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Restorative Federal Criminal Procedure, Leo T. Sorokin, Jeffrey S. Stein Apr 2021

Restorative Federal Criminal Procedure, Leo T. Sorokin, Jeffrey S. Stein

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair. by Danielle Sered.


Can Prosecutors End Mass Incarceration?, Rachel E. Barkow Apr 2021

Can Prosecutors End Mass Incarceration?, Rachel E. Barkow

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. by Emily Bazelon.


The Geopolitics Of American Policing, Andrew Lanham Apr 2021

The Geopolitics Of American Policing, Andrew Lanham

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing. by Stuart Schrader.


Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski Feb 2021

Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski

Michigan Law Review

Nearly five million individuals are admitted to America’s jails each year, and at any given time, two-thirds of those held in jail have not been convicted of a crime. Under current Supreme Court doctrine, these pretrial detainees are functionally protected by the same standard as convicted prisoners, despite the fact that they are formally protected by different constitutional amendments. A 2015 decision, Kingsley v. Hendrickson, declared that a different standard would apply to pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners in the context of use of force: consistent with the Constitution’s mandate that they not be punished at all, pretrial ...


Thirteenth Amendment Litigation In The Immigration Detention Context, Jennifer Safstrom Feb 2021

Thirteenth Amendment Litigation In The Immigration Detention Context, Jennifer Safstrom

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article analyzes how the Thirteenth Amendment has been used to prevent forced labor practices in immigration detention. The Article assesses the effectiveness of Thirteenth Amendment litigation by dissecting cases where detainees have challenged the legality of labor requirements under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Given the expansion in immigration detention, the increasing privatization of detention, and the significant human rights implications of this issue, the arguments advanced in this Article are not only currently relevant but have the potential to shape ongoing dialogue on this subject.


Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart Sep 2020

Man’S Best Friend? How Dogs Have Been Used To Oppress African Americans, Shontel Stewart

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The use of dogs as tools of oppression against African Americans has its roots in slavery and persists today in everyday life and police interactions. Due to such harmful practices, African Americans are not only disproportionately terrorized by officers with dogs, but they are also subject to instances of misplaced sympathy, illsuited laws, and social exclusion in their communities. Whether extreme and violent or subtle and pervasive, the use of dogs in oppressive acts is a critical layer of racial bias in the United States that has consistently built injustices that impede social and legal progress. By recognizing this pattern ...


Incrementalist Vs. Maximalist Reform: Solitary Confinement Case Studies, Margo Schlanger Aug 2020

Incrementalist Vs. Maximalist Reform: Solitary Confinement Case Studies, Margo Schlanger

Articles

Among criminal justice reformers, it has long been hotly contested whether moderate reform helps or harms more efforts to achieve more thoroughgoing change. With respect to solitary confinement, do partial and ameliorative measures undermine the goal of solitary confinement abolition? Or do reformist campaigns advance—albeit incrementally—that ultimate goal? Call this a debate between “incrementalists” and “maximalists.” I offer this Essay as an appeal for empirical rather than aesthetic inquiry into the question. After summarizing nationwide reform litigation efforts that began in the 1970s, I try to shed some factual light by examining solitary reform efforts in two states ...


Civil Rights Ecosystems, Joanna C. Schwartz Jun 2020

Civil Rights Ecosystems, Joanna C. Schwartz

Michigan Law Review

The Philadelphia and Houston Police Departments are similarly sized, but over a recent two-year period, ten times more civil rights suits were filed against Philadelphia and its officers than were filed against Houston and its officers. Plaintiffs in cases brought against Philadelphia and its officers were awarded one hundred times more in settlements and judgments. What accounts for these differences? Although the frequency and severity of misconduct and injury may play some role, I contend that the volume and outcome of civil rights litigation against any given jurisdiction should be understood as a product of what I call its civil ...


Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism, J.J. Prescott, Benjamin Pyle, Sonja B. Starr May 2020

Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism, J.J. Prescott, Benjamin Pyle, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

People convicted of violent crimes constitute a majority of the imprisoned population but are generally ignored by existing policies aimed at reducing mass incarceration. Serious efforts to shrink the large footprint of the prison system will need to recognize this fact. This point is especially pressing at the time of this writing, as states and the federal system consider large-scale prison releases motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those convicted of violent crimes constitute a large majority of older prisoners, who are extremely vulnerable to the spread of the virus behind bars. Excluding them from protective measures will deeply undermine those ...


