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When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi Jan 2021

When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The Supreme Court’s opinion in McCoy v. Louisiana held that a defendant has a constitutional right to insist their attorney not concede guilt as to any element of an offense, even if doing so is the only reasonable trial strategy to give the defendant a chance at life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. Under McCoy’s holding, a defendant can insist on maintaining their innocence—even in the face of overwhelming evidence—and force their attorney to pursue a defense that will land them on death row. The Supreme Court’s holding makes clear that a strategic concession ...


The Pandemic Juror, Melanie D. Wilson Sep 2020

The Pandemic Juror, Melanie D. Wilson

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

While the deadly and highly contagious COVID-19 virus lingers and spreads across the country, courts are resuming criminal jury trials. In moving forward, judges reference case backlogs, speedy trial rights, and other concerns for the rights of the accused. Overlooked in this calculus is the importance of jurors and their safety. The Sixth Amendment guarantees “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” Without jurors, there is no justice.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the justice system sometimes took advantage of juror vulnerability, treating jurors callously, if not rudely, during voir dire by asking them intensely ...


Restoring The Presumption Of Innocence: Protecting A Defendant’S Right To A Fair Trial By Closing The Door On 404(B) Evidence, Aaron Diaz Sep 2020

Restoring The Presumption Of Innocence: Protecting A Defendant’S Right To A Fair Trial By Closing The Door On 404(B) Evidence, Aaron Diaz

St. Mary's Law Journal

Congress enacted the Federal Rules of Evidence to govern evidentiary procedures and “eliminate unjustifiable expense and delay.” In criminal cases, for example, Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) seeks to prevent prosecutors from improperly introducing a defendant’s past misdeeds. Nevertheless, prosecutors often attempt to introduce a defendant’s past misconduct to suggest that a defendant has a propensity to commit crimes, which is improper character evidence. Unsurprisingly, 404(b) is one of the most litigated evidence rules and has generated more published opinions than any other subsections of the Rules. And despite efforts to amend Rule 404(b), the ...


Ethical And Aggressive Appellate Advocacy: The Decision To Petition For Certiorari In Criminal Cases, J. Thomas Sullivan Jun 2020

Ethical And Aggressive Appellate Advocacy: The Decision To Petition For Certiorari In Criminal Cases, J. Thomas Sullivan

St. Mary's Law Journal

Over the past six decades, United States Supreme Court decisions have dramatically reshaped the criminal justice process to provide significant protections for defendants charged in federal and state proceedings reflecting a remarkable expansion of due process and specific constitutional guarantees. For criminal defendants seeking relief based on recognition of new rules of constitutional criminal procedure, application of existing rules or precedent to novel factual scenarios, or in some cases, enforcement of existing precedent, obtaining relief requires further action on the Court’s part. In those situations, the Court’s exercise of its certiorari jurisdiction is the exclusive remedy offering an ...


The Right To A Public Trial In The Time Of Covid-19, Stephen E. Smith May 2020

The Right To A Public Trial In The Time Of Covid-19, Stephen E. Smith

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

Maintaining social distance in the time of COVID-19 is a public health priority. A crowded courtroom is an environment at odds with public health needs. Accordingly, until science determines otherwise, it will be necessary for judges to manage courtroom attendance and exclude the public from trials, wholly or in part. Courtrooms may be closed to the public, despite the Sixth Amendment’s right to a public trial, when the closure is justified by a strong government interest and is narrowly tailored to further that interest. Typically, this heightened scrutiny is applied on a case-by-case basis and turns on a case ...


