Vincent Chiao presents recent research in Washington and Alabama

February 7, 2024 by Patricia Doherty

"It’s been a hectic start of the semester," says Vincent Chiao, an associate professor in the Faculty of Law with a cross-appointment to CrimSL.

Professor Chiao was one of a small number of participants at the "Criminal Justice Minimalism Symposium" hosted by The Washington University Law Review on January 23, 2024.

At a panel entitled "A Minimalist Alternative? Foundations and Challenges," he presented "Minimalism and the Retributive Sentiments," which is not yet published. He describes it as "on the topic of our evolved nature — our disposition to resent, blame and punish violation of social norms — in relation to efforts to moderate the scale and intensity of criminal punishment in the US." See the symposium's agenda here.

From Washington, Chiao travelled to Alabama. On February 1st, he gave a talk on mass incarceration entitled "Incarceration’s Goldilocks Problem" at the University of Alabama as part of their "Philosophy Today" speaker series. Chiao says that the as-yet-unpublished paper "argues that the excessive scale of a system of incarceration can be unjust, even if no one’s rights are violated, and presents a three-level analysis of ‘excess’ based on a crime-control theory of punishment."

About Vincent Chiao

Vincent Chiao, B.A. (University of Virginia), Ph.D. (Northwestern), J.D. (Harvard), researches and teaches primarily in the area of criminal law and criminal justice, with a particular interest in the philosophical examination of its doctrine and institutions. He is the author of Criminal Law in the Age of the Administrative State (Oxford University Press 2018).