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Full-Text Articles in Law

Estimating Gender Disparities In Federal Criminal Cases, Sonja Starr Aug 2012

Estimating Gender Disparities In Federal Criminal Cases, Sonja Starr

Law & Economics Working Papers

This paper assesses gender disparities in federal criminal cases. It finds large gender gaps favoring women throughout the sentence length distribution (averaging over 60%), conditional on arrest offense, criminal history, and other pre-charge observables. Female arrestees are also significantly likelier to avoid charges and convictions entirely, and twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted. Prior studies have reported much smaller sentence gaps because they have ignored the role of charging, plea-bargaining, and sentencing fact-finding in producing sentences. Most studies control for endogenous severity measures that result from these earlier discretionary processes and use samples that have been winnowed by ...


Empty Promises: Miranda Warnings In Noncustodial Interrogations, Aurora Maoz May 2012

Empty Promises: Miranda Warnings In Noncustodial Interrogations, Aurora Maoz

Michigan Law Review

You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at the state's expense. In 2010, the Supreme Court declined an opportunity to resolve the question of what courts should do when officers administer Miranda warnings in a situation where a suspect is not already in custody-in other words, when officers are not constitutionally required to give or honor these warnings. While most courts have found a superfluous warning to ...


The Problem Of Policing, Rachel A. Harmon Mar 2012

The Problem Of Policing, Rachel A. Harmon

Michigan Law Review

The legal problem of policing is how to regulate police authority to permit officers to enforce law while also protecting individual liberty and minimizing the social costs the police impose. Courts and commentators have largely treated the problem of policing as limited to preventing violations of constitutional rights and its solution as the judicial definition and enforcement of those rights. But constitutional law and courts alone are necessarily inadequate to regulate the police. Constitutional law does not protect important interests below the constitutional threshold or effectively address the distributional impacts of law enforcement activities. Nor can the judiciary adequately assess ...


Legitimizing International Criminal Justice: The Importance Of Process Control, Nancy Amoury Combs Feb 2012

Legitimizing International Criminal Justice: The Importance Of Process Control, Nancy Amoury Combs

Michigan Journal of International Law

The last two decades have witnessed an astounding transformation of the international legal landscape as the international community has created a series of courts and tribunals to prosecute those accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. As a consequence of this international institution building, prosecutions are currently underway for crimes committed across the globe: in the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cambodia, among other places. These international criminal tribunals and particularly the first modern tribunal- the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)-have undergone two significant evolutions. One of ...


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 ...


Pain, Love, And Voice: The Role Of Domestic Violence Victims In Sentencing, Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg, Dana Pugach Jan 2012

Pain, Love, And Voice: The Role Of Domestic Violence Victims In Sentencing, Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg, Dana Pugach

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Criminal law systems throughout the world have evolved to a stage where they no longer ask, "What is the appropriate role of the victim in a criminal trial?" The questions now relate to the scope of the victim's rights, in which procedures she has independent standing, and at what stage she should be heard. The process of the "prosecution stepping into the victim's shoes," whereby the state controls the entire criminal process, seemingly on behalf of the victim, has been replaced by the recognition that the interests of the prosecution (the State) are not always consistent with those ...


False Convictions, Samuel R. Gross, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2012

False Convictions, Samuel R. Gross, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Book Chapters

False convictions have received a lot of attention in recent years. Two-hundred and forty-one prisoners have been released after DNA testing has proved their innocence, and hundreds of others have been released without DNA evidence. We now know quite a bit more about false convictions than we did thirty years ago - but there is much more that we do not know, and may never know.


Party's Over: Admissibility Of Post-Trial Juror Testimony Should Depend On The Nature Of The Conduct, Justin Gillett Jan 2012

Party's Over: Admissibility Of Post-Trial Juror Testimony Should Depend On The Nature Of The Conduct, Justin Gillett

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

What do you call a weeklong period in which you and a handful of acquaintances drink alcohol every day at lunch, sleep though the afternoons, smoke marijuana and ingest a couple lines of cocaine on occasion? You call it the time when a jury convicted Anthony Tanner and William Conover of conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit various acts of mail fraud. Under a current rule of evidence, which precludes juror testimony to impeach a verdict except on extraneous prejudicial information, juror intoxication is not an external influence about which jurors may testify. A new test for the ...


