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Full-Text Articles in Law

It's All In The Dna—How United States V. Hano Extends The Statute Of Limitations For The Eleventh Circuit, Caroline Walker Jun 2020

It's All In The Dna—How United States V. Hano Extends The Statute Of Limitations For The Eleventh Circuit, Caroline Walker

Mercer Law Review

It is likely that most professionals in all industries would agree that technology is rapidly evolving, most considering that assertion as a major understatement and some struggling to balance the variety of changes. In the legal realm, the DNA revolution has impacted both criminal prosecution and defense, specifically wrongful convictions, exonerations, proof of guilt at trial, and the reopening of cold cases. For example, since the first DNA exoneration in 1989, there have been 367 DNA exonerees in thirty-seven states to date. Forty-four percent of the exonerations involved misapplication of forensic science. Other law enforcement tools, such as rape kits ...


Modern-Day Witch Hunts: How The Mental Health Industry Abuses Patients And The Judiciary While Committing Fraud, Joan L. Roberts Mrs. Apr 2020

Modern-Day Witch Hunts: How The Mental Health Industry Abuses Patients And The Judiciary While Committing Fraud, Joan L. Roberts Mrs.

Conspectus Borealis

No abstract provided.


Teaching Professional Responsibility Through Theater, Michael Millemann, Elliott Rauh, Robert Bowie Jr. Feb 2020

Teaching Professional Responsibility Through Theater, Michael Millemann, Elliott Rauh, Robert Bowie Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

This article is about ethics-focused, law school courses, co-taught with a theater director, in which students wrote, produced and performed in plays. The plays were about four men who, separately, were wrongfully convicted, spent decades in prison, and finally were released and exonerated, formally (two) or informally (two).

The common themes in these miscarriages of justice were that 1) unethical conduct of prosecutors (especially failures to disclose exculpatory evidence) and of defense counsel (especially incompetent representation) undermined the Rule of Law and produced wrongful convictions, and 2) conversely, that the ethical conduct of post-conviction lawyers and law students helped to ...


Reliability, Justice And Confessions: The Essential Paradox, Russell L. Weaver Jun 2019

Reliability, Justice And Confessions: The Essential Paradox, Russell L. Weaver

Russell L. Weaver

This paper deals with the issue of "reliability" in the criminal justice process, and the rising number of wrongful convictions that have been identified in recent years. Using modern evidentiary techniques, a rising number of individuals have been found "innocent" of the crimes for which they have been convicted. These instances of wrongful conviction have involved individuals who spent time on death row, awaiting execution, only to be completely exonerated. There are various reasons for these wrongful convictions, including prosecutorial misconduct and systemic failures such as inadequate indigent representation. This paper focuses on another systemic failure: difficulties with the confessions ...


Police Lineups And Eyewitness Identification, Alessandra Ricigliano Apr 2018

Police Lineups And Eyewitness Identification, Alessandra Ricigliano

Honors Senior Capstone Projects

Improper police lineups often lead to the misidentification of a suspect in particular cases. These mistakes could potentially have detrimental effects on someone’s freedom because eyewitness identifications hold so much weight in court proceedings. If a witness or victim is certain they can identify the suspect, jurors are likely to believe them whether the witness is right or wrong. Eyewitness misidentification is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions (The Innocence Project, 2017). The current research employs qualitative in depth interviews with police officers from local and state departments. The interviews asked about police procedures for conducting simultaneous ...


Can We Protect The Innocent Without Freeing The Guilty? Thoughts On Innocence Reforms That Avoid Harmful Tradeoffs, Paul Cassell Jan 2017

Can We Protect The Innocent Without Freeing The Guilty? Thoughts On Innocence Reforms That Avoid Harmful Tradeoffs, Paul Cassell

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

It is fundamentally important that the criminal justice system accurately separate the guilty from the innocent. But many recent reform measures from the innocent movement rest on shaky ground. Protecting against wrongful convictions can create tradeoffs. If poorly crafted, a reform measure might not only prevent convicting innocent persons but also guilty persons, allowing dangerous criminals to avoid incarceration and continue to victimize innocent persons. From a public policy perspective, these tradeoffs create concern that reform measures may be cures worse than the disease.

