Most of us commit felonies on a regular basis without knowing it. Those accused of crimes often face an American judicial system rampant with prosecutorial discretion, overworked public defenders, and “trial penalties.” Mandatory minimums often hamstring judges, and “tough on crime” policies popular with voters encourage aggressive policing tactics and adversarial stances, especially toward our least privileged.
“Unnecessary Evils: Laws, Judging, and Policing in an Overcriminalized World” will explore why (and how) there are too many criminal laws, and how this excess leads to perverse judicial and policing incentives.
The event will have a keynote address and three panels:
(2) The bad judicial incentives too many criminal laws make possible: Prof. Bryan McCannon (West Virginia University), Prof. Shon Hopwood (Georgetown University), Prof. Jelani Exum (University of Detroit Mercy)
Up for discussion is how these matters perpetuate racism and other social ills, along with realistic ways to address these problems.
Following the panels, there will be a breakout session where audience members will have the chance to discuss with speakers and fellow participants their own ideas and questions about the topic. One aim of the event is for participants to come away with fresh ideas for academic research or publicly facing work such as op-eds and popular journal articles, so please come ready to discuss your own thoughts at the breakouts.
If you have research interests in questions surrounding this topic, we encourage you to apply for this opportunity. If invited, you will have the chance to explore challenges facing criminal justice reform.
*All times are listed in Eastern Time
Prof. Erik Luna
Mr. Harvey Silverglate
Prof. Shon Hopwood
Prof. Jelani Exum
Prof. Ekow Yankah
Prof. Raff Donelson
Pennsylvania State University – Dickinson Law
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Virginia
Arizona State University
West Virginia University
University of New Orleans
Law Offices of Harvey Silverglate