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Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

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Qualified Immunity And Unqualified Assumptions, Teressa E. Ravenell, Riley H. Ross Iii Jan 2022

Qualified Immunity And Unqualified Assumptions, Teressa E. Ravenell, Riley H. Ross Iii

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Section 1983 gives people the right to sue a government official for violating their constitutional rights. Qualified immunity provides these same officials with an affirmative defense -- even if they violated the constitution, they are not liable for monetary damages if the right at issue was not clearly established at the time of the alleged conduct. The qualified immunity is based upon the basic assumption that “a reasonably competent public official should know the law governing his conduct.” If the law was clearly established the official will be liable. If not, the Court has reasoned that it would be unfair …


Fetal Protection Laws And The "Personhood" Problem: Toward A Relational Theory Of Fetal Life And Reproductive Responsibility, Amanda Gvozden Jan 2022

Fetal Protection Laws And The "Personhood" Problem: Toward A Relational Theory Of Fetal Life And Reproductive Responsibility, Amanda Gvozden

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Fetal Protection Laws (FPLs) are laws that define and provide punishments for any number of crimes, including homicide, committed “against a fetus.” Previous literature has suggested that FPLs need to be explicit about who the intended target of this legislation is. Specifically, comments concerned about the use of FPLs against pregnant women in relation to their own pregnancies suggested that states include language in their FPLs that make it clear that the law ought not be applied to women for harm to their own fetuses. Indeed, some states like California have taken measures to curtail the application of FPLs to …


Policing Suspicion: Qualified Immunity And "Clearly Established" Standards Of Proof, Seth W. Stoughton, Kyle Mclean, Justin Nix, Geoffrey Alpert Jan 2022

Policing Suspicion: Qualified Immunity And "Clearly Established" Standards Of Proof, Seth W. Stoughton, Kyle Mclean, Justin Nix, Geoffrey Alpert

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

This Article explores the intersection of Fourth Amendment standards of proof and the “clearly established” prong of qualified immunity. It illustrates how the juxtaposition of the Court’s insistence on a low level of specificity for the development of suspicion and a high degree of specificity for the imposition of liability makes it exceedingly difficult to hold officers accountable for violating constitutional rights. And it offers both a path for future research into the development of suspicion and suggestions for methods that police agencies can use to improve the development and articulation of suspicion. Ultimately, it contends that policing in the …


Prison Medical Deaths And Qualified Immunity, Andrea Craig Armstrong Jan 2022

Prison Medical Deaths And Qualified Immunity, Andrea Craig Armstrong

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The defense of qualified immunity for claims seeking monetary damages for constitutionally inadequate medical care for people who are incarcerated is misguided. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, medical illness is the leading cause of death of people incarcerated in prisons and jails across the United States. Qualified immunity in these cases limits accountability for carceral actors, thereby limiting incentives for improvements in the delivery of constitutionally adequate medical care. The qualified immunity defense also compounds other existing barriers, such as higher subjective intent standards and the Prison Litigation Reform Act, to asserting legal accountability of prison and jail …


Recalibrating Qualified Immunity: How Tanzin V. Tanvir, Taylor V. Riojas, And Mccoy V. Alamu Signal The Supreme Court's Discomfort With The Doctrine Of Qualified Immunity, Patrick Jaicomo, Anya Bidwell Jan 2022

Recalibrating Qualified Immunity: How Tanzin V. Tanvir, Taylor V. Riojas, And Mccoy V. Alamu Signal The Supreme Court's Discomfort With The Doctrine Of Qualified Immunity, Patrick Jaicomo, Anya Bidwell

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

In December 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued its most important decision on qualified immunity since Harlow v. Fitzgerald, and the issue in the case did not even involve the doctrine. In the Court’s unanimous opinion in Tanzin v. Tanvir, which dealt with the interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Justice Thomas explicitly distanced the Court from the very type of policy reasoning used to create qualified immunity. He also embraced the availability of damages claims against government officials as historically justified and often necessary to vindicate individual rights and to check the government’s power. The …


Civil Rights Litigation In The Lower Courts: The Justice Barrett Edition, Aaron L. Nielson, Paul Stancil Jan 2022

Civil Rights Litigation In The Lower Courts: The Justice Barrett Edition, Aaron L. Nielson, Paul Stancil

