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Criminal Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Criminalization And Normalization: Some Thoughts About Offenders With Serious Mental Illness, Richard C. Boldt Jan 2021

Criminalization And Normalization: Some Thoughts About Offenders With Serious Mental Illness, Richard C. Boldt

Faculty Scholarship

Response to Professor E. Lea Johnston, Reconceptualizing Criminal Justice Reform for Offenders with Serious Mental Illness

Abstract

While Professor Johnston is persuasive that clinical factors such as diagnosis and treatment history are not, in most cases, predictive by themselves of criminal behavior, her concession that those clinical factors are associated with a constellation of risks and needs that are predictive of criminal system involvement complicates her efforts to maintain a clear boundary between the criminalization theory and the normalization thesis. Indeed, Professor Johnston’s article contains a brief section in which she identifies “possible justifications” for the specialized programs that ...


Citizens, Suspects, And Enemies: Examining Police Militarization, Milton C. Regan Jan 2021

Citizens, Suspects, And Enemies: Examining Police Militarization, Milton C. Regan

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Concern about the increasing militarization of police has grown in recent years. Much of this concern focuses on the material aspects of militarization: the greater use of military equipment and tactics by police officers. While this development deserves attention, a subtler form of militarization operates on the cultural level. Here, police adopt an adversarial stance toward minority communities, whose members are regarded as presumptive objects of suspicion. The combination of material and cultural militarization in turn has a potential symbolic dimension. It can communicate that members of minority communities are threats to society, just as military enemies are threats to ...


Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor Nov 2020

Ai In Adjudication And Administration, Cary Coglianese, Lavi M. Ben Dor

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The use of artificial intelligence has expanded rapidly in recent years across many aspects of the economy. For federal, state, and local governments in the United States, interest in artificial intelligence has manifested in the use of a series of digital tools, including the occasional deployment of machine learning, to aid in the performance of a variety of governmental functions. In this paper, we canvas the current uses of such digital tools and machine-learning technologies by the judiciary and administrative agencies in the United States. Although we have yet to see fully automated decision-making find its way into either adjudication ...


Justice For All? An In-Depth Look At Sexual Assault Kit Testing In The Carolinas, Jessalynn C. King Jul 2020

Justice For All? An In-Depth Look At Sexual Assault Kit Testing In The Carolinas, Jessalynn C. King

Senior Theses

Within the last few decades, technological advancements and an improved understanding of biological materials have led to an increase in evidence that can be submitted for forensic testing in criminal justice investigations. In a sexual assault investigation, a sexual assault kit (SAK) is often collected and contains the evidence found on the victim’s or suspect’s person. While the true total is unknown, it is estimated that several hundred thousand untested SAKs remain in the custody of law enforcement and forensic crime laboratories across the United States. Whether these SAKs were neglected due to law enforcement bias, the prioritization ...


Emergency Parole Release For Older Parole-Eligible Doc Inmates, David I. Bruck Jun 2020

Emergency Parole Release For Older Parole-Eligible Doc Inmates, David I. Bruck

Scholarly Articles

Professor Bruck writes to Secretary Moran and Chairwoman Bennett to urge them to protect elderly Virginia prison inmates from the risk of death from COVID-19 by granting immediate parole release to as many over-60 parole-eligible prisoners as possible, upon a showing that they are at low risk to re-offend, and have a supportive home to go to once released.


Controlled Observation: The Challenges Of Therapy For The Mentally Ill Incarcerated Population, Esther Tingué Jun 2020

Controlled Observation: The Challenges Of Therapy For The Mentally Ill Incarcerated Population, Esther Tingué

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Popular perception and objective of incarceration is confinement, brutality and in some cases inhumane conditions. But what about the incarcerated population who suffer from the additional burden of mental illness? How does confinement affect mentally ill inmates? This capstone project asks: (1) how do individuals/organizations provide rehabilitative services in this evolved culture of crime and punishment? And (2) how is therapy provided in a restricted environment? I examine these questions from the perspective of the therapist, the person who (in a restricted environment) takes on the responsibility of treating and managing the effects of mental illness for this population.


