Every ten seconds, a report of child abuse or neglect is made in the United States, and every day, four children die as a result of these acts or omissions. In the past ten years, over 15,000 children died from maltreatment. Despite these numbers, there is still much to learn about the children who die from abuse and neglect, the individuals who are responsible for their deaths, and the interventions implemented to prevent them. This Article comprehensively reviews child deaths from maltreatment. Compiling, evaluating, and assessing the work of physicians, psychologists, sociologists, lawyers, and child welfare advocates, the Article charts the United States’ progress in eradicating deaths from abuse and neglect, evaluates the impact of prevention mechanisms, analyzes potential methods to enhance current measures, and proposes concrete steps for reform.
When Fear Rules in Law’s Place:
Pseudonymous Litigation as a Response to Systematic Intimidation
When reprisals and intimidation make certain types of cases too risky for most plaintiffs to file, courts should preserve access to justice by allowing more plaintiffs to proceed pseudonymously. As it stands, courts may be deciding requests to proceed under a pseudonym without understanding the full scope of possible retaliation risks, including that past retaliation may work continuing harm through the stress created by fear.
Unusually heightened retaliation risks may be best exemplified by the nasty reprisals befalling plaintiffs in separation of church and state cases. Although multiple books addressed the issue in the mid-90s, the violent trend has continued since that time. This Article traces that trend further into the current day to provide a more accurate assessment of systemic risks. A timely understanding of the current environment is essential because courts have begun to express skepticism about whether the risk remains or whether a few dated, anecdotal accounts actually constitute a trend. As courts and practitioners seek guidance about requests for pseudonymity today, there is urgent need for information and guidance on this issue. This Article’s guidance reaches beyond the separation of church and state context to argue that courts should alter their analysis when faced with any set of cases generating similar trends.
Security in Uncertain Times: Policies for Increasing the Popularity of Life Annuities Among Retirees
Life annuities offer retirees an assured income stream for as long as they live. This makes it surprising that they are unpopular in most markets where their purchase is not compelled by government policy. With the numbers of retirees in the population set to increase dramatically, this low take-up rate of life annuities could exacerbate financial insecurity. Consequently, it is in society’s interest to implement non-coercive policies that increase annuitization levels. Although there is research that has focused on the possible causes of low annuitization rates, much of this research falls short of suggesting comprehensive strategies for persuading retirees to annuitize their savings.
This article discusses what mix of policies would increase the attractiveness of life annuities. It does this by determining the salient characteristics of the few markets where life annuities are popular. It then suggests how the correct policy settings could make such characteristics a feature of the mainstream annuity market. It also discusses other policies, including limited tax incentives or subsidies on annuities that might play an important role. It is argued that policy innovations such as these are preferable to making the purchase of annuities compulsory. This is because the one-size-fits-all approach will not be ideal for everyone, and it interferes with freedom of choice, an important right in a capitalist society. An alternative is to make annuity purchases a default choice. But this is effectively compulsion by stealth as it relies on inertia and, therefore, carries some of the disadvantages of mandatory annuitization. The article concludes with a discussion of how the appropriate marketing and innovation of different life annuity products could supplement annuity-maximizing policies and further improve annuitization rates.
© The Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law