You Made Gideon A Promise, Eh?: Advocating For Mandated Publicly Appointed Counsel At Bail Hearings In The United States Through Domestic Comparisons With Canadian Practices And Legal Considerations, Lauren Elizabeth Lisauskas Feb 2020

You Made Gideon A Promise, Eh?: Advocating For Mandated Publicly Appointed Counsel At Bail Hearings In The United States Through Domestic Comparisons With Canadian Practices And Legal Considerations, Lauren Elizabeth Lisauskas

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


Balancing Sorna And The Sixth Amendment: The Case For A "Restricted Circumstance-Specific Approach", John F. Howard Jan 2020

Balancing Sorna And The Sixth Amendment: The Case For A "Restricted Circumstance-Specific Approach", John F. Howard

Marquette Law Review

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is in place to protect the public, children especially, from sex offenders. Under SORNA, anyone and everyone convicted of what the law defines as a “sex offense” is required to register as a “sex offender,” providing accurate and up-to-date information on where they live, work, and go to school. Failure to do so constitutes a federal crime punishable by up to ten years imprisonment. But how do federal courts determine whether a particular state-level criminal offense constitutes a “sex offense” under SORNA? Oftentimes when doing comparisons between state and federal law for ...


Recent Developments: The Right To A Fair Cross-Section Of The Community And The Black Box Of Jury Pool Selection In Arkansas, Raelynn J. Hillhouse Aug 2019

Recent Developments: The Right To A Fair Cross-Section Of The Community And The Black Box Of Jury Pool Selection In Arkansas, Raelynn J. Hillhouse

Arkansas Law Review

A Washington County, Arkansas court conducted a hearing on October 15, 2018 on a criminal defendant’s motion to compel discovery to assure a fair and accurate cross-section of the community for the jury as guaranteed by the United States and Arkansas Constitutions. At the hearing, the jury coordinator for the Circuit Clerk’s office testified that counties may elect to use a state-sponsored jury selection computer program, or they may use proprietary programs. Washington County uses a proprietary computer program to select the jury pool from a list of registered voters. The clerk described how her office takes an ...


Peña-Rodriguez V. Colorado: Carving Out A Racial-Bias Exception To The No-Impeachment Rule, John Austin Morales Aug 2019

Peña-Rodriguez V. Colorado: Carving Out A Racial-Bias Exception To The No-Impeachment Rule, John Austin Morales

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Sixth Amendment safeguards an accused in criminal proceedings and affords them “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” Consistent with this right, the no-impeachment rule prohibits a juror from testifying after a verdict has been handed down about the jurors’ deliberations. While there are limited exceptions to the no-impeachment rule, juror expressed racial bias is not one of them. When presented with the dilemma of a juror using racial bias in deliberations, courts must weigh two competing doctrines that serve as the foundation to our judicial system: (1) affording a defendant his or her ...


Addressing Racial Bias In The Jury System: Another Failed Attempt?, Alisa Micu Apr 2019

Addressing Racial Bias In The Jury System: Another Failed Attempt?, Alisa Micu

Georgia State University Law Review

This Note explores the majority opinion and the dissents in Pena- Rodriguez regarding whether the Supreme Court has adequately provided guidance for lower courts to follow the ruling, which now allows exceptions for evidence of racial bias to Rule 606(b). Part I discusses the history of the no-impeachment rule, its foundation in the Sixth Amendment, and its constitutional requirements. Further, Part I discusses the different approaches that courts have taken in adopting Rule 606(b) and what problems courts have identified in its application. Part II analyzes whether the Supreme Court, as a practical matter, has provided a workable ...


Judges Do It Better: Why Judges Can (And Should) Decide Life Or Death, Andrew R. Ford Jan 2019

Judges Do It Better: Why Judges Can (And Should) Decide Life Or Death, Andrew R. Ford

Dickinson Law Review

Following its decision in Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court of the United States has attempted to standardize procedures that states use to subject offenders to the ultimate penalty. In practice, this attempt at standardization has divided capital sentencing into two distinct parts: the death eligibility decision and the death selection decision. The eligibility decision addresses whether the sentencer may impose the death penalty, while the selection decision determines who among that limited subset of eligible offenders is sentenced to death. In Ring v. Arizona, the Court held for the first time that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury ...