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Now that Justice Amy Coney Barrett has joined the United States Supreme Court, most observers predict the law will shift on many issues. This common view presumably contains at least some truth. The conventional wisdom, however, overlooks something important: the Supreme Court’s ability to shift the law is constrained by the cases presented to it and how they are presented. Lower courts are thus an important part of the equation. Elsewhere, the authors have offered a model of certiorari to demonstrate how lower courts in theory can design their decisions to evade Supreme Court review; they also explain why such …


How Culture Impacts Courtrooms: An Empirical Study Of Alienation And Detachment In The Cook County Court System, Maria Hawilo, Kat Albrecht, Meredith Martin Rountree, Thomas Geraghty Jan 2022

How Culture Impacts Courtrooms: An Empirical Study Of Alienation And Detachment In The Cook County Court System, Maria Hawilo, Kat Albrecht, Meredith Martin Rountree, Thomas Geraghty

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Courtrooms operate as unique microcosms—inhabited by courtroom personnel, legal actors, defendants, witnesses, family members, and community residents who necessarily interact with each other to conduct the day-to-day functions of justice. This Article argues that these interactions create a nuanced and salient courtroom culture that separates courtroom insiders from courtroom outsiders. The authors use the Cook County courts, specifically the George N. Leighton Courthouse at 2650 S California Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, to investigate courtroom culture and construct a thematic portrait of one of the largest criminal court systems in the United States. Using this newly constructed data source of rich …


Risk-Based Sentencing And The Principles Of Punishment, Christopher Lewis Jan 2022

Risk-Based Sentencing And The Principles Of Punishment, Christopher Lewis

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Risk-based sentencing regimes use an offender’s statistical likelihood of returning to crime in the future to determine the amount of time he or she spends in prison. Many criminal justice reformers see this as a fair and efficient way to shrink the size of the incarcerated population, while minimizing sacrifices to public safety. But risk-based sentencing is indefensible even (and perhaps especially) by the lights of the theory that supposedly justifies it. Instead of trying to cut time in prison for those who are least likely to reoffend, officials should focus sentencing reform on the least advantaged who tend to …


Reconceiving Coercion-Based Criminal Defenses, Stephen R. Galoob, Erin Sheley Jan 2022

Reconceiving Coercion-Based Criminal Defenses, Stephen R. Galoob, Erin Sheley

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Coercing someone is sometimes wrong and sometimes a crime. People subject to coercion are sometimes eligible for criminaldefenses, such as duress. How, exactly, does coercion operate in such contexts? Among legal scholars, the predominant understanding of coercion is the “wrongful pressure” model, which states that coercion exists when the coercer wrongfully threatens the target and, as a result of this threat, the target is pressured to act in accordance with the coercer’s threat. Some tokens of coercion do not fit neatly within existing legal categories or the wrongful pressure model of coercion. For example, coercive control is a psychological phenomenon …


Protecting The Substantive Due Process Rights Of Immigrant Detainees: Using Covid-19 To Create A New Analogy, Liamarie Quinde Jan 2022

Protecting The Substantive Due Process Rights Of Immigrant Detainees: Using Covid-19 To Create A New Analogy, Liamarie Quinde

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

While the Supreme Court has defined certain constitutional protections for incarcerated individuals, the Court has never clearly defined the due process rights of immigrant detainees in the United States. Instead, the Supreme Court defers to the due process protections set by Congress when enacting U.S. immigration law. Increasingly, the federal courts defer to Congress and the Executive’s plenary power over immigration law and enforcement. This has resulted in little intervention in immigration matters by the federal courts, causing the difference between immigration detention and criminal incarceration to diminish in both organization and appearance. Immigration detention, however, is a form of …


Paying For A Clean Record, Amy F. Kimpel Jan 2022

Paying For A Clean Record, Amy F. Kimpel

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Prosecutors and courts often charge a premium for the ability to avoid or erase a criminal conviction. Defendants with means, who tend to be predominantly White, can often pay for a clean record. But the indigent who are unable to pay, and are disproportionately Black and Brown, are saddled with the stigma of a criminal record. Diversion and expungement are two popular reforms that were promulgated as ways to reduce the scale of the criminal legal system and mitigate the impact of mass criminalization. Diversion allows a defendant to earn dismissal of a charge by satisfying conditions set by the …


Is Juvenile Probation Obsolete? Reexamining And Reimagining Youth Probation Law, Policy, And Practice, Patricia Soung Jan 2022

Is Juvenile Probation Obsolete? Reexamining And Reimagining Youth Probation Law, Policy, And Practice, Patricia Soung