Expungement Of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, J.J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr May 2020

Expungement Of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, J.J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

Laws permitting the expungement of criminal convictions are a key component of modern criminal justice reform efforts and have been the subject of a recent upsurge in legislative activity. This debate has been almost entirely devoid of evidence about the laws’ effects, in part because the necessary data (such as sealed records themselves) have been unavailable. We were able to obtain access to de-identified data that overcome that problem, and we use it to carry out a comprehensive statewide study of expungement recipients and comparable nonrecipients in Michigan. We offer three key sets of empirical findings. First, among those legally ...


Recognizing The Need For Mental Health Reform In The Texas Department Of Criminal Justice, Kara Mchorse Apr 2020

Recognizing The Need For Mental Health Reform In The Texas Department Of Criminal Justice, Kara Mchorse

St. Mary's Law Journal

The ways in which mental health care and the criminal justice system interact are in desperate need of reform in Texas. The rate of mental illness in Texas is higher than the current state of mental health care can provide for. While state hospitals were once the primary care facilities of those with mental illness, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has taken on that role in the last few decades; and when the criminal justice system becomes entangled with mental health care, it often leads to “unmitigated disaster.” If Texas continues to allow the TDCJ to act as ...


Debt Bondage: How Private Collection Agencies Keep The Formerly Incarcerated Tethered To The Criminal Justice System, Bryan L. Adamson Apr 2020

Debt Bondage: How Private Collection Agencies Keep The Formerly Incarcerated Tethered To The Criminal Justice System, Bryan L. Adamson

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This Article examines the constitutionality of statutes which allow courts to transfer outstanding legal financial obligations to private debt collection agencies. In Washington State, the clerk of courts can transfer the legal financial obligation of a formerly incarcerated person if he or she is only thirty days late making a payment. Upon transfer, the debt collection agencies can assess a “collection fee” of up to 50% of the first $100.000 of the unpaid legal financial obligation, and up to 35% of the unpaid debt over $100,000. This fee becomes part of the LFO debt imposed at sentencing, and ...


State Prosecutors At The Center Of Mass Imprisonment And Criminal Justice Reform, Nora V. Demleitner Apr 2020

State Prosecutors At The Center Of Mass Imprisonment And Criminal Justice Reform, Nora V. Demleitner

Scholarly Articles

State prosecutors around the country have played a crucial role in mass imprisonment. Little supervision and virtually unsurpassed decision making power have provided them with unrivaled influence over the size, growth, and composition of our criminal justice system. They decide which cases to prosecute, whether to divert a case, whether to offer a plea, and what sentence to recommend. Their impact does not stop at sentencing. They weigh in on alternative dockets, supervision violations, parole release, and even clemency requests. But they are also part of a larger system that constrains them. Funding, judicial limits on their power, and legislative ...


The United States And The International Criminal Court: Why Undermining The Icc Undercuts U.S. Interests, Jane Stromseth Jan 2020

The United States And The International Criminal Court: Why Undermining The Icc Undercuts U.S. Interests, Jane Stromseth

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


Stepping Into The Shoes Of The Department Of Justice: The Unusual, Necessary, And Hopeful Path The Illinois Attorney General Took To Require Police Reform In Chicago, Lisa Madigan, Cara Hendrickson, Karyn L. Bass Ehler Jan 2020

Stepping Into The Shoes Of The Department Of Justice: The Unusual, Necessary, And Hopeful Path The Illinois Attorney General Took To Require Police Reform In Chicago, Lisa Madigan, Cara Hendrickson, Karyn L. Bass Ehler

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

No abstract provided.


