t the red-hot intersection of immigration and judges do to administer it. In their 2008 Columand crime, the Secure Communities program, bia Law Review article “Judging the Voting Rights launched by US Immigration and Customs Act,” they examined voting rights cases (an area of Enforcement (ICE) in 2008, permits federal authori- scholarly focus for Cox) and judicial behavior (of parties to check the immigration status of every person ticular interest to Miles) and identified racial peer arrested by local police. The government has touted effects on courts. What they found is that race has it as a way to reduce crime by targeting immigrant a powerful effect on outcome; having a black judge offenders for deportation. But Adam Cox, Robert A. on a three-judge panel, for example, increases the Kindler Professor of Law, and University of Chicago likelihood that the two white judges will rule that Law School Professor Thomas Miles have shown there has been a voting rights violation. that the program fails to accomplish its stated aim. With Secure Communities, immigration law Readers of “Does Immigration Enforcement and criminal law have been intertwined in an onReduce Crime? Evidence from ‘Secure the-ground enforcement program. Communities,’” published in the Secure Cox read news reports about it as it Communities was getting launched, and something November 2014 issue of the Jourhas had “no nal of Law and Economics, might not caught his eye: the program would observable effect expect an article authored by two law have a phased geographic rollout on the overall professors to contain lines like this: over a series of years. The staggered crime rate.” “∂β /∂ S = a I∂β I /∂ S + (βI - βN)∂ a I /∂ S.” But introduction across roughly 3,000 US Cox, who has an undergraduate engiA DA M C OX A N D counties, he explains, provided both neering degree, and Miles, who is a the large number of study subjects and THOM AS M ILE S PhD economist, both bring a strong the randomization that statisticians empirical bent to their legal scholarship. For this look for in an experiment. “It was just like this light study, they employed state-of-the-art econometric bulb went off in my head,” Cox says, “and I was like, techniques to analyze an enormous holy cow, from the perspective of a social sciendata set of information on local tist, that’s awesome—it gives you this really unique ability to study a federal policy that you otherwise crime rates, as well as extensive data they obtained through Free- wouldn’t have the ability to study very well.” dom of Information Act requests A preliminary analysis published by Cox and from ICE. “These data allow Miles in the 2013 University of Chicago Law Review us to identif y precisely noted that the government initially activated Secure the counties and dates in Communities in heavily Hispanic counties, suggestwhich Secure Communi- ing that the aim may have been immigration enforceties produced the largest ment more than the stated goal of crime reduction. numbers of detentions In their November 2014 article, the two conclude and depor tations,” that Secure Communities—which has resulted in Miles says. the detention of roughly 250,000 people, the vast Cox, who taught at majority of whom have been or will be deported— Chicago before joining has had “no observable effect on the overall crime the NYU Law faculty in 2011, rate,” including violent crimes such as murder, rape, has collaborated with Miles arson, and aggravated assault. before. Both of them, Cox The implications of their findings, Cox says, notes, are interested in areas depend on what you think the government’s priorof intersection between what ities should be: “Our research will be successful if the law is and what people it moves the debate about immigration policy onto such as enforcement officials the right terms.” Michael Orey
And the Winner Is… AWARD-WINNING 2014–15 SCHOLARSHIP BY FACULTY AND STUDENTS
Danielle DeBold ’14 “The Decriminalization of Rape on America’s College Campuses: How Federal Sex Discrimination Policy Has Diminished the Role of the Criminal Justice System in Combatting Sexual Violence” Winner, 2014 Selma Moidel Smith Law Student Writing Award (National Association of Women Lawyers) Eleanor Fox ’61 “When the State Harms Competition—The Role for Competition Law” Best Academic General Antitrust Article, 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards (Concurrences and the George Washington University Law School Competition Law Center) Russell Gold, Associate Director, Lawyering Program “Beyond the Judicial Fourth Amendment: The Prosecutor’s Role” 2015 Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility (Association of American Law Schools)
ARG UM E NTS & OPI N ION S
Punishment That Doesn’t Fit the Crime?
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