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Full-Text Articles in Law

“Re-Evaluating Competence To Stand Trial”, David Collins Jan 2018

“Re-Evaluating Competence To Stand Trial”, David Collins

Duke Law Master of Judicial Studies Theses

The current federal law governing a defendant’s competence to stand trial is substantially contained in 18 U.S.C. § 4241 that can be traced to a 1949 statute and, in Dusky v. United States, a three paragraph opinion of the Supreme Court, delivered in 1960. The federal statute was initially drafted by a committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Thus, material aspects of the federal tests for assessing a defendant’s competence to stand trial were composed by federal judges.

This paper explains why the current federal law concerning a defendant’s competence to stand trial ...


Innovative Justice: Federal Reentry Drug Courts – How Should We Measure Success?, Timothy D. Degiusti Jan 2018

Innovative Justice: Federal Reentry Drug Courts – How Should We Measure Success?, Timothy D. Degiusti

Duke Law Master of Judicial Studies Theses

In response to the drug abuse and addiction epidemic in the United States, innovative ways of dealing with non-violent drug offenders within the criminal justice system began to emerge in the late 1980s. Special court dockets – commonly referred to as drug courts – were developed featuring an interdisciplinary team of criminal justice and mental health professionals, led by a presiding judge. Drug courts and other problem-solving courts have proliferated within the state court system, numbering 3,057 by the end of 2014. The use of such courts is expanding among the states, but the federal courts have been slow to adopt ...


Honesty Without Truth: Lies, Accuracy, And The Criminal Justice Process, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2018

Honesty Without Truth: Lies, Accuracy, And The Criminal Justice Process, Lisa Kern Griffin

Faculty Scholarship

Focusing on “lying” is a natural response to uncertainty but too narrow of a concern. Honesty and truth are not the same thing and conflating them can actually inhibit accuracy. In several settings across investigations and trials, the criminal justice system elevates compliant statements, misguided beliefs, and confident opinions while excluding more complex evidence. Error often results. Some interrogation techniques, for example, privilege cooperation over information. Those interactions can yield incomplete or false statements, confessions, and even guilty pleas. Because of the impeachment rules that purportedly prevent perjury, the most knowledgeable witnesses may be precluded from taking the stand. The ...


Evidence-Informed Criminal Justice, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2018

Evidence-Informed Criminal Justice, Brandon L. Garrett

Faculty Scholarship

The American criminal justice system is at a turning point. For decades, as the rate of incarceration exploded, observers of the American criminal justice system criticized the enormous discretion wielded by key actors, particularly police and prosecutors, and the lack of empirical evidence that has informed that discretion. Since the 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice report, The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, there has been broad awareness that the criminal system lacks empirically informed approaches. That report unsuccessfully called for a national research strategy, with an independent national criminal justice research institute ...