Sociology of Law

Topics: Law, Sentence, Common law Pages: 5 (1020 words) Published: October 13, 2013
Sociology of Law Prelim #2 Review

Policing and Arrest
Cop in the Hood- Moskos
Police discretion
Factors include:
Time of shift
Age of officer
Suspect characteristics
Political concerns
Police culture
Law on the Books v. Law in Action
Legal entities as social institutions
Legal actors as social actors

Profiles in Justice? – Heumann
Racial disparities in policing
Driving while black
Disparities in stops caused by profiling, bias etc.

Criminal Process

Process is Punishment- Feely
Adversarial model v. pre-trial process model
Pre-trial costs include missing work, being away from family, attorney costs etc. Consequences include losing your job, reputation, missed time with family, foregone wages etc. Imbalance ratio is (a-s)/s when a-arrested/detained pretrial and s-convicted and sentenced.

Courtroom 302- Bogira
Trial tax- implication that if you choose trial, if convicted your sentence will be harsher “Wheeling and dealing” occurs between judges and defendants so they don’t go to trial. It’s a suck of resources. White sales

**Feely says pre-trial costs force people to take plea bargains but Bogira says it’s trial tax and fear of future. Feely pre-trial, Borgira post-trial

Courtroom Workgroups – Eisenstein and Jacobs
A group of actors with ongoing relationships
Shared goals:
Balance of authority and limitations
Judge, Prosecutor, Defense Attorney (each has powers and limits) Processes include the adversarial process and negotiation
Workgroup prefers negotiation (faster, compromise, fewer resource expended, more guaranteed, most parties win a little)

Sanctions and the Deterrence Curve- Friedman
Goals of sentencing
Incapacitation (keep offender out of society)
Punishment (give offender what he deserves)
Rehabilitation (reform offender)
Deterrence (specific and general)
Indeterminate sentencing can lead to unwarranted disparities in sentencing Determinate sentencing leads to federal sentencing guidelines This leaves no room for circumstantial crimes and sympathy

2 main criteria for determining sentence under sentencing guidelines. Costs of increasing punishment to increase deterrence include cost of police salary, jail space, time/money/effort to process additional cases. Factors contributing to the deterrence curve

Federal Sentencing Guidelines – Gertner
Problems with sentencing guidelines (neither just nor effective): Still discrimination
Sentences become more punitive than just
Guidelines are difficult to administer
Discretion has not been eliminated

The New Philadelphia Story- Ross & Voas
Judge O’Farrell makes really severe drunk driving punishments They tested if general deterrence existed by comparing a neighboring, comparable town. They tested general deterrence by seeing if offenders re-offended within a given period of time. No significant specific deterrence

Some general deterrence

Civil Law
Dispute Pyramid

Grievance  claim  dispute  lawyer  court filing  trial Only about 50 out of 1000 grievances become court filings.

Settled Out of Court- Ross
“In the shadow of the law” means even though a dispute may be settled outside of court, they still understand the law and what it does. Settlements require fewer resources, less risk of losing entirely, both parties win a little, cheaper, predictable/rationalized, more liberal Insurance companies pay more settlements that the law dictates in order to avoid trials and other legal affairs. Settlements are inequitable because aggression, wealth and eloquence is rewarded. Why the Haves Come Out Ahead- Galanter

Repeat players (big companies with tons of cases) v. One Shotters (one case with no intention of having another) Repeat players fare better because they have relationships with court employees, they are willing and able to see long term and sacrifice some cases and pursue some cases harder because each individual case does not matter as much....
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