Garbage In, Garbage Out: Revising Strickland As Applied To Forensic Science Evidence, Mark Loudon-Brown Aug 2018

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Revising Strickland As Applied To Forensic Science Evidence, Mark Loudon-Brown

Georgia State University Law Review

Sophisticated scientific evidence may be an undesirable subject matter for a judge to tackle anew, and it can be even more daunting for a defense attorney to confront, particularly one faced with a crushing caseload. It can be tempting to avoid a challenge to a vulnerable forensic science discipline—be it new, novel, or simply recently called into question—when a lawyer reasonably believes that the evidence will be admitted regardless.

Worse still, it may seem reasonable to disregard any adversarial challenge to incriminatory science altogether, and to opt instead for a different defense or to encourage a guilty plea ...


The Confrontation Clause: Employing The "Greatest Legal Engine Ever Invented For The Discovery Of Truth" To Promote Justice In Criminal Courts, Ani Oganesian Jul 2018

The Confrontation Clause: Employing The "Greatest Legal Engine Ever Invented For The Discovery Of Truth" To Promote Justice In Criminal Courts, Ani Oganesian

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

No abstract provided.


Testimonial Statements, Reliability, And The Sole Or Decisive Evidence Rule: A Comparative Look At The Right Of Confrontation In The United States, Canada, And Europe, Deborah Paruch Mar 2018

Testimonial Statements, Reliability, And The Sole Or Decisive Evidence Rule: A Comparative Look At The Right Of Confrontation In The United States, Canada, And Europe, Deborah Paruch

Catholic University Law Review

Criminal trials in the United States are meant to ascertain the truth. But other societal values, such as fairness to the parties and public confidence in the integrity of the process, are at stake as well. Among the cornerstone rights to protect a defendant’s right to a fair trial is the right to confrontation. The right to confrontation enables a criminal defendant to exclude hearsay evidence from a trial when the defendant did not have an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. This right has undergone substantial changes and revisions over the last decade, both in the United States and ...


It’S All Your Fault!: Examining The Defendant’S Use Of Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel As A Means Of Getting A “Second Bite At The Apple.”, Prentice L. White Jan 2018

It’S All Your Fault!: Examining The Defendant’S Use Of Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel As A Means Of Getting A “Second Bite At The Apple.”, Prentice L. White

Dickinson Law Review

The United States Constitution provides individuals convicted of a crime with “a second bite at the apple.” The Sixth Amendment provides an avenue to appeal one’s conviction based on the claim of “ineffective assistance of counsel.” What were the Framers’ true intentions in using the phrase “effective assistance of counsel”? How does the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) of 1996 affect habeas corpus appeals? This article answers these questions through the eyes of Thomas—a fictional character who is appealing his murder conviction.

This article first looks at the history surrounding effective assistance of counsel and discusses ...


In Their Defense: Conflict Between The Criminal Defendant’S Right To Counsel Of Choice And The Right To Appointed Counsel, Kit Thomas Jun 2017

In Their Defense: Conflict Between The Criminal Defendant’S Right To Counsel Of Choice And The Right To Appointed Counsel, Kit Thomas

Washington and Lee Law Review

No abstract provided.


Hurst V. Florida’S Ha’P’Orth Of Tar: The Need To Revisit Caldwell, Clemons, And Proffitt, Craig Trocino, Chance Meyer Aug 2016

Hurst V. Florida’S Ha’P’Orth Of Tar: The Need To Revisit Caldwell, Clemons, And Proffitt, Craig Trocino, Chance Meyer

University of Miami Law Review

In Hurst v. Florida, the Supreme Court held Florida’s death penalty scheme violated the Sixth Amendment because judges, rather than juries, found sentencing facts necessary to impose death. That Sixth Amendment ruling has implications for Florida’s Eighth Amendment jurisprudence.

Under the Eighth Amendment rule of Caldwell v. Mississippi, capital juries must appreciate their responsibility for death sentencing. Yet, Florida has instructed juries that their fact-findings merely support sentencing recommendations, while leaving the ultimate sentencing decision to a judge. Because Hurst clarifies that the Sixth Amendment requires juries to find the operative set of facts on which sentences are ...


