Malcolm Feeley

Fewer prisoners, less crime? The elusive promise of algorithms

Malcolm M. Feeley and Jonathan Simon article cited in The Crime Report, Nov. 14, 2017

As Malcolm M. Feeley and Jonathan Simon predicted in a 2012 article for Berkeley Law, past decades have seen a paradigm shift in academic and policy circles, and “the language of probability and risk increasingly replaces earlier discourse of diagnosis and retributive punishment.”

A dishwasher, a garbage man, a gas station attendant: UC Berkeley professors talk their first jobs

Malcolm Feeley quoted by The Daily Californian, Sept. 11, 2017

“My first sustained full time job was after my freshman year in college. I took some time off, hitchhiked from Texas to Idaho, and hired on with the US Forest Service for several months.  I was part of a crew that systematically walked through quadrants in the forest to pull up plants that spread a disease that kills White Pine trees.”

Violent crime up for second straight year in Los Angeles

Malcolm Feeley and Franklin Zimring quoted by KPCC-FM, Jan. 6, 2017

“It’s hard to interpret” what’s happening during upticks like these, said UC Berkeley Law Professor Malcolm Feeley. “A statistician would say they are random noise.”

So why is some crime on the rise in Los Angeles? “I know it’s a fair question,” Zimring said, “And the answer is we don’t know.”

Barry White Jr.’s road to double murder charges

Malcolm Feeley and Franklin Zimring quoted in Contra Costa Times, August 29, 2013

“What the judge did was perfectly reasonable in my judgment,” said UC Berkeley law professor Malcolm Feeley. “It’s just one of the tragedies with a criminal justice system that presumes innocence before guilt and allows bail. Some people take advantage of that.”

Criminal law professor Frank Zimring questioned why White’s 2009 criminal case had not been litigated more promptly. “Why the hell wasn’t this case disposed of years ago?” he said. “If you want to remove him from the streets, go convict him.”

Malcolm Feeley Explains Prosecution Strategy in Auto-Fatality Case

The Tribune, June 21, 2011 by Nick Wilson

Professor Malcolm Feeley said that, typically, prosecutors look at a suspect’s criminal record and the circumstances of the crash when trying to decide whether to charge a driving fatality as second-degree murder…. “Prosecutors also are famous for charging at one level and then reducing charges as the case continues,” Feeley said. “Certainly any charge is a bargaining chip, and prosecutors usually offer something in the way of reduction.”

Malcolm Feeley Says Criminal Trials Delayed by Poor Preparation

SF Weekly, November 10, 2010 by Peter Jamison

Malcolm Feeley, a professor at the UC Berkeley Law School, says there’s another, less obvious reason for delays: inadequate preparation by prosecutors…. “It’s a very passive process, where everybody is waiting to see what everybody else wants to do,” he says. “If prosecutors could spend more time investigating their cases, or if they’d just read the file ahead of time, they could move them along.”

Malcolm Feeley Explains Power of Plea Bargains

Contra Costa Times, October 26, 2010 by Thadeus Greenson

Those wondering whether plea agreements are necessary need only talk to California’s judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys, said UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law professor Malcolm Feeley. “They’ll tell you that plea bargaining is the grease that oils the wheels of justice because it’s the way cases can be handled rapidly,” Feeley said.

Franklin Zimring and Malcolm Feeley Discuss Pros of Plea Bargains

Contra Costa Times, June 4, 2010 by Thadeus Greenson

“Plea negotiations are not common in California criminal justice, they’re pervasive,” said Franklin Zimring, William G. Simon Professor of Law … adding that more than 90 percent of criminal cases in the state end with guilty pleas.

“In a world in which so many sentences are draconian and the prosecutor has the capability to lay on so many charges just to build up huge liabilities, the answer is there should be some flexibility,” Feeley said.