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Full-Text Articles in Law

Presumed Guilty, Terrence Cain Nov 2013

Presumed Guilty, Terrence Cain

Faculty Scholarship

It would probably surprise the average American to learn that prosecutors need only prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt sometimes. Although the Due Process Clauses of the Constitution require that the government prove each element of an alleged criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt, the use of statutory presumptions has relieved the government of this responsibility, and in some cases, has even shifted the burden to the defendant to disprove the presumption. Likewise, the Sixth Amendment grants a criminal defendant the right to have the jury and the jury alone determine whether the government has met its burden and ultimately ...


Effective Remedies For Ineffective Assistance, Jenia I. Turner Jan 2013

Effective Remedies For Ineffective Assistance, Jenia I. Turner

Faculty Scholarship

In two recent cases, Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper, the Supreme Court affirmed that criminal defendants have a right to competent counsel during plea bargaining. The Court also established that the injury caused by ineffective assistance is not mooted by the subsequent conviction of the defendant at trial. The cases were broadly celebrated for clarifying that the Sixth Amendment applies fully to plea bargaining — the standard process by which our justice system resolves criminal cases today.

The most significant and surprising part of Lafler, however, was the Court’s holding concerning remedies. The Court held that trial courts ...


The Right To Plea Bargain With Competent Counsel After Cooper And Frye: Is The Supreme Court Making The Ordinary Criminal Process Too Long, Too Expensive, And Unpredictable In Pursuit Of Perfect Justice, Bruce A. Green Jan 2013

The Right To Plea Bargain With Competent Counsel After Cooper And Frye: Is The Supreme Court Making The Ordinary Criminal Process Too Long, Too Expensive, And Unpredictable In Pursuit Of Perfect Justice, Bruce A. Green

Faculty Scholarship

In Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye, the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of criminal defendants who were deprived of a favorable plea offer because of their lawyers’ professional lapses. In dissent, Justice Scalia complained that “[t]he ordinary criminal process has become too long, too expensive, and unpredictable,” because of the Court’s criminal procedure jurisprudence; that plea bargaining is “the alternative in which...defendants have sought relief,” and that the two new decisions on the Sixth Amendment right to effective representation in plea bargaining would add to the burden on the criminal process. This essay examines ...


Confrontation Control, Pamela R. Metzger Jan 2012

Confrontation Control, Pamela R. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

After Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 42 (2004), face-to-face confrontation between accused and accuser is the constitutionally normative mode of presentation for testimonial evidence. Yet, eight years into the Crawford revolution, courts routinely hold that counsel can waive a defendant's confrontation rights without even discussing the matter with the defendant. Why? Because counsel, not client, has the authority to decide whether to confront and cross-examine government witnesses.

This Essay, written as part of the Texas Tech Sixth Amendment Symposium, explores this peculiar and perplexing rule. If confrontation is essential to a constitutionally valid criminal trial, how can ...


Brady-Based Prosecutorial Misconduct Claims, Buckley, And The Arkansas Coram Nobis Remedy, J. Thomas Sullivan Jan 2011

Brady-Based Prosecutorial Misconduct Claims, Buckley, And The Arkansas Coram Nobis Remedy, J. Thomas Sullivan

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Gideon'S Ghost: Providing The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel In Times Of Budgetary Crisis, Heather P. Baxter Jul 2010

Gideon'S Ghost: Providing The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel In Times Of Budgetary Crisis, Heather P. Baxter

Faculty Scholarship

This Article discusses how the budget crisis, caused by the recent economic downturn, has created a constitutional crisis with regard to the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel. The landmark case of Gideon v. Wainwright required states, under the Sixth Amendment, to provide free counsel to indigent criminal defendants. However, as a result of the current financial crisis, many of those who represent the indigent have found their funding cut dramatically. Consequently, Gideon survives, if at all, only as a ghostly shadow prowling the halls of criminal justice throughout the country.

This Article analyzes specific budget cuts from various states and ...


Crawford, Retroactivity, And The Importance Of Being Earnest, J. Thomas Sullivan Jan 2008

Crawford, Retroactivity, And The Importance Of Being Earnest, J. Thomas Sullivan

Faculty Scholarship

In this article Professor Sullivan examines the Supreme Court's evolving Confrontation Clause jurisprudence through its dramatic return to pre-Sixth Amendment appreciation of the role of cross-examination in the criminal trial reflected in its 2004 decision in Crawford v. Washington. He discusses the past quarter century of the Court's confrontation decisions and their impact on his client, Ralph Rodney Earnest, recounting the defendant's conviction and twenty-four-year litigation journey through state and federal courts to his eventual release from prison in the only successful attempt to use Crawford retroactively known to date.


Beyond The Bright Line: A Contemporary Right-To-Counsel Doctrine, Pamela R. Metzger Jan 2003

Beyond The Bright Line: A Contemporary Right-To-Counsel Doctrine, Pamela R. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

The current right-to-counsel doctrine was developed in the 1970's. It created a bright-line rule still in effect today. The right to counsel attaches only at "critical stages" of a criminal prosecution. Under this critical stage doctrine, the right to counsel only attaches after the initiation of formal adversary proceedings and only applies to confrontations between the accused and the prosecution or law enforcement. In the years following the Supreme Court's development of the critical stage doctrine, national trends of mandatory sentencing and sentencing guidelines revolutionized criminal procedure and dramatically altered the roles of the system's key players ...