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University of Michigan Law School

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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 ...


Appellate Review Of Racist Summations: Redeeming The Promise Of Searching Analysis, Ryan Patrick Alford Jan 2006

Appellate Review Of Racist Summations: Redeeming The Promise Of Searching Analysis, Ryan Patrick Alford

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article addresses the question of the appropriate response of appellate counsel for Black defendants tarred at trial by the indirect deployment of powerful racial stereotypes. The crux of the problem is that even now, the courts only take exception to blatant racist appeals, even though indirectly racist summations can have a determinative impact at trial. In laying out the contours of the problem, we must draw upon the discipline of rhetoric, or persuasion through oration, to describe various techniques of intentional indirectness that prosecutors use to obviate the possibility of appellate review under the stringent standards of the Fourteenth ...


State Sentencing Policy And New Prison Admissions, Ben Trachtenberg Jan 2005

State Sentencing Policy And New Prison Admissions, Ben Trachtenberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

As the academy's focus has turned to sentencing in the wake of Blakely v. Washington and United States v. Booker, most commentators have continued their benign neglect of actual sentencing practices as they occur in state courts, not to mention whether and how such policies are effective in achieving the goals of criminal justice.

This Note examines trends in state sentencing policies and prison populations from the perspective of a would-be state reformer hoping to decrease her state's prison budget. Economic pressures, efficiency arguments, and social justice claims have combined to cause some states to desire lower prison ...


Black Innocence And The White Jury, Sherry Lynn Johnson Jun 1985

Black Innocence And The White Jury, Sherry Lynn Johnson

Michigan Law Review

Racial prejudice has come under increasingly close scrutiny during the past thirty years, yet its influence on the decisionmaking of criminal juries remains largely hidden from judicial and critical examination. In this Article, Professor Johnson takes a close look at this neglected area. She first sets forth a large body of social science research that reveals a widespread tendency among whites to convict black defendants in instances in which white defendants would be acquitted. Next, she argues that none of the existing techniques for eliminating the influence of racial bias on criminal trials adequately protects minority-race defendants. She contends that ...


Non-Trial Dispositions Of Criminal Offenders: A Case Study, Nancy S. Warder, David C. Zalk Jan 1972

Non-Trial Dispositions Of Criminal Offenders: A Case Study, Nancy S. Warder, David C. Zalk

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A number of pre-trial diversion projects, similar to CPA, funded either by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration or by the United States Department of Labor, have been set up in recent years in a number of cities around the country. Many are modeled after the Vera Institute's Manhattan Court Employment Project in New York and Project Crossroads in Washington, D.C. While the programs are not entirely identical in operation, hopefully this discussion of some of the legal issues involved in non-trial disposition of criminal offenders will be of use outside the immediate confines of the CPA situation. Ultimately ...