Recent Development: Peterson V. State: Limitations On Defense Cross-Examination Are Permitted When The Testimony Lacks A Factual Foundation, Is Overly Prejudicial, Or Has Not Been Adequately Preserved, Meghan E. Ellis Jan 2016

Recent Development: Peterson V. State: Limitations On Defense Cross-Examination Are Permitted When The Testimony Lacks A Factual Foundation, Is Overly Prejudicial, Or Has Not Been Adequately Preserved, Meghan E. Ellis

University of Baltimore Law Forum

The Court of Appeals of Maryland held that the defendant’s right to confrontation was not violated when the defense was precluded from cross-examining a witness about hallucinations and his potential sentence prior to entering into a plea agreement. Peterson v. State, 444 Md. 105, 153-54, 118 A.3d 925, 952-53 (2015). The court found that the defendant failed to preserve the issue of a witness’s expectation of benefit with respect to pending charges, and failed to show sufficient factual foundation for a cross-examination regarding the expectation. Id. at 138-39, 118 A.3d at 944. In addition, the court ...


Administration Of The Criminal Justice System: When Efficiency Trumps A Fundamental Right, Sean Mcleod Jan 2016

Administration Of The Criminal Justice System: When Efficiency Trumps A Fundamental Right, Sean Mcleod

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Eighth Amendment’S Lost Jurors: Death Qualification And Evolving Standards Of Decency, Aliza Plener Cover Jan 2016

The Eighth Amendment’S Lost Jurors: Death Qualification And Evolving Standards Of Decency, Aliza Plener Cover

Indiana Law Journal

The Supreme Court’s inquiry into the constitutionality of the death penalty has over-looked a critical “objective indicator” of society’s “evolving standards of decency”: the rate at which citizens are excluded from capital jury service under Witherspoon v. Illinois due to their conscientious objections to the death penalty. While the Supreme Court considers the prevalence of death verdicts as a gauge of the nation’s moral climate, it has ignored how the process of death qualification shapes those verdicts. This blind spot biases the Court’s estimation of community norms and dis-torts its Eighth Amendment analysis.

This Article presents ...


Policing In The Era Of Permissiveness: Mitigating Misconduct Through Third-Party Standing, Julian A. Cook Iii Jan 2016

Policing In The Era Of Permissiveness: Mitigating Misconduct Through Third-Party Standing, Julian A. Cook Iii

Brooklyn Law Review

On April 4, 2015, Walter L. Scott was driving his vehicle when he was stopped by Officer Michael T. Slager of the North Charleston, South Carolina, police department for a broken taillight. A dash cam video from the officer’s vehicle showed the two men engaged in what appeared to be a rather routine verbal exchange. Sometime after Slager returned to his vehicle, Scott exited his car and ran away from Slager, prompting the officer to pursue him on foot. After he caught up with Scott in a grassy field near a muffler establishment, a scuffle between the men ensued ...


Edmonson V. Leesville Concrete Company: Pre-Empting Prejudice, Andrea K. Huston Jul 2015

Edmonson V. Leesville Concrete Company: Pre-Empting Prejudice, Andrea K. Huston

Akron Law Review

In Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co., the United States Supreme Court decided the issue of whether parties in a civil case may use their peremptory challenges to exclude black venirepersons from the jury.

This Note will discuss the various limitations that courts have placed on the use of peremptory challenges, and the position of the Supreme Court. This Note will also discuss the Court's expansion of the state action doctrine, and the impact Edmonson will have on future cases.


Choice Of Counsel And The Appearance Of Equal Justice Under Law, Wesley M. Oliver Jul 2015

Choice Of Counsel And The Appearance Of Equal Justice Under Law, Wesley M. Oliver

Northwestern University Law Review

Once a federal prosecutor obtains an indictment that seeks a forfeiture, a judge must permit the prosecutor to freeze all the potentially forfeitable assets that would be unavailable at the time of conviction. Obviously, funds used for the defense would fit into that category. Equally obvious is the tension between the government’s interest in assets that may be forfeitable and a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to choice of counsel. A number of lower courts therefore had permitted defendants to seek release of the assets needed for a defense by challenging the grand jury’s determination that probable cause ...