With this caution in mind, it is possible to craft reforms that help to protect the ...


The Crime Lab In The Age Of The Genetic Panopticon, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2017

The Crime Lab In The Age Of The Genetic Panopticon, Brandon L. Garrett

Michigan Law Review

Review of Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice by Adam Benforado, Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA by Erin E. Murphy, and Cops in Lab Coats: Curbing Wrongful Convictions Through Independent Forensic Laboratories by Sandra Guerra Thompson.


Conviction By Prior Impeachment, Anna Roberts Jan 2016

Conviction By Prior Impeachment, Anna Roberts

Faculty Publications

Impeaching the testimony of criminal defendants through the use of their prior convictions is a practice that is triply flawed. (1) it relies on assumptions belied by data; (2) it has devastating impacts on individual trials; and (3) it contributes to many of the criminal justice system's most urgent dysfunctions. Yet critiques of the practice are often paired with resignation. Abolition is thought too ambitious because this practice is widespread, long-standing, and beloved by prosecutors. Widespread does not mean universal, however, and a careful focus on the states that have abolished this practice reveals arguments that overcame prosecutorial resistance ...


Implementing The Lessons From Wrongful Convictions: An Empirical Analysis Of Eyewitness Identification Reform Strategies, Keith A. Findley Aug 2015

Implementing The Lessons From Wrongful Convictions: An Empirical Analysis Of Eyewitness Identification Reform Strategies, Keith A. Findley

Keith A Findley

Learning about the flaws in the criminal justice system that have produced wrongful convictions has progressed at a dramatic pace since the first innocent individuals were exonerated by postconviction DNA testing in 1989. Application of that knowledge to improving the criminal justice system, however, has lagged far behind the growth in knowledge. Likewise, while considerable scholarship has been devoted to identifying the factors that produce wrongful convictions, very little scholarly attention has been devoted to the processes through which knowledge about causes is translated into reforms.

Using eyewitness misidentification—one of the leading contributors to wrongful convictions and the most ...


Decision-Making In The Dark: How Pre-Trial Errors Change The Narrative In Criminal Jury Trials, Kara Mackillop, Neil Vidmar Jun 2015

Decision-Making In The Dark: How Pre-Trial Errors Change The Narrative In Criminal Jury Trials, Kara Mackillop, Neil Vidmar

Chicago-Kent Law Review

The jury trial plays a critical constitutional and institutional role in American jurisprudence. Jury service is, technically, the only constitutional requirement demanded of our citizens and, as such, places an important responsibility on those chosen to serve on any jury, especially within the criminal justice system. Jury research has established that, generally, jurors take their responsibilities seriously; they work with the evidence presented at trial and they reach verdicts that correlate to the narratives they develop throughout the trial. But with estimates of wrongful conviction rates as high as five percent in serious felony cases, how are juries getting it ...


Rethinking The Law Of Interrogations And Confessions In Canada, Fariborz Davoudi May 2015

Rethinking The Law Of Interrogations And Confessions In Canada, Fariborz Davoudi

PhD Dissertations

This thesis is a discussion about the inadequacy of the Canadian confessions rule in light of what modern forensic psychology reveals about the human mind, and the propensity of legally-sanctioned interrogation tactics to cause suspects to make false confessions. Contemporary forensic psychology research makes it clear that many of the techniques used in police interviewing and interrogation can have the effect of subverting or overbearing an individuals free-choice and can cause them to make a false confession. Yet many of these same techniques are considered acceptable according to the Canadian law of voluntariness.

This thesis examines the confessions rule and ...