The Misplaced Trust In The Doj's Expertise On Criminal Justice Policy, Shon Hopwood May 2020

The Misplaced Trust In The Doj's Expertise On Criminal Justice Policy, Shon Hopwood

Michigan Law Review

Review of Rachel Elise Barkow's Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration.


Government Misconduct And Convicting The Innocent: The Role Of Prosecutors, Police And Other Law Enforcement, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice J. Possley, Kaitlin Jackson Roll, Klara Huber Stephens Jan 2020

Government Misconduct And Convicting The Innocent: The Role Of Prosecutors, Police And Other Law Enforcement, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice J. Possley, Kaitlin Jackson Roll, Klara Huber Stephens

Other Publications

This is a report about the role of official misconduct in the conviction of innocent people. We discuss cases that are listed in the National Registry of Exonerations, an ongoing online archive that includes all known exonerations in the United States since 1989, 2,663 as of this writing. This Report describes official misconduct in the first 2,400 exonerations in the Registry, those posted by February 27, 2019.

In general, we classify a case as an “exoneration” if a person who was convicted of a crime is officially and completely cleared based on new evidence of innocence.

The Report ...


Guilt By Alt-Association: A Review Of Enhanced Punishment For Suspected Gang Members, Rebecca J. Marston Jun 2019

Guilt By Alt-Association: A Review Of Enhanced Punishment For Suspected Gang Members, Rebecca J. Marston

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This essay, written in reaction to the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform’s 2018 Symposium entitled “Alt-Association: The Role of Law in Combating Extremism” (the Symposium), does not dispute the seriousness of gang-related violence. Rather, it examines ways in which current strategies for combating gang-related crimes are ineffective or problematic and suggests possible reforms. Part One of this essay will describe current methods used in labeling, tracking, and prosecuting gang members, which result in a cycle of enhanced punishment. Part Two will evaluate these practices and reflect on whether enhanced punishment is the best way to reduce gang-related ...


Location Tracking And Digital Data: Can Carpenter Build A Stable Privacy Doctrine?, Evan H. Caminker Jun 2019

Location Tracking And Digital Data: Can Carpenter Build A Stable Privacy Doctrine?, Evan H. Caminker

Articles

In Carpenter v United States, the Supreme Court struggled to modernize twentieth-century search and seizure precedents for the “Cyber Age.” Twice previously this decade the Court had tweaked Fourth Amendment doctrine to keep pace with advancing technology, requiring a search warrant before the government can either peruse the contents of a cell phone seized incident to arrest or use a GPS tracker to follow a car’s long-term movements.


Equitable Gateways: Toward Expanded Federal Habeas Corpus Review Of State Court Criminal Convictions, Eve Brensike Primus Apr 2019

Equitable Gateways: Toward Expanded Federal Habeas Corpus Review Of State Court Criminal Convictions, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

State prisoners who file federal habeas corpus petitions face a maze of procedural and substantive restrictions that effectively prevent almost all prisoners from obtaining meaningful review of their convictions. But it is a mistake to think that habeas litigation is just a Kafkaesque nightmare with no constructive potential. Federal courts do sometimes cut through the doctrinal morass to consider state prisoners’ claims, relying on what this Articleterms "equitable gateways" to federal habeas relief. Litigants and courts generally underestimate the potential these gateways offer, with the result that habeas litigation does not focus on them as often as it should. Here ...


Tort Justice Reform, Paul David Stern Apr 2019

Tort Justice Reform, Paul David Stern

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article calls for a comprehensive reform of public tort law with respect to law enforcement conduct. It articulates an effective and equitable remedial regime that reconciles the aspirational goals of public tort law with the practical realities of devising payment and disciplinary procedures that are responsive to tort settlements and judgments. This proposed statutory scheme seeks to deter law enforcement misconduct without disincentivizing prudent officers from performing their duties or overburdening them with extensive litigation. Rather than lamenting the dissolution of Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics or the insurmountability of qualified immunity, reform ...


