Enforcing criminal laws to secure the rights of all inhabitants is perhaps the most fundamental function of a government. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system in the United States has become a conviction manufacturing machine divorced from the basic tenets of justice. The police often undermine the basic liberties they are supposed to protect and the courts process the vast majority of its cases through plea agreements that strip away the constitutional right to jury trial.

More on Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

Commentary

Book Review: Punishment without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal

By Jonathan Blanks. Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. March 20, 2019.

The Hidden Costs of Drug Prohibition

By Trevor Burrus. American Consequences. March 19, 2019.

We Know Less Than We Think About Hate Crimes

By Walter Olson. Inside Sources. March 11, 2019.

Cato Studies

Militarization Fails to Enhance Police Safety or Reduce Crime but May Harm Police Reputation

By Jonathan Mummolo. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 143. December 19, 2018.

Walling Off Liberty: How Strict Immigration Enforcement Threatens Privacy and Local Policing

By Matthew Feeney. Policy Analysis No. 852. November 1, 2018.

Police Patrols and Crime

By Jordi Blanes i Vidal and Giovanni Mastrobuoni. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 112. May 9, 2018.

Articles

Thin Blue Lies: How Pretextual Stops Undermine Police Legitimacy

Jonathan Blanks. Case Western Reserve Law Review. Vol. 66. No. 4. 2016.

Stopping Police Militarization: Reforming the 1033 Program

Trevor Burrus. Policy Priorities for the 114th Congress. 2015.

Don’t Retreat on “Stand Your Ground” Laws

Ilya Shapiro. America's First Freedom. January 2014.

Public Filings

Mitchell v. Wisconsin

By D. Alicia Hickok, Doug R. McCusick, Ilya Shapiro, Clark Neily, Trevor Burrus, & Jay Schweikert. Legal Briefs. March 4, 2019.

Cisse v. New York

By Scott M. Danner, Priya Raghavan, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. December 11, 2018.

Prison Legal News v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections

By John N. Estes III, Donald P. Salzman, Thomas A. Parnham, Jr., Nila Bala, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. October 19, 2018.

Events

Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration

Featuring Rachel Elise Barkow and Clark Neily. March 15, 2019. Book Forum.

Coercive Plea Bargaining

Featuring Clark Neily, Scott Hechinger, Bonnie Hoffman, & Somil Trivedi. October 18, 2018. Policy Forum.

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South

Featuring Radley Balko, Tucker Carrington, and Jonathan Blanks. March 15, 2018. Book Forum.