Stop Blaming The Prosecutors: The Real Causes Of Wrongful Convictions And Rightful Exonerations, And What Should Be Done To Fix Them, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean, James J. Berles Apr 2015

Stop Blaming The Prosecutors: The Real Causes Of Wrongful Convictions And Rightful Exonerations, And What Should Be Done To Fix Them, Adam Lamparello, Charles E. Maclean, James J. Berles

Adam Lamparello

Wrongfully convicted and rightfully exonerated criminal defendants spent, on average, ten years in prison before exoneration, and the ramifications to the defendants, the criminal justice system, and society are immeasurable.Prosecutorial misconduct, however, is not the primary cause of wrongful convictions. To begin with, although more than twenty million new adult criminal cases are opened in state and federal courts each year throughout the United States, there have been only 1,281 total exonerations over the last twenty-five years. In only six percent of those cases was prosecutorial misconduct the predominant factor resulting in those wrongful convictions. Of course, although ...


The Prosecutor’S Contribution To Wrongful Convictions, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2014

The Prosecutor’S Contribution To Wrongful Convictions, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

A prosecutor is viewed by the public as a powerful law enforcement official whose responsibility is to convict guilty people of crimes. But not everybody understands that a prosecutor’s function is not only to win convictions of law-breakers. A prosecutor is a quasi-judicial official who has a duty to promote justice to the entire community, including those people charged with crimes. Indeed, an overriding function of a prosecutor is to ensure that innocent people not get convicted and punished.

A prosecutor is constitutionally and ethically mandated to promote justice. The prosecutor is even considered a "Minister of Justice" who ...


Wrongful Convictions, Policing, And The 'Wars On Crime And Drugs', Hannah Laqueur, Stephen Rushin, Jonathan Simon Dec 2013

Wrongful Convictions, Policing, And The 'Wars On Crime And Drugs', Hannah Laqueur, Stephen Rushin, Jonathan Simon

Jonathan S Simon

Wrongful conviction ought to be an aberration for any system of criminal punishment tied to legal adjudication; certainly in a system such as we have in the United States, premised on the constitutional bedrock of requiring a jury to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (Sandstrom v. Montana). We suggest, however, that during the so-called wars on crime and drugs, wrongful convictions are no longer mere aberrations, any more than is holding to the end of hostilities captured members of an enemy army. Specifically, we hypothesize that these two "fronts" in two parallel national "wars" have transformed police practices in ...


Wrongful Convictions, Policing, And The 'Wars On Crime And Drugs', Hannah Laqueur, Stephen Rushin, Jonathan Simon Dec 2013

Wrongful Convictions, Policing, And The 'Wars On Crime And Drugs', Hannah Laqueur, Stephen Rushin, Jonathan Simon

Jonathan S Simon

Wrongful conviction ought to be an aberration for any system of criminal punishment tied to legal adjudication; certainly in a system such as we have in the United States, premised on the constitutional bedrock of requiring a jury to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (Sandstrom v. Montana). We suggest, however, that during the so-called wars on crime and drugs, wrongful convictions are no longer mere aberrations, any more than is holding to the end of hostilities captured members of an enemy army. Specifically, we hypothesize that these two "fronts" in two parallel national "wars" have transformed police practices in ...


Wrongful Convictions, Policing, And The 'Wars On Crime And Drugs', Hannah Laqueur, Stephen Rushin, Jonathan Simon Dec 2013

Wrongful Convictions, Policing, And The 'Wars On Crime And Drugs', Hannah Laqueur, Stephen Rushin, Jonathan Simon

Jonathan S Simon

Wrongful conviction ought to be an aberration for any system of criminal punishment tied to legal adjudication; certainly in a system such as we have in the United States, premised on the constitutional bedrock of requiring a jury to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (Sandstrom v. Montana). We suggest, however, that during the so-called wars on crime and drugs, wrongful convictions are no longer mere aberrations, any more than is holding to the end of hostilities captured members of an enemy army. Specifically, we hypothesize that these two "fronts" in two parallel national "wars" have transformed police practices in ...


