William & Mary Law Review


My Essay will proceed in four parts. First, I will lay out the two often-used metrics of police evaluation, lawfulness and crimefighting effectiveness. Next, I will explain the theoretical foundation underlying the third way, which is what I am calling rightful policing. In the third Section, I will present an overview of empirical work that I have done in collaboration with my colleague, Tom Tyler, and others. This work demonstrates that ordinary people care a great deal about the theoretical precepts underlying rightful policing. In the Essay’s last Section, I will conclude with some implications of both the theory and the empirical results for governing police in a way that is meaningfully democratic. In short, I will sketch out what it could mean to produce the Good Cop.


Presented as the 2011 George Wythe Lecture delivered at William & Mary Law School on February 23, 2012.

Publication Information

54 William & Mary Law Review 1865-1886 (2013)