data evangelists often argue that algorithms make decision-making more informed and objective—a promise hotly contested by critics of these technologies. Yet, to date, most of the debate has focused on the instruments themselves, rather than on how they are used. This article addresses this lack by examining the actual practices surrounding algorithmic technologies. Specifically, drawing on multi-sited ethnographic data, I compare how algorithms are used and interpreted in two institutional contexts with markedly different characteristics: web journalism and criminal (...)justice. I find that there are surprising similarities in how web journalists and legal professionals use algorithms in their work. In both cases, I document a gap between the intended and actual effects of algorithms—a process I analyze as “decoupling.” Second, I identify a gamut of buffering strategies used by both web journalists and legal professionals to minimize the impact of algorithms in their daily work. Those include foot-dragging, gaming, and open critique. Of course, these similarities do not exhaust the differences between the two cases, which are explored in the discussion section. I conclude with a call for further ethnographic work on algorithms in practice as an important empirical check against the dominant rhetoric of algorithmic power. (shrink)
Transitionaljustice mechanisms and the International Criminal Tribunal for the FormerYugoslavia (ICTY) have had only a limited success in overcoming ethnic divisionsin Bosnia-Herzegovina. Rather than elaborating upon the role of local politicalelites in perpetuating ethnic divisions, we examine ordinary peoples’ popularperceptions of war and its aftermath. In our view, the idea that elites havecomplete control over the broader narratives about the past is misplaced. Weargue that transitional justice and peace mechanisms supported by externalactors are always interpreted on the ground (...) in context-specific ways, creatingdifferent citizens’ experiences, “memories” of the war, and their respectivehopes and disappointments in regards to the relationship between peace andjustice in Bosnia. We suggest that analyses of the post-conflict developments inBosnia-Herzegovina must take into account what gives the narratives ofexclusion their power, and what are the objective political, social andeconomic constraints that continue to provide a fertile ground for theirwidespread support. (shrink)