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March 19, 2012

Professor Bibas guest-blogging on "The Machinery of Criminal Justice"

Bibas bookEspecially because I am heading out on a Spring Break trip that will soon lessen my (daytime) blogging opportunities, I am very pleased to be able to welcome Professor Stephanos Bibas as a guest-blogger to discuss sentencing issues raised by his terrific new book my new book, titled "The Machinery of Criminal Justice," which was just published by Oxford University Press and is available here.  (Though I have not yet had a chance to read the entire book, I feel confident already describing the book as terrific based on the introduction available here via SSRN and based on the guest-blogging Stephanos has already done recently in this series of posts at The Volokh Conspiracy.)

For those interested in the broad array of topics that Stephanos takes on in this book (and everyone should be), I highly encourage whetting your appetite by checking out the posts already up at Volokh (or at least this provocative first one in the series).  Here is a key theme from the book mentioned set forth in that post: "without much thought, we have drifted over the past four centuries from the colonial morality play to the modern criminal justice machine.  There‚Äôs no question that professionalization has brought tangible benefits, especially the ability to handle staggering caseloads.  What I want you to see, however, is the price we have paid to purchase more and more efficiency."

Stephanos reports he will be covering a lot of different ground in this blog space than he did at Volokh.  As he put it in an e-mail to me, he plans to cover different aspects of the book likely to be of even more interest to sentencing fans, "especially the shift from temporary punishments to prison, the frustration that causes, and various reforms to punishments (work / military service, collateral consequences, reentry)."  I am very happy to be lending this space for this great use and very excited to see what Stephanos has to say. 

(I hope and expect to do still do some additional blogging while on the road over the next few days, but I cannot predict how much or how often, especially because I also have a fantasy baseball draft for which to prepare.)

March 19, 2012 at 06:05 PM | Permalink


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He has to account for the idiocy and incompetence of his specialty. Allow 90% of serious felonies to go unanswered. Then when you have a guy, it is the wrong one 20% of the time or some other unconscionable rate of false positive. He has to answer for the thuggery of his agents, the police. Then mandatory guidelines dropped crime rates 40%, the greatest lawyer achievement of the 20th Century, and they get overturned. Explain that anomaly without using the rent seeking theory.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 20, 2012 12:29:07 AM

so looking forward to this provocative voice. Word in your ear: take the blather of Supremacy and of Otis with the proverbial grain of salt.

Posted by: FluffyRoss | Mar 20, 2012 7:15:51 AM

fluffy: I guess 20 million Index felonies, with 5 million being violent, is not salty enough for the lawyer. This advocate of greater softness on crime will never face the utter failure of his specialty, and wants to shield criminals even more than now. The public is on its own. When it decides to end crime it should settle matters with the lawyer first. Violent self help against the internal traitor has full moral, intellectual and policy justification. They are part of and operate like a criminal syndicate that has control of the three branches of government.

I challenge this prosecutor to utter the V word. He cannot, as no other lawyer can either. The lawyer chokes and gags on it.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 21, 2012 6:49:10 AM

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