A Model For Fixing Identification Evidence After Perry V. New Hampshire, Robert Couch Jun 2013

A Model For Fixing Identification Evidence After Perry V. New Hampshire, Robert Couch

Michigan Law Review

Mistaken eyewitness identifications are the leading cause of wrongful convictions. In 1977, a time when the problems with eyewitness identifications had been acknowledged but were not yet completely understood, the Supreme Court announced a test designed to exclude unreliable eyewitness evidence. This standard has proven inadequate to protect against mistaken identifications. Despite voluminous scientific studies on the failings of eyewitness identification evidence and the growing number of DNA exonerations, the Supreme Court's outdated reliability test remains in place today. In 2012, in Perry v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court commented on its standard for evaluating eyewitness evidence for the ...


International Perspectives On Correcting Wrongful Convictions: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Lissa Griffin Jan 2013

International Perspectives On Correcting Wrongful Convictions: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Article traces the history of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) and outlines the procedures employed by the SCCRC after an application is received, with particular attention to its extensive investigatory procedures. It also describes and analyzes the standards for referral of an application to the Scottish court. Part II briefly sets forth the statistics concerning applications, referrals, and judicial decisions. Part III includes an analysis of the SCCRC’s work by looking at the cases that have been referred and decided by the court. Those cases are divided into several categories: fresh evidence referrals ...


Innocence And Federal Habeas After Aedpa: Time For The Supreme Court To Act, Joseph L. Hoffmann Jan 2012

Innocence And Federal Habeas After Aedpa: Time For The Supreme Court To Act, Joseph L. Hoffmann

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


Proposal To Reverse The View Of A Confession: From Key Evidence Requiring Corroboration To Corroboration For Key Evidence, Boaz Sangero, Mordechai Halpert Apr 2011

Proposal To Reverse The View Of A Confession: From Key Evidence Requiring Corroboration To Corroboration For Key Evidence, Boaz Sangero, Mordechai Halpert

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Both case law and legal literature have recognized that all, and not just clearly statistical, evidence is probabilistic. Therefore, we have much to learn from the laws of probability with regard to the evaluation of evidence in a criminal trial. The present Article focuses on the confession. First, we review legal and psychological literature and show that the probability of a false confession and, consequently, a wrongful conviction, is far from insignificant. In light of this, we warn against the cognitive illusion, stemming from the fallacy of the transposed conditional, which is liable to mislead the trier of fact in ...


Reliability, Justice And Confessions: The Essential Paradox, Russell L. Weaver Dec 2009

Reliability, Justice And Confessions: The Essential Paradox, Russell L. Weaver

Chicago-Kent Law Review

This paper deals with the issue of "reliability" in the criminal justice process, and the rising number of wrongful convictions that have been identified in recent years. Using modern evidentiary techniques, a rising number of individuals have been found "innocent" of the crimes for which they have been convicted. These instances of wrongful conviction have involved individuals who spent time on death row, awaiting execution, only to be completely exonerated. There are various reasons for these wrongful convictions, including prosecutorial misconduct and systemic failures such as inadequate indigent representation. This paper focuses on another systemic failure: difficulties with the confessions ...


The Roberts Court's Failed Innocence Project, Janet C. Hoeffel Dec 2009

The Roberts Court's Failed Innocence Project, Janet C. Hoeffel

Chicago-Kent Law Review

In this article, Professor Hoeffel discusses the Roberts Court's obvious struggle with its actual innocence jurisprudence. It is a struggle that was only theoretical in the days before DNA exonerations. While the Court had two opportunities to clarify the role of wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system, it has declined to do so. In House v. Bell, the Court ratcheted up the standard of proof for freestanding constitutional claims of innocence to a level no petitioner could understand, much less meet. Then, in District Attorney's Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne, the Court held that ...