Beyond The Right To Counsel: Increasing Notice Of Collateral Consequences, Brian M. Murray May 2015

Beyond The Right To Counsel: Increasing Notice Of Collateral Consequences, Brian M. Murray

University of Richmond Law Review

This article responds to these questions by focusing on the primary roots of this justice issue, namely the prevalence of guiltypleas and the continued efforts of legislatures to increase the life- long price of a conviction. Part I begins with a discussion of these practical realities within the criminal justice system. Part II then examines the law of guilty pleas under the Fifth Amendment, including constitutional standards for valid pleas, and how current jurisprudence fails to account for the collateral consequences mentioned in Part I. Part II also discusses the right to effective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment ...


Following Orders: Campbell V. United States, The Waiver Of Appellate Rights, And The Duty Of Counsel, Jacob Szewczyk Apr 2015

Following Orders: Campbell V. United States, The Waiver Of Appellate Rights, And The Duty Of Counsel, Jacob Szewczyk

Catholic University Law Review

In the 1984 case of Strickland v. Washington, the Supreme Court announced a two-pronged test to analyze whether a criminal defendant has received ineffective assistance of counsel. Since the rule was announced, the Court has expanded Strickland’s scope to apply to analyze counsel’s review at different stages of the criminal proceeding. This Comment addresses one issue that has remained unanswered by the Supreme Court: whether counsel’s failure to file a notice of appeal, after a defendant has waived his right to appeal through a plea bargain, constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel. This Comment discusses the circuit split ...


The Line Holds, But Death May Matter: The Supreme Court's Criminal Procedure Decisions Of The 2001 Term, William Hellerstein Apr 2015

The Line Holds, But Death May Matter: The Supreme Court's Criminal Procedure Decisions Of The 2001 Term, William Hellerstein

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Should The Medium Affect The Message? Legal And Ethical Implications Of Prosecutors Reading Inmate-Attorney Email, Brandon P. Ruben Mar 2015

Should The Medium Affect The Message? Legal And Ethical Implications Of Prosecutors Reading Inmate-Attorney Email, Brandon P. Ruben

Fordham Law Review

The attorney-client privilege protects confidential legal communications between a party and her attorney from being used against her, thus encouraging full and frank attorney-client communication. It is a venerable evidentiary principle of American jurisprudence. Unsurprisingly, prosecutors may not eavesdrop on inmate-attorney visits or phone calls or read inmate-attorney postal mail. Courts are currently divided, however, as to whether or not they can forbid prosecutors from reading inmate- attorney email.

This Note explores the cases that address whether federal prosecutors may read inmates’ legal email. As courts have unanimously held, because inmates know that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) monitors all ...


The Right To A Public Trial And Closing The Courtroom To Disruptive Spectators, Stephen E. Smith Jan 2015

The Right To A Public Trial And Closing The Courtroom To Disruptive Spectators, Stephen E. Smith

Washington University Law Review

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, in part, that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.” Like many constitutional rights, however, the right to a public trial is not absolute. Courtrooms may be closed to the public in some situations. In Waller v. Georgia, the Supreme Court set forth the test trial courts should apply to determine whether a courtroom closure is appropriate. However, some courts, led by the Second Circuit’s per curiam decision in Cosentino v. Kelly, have declined to apply the Waller test to ...


Court Of Appeals Of New York, People V. Taylor, Susan Persaud Dec 2014

Court Of Appeals Of New York, People V. Taylor, Susan Persaud

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Road To Booker And Beyond: Constitutional Limits On Sentence Enhancements, John Gleeson Dec 2014

Road To Booker And Beyond: Constitutional Limits On Sentence Enhancements, John Gleeson

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.