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The dramatic growth of prison populations in the United States during the latter half of the twentieth century, as well as the problems of over-policing and police misconduct, have been well documented and decried.1 But the related expansion and problems of community supervision receive far less attention. Across the nation, reform efforts have increasingly included a focus on probation, especially juvenile probation, as an actor that both jails and polices youth in the community while also trying to rehabilitate them and promote their well-being. This Article studies the juvenile probation system, with a focus on California as one important …


Getting Out Of Traffic: Applying White Collar Investigative Tactics To Increase Detection Of Sex Trafficking Cases, Evan Binder Jan 2022

Getting Out Of Traffic: Applying White Collar Investigative Tactics To Increase Detection Of Sex Trafficking Cases, Evan Binder

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

When federal authorities investigate sex trafficking, three realities are consistently present. First, most sex trafficking investigations begin in response to an individual affirmatively bringing evidence to investigators. Second, the elements required to prove a someone guilty of sex trafficking under federal sex trafficking laws incentivize prosecutors to rely on victim testimony and their cooperation throughout the life of the investigation. This can be, and often is, psychologically traumatizing for the victim. Third, most cases are viewed through a traditional tripartite structure, involving the trafficker, the victim(s), and the purchasers of the sex act (johns). However, recent high-profile sex trafficking indictments …


Rethinking Prison For Non-Violent Gun Possession, Robert Weiss Jan 2022

Rethinking Prison For Non-Violent Gun Possession, Robert Weiss

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Whatever the wisdom or folly of the belief, Americans who live in violence-affected neighborhoods often believe they need a gun for self-defense. Yet many are, due to age or criminal record, unable to legally possess a firearm. The result is a Catch-22 they describe as either being “caught with a gun . . . [or] dead without one.” Indeed, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other cities imprison thousands of mostly young, Black men each year for non-violent gun offenses. These offenses do not involve firing or wielding a gun, but simply being found in possession of one—commonly, during a routine traffic stop …


Criminalizing China, Margaret K. Lewis Jan 2021

Criminalizing China, Margaret K. Lewis

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The Department of Justice launched the China Initiative in November 2018 to counter national security threats emanating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). By June 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had approximately two thousand active investigations under the Initiative.

People and entities with connections to the PRC’s governing party-state structure have engaged in trade secret theft and other crimes under U.S. law. The Department of Justice is not making up a threat. It is, however, framing that threat in a problematic way.

This Article argues that using “China” as the glue connecting cases prosecuted under the Initiative’s umbrella …


Missing The Misjoinder Mark: Improving Criminal Joinder Of Offenses In Capital-Sentencing Jurisdictions, Milton J. Hernandez Iv Jan 2021

Missing The Misjoinder Mark: Improving Criminal Joinder Of Offenses In Capital-Sentencing Jurisdictions, Milton J. Hernandez Iv

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

In all state and federal jurisdictions in the United States, joinder allows prosecutors to join multiple offenses against a criminal defendant. Joinder pervades the American criminal justice system, and some jurisdictions see joinder in more than half of their cases. Most states and the federal courts use a liberal joinder system where courts may join offenses regardless of their severity or punishment. These systems derive from judicial efficiency arguments, seeking to avoid unnecessary trials and striving to conserve time, money, and other resources. In a liberal joinder regime, the court may force a defendant to prepare for a trial in …


Toward A More Perfect Trial: Amending Federal Rules Of Evidence 106 And 803 To Complete The Rule Of Completeness, Louisa M. A. Heiny, Emily Nuvan Jan 2021

Toward A More Perfect Trial: Amending Federal Rules Of Evidence 106 And 803 To Complete The Rule Of Completeness, Louisa M. A. Heiny, Emily Nuvan

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The common law Rule of Completeness was designed to prevent parties from introducing incomplete—and thereby misleading—statements at trial. It ensured fundamental fairness by ensuring that a fact finder heard an entire statement or series of statements if the whole would “complete” the partial evidence presented. It served this important role in Anglo-American jurisprudence for centuries before the drafters of Federal Rule of Evidence 106 attempted to capture its essence in 1975. Unfortunately, what was once a simple and principled rule has been muddled by Federal Rule of Evidence 106 (FRE 106). The common law rule language was lost when FRE …


Don't (Tower) Dump On Freedom Of Association: Protest Surveillance Under The First And Fourth Amendments, Ana Pajar Blinder Jan 2021

Don't (Tower) Dump On Freedom Of Association: Protest Surveillance Under The First And Fourth Amendments, Ana Pajar Blinder

