University of Southern California

Volume 83, Number 2 (January, 2010)

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    Saving Lives Through Punitive Damages
    Article by Joni Hersch & W. Kip Viscusi

    is Article proposes that the value of statistical life (“VSL”) be used to set the total damages amount needed for deterrence when punitive damages are warranted in wrongful death cases. The appropriate level of total damages should be achieved by adjusting the value of punitive damages. Compensatory damages should not be distorted to establish the total damages level needed for efficient deterrence. Attempts to introduce hedonic damages as a compensatory damages component, and proposals to use t...

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    The Political Economy of Youngstown
    Article by Edward T. Swaine

    The time is ripe for a nondoctrinal assessment of Justice Jackson’s famous three-category framework for challenges to presidential action, elaborated in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (also known as the Steel Seizure Case). Recent national security controversies have given the Youngstown framework a whole new lease on life, and its relevance for courts, Congress, and executive branch officials has never been higher. During the same period, empirical and analytical studies of presidential...

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    Thwarting California’s Presumptive LWOP Penalty for Adolescents: Psychology’s and Neuroscience’s Message for the California Justice System
    Note by Ashley N. Johndro

    In California, adolescents convicted of special circumstance first-degree murder are presumptively sentenced to life without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) pursuant to section 190.5 of the California Penal Code. To date, California has sentenced more than 250 adolescents to die behind bars. Recent studies in psychology and neuroscience challenge this status quo. These disciplines suggest that adolescents are biophysically determined to suffer from poor decisionmaking capacities and behavior...

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    Can Widening the Scope of Information Reporting to Include Income Derived from Online Sales Help to Narrow the Expanding Tax Gap?
    Note by Maricel P. Montano

    Over the past decade, the Internet has become an integral part of our society, and its expansion has led to a surge in e-commerce. E-commerce, defined as “any business transaction completed over a computer network, including . . . the sale of goods or services,” has similarly become integral to our society. The popularity of e-commerce is reflected in the observation that most consumers consider online retail to be “a primary benefit of the Internet.” The Internet has dramatically enhanced the e...


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