The Quantum Of Suspicion Needed For An Exigent Circumstances Search, Kit Kinports Apr 2019

The Quantum Of Suspicion Needed For An Exigent Circumstances Search, Kit Kinports

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

For decades, the United States Supreme Court opinions articulating the standard of exigency necessary to trigger the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement have been maddeningly opaque and confusing. Some cases require probable cause, others call for reasonable suspicion, and still, others use undefined and unhelpful terms such as “reasonable to believe” in describing how exigent the situation must be to permit the police to proceed without a warrant. Not surprisingly, the conflicting signals coming from the Supreme Court have led to disagreement in the lower courts.

To resolve this conflict and provide guidance to law ...


White Caller Crime: Racialized Police Communication And Existing While Black, Chan Tov Mcnamarah Jan 2019

White Caller Crime: Racialized Police Communication And Existing While Black, Chan Tov Mcnamarah

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Over the past year, reports to the police about Black persons engaged in innocuous behaviors have bombarded the American consciousness. What do we make of them? And, equally important, what are the consequences of such reports?

This Article is the first to argue that the recent spike in calls to the police against Black persons who are simply existing must be understood as a systematic phenomenon which it dubs racialized police communication. The label captures two related practices. First, racially motivated police reporting—calls, complaints, or reports made when Black persons are engaged in behavior that would not have been ...


Policing, Danger Narratives, And Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods Jan 2019

Policing, Danger Narratives, And Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods

Michigan Law Review

This Article presents findings from the largest and most comprehensive study to date on violence against the police during traffic stops. Every year, police officers conduct tens of millions of traffic stops. Many of these stops are entirely unremarkable—so much so that they may be fairly described as routine. Nonetheless, the narrative that routine traffic stops are fraught with grave and unpredictable danger to the police permeates police training and animates Fourth Amendment doctrine. This Article challenges this dominant danger narrative and its centrality within key institutions that regulate the police.

The presented study is the first to offer ...


Failed Protectors: The Indian Trust And Killers Of The Flower Moon, Matthew L.M. Fletcher Jan 2019

Failed Protectors: The Indian Trust And Killers Of The Flower Moon, Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Michigan Law Review

Review of David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.


Secret Searches: The Sca's Standing Conundrum, Aviv S. Halpern Jan 2019

Secret Searches: The Sca's Standing Conundrum, Aviv S. Halpern

Michigan Law Review

The Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) arms federal law enforcement agencies with the ability to use a special type of warrant to access users’ electronically stored communications. In some circumstances, SCA warrants can require service providers to bundle and produce a user’s electronically stored communications without ever disclosing the existence of the warrant to the individual user until charges are brought. Users that are charged will ultimately receive notice of the search after the fact through their legal proceedings. Users that are never charged, however, may never know that their communications were obtained and searched. This practice effectively makes the ...


Ensuring That Punishment Does, In Fact, Fit The Crime, Meredith D. Mcphail Oct 2018

Ensuring That Punishment Does, In Fact, Fit The Crime, Meredith D. Mcphail

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The United States imprisons a greater proportion of its own population than any other country in the world.2 A legal framework provides protections for those individuals who are incarcerated, but that framework is flawed. The jurisprudence distinguishes pretrial detainees (who have not been convicted) from convicted persons (who are serving a sentence).3 Based on that distinction, different standards apply to conditions of confinement and use of force cases brought by pretrial detainees and those brought by convicted persons.4 That distinction–and the resulting disparate application of legal standards–does not comport with the reality of incarceration, the ...


From Pelican Bay To Palestine: The Legal Normalization Of Force-Feeding Hunger-Strikers, Azadeh Shahshahani, Priya Arvind Patel Oct 2018

From Pelican Bay To Palestine: The Legal Normalization Of Force-Feeding Hunger-Strikers, Azadeh Shahshahani, Priya Arvind Patel

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Hunger-strikes present a challenge to state authority and abuse from powerless individuals with limited access to various forms of protest and speech—those in detention. For as long as hunger-strikes have occurred throughout history, governments have force-fed strikers out of a stated obligation to preserve life. Some of the earliest known hunger-strikers, British suffragettes, were force-fed and even died as a result of these invasive procedures during the second half of the 19th century.

This Article examines the rationale and necessity behind hunger strikes for imprisoned individuals, the prevailing issues behind force-feeding, the international public response to force-feeding, and the ...


