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Quattrone Center research on pretrial detention cited in Supreme Court of California ruling

April 13, 2021

Pathbreaking work by the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice was recently cited in a pivotal Supreme Court of California decision, which held that pretrial detention should be only employed in very narrow circumstances.

The court’s significant ruling cited “The Downstream Consequences of Pretrial Detention,” co-authored by three academics associated with the Quattrone Center: Paul Heaton, Senior Fellow and Academic Director, and Sandy Mayson and Megan Stevenson, who were both Quattrone Fellows at the time of the paper’s publication. Mayson is currently a Visiting Professor at the Law School.

In In re Kenneth Humphrey, the Court limited pretrial detention to only those instances in which the government demonstrates that it has a compelling interest, such as protecting the integrity of the judicial process, and there are no less restrictive alternatives available that can satisfy that interest.

The trio’s work establishes empirically that pretrial detention affects the guilt/innocence determination, increases sentences, and may lead to a higher incidence of reoffending. Mayson’s scholarship and amicus brief are also strongly echoed in the court’s constitutional analysis.

Read the full paper and Mayson’s amicus brief.