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Government surveillance is ubiquitous in the United States and can range from the seemingly innocuous to intensely intrusive. Recently, the surveillance of protestors—such as those protesting against George Floyd’s murder by a police officer—has received widespread attention in the media and in activist circles, but has yet to be successfully challenged in the courts. Tower dumps, the acquisition of location data of cell phones connected to specific cell towers, are controversial law enforcement tools that can be used to identify demonstrators. This Comment argues that the insufficiency of Fourth Amendment protections for protesters being surveilled by government actors—by tactics such …


Breonna Taylor: Transforming A Hashtag Into Defunding The Police, Jordan Martin Jan 2021

Breonna Taylor: Transforming A Hashtag Into Defunding The Police, Jordan Martin

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

How can modern policing be reformed to address police violence against Black women when it can occur at no fault of their own and end with a shower of bullets in the middle of the night while within the sanctity of their own home? What is accomplished when her name is said but justice is never achieved? What good does it do when her story is subsequently overshadowed or overlooked by the reform movements that intend to correct racism and sexism respectively? This Comment analyzes both Black women’s vulnerability to police violence and their invisibility in reform movements. First, police …


The Corporate Insanity Defense, Mihailis E. Diamantis Jan 2021

The Corporate Insanity Defense, Mihailis E. Diamantis

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Corporate criminal justice rests on the fiction that corporations possess “minds” capable of instantiating culpable mens rea. The retributive and deterrent justifications for punishing criminal corporations are strongest when those minds are well-ordered. In such cases misdeeds are most likely to reflect malice, and sanctions are most likely to have their intended preventive benefits. But what if a corporate defendant’s mind is disordered? Organizational psychology and economics have tools to identify normally functioning organizations that are fully accountable for the harms they cause. These disciplines can also diagnose dysfunctional organizations where the threads of accountability may have frayed and where …


The Specific Deterrent Effects Of Criminal Sanctions For Intimate Partner Violence: A Meta-Analysis, Joel H. Garner, Christopher D. Maxwell, Jina Lee Jan 2021

The Specific Deterrent Effects Of Criminal Sanctions For Intimate Partner Violence: A Meta-Analysis, Joel H. Garner, Christopher D. Maxwell, Jina Lee

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

A dozen systematic reviews published since 1978 have sought to clarify the complexities of deterrence theory. These reviews emphasize the general deterrent effects of police presence, arrest, and incarceration on rates of homicide and other serious crimes, such as assault, rape, and burglary. These reviews provide less attention to specific deterrence processes and to the deterrent impacts of intermediate sanctions, such as prosecution or conviction; none of these reviews incorporate any of the research on criminal sanctions for intimate partner violence. To address these limitations, this research uses meta-analytic methods to assess the specific deterrent effects of three post-arrest criminal …


Peremptory Challenges: Preserving An Unequal Allocation And The Potential Promise Of Progressive Prosecution, Savanna R. Leak Jan 2021

Peremptory Challenges: Preserving An Unequal Allocation And The Potential Promise Of Progressive Prosecution, Savanna R. Leak

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

In the United States, the relative allocation of peremptory challenges afforded to the defense and prosecution is at once in a state of paralysis and flux. The federal system maintains an unequal allocation of peremptory challenges between the defense and prosecution in noncapital offenses, while many states have moved toward equalization of the number of peremptory challenges afforded to each side over the last few decades. Currently, only five states and the federal system have retained an allocation of peremptory challenges that affords the defense a greater number of peremptory challenges in noncapital offenses. Further, only nine states and the …


The Modern Common Law Of Crime, Robert Leider Jan 2021

The Modern Common Law Of Crime, Robert Leider

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Two visions of American criminal law have emerged. The first vision is that criminal law is statutory and posits that legislatures, not courts, draft substantive criminal law. The second vision, like the first, begins with legislative supremacy, but it ends with democratic dysfunction. On this view, while contemporary American criminal law is statutory in theory, in practice, American legislatures badly draft and maintain criminal codes. This effectively delegates the “real” drafting of criminal law to prosecutors, who form the law through their charging decisions.