Boots And Bail On The Ground: Assessing The Implementation Of Misdemeanor Bail Reforms In Georgia, Andrea Woods, Sandra G. Mayson, Lauren Sudeall, Guthrie Armstrong, Anthony Potts Jan 2020

Boots And Bail On The Ground: Assessing The Implementation Of Misdemeanor Bail Reforms In Georgia, Andrea Woods, Sandra G. Mayson, Lauren Sudeall, Guthrie Armstrong, Anthony Potts

Scholarly Works

This Article presents a mixed-methods study of misdemeanor bail practice across Georgia in the wake of reform. We observed bail hearings and interviewed system actors in a representative sample of fifty-five counties in order to assess the extent to which pretrial practice conforms to legal standards clarified in Senate Bill 407 and Walker v. Calhoun. We also analyzed jail population data published by county jails and by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. We found that a handful of counties have made promising headway in adhering to law and best practices, but that the majority have some distance to go ...


Intersectionality In The Opioid Crisis: Anti-Black Racism And White, Pregnant, Opioid Users, Craig Konnoth Jan 2020

Intersectionality In The Opioid Crisis: Anti-Black Racism And White, Pregnant, Opioid Users, Craig Konnoth

Articles

No abstract provided.


Impact Of Criminal Justice Debt On Indigent Defendants, Elizabeth Forester Jan 2020

Impact Of Criminal Justice Debt On Indigent Defendants, Elizabeth Forester

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

This Note explores the constitutional and policy concerns surrounding criminal justice debt and the ability of indigent defendants to reintegrate into society. After examining the history of legal financial obligations (“LFOs”) in the United States, and the current state of LFOs in Tennessee, the Note focuses on three reforms: reinstating driver’s licenses for those who have had their licenses revoked for failure to pay court fees, creating a more transparent accounting process of such debt, and dedicating more resources to public defender’s offices and others who aid ex-offenders.


Mental-Health Courts: Expanding The Model In An Era Of Criminal Justice Reform, Courtney Black Jan 2020

Mental-Health Courts: Expanding The Model In An Era Of Criminal Justice Reform, Courtney Black

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

Congress passed the First Step Act in December 2018, which highlighted the need for criminal justice reform. Calls for continued reform come from both the state and federal levels. This Note examines the need for further criminal justice reform, specifically the expansion of access to mental-health courts. For mentally ill prisoners, such expansion would include: referral for early-release consideration, assistance of mental-health court team to transition back into the community, and receipt of community treatment services. To establish such statutory reform, states must consider four statutory considerations: funding of treatment services and individual eligibility based on offense, prior mental-health court ...


Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In this Essay, I offer a brief account of how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the realities and structural flaws of the carceral state. I provide two primary examples or illustrations, but they are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list. Rather, by highlighting these issues, problems, or (perhaps) features, I mean to suggest that this moment of crisis should serve not just as an opportunity to marshal resources to address the pandemic, but also as a chance to address the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal system. Further, my claim isn’t that criminal law is in ...


The Court And The Suspect: Human Frailty, The Calculating Criminal, And The Penitent In The Interrogation Room, Scott E. Sundby Jan 2020

The Court And The Suspect: Human Frailty, The Calculating Criminal, And The Penitent In The Interrogation Room, Scott E. Sundby

Washington University Law Review

This Article examines Supreme Court case law on police interrogation and discovers that the Justices have espoused two basic characterizations of a suspect being interrogated: that of the “rugged individual” and that of the “susceptible individual.” As the examination reveals, each characterization has had a period of ascendency and the protections that are afforded a suspect largely depend on which characterization a majority of the Court invokes. This framework, however, does more than help explain the confusion surrounding the case law. By bringing these two competing visions out into the open, a direct examination from both an empirical and doctrinal ...


Reversing The Evils Of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Is Clemency The Only Answer?, Melissa Johnson Jan 2020

Reversing The Evils Of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Is Clemency The Only Answer?, Melissa Johnson

Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development

(Excerpt)

Thirty-five years ago, Alice Marie Johnson lived a full life. She was a wife, a mother of five children, and a manager at FedEx. Then divorce, the death of one of her children, and job loss shattered her world. Ms. Johnson was able to find employment as a factory worker, a role which paid only a fraction of her former salary and was insufficient to support her children. Desperate and burdened, she became a telephone mule for drug dealers. She was instructed to “pass phone messages [and] [w]hen people came to town . . . [to tell] them what number to ...


