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Daily Archives: July 10, 2018

The Institutional Design of Punishment

Rappaport, Aaron J., The Institutional Design of Punishment (June 14, 2018). Arizona Law Review, Forthcoming; UC Hastings Research Paper No. 295. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3196537

“For the past 40 years, policymakers have engaged in a debate over which institution should wield the principal power over punishment. Should courts and parole boards have the dominant role at sentencing, or should that power be left to legislatures and sentencing commissions? These debates are typically couched in policy terms, yet they also raise deeply philosophical questions, most notably: What is the morally justified sentencing system? Perhaps surprisingly, criminal theorists have almost uniformly ignored this normative question, and that neglect has degraded the quality of the on-going institutional debates. This paper seeks to address that shortcoming by exploring the moral ramifications of design choices in the sentencing field. In particular, the paper identifies the institutional structure best suited for promoting utilitarianism, a widely-accepted moral theory of punishment. Drawing insights from cognitive science and institutional analysis, the paper concludes that a properly structured sentencing commission is the institution best able to satisfy the moral theory’s demands. Beyond this policy prescription, the paper has a broader goal:To start a conversation about the link between moral theory and institutional design, and to encourage policymakers to explore more fully the premises of their own institutional choices in the criminal justice field.”

Reimagining John James Audubon’s “Birds of America”

The Illustrated Aviary Reimagining John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” – “For every issue of Audubon magazine, we ask a new artist to reinterpret one of Audubon’s original watercolors using their own unique style. You can peruse all of the works completed so far in this gallery.” Continue Reading

How Brett Kavanaugh Could Reshape Environmental Law From the Supreme Court

The New York Times: “Long before President Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court on Monday, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh had already made a name for himself as an influential conservative critic of sweeping environmental regulations. During his 12 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often regarded… Continue Reading

The winners of the ninth annual Audubon Photography Awards competition

Via The Atlantic: “The winners of the the ninth annual Audubon Photography Awards competition have just been announced.  Photographers entered images in three categories: professional, amateur, and youth. More than 8,000 images depicting birdlife from all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces were judged. This year’s competition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird… Continue Reading

USTR Releases Product Exclusion Process for Chinese Products Subject to Section 301 Tariffs

USTR news release: “The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today announced a process to obtain product exclusions from the additional tariffs in effect on certain products imported from China under the U.S. response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Today, additional tariffs of… Continue Reading

China Internet Report 2018

“China has twice as many internet users as the total population of the United States — and it’s growing fast. This unique collaboration between Abacus, 500 Startups, the South China Morning Post, will break down everything you need to know about China’s thriving tech industry, the big players in each field, and lay out the… Continue Reading

Toward the control of cancer – issues opportunities screening and treatment

“Cancer is a devastating disease. It is estimated that 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and approximately 610,000 will die of it. Cancer does not discriminate. It affects humans of all ages, races, and ethnicities. Although virtually everyone is at risk for developing and dying from cancer, the burden of this… Continue Reading

Applying Machine Learning Algorithms to Map-Making

Center for Data Innovation: “GPS service provider Telanav has released a dataset of over 50,000 street-level images of common road signs to foster the development of machine learning algorithms for map-making. The images are manually annotated and include more than 55,000 signs from over twenty types of signs, including traffic, turn restriction, and speed limit… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Watch and Yale blog annotated list of Kavanaugh dissents and concurrences

“This site is brought to you by Jay Pinho and Victoria Kwan, the co-creators of SCOTUS Map. What is this? SCOTUS Watch tracks the public statements made by United States senators about how they plan to vote on the Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and tallies them into a likely vote count. This tally is… Continue Reading