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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms Of Constitutional Ineffectiveness, Eve Brensike Primus Jun 2020

Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms Of Constitutional Ineffectiveness, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

For years, experts have blamed Strickland v. Washington’s lax standard for assessing trial attorney effectiveness for many of the criminal justice system’s problems. But the conventional understanding of Strickland as a problem for ineffectiveness claims gives the decision too much prominence because it treats Strickland as the test for all such claims. That is a mistake. Properly understood, the Supreme Court has recognized four different constitutional forms of trial attorney ineffectiveness, and Strickland’s two pronged test applies to only one of the four. If litigants and courts would notice this complexity and relegate Strickland to its proper ...


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 ...