America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap, Colleen Chien Jan 2020

America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap, Colleen Chien

Michigan Law Review

Over the last decade, dozens of states and the federal government have enacted “second chance” reforms that increase the eligibility of individuals arrested, charged, or convicted of crimes to shorten their sentences, clear their criminal records, and/or regain the right to vote. While much fanfare has accompanied the increasing availability of “second chances,” little attention has been paid to their delivery. This study introduces the concept of the “second chance gap,” which it defines as the difference between eligibility and delivery of second chance relief; explores its causes; and approximates its size in connection with several second chance laws ...


Getting Out: Bruce Bryant’S Climb To Redemption Inside Prison, Rachel M. Rippetoe, Sean Sanders-Mills Dec 2019

Getting Out: Bruce Bryant’S Climb To Redemption Inside Prison, Rachel M. Rippetoe, Sean Sanders-Mills

Capstones

Bruce Bryant, 50, was convicted of the murder of 11-year-old Travis Lilley in June 1996. Bryant maintains he never fired a weapon that day in 1993. But he recognizes that his lifestyle as a young person — he started dealing drugs when he was 14 — contributed to an environment in which a stray bullet could take a young life. And for that reason, he’s spent most of his 25 years in prison working to help young people.

With at least 12 more years on his sentence, Bryant is now asking the governor for early release, with the hope that he ...


Finding Justice, Hannah Miller Dec 2019

Finding Justice, Hannah Miller

Capstones

Finding Justice tackles the devastation caused by wrongful conviction through the journey of Jeffrey Deskovic. After serving 16 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, Deskovic has strived to rebuild his life. The film follows him as he finishes law school and runs a foundation that frees the wrongfully convicted, all while dealing with lingering trauma.


Criminal Arrests In Clark County, Nevada, By Jurisdiction 2006-2016, Elia Del Carmen Solano-Patricio, Caitlin Saladino, William E. Brown Jr. Aug 2019

Criminal Arrests In Clark County, Nevada, By Jurisdiction 2006-2016, Elia Del Carmen Solano-Patricio, Caitlin Saladino, William E. Brown Jr.

Criminal Justice

Criminal arrests in Southern Nevada are on a downward trend. Despite a record-setting influx in population across the Las Vegas Valley and the surrounding metro area, officers in each of Clark County’s police jurisdictions arrest fewer people every year. The present study utilizes the Arrest Trends Tool created by the Vera Institute of Justice and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program to measure the number of arrests made over ten years for a variety of illegal activities, including drug abuse, violence and murder, property crimes, sex crimes, alcohol-related crimes, theft, white collar crimes, and other offenses. This ...


After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne Aug 2019

After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

While an offender’s conduct before and during the crime is the traditional focus of criminal law and sentencing rules, an examination of post-offense conduct can also be important in promoting criminal justice goals. After the crime, different offenders make different choices and have different experiences, and those differences can suggest appropriately different treatment by judges, correctional officials, probation and parole supervisors, and other decision-makers in the criminal justice system.

Positive post-offense conduct ought to be acknowledged and rewarded, not only to encourage it but also as a matter of fair and just treatment. This essay describes four kinds of ...


The Opposite Of Punishment: Imagining A Path To Public Redemption, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne Jun 2019

The Opposite Of Punishment: Imagining A Path To Public Redemption, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The criminal justice system traditionally performs its public functions – condemning prohibited conduct, shaming and stigmatizing violators, promoting societal norms – through the use of negative examples: convicting and punishing violators. One could imagine, however, that the same public functions could also be performed through the use of positive examples: publicly acknowledging and celebrating offenders who have chosen a path of atonement through confession, apology, making amends, acquiescing in just punishment, and promising future law abidingness. An offender who takes this path arguably deserves official public recognition, an update of all records and databases to record the public redemption, and an exemption ...