Do You See What I See? Problems With Juror Bias In Viewing Body-Camera Video Evidence, Morgan A. Birck Oct 2018

Do You See What I See? Problems With Juror Bias In Viewing Body-Camera Video Evidence, Morgan A. Birck

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, advocates and activists called for greater oversight and accountability for police. One of the measures called for and adopted in many jurisdictions was the implementation of body cameras in police departments. Many treated this implementation as a sign of change that police officers would be held accountable for the violence they perpetrate. This Note argues that although body-camera footage may be useful as one form of evidence in cases of police violence, lawyers and judges should be extremely careful about how it is presented to the jury. Namely, the ...


Litigating Federal Habeas Corpus Cases: One Equitable Gateway At A Time, Eve Brensike Primus Jul 2018

Litigating Federal Habeas Corpus Cases: One Equitable Gateway At A Time, Eve Brensike Primus

Other Publications

Habeas corpus, also known as the Great Writ, was meant to be a “bulwark against convictions that violate fundamental fairness,” according to the Supreme Court. Yet today, federal courts provide relief in fewer than half of one percent of cases in which a non-capital state prisoner seeks relief through habeas. The Great Writ, it would seem, is no longer so great. In Litigating Federal Habeas Corpus Cases: One Equitable Gateway at a Time, Eve Brensike Primus examines the various procedural and substantive hurdles that have been erected in the past half century that make it nearly impossible for state prisoners ...


The Case Against Police Militarization, Eliav Lieblich, Adam Shinar Jun 2018

The Case Against Police Militarization, Eliav Lieblich, Adam Shinar

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

We usually think there is a difference between the police and the military. Recently, however, the police have become increasingly militarized – a process which is likely to intensify in coming years. Unsurprisingly, many find this process alarming and call for its reversal. However, while most of the objections to police militarization are framed as instrumental arguments, these arguments are unable to capture the core problem with militarization.

This Article remedies this shortcoming by developing a novel and principled argument against police militarization. Contrary to arguments that are preoccupied with the consequences of militarization, the real problem with police militarization is ...


Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas Jun 2018

Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

The Ex Post Facto Clause bars any increase in punishment after the commission of a crime. But deciding what constitutes an increase in punishment can be tricky. At the front end of a criminal case, where new or amended criminal laws might lengthen prisoners’ sentences if applied retroactively, courts have routinely struck down such changes under the Ex Post Facto Clause. At the back end, however, where new or amended parole laws or policies might lengthen prisoners’ sentences in exactly the same way if applied retroactively, courts have used a different standard and upheld the changes under the Ex Post ...


Errors In Misdemeanor Adjudication, Samuel R. Gross May 2018

Errors In Misdemeanor Adjudication, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

Millions of defendants are convicted of misdemeanors in the United States each year but almost none obtain exonerations, primarily because ordinarily exoneration is far too costly and time consuming to pursue for anything less than years of imprisonment. The National Registry of Exonerations lists all known exonerations in the United States since 1989 — 2,145 cases, as of the end of 2017; only 85 are misdemeanors, 4%. In all but one of these misdemeanor exonerations the defendants were convicted of crimes that never happened; by comparison, more than three-quarters of felony exonerees were convicted of actual crimes that other people ...


Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin Apr 2018

Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin

Michigan Law Review

A review of John F. Pfaff, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration - And How to Achieve Real Reform.


Prosecutors Matter: A Response To Bellin’S Review Of Locked In, John P. Pfaff Jan 2018

Prosecutors Matter: A Response To Bellin’S Review Of Locked In, John P. Pfaff

Michigan Law Review Online

In this year's Book Review issue, Jeffrey Bellin reviews my book, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform, and he finds much to disagree with. I appreciate the editors of the Law Review providing me with the opportunity to correct a significant error he makes when discussing some of my data. In the book, I use data from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to show that prosecutors filed increasingly more felony cases over the 1990s and 2000s, even as crime fell. Bellin makes two primary claims about how I used ...


Centering Women In Prisoners' Rights Litigation, Amber Baylor Jan 2018

Centering Women In Prisoners' Rights Litigation, Amber Baylor

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article consciously employs both a dignity rights-based framing and methodology. Dignity rights are those rights that are based on the Kantian assertion of “inalienable human worth.”29 This framework for defining rights spans across a number of disciplines, including medicine and human rights law.30 Disciplinary sanctions like solitary confinement or forced medication might be described as anathema to human dignity because of their degrading effect on an individual’s emotional and social well-being.

This Article relies on first-person oral histories where possible. Bioethics scholar Claire Hooker argues that including narratives in work on dignity rights “is both a ...