New Marquette Lawyer Magazine Goes Deep in Looking at Crime and Society

Slogans are appropriate, even useful, for rallies or marches. In-depth thought is what should be expected from law schools. The Fall 2020 issue of Marquette Lawyer magazine offers a weighty serving of the latter, while examining implications of the former.

With the overall title of “The Crime and Society Issue,” the new magazine’s cover package features three pieces focusing on assessing and potentially improving the criminal justice system, from the time of an arrest through the charging and court processes, and ways of sanctioning people who commit crimes. Each piece features expertise and insight presented at Eckstein Hall events by scholars from coast to coast.

The lead story starts with some of the controversial ideas heard during 2020, such as “defund the police,” and explores ways the justice system could be improved when it comes to the overall safety and stability of urban communities. “The Case for Careful but Big Change” focuses in large part on the ideas of Paul Butler, the Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University, particularly as he presented them in Marquette Law School’s annual Boden Lecture and in an “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” program (last academic year, before the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person programs at Eckstein Hall).

Butler’s advocacy for refocusing the work of police and criminal courts so that people are helped more and punished less is in line with the work of Patrick Sharkey, a Princeton sociology professor, who has taken part in several Marquette Law School programs, as long ago as 2016 and as recently as July 2020. Sharkey’s research and observations on ways to reduce violence are also described in the article.

The piece also draws on presentations at Marquette Law School by Robert J. Sampson, a social sciences professor at Harvard; Rachel E. Barkow, a professor at New York University Law School; Bruce Western, a sociology professor at Columbia University; and Gabriel (Jack) Chin, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis. It also includes conclusions from Raj Chetty, a Harvard professor of economics who spoke at Marquette University. To read this article, click here.

The second part of the cover package offers excerpts from presentations at an academic symposium at Eckstein Hall organized by the Law School’s Professor Michael O’Hear. The symposium examined issues involving violent crime and recidivism, looking particularly at whether there are alternatives to long-term incarceration. The 17 excerpts in the magazine offer a wide range of perspectives, but generally suggest that people leaving prison can establish solid lives if given effective support. To read this article, click here.

The third part of the package is an edited text of Marquette Law School’s Barrock Lecture on Criminal Law, presented last fall by Darryl K. Brown, O.M. Vicars Professor and Baron F. Black Research Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. “Can Prosecutors Temper the Criminal Code by Bringing Factually Baseless Charges and Charging Nonexistent Crimes?” gives tempered support for such practices, based on the reasons they occur. To read this article, click here.

Also in this issue of Marquette Lawyer:

*             “Skepticism Bordering on Distrust,” an essay by Marquette Law Professor David Ray Papke on portrayals of law in American literature. Click here to read Papke’s article, which considers romanticism, realism, and absurdism and the criticisms (and insights) that many works within these literary genres offer of (and into) law, lawyers, and legal proceedings. .

*             “Mix Cars, Drugs, Guns, and Add Water—A Recipe for Interesting Blog Reading,” offering four selections from the Marquette Law School Faculty Blog. Alexander B. Lemann, an assistant professor of law, discusses whether products liability law will hold back growing use of autonomous vehicles. Professor Judith G. McMullen describes the drug addiction problems among people over 55 and a video that she and others from Marquette made to encourage such people and their families to get help. Third-year law student Robert Maniak contrasts an episode he was involved in as a Marine in Afghanistan with police shootings of citizens in the United States. And David Strifling, director of the Water Law and Policy Institute at Marquette Law School, analyzes changes in Wisconsin’s use of its public trust doctrine in oversight of water resources. Click here to read all four blog items.

*             An appreciation of the warmth and commitment to students shown by Julian Kossow, a longtime visiting professor at Marquette Law School, who died on August 2, 2020. It may be read by clicking here.

*             Law School News stories, including a description of work of the Marquette Law School Poll beyond the results related to elections; a piece on a documentary shown on public television stations nationwide about Milwaukee’s era of socialist elected officials from 1910 to 1960, coproduced by Mike Gousha, the Law School’s distinguished fellow in law and public policy; and a report on testimony from Professor Matthew J. Mitten, executive director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette Law School, presented to a U.S. Senate committee about allowing college athletes to be compensated for publicity rights. Click here to read these articles.

*             A selection of Class Notes, with updates on several dozen Marquette Lawyers. It may be read by clicking here.

* And a message, introducing the magazine, from Dean Joseph D. Kearney, which may be read by clicking here.

The full issue of the magazine may be read by clicking here.




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