Reforming Recidivism: Making Prison Practical Through Help, Katelyn Copperud Jun 2019

Reforming Recidivism: Making Prison Practical Through Help, Katelyn Copperud

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

While Texas has long been recognized as “Tough Texas” when it comes to crime, recent efforts have been made to combat that reputation. Efforts such as offering “good time” credit and more liberal parole standards are used to reduce the Texas prison populations. Although effective in reducing prison populations, do these incentives truly reduce a larger issue of prison overpopulation: recidivism?

In both state and federal prison systems, inmate education is proven to reduce recidivism. Texas’s own, Windham School District, provides a broad spectrum of education to Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates; from General Education Development (GED) classes ...


Lessons From Batson In A Comparative Criminal Context: How Implicit Racial Biases Remain Unaddressed In Canadian Jury Section, Brittney Adams May 2019

Lessons From Batson In A Comparative Criminal Context: How Implicit Racial Biases Remain Unaddressed In Canadian Jury Section, Brittney Adams

American Indian Law Journal

This Article highlights how Batson challenges may be instructive for addressing racial biases in jury selection in Canada and draws on the murder of Colten Boushie as an illustration of how the current system has failed to hold white defendants accountable in criminal cases involving Aboriginal victims. While far from perfect, peremptory Batson challenges in the United States serve as a nod to the ongoing issue of racial bias in jury selection in the United States. Canadian jury selection contains no similar challenges, which has too often resulted in all-white or mostly-white juries failing to hold white defendants accountable for ...


Empiricism And The Misdemeanor Courts: Promoting Wider, Deeper, And Interdisciplinary Study, Alisa Smith Apr 2019

Empiricism And The Misdemeanor Courts: Promoting Wider, Deeper, And Interdisciplinary Study, Alisa Smith

Pace Law Review

Since 1956, there have been three waves of scholarly attention on the misdemeanor courts. Despite this attention, misdemeanor courts remain understudied and overlooked. The object of this paper is to summarize the empirical research conducted over the last sixty years and identify the scholarly work that should be undertaken on the processing of misdemeanor offenders in our courts. Buoyed by the current interest in studying the misdemeanor courts, scholars should widen and deepen their study by replicating the work of others in a variety of jurisdictions, observing court proceedings, interviewing defendants and the courtroom workgroup, and assessing whether constitutional ideals ...


Algorithmic Risk Assessments And The Double-Edged Sword Of Youth, Megan T. Stevenson, Christopher Slobogin Mar 2019

Algorithmic Risk Assessments And The Double-Edged Sword Of Youth, Megan T. Stevenson, Christopher Slobogin

Christopher Slobogin

Risk assessment algorithms—statistical formulas that predict the likelihood a person will commit crime in the future—are used across the country to help make life-altering decisions in the criminal process, including setting bail, determining sentences, selecting probation conditions, and deciding parole. Yet many of these instruments are “black-box” tools. The algorithms they use are secret, both to the sentencing authorities who rely on them and to the offender whose life is affected. The opaque nature of these tools raises numerous legal and ethical concerns. In this paper we argue that risk assessment algorithms obfuscate how certain factors, usually considered ...


Mandatory Minimum Penalties: An Analysis Of Four State’S Penal Codes And Federal Court Policies, Cassie Geiken Mar 2019

Mandatory Minimum Penalties: An Analysis Of Four State’S Penal Codes And Federal Court Policies, Cassie Geiken

Honors Theses, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

In Nebraska, variations of bills attempting to amend mandatory minimum laws in the state have been introduced. The harshness of the mandatory sentences, as well as the looming state of emergency caused by prison overcrowding, have sustained the debate over sentencing laws. This essay identifies the core issues of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and analyzes the states of Nebraska, Texas, Alabama, California, and the federal system’s use of mandatory minimums for felony charges to identify potential solutions. Statute review found that Nebraska’s current sentencing codes are misaligned with the rest of the nation; not even Alabama with one ...