Our Broken Misdemeanor Justice System: Its Problems And Some Potential Solutions, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2012

Our Broken Misdemeanor Justice System: Its Problems And Some Potential Solutions, Eve Brensike Primus

Reviews

Although misdemeanors comprise an overwhelming majority of state criminal court cases, little judicial and scholarly attention has been focused on how misdemeanor courts actually operate. In her article, Misdemeanors, Alexandra Natapoff rights this wrong and explains how the low-visibility, highly discretionary decisions made by actors at the misdemeanor level often result in rampant discrimination, incredible inefficiency, and vast miscarriages of justice. Misdemeanors makes a significant contribution to the literature by refocusing attention on the importance of misdemeanor offenses and beginning an important dialogue about what steps should be taken going forward to fix our broken misdemeanor justice system.


A Crisis In Federal Habeas Law, Eve Brensike Primus Jan 2012

A Crisis In Federal Habeas Law, Eve Brensike Primus

Reviews

Everyone recognizes that federal habeas doctrine is a mess. Despite repeated calls for reform, federal judges continue to waste countless hours reviewing habeas petitions only to dismiss the vast majority of them on procedural grounds. Broad change is necessary, but to be effective, such change must be animated by an overarching theory that explains when federal courts should exercise habeas jurisdiction. In Habeas for the Twenty-First Century: Uses, Abuses, and the Future of the Great Writ, Professors Nancy King and Joseph Hoffmann offer such a theory. Drawing on history, current practice, and empirical data, King and Hoffmann find unifying themes ...


The Rise, Decline And Fall(?) Of Miranda, Yale Kamisar Jan 2012

The Rise, Decline And Fall(?) Of Miranda, Yale Kamisar

Articles

There has been a good deal of talk lately to the effect that Miranda1 is dead or dying-or might as well be dead.2 Even liberals have indicated that the death of Miranda might not be a bad thing. This brings to mind a saying by G.K. Chesterton: "Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up."4


Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, And Actual Innocence: Getting It Right, David A. Moran, Keith A. Findley, Patrick D. Barnes, Waney Squier Jan 2012

Shaken Baby Syndrome, Abusive Head Trauma, And Actual Innocence: Getting It Right, David A. Moran, Keith A. Findley, Patrick D. Barnes, Waney Squier

Articles

In the past decade, the existence of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) has been called into serious question by biomechanical studies, the medical and legal literature, and the media. As a result of these questions, SBS has been renamed abusive head trauma (AHT). This is, however, primarily a terminological shift: like SBS, AHT refers to the two-part hypothesis that one can reliably diagnose shaking or abuse from three internal findings (subdural hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, and encephalopathy) and that one can identify the perpetrator based on the onset of symptoms. Over the past decade, we have learned that this hypothesis fits poorly ...


The Sky Is Still Not Falling, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2012

The Sky Is Still Not Falling, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

Cases since Crawford have mainly fallen into two categories. One involves accusations of crime, made by the apparent victim shortly after the incident. In Michigan v. Bryant, a majority of the Court adopted an unfortunately constricted view of the word "testimonial" in this context. That decision was a consequence of the Court having failed to adopt a robust view of when an accused forfeits the confrontation right. How the Court will deal with this situation-one mistake made in an attempt to compensate for another-is a perplexing and important question. This Essay, though, concentrates on the other principal category of post-Crawford ...


Confrontation And Forensic Laboratory Reports, Round Four, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2012

Confrontation And Forensic Laboratory Reports, Round Four, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

Crawford v. Washington radically transformed the doctrine governing the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. Before Crawford, a prosecutor could introduce against an accused evidence of a hearsay statement, even one made in contemplation that it would be used in prosecution, so long as the statement fit within a "firmly rooted" hearsay exception or the court otherwise determined that the statement was sufficiently reliable to warrant admissibility. Crawford recognized that the Clause is a procedural guarantee, governing the manner in which prosecution witnesses give their testimony. Therefore, a prosecutor may not introduce a statement that is testimonial ...


Who Said The Crawford Revolution Would Be Easy?, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2012

Who Said The Crawford Revolution Would Be Easy?, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

One of the central protections of our system of criminal justice is the right of the accused in all criminal prosecutions "to be confronted with the witnesses against him." It provides assurance that prosecution witnesses will give their testimony in the way demanded for centuries by Anglo-American courts-in the presence of the accused, subject to cross-examination- rather than in any other way. Witnesses may not, for example, testify by speaking privately to governmental agents in a police station or in their living rooms. Since shortly after it was adopted, however, the confrontation right became obscured by the ascendance of a ...