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Full-Text Articles in Law

Assessing Divisibility In The Armed Career Criminal Act, Ted Koehler Jun 2012

Assessing Divisibility In The Armed Career Criminal Act, Ted Koehler

Michigan Law Review

When courts analyze whether a defendant's prior conviction qualifies as a "violent felony" under the Armed Career Criminal Act's "residual clause," they use a "categorical approach," looking only to the statutory language of the prior offense, rather than the facts disclosed by the record of conviction. But when a defendant is convicted under a "divisible" statute, which encompasses a broader range of conduct, only some of which would qualify as a predicate offense, courts may employ the "modified categorical approach." This approach allows courts to view additional documents to determine whether the jury convicted the defendant of the ...


On Strict Liability Crimes: Preserving A Moral Framework For Criminal Intent In An Intent-Free Moral World, W. Robert Thomas Feb 2012

On Strict Liability Crimes: Preserving A Moral Framework For Criminal Intent In An Intent-Free Moral World, W. Robert Thomas

Michigan Law Review

The law has long recognized a presumption against criminal strict liability. This Note situates that presumption in terms of moral intuitions about the role of intention and the unique nature of criminal punishment. Two sources-recent laws from state legislatures and recent advances in moral philosophy-pose distinct challenges to the presumption against strict liability crimes. This Note offers a solution to the philosophical problem that informs how courts could address the legislative problem. First, it argues that the purported problem from philosophy stems from a mistaken relationship drawn between criminal law and morality. Second, it outlines a slightly more nuanced moral ...


Criminal Sanctions In The Defense Of The Innocent, Ehud Guttel, Doron Teichman Feb 2012

Criminal Sanctions In The Defense Of The Innocent, Ehud Guttel, Doron Teichman

Michigan Law Review

Under the formal rules of criminal procedure, fact finders are required to apply a uniform standard of proof in all criminal cases. Experimental studies as well as real world examples indicate, however, that fact finders often adjust the evidentiary threshold for conviction in accordance with the severity of the applicable sanction. All things being equal, the higher the sanction, the higher the standard of proof that fact finders will apply in order to convict. Building on this insight, this Article introduces a new paradigm for criminal punishments-a paradigm that focuses on designing penalties that will reduce the risk of unsubstantiated ...