The Center conducts criminal justice research in a variety of areas, but primarily collects and organizes data on the administration of criminal justice as it occurs in settings other than trials. In particular, the Center focuses mainly on prosecutorial decisionmaking before trial and at sentencing.
The Center engages in various projects that rely upon interviews and surveys of prosecutors and other government officials, past and present, about prosecutorial charging and plea bargaining policies, investigation methods, the use of cooperators, office structure and design, and the training and assignment of attorneys. There is a significant need for this type of centralized and organized data collection on prosecution. This information is not available in published sources, yet it is critical to understanding the administration of criminal justice, which takes place largely inside prosecutors’ offices and not in trials. The Center’s sentencing research consists largely of state-by-state comparisons of sentencing practices. There is currently little academic analysis that seeks to learn more about best sentencing practices by comparing and contrasting different approaches.
The Center’s research is used by scholars affiliated with the Center – including its Faculty Director and other faculty affiliates, its Executive Director, and its Fellows – to produce scholarship on a range of criminal justice topics.
Criminal Law and Its Processes (2012)
The Ninth Edition of Kadish, Schulhofer, Steiker & Barkow, Criminal Law and Its Processes (2012) was published. The Center's Faculty Director is a co-author of the latest edition of this leading criminal case book. Buy it here.
Sentencing Guidelines at the Crossroads of Politics and Expertise
Faculty Director Rachel E. Barkow published "Sentencing Guidelines at the Crossroads of Politics and Expertise," 160 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1599 (2012), exploring the tension that arises from the fact that sentnecing commissions must produce guidlines that are simultaneously reflective of the best empirical and expert knowledge about sentencing and acceptable to political overseers, and completed "Law versus Politics: Comments on William J. Stuntz's The Collapse of American Criminal Justice," U. Toronto L.J., a book review of Professor Stuntz's documentation of the pathologies of the American criminal justice system.
Prosecutors In the Boardroom: Using Criminal Law to Regulate Corporate Conduct
The Center is proud to announce that New York University Press has published Prosecutors In the Boardroom: Using Criminal Law to Regulate Corporate Conduct, comprised of papers contributed by scholars who participated in the Center's Inaugural Annual Conference, "Regulation By Prosecutors." To read more about the book, follow this link. To buy it, follow this link.
Other Publications by Faculty Director Rachel E. Barkow include:
- "Federalism and Criminal Law: What the Feds Can Learn from the States," 109 Michigan Law Review 519 (Feb. 2011)
- "Insulating Agencies: Avoiding Capture Through Institutional Design," 89 Texas Law Review 15 (2010)
- "Categorizing Graham," 23 Federal Sentencing Reporter 49 (2010)
- "Organizational Guidelines for the Prosecutor’s Office," 31 Cardozo Law Review 2089 (2010)
- "The Court of Life and Death: The Two Tracks of Constitutional Sentencing Law and the Case for Uniformity," 107 Michigan Law Review 1145 (2009)
- "Institutional Design and the Policing of Prosecutors: Lessons from Administrative Law," 61 Stanford Law Review 869 (2009)
- “The Politics of Forgiveness: Reconceptualizing Clemency,” 21 Federal Sentencing Reporter 153 (2009)
- "The Ascent of the Administrative State and the Demise of Mercy," 121 Harvard Law Review 1332 (2008)
- The Rise and Fall of the Political Question Doctrine, in The Political Question Doctrine and the Supreme Court of the United States (Bruce Cain & Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, eds., 2007)
- "Delegating Punitive Power: The Politics and Economics of Sentencing Commission Formation," 84 Texas Law Review 1973 (2006) (with Kathleen O'Neill)
- "Separation of Powers and the Criminal Law," 58 Stanford Law Review 989 (2006)
- "The Political Market for Criminal Justice," 104 Michigan Law Review 1713 (2006)
- "Originalists, Politics, and Criminal Law on the Rehnquist Court," 74 George Washington Law Review 1043 (2006)
- "Administering Crime," 52 UCLA Law Review 715 (2005)
- "Federalism and the Politics of Sentencing," 105 Columbia Law Review 1276 (2005)
- "Our Federal System of Sentencing," 58 Stanford Law Review 119 (2005)
- "The Devil You Know: Federal Sentencing After Blakely," 16 Federal Sentencing Reporter 312 (2004)
- "Recharging the Jury: The Criminal Jury's Constitutional Role in an Era of Mandatory Sentencing," 152 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 33 (2003)
- "More Supreme than Court? The Fall of the Political Question Doctrine and the Rise of Judicial Supremacy," 102 Columbia Law Review 237 (2002)
Scholarship by other Center personnel
The Georgia Law Review published "Prosecuting Political Defendants," 44 Ga. L. Rev. 953 (2010), by Executive Director Anthony S. Barkow and Beth George ('10). George co-authored the article while she was a 3L student fellow at the Center. It was published in connection with a symposium, “Drawing the Ethical Line: Controversial Cases, Zealous Advocacy, and the Public Good,” which was held on Friday, October 16, 2009, at the University of Georgia School of Law.
Prosecution Notes is the Center's newsletter. To read the Fall 2010 edition of Prosecution Notes -- which recounts some of the Center’s recent activities, offers expert advice by Elkan Abramowitz ('64) of the law firm Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer, P.C., on the strategic considerations surrounding disclosure of defense strategies and theories to the government in advance of trial, and summarizes all criminal law decisions from the 2009-10 Supreme Court Term -- follow this link (Issuu reader) or this link (.pdf file).
Read the first edition of Prosecution Notes, which among other things summarized all criminal law decisions from the 2008–09 Supreme Court Term, via this link.
New Perspectives on Brady and Other Disclosure Obligations: What Really Works?
The Center co-sponsored a conference by this title on Sunday, November 15, 2009. The conference was held at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Participating scholars, including Faculty Director Rachel E. Barkow, participated and contributed papers. Read those papers, including Professor Barkow's paper, "Organizational Guidelines for the Prosecutor's Office," 31 Cardozo Law Review 2089 (2010), here.