The Role Of Innocence Commissions: Error Discovery, Systemic Reform Or Both?, Kent Roach Dec 2009

The Role Of Innocence Commissions: Error Discovery, Systemic Reform Or Both?, Kent Roach

Chicago-Kent Law Review

This article examines the role of innocence commissions as emerging criminal justice institutions. It draws a distinction between commissions devoted to the correction of errors in individual cases and commissions which make systemic reform recommendations in an effort to prevent wrongful convictions in future cases. The British and Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission are examined as examples of the former type of commission while Canadian public inquiries and commissions in Illinois, California and Virginia are examined as examples of the latter type of commission. Innocence commissions have had difficulties combining error correction and ...


Second Thoughts On Damages For Wrongful Convictions, Lawrence Rosenthal Dec 2009

Second Thoughts On Damages For Wrongful Convictions, Lawrence Rosenthal

Chicago-Kent Law Review

After the DNA-inspired wave of exonerations of recent years, there has been widespread support for expanding the damages remedies available to those who have been wrongfully accused or convicted. In this article, Professor Rosenthal argues that the case for providing such compensation is deeply problematic, whether advanced in terms of no-fault or fault-based liability. Although a regime of strict liability is sometimes thought justifiable as a means of creating an economic incentive to scale back such liability-producing conduct to optimal levels, this rationale has little application to the criminal justice system. Instead, a regime of strict liability would operate as ...


Intentional Wrongful Conviction Of Children, Victor Streib Dec 2009

Intentional Wrongful Conviction Of Children, Victor Streib

Chicago-Kent Law Review

Intentional wrongful convictions in cases involving child offenders may occur when judges have insufficient evidence proving any crime by the child but feel a strong need for the courts to intervene in the child's life and behavior. They believe that the negative factors attached to such a status are worth suffering if the child gains entry into a desired state program. This is wrongfully convicting the child "for the child's own good." Juvenile court judges too often receive knowledge of the child's background and previous record prior to any trial or hearing in order to devise the ...


The Revolution Enters The Court: The Constitutional Significance Of Wrongful Convictions In Contemporary Constitutional Regulation Of The Death Penalty, Jordan Steiker Jan 2006

The Revolution Enters The Court: The Constitutional Significance Of Wrongful Convictions In Contemporary Constitutional Regulation Of The Death Penalty, Jordan Steiker

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Over the last decade, the most important events in American death pen-alty law have occurred outside the courts. The discovery of numerous wrongfully convicted death-sentenced inmates in Illinois led to the most substantial reflection on the American death penalty system since the late 1960s and early 1970s. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan, a Republi-can, first declared a moratorium on executions in 2000 and eventually commuted all 167 inmates on Illinois’s death row in 2003. The events in Illinois reverberated nationwide. Almost overnight, state legislative agendas shifted from expanding or maintaining the prevailing reach of the death penalty to studying ...


Convictions Of Innocent Persons In Massachusetts: An Overview, Stanley Z. Fisher Oct 2002

Convictions Of Innocent Persons In Massachusetts: An Overview, Stanley Z. Fisher

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars documenting the incidence and causes of wrongful convictions in the United States have focused on cases arising all across the country. Because reform of the practices that lead to such errors of justice must largely take place on the state level, there is value in examining wrongful convictions in particular jurisdictions. This article attempts to identify and briefly describe all known cases of conviction of innocent persons in Massachusetts from 1800 to the present time. Part I discusses the criteria for identifying "the innocent." For the purpose of gaining support for needed reforms in the law, the most persuasive ...


Themes Of Injustice: Wrongful Convictions, Racial Prejudice, And Lawyer Incompetence, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1993

Themes Of Injustice: Wrongful Convictions, Racial Prejudice, And Lawyer Incompetence, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The U. S. criminal justice system has undergone radical changes in the past generation. Crime is more complex; prosecutors are more powerful; and courts, corrections agencies, and defense services are burdened with larger case loads and tighter budgets. It is not the best of times to talk about justice. Yet, it is a subject that needs to be constantly addressed, particularly in times of crisis. The following essay focuses on some of the problems that present themselves in the criminal justice system today, including the conviction of innocent defendants, especially in capital cases; racial prejudice; and lawyer incompetence.