This Article offers a third vision: that modern American criminal law is primarily conventional. That is, …


Capital Felony Merger, William M. Berry Iii Jan 2021

Capital Felony Merger, William M. Berry Iii

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Capital felony murder statutes continue to enable states to sentence criminal defendants to death. These are often individuals who possessed no intent to kill and, in some cases, did not kill. These statutes remain constitutionally dubious under the basic principles of the Eighth Amendment, but the United States Supreme Court’s evolving standards of decency doctrine has proved an ineffective tool to remedy these injustices. This Article proposes a novel doctrinal approach by which the Court could promote more consistent sentencing outcomes in felony murder cases. Specifically, the Article argues for the adoption of a constitutional felony merger doctrine that “merges” …


Regional International Juvenile Incarceration Models As A Blueprint For Rehabilitative Reform Of Juvenile Criminal Justice Systems In The United States, Robert Laird Jan 2021

Regional International Juvenile Incarceration Models As A Blueprint For Rehabilitative Reform Of Juvenile Criminal Justice Systems In The United States, Robert Laird

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Adolescence marks a unique and transformative time in a person’s physical, emotional, and intellectual development and requires special considerations in the realm of criminal justice. This Comment explores how rehabilitative models of criminal justice are better suited than punitive models to recognize and accommodate the intricacies and special factors inherent in juvenile delinquency and uses examples from regional international bodies to illustrate how the United States can adopt measures that align with modern-day neurology and psychiatry. First, this Comment explores the unique characteristics of juvenile offenders as adolescent, semi-autonomous individuals who are more likely to be incompetent to stand trial …


"Defund The (School) Police"? Bringing Data To Key School-To-Prison Pipeline Claims, Michael Heise, Jason P. Nance Jan 2021

"Defund The (School) Police"? Bringing Data To Key School-To-Prison Pipeline Claims, Michael Heise, Jason P. Nance

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Nationwide calls to “Defund the Police,” largely attributable to the resurgent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, have motivated derivative calls for public school districts to consider “defunding” (or modifying) school resource officer (“SRO/police”) programs. To be sure, a school’s SRO/police presence—and the size of that presence—may influence the school’s student discipline reporting policies and practices. How schools report student discipline and whether that reporting involves referrals to law enforcement agencies matters, particularly as reports may fuel a growing “school-to-prison pipeline.” The school-to-prison pipeline research literature features two general claims that frame debates about changes in how public schools approach student discipline …


Minding The Gap In Domestic Violence Legislation: Should States Adopt Course Of Conduct Laws?, Teresa Manring Jan 2021

Minding The Gap In Domestic Violence Legislation: Should States Adopt Course Of Conduct Laws?, Teresa Manring

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

In the United States, there is a gap between the way that sociologists, psychologists, legal scholars, and advocates define domestic violence and the way that criminal laws define domestic violence. Experts largely agree: domestic violence occurs when a partner exercises continuous power and control over the other. In this view, domestic violence occurs via a pattern of abusive behaviors that unfolds over time, and its manifestations include both physically-violent and emotionally-abusive behaviors. In contrast, criminal statutes throughout the United States continue to conceptualize domestic violence as single acts of physical violence or threats of physical violence. During the past several …


Unshackling Plea Bargaining From Racial Bias, Elayne E. Greenberg Jan 2021

Unshackling Plea Bargaining From Racial Bias, Elayne E. Greenberg

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, [but] if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

Dr. Maya Angelou

When an African American male defendant tries to plea bargain an equitable justice outcome, he finds that the deep-rooted racial bias that casts African American men as dangerous, criminal and animalistic, compromises his justice rights. Plea bargaining has become the preferred process used to secure convictions for upwards of 97 percent of cases because of its efficiency. This efficiency, however, comes at a cost. The structure and process of plea bargaining makes it more likely that the historical racial …


Slouching Towards Autonomy: Reenvisioning Tribal Jurisdiction, Native American Autonomy, And Violence Against Women In Indian Country, Joseph Mantegani Jan 2021

Slouching Towards Autonomy: Reenvisioning Tribal Jurisdiction, Native American Autonomy, And Violence Against Women In Indian Country, Joseph Mantegani

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Native American women face rates of sexual violence far beyond those experienced by any other race. But when those women live on reservations, their own tribes are restricted in their authority to protect their members. A maze of criminal jurisdiction overlies Indian country, one that depends on the location of the crime, the agreements a particular tribe has with local or federal authorities, the applicable federal jurisdictional statutes, and the offender’s race.

Since Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe in 1978, tribes have not had criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit crimes on their reservations. Rather, tribes must rely on state …


Prison Abolition: From Naïve Idealism To Technological Pragmatism, Mirko Bagaric, Dan Hunter, Jennifer Svilar Jan 2021

Prison Abolition: From Naïve Idealism To Technological Pragmatism, Mirko Bagaric, Dan Hunter, Jennifer Svilar

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

The United States is finally recoiling from the mass incarceration crisis that has plagued it for half a century. The world’s largest incarcerator has seen a small drop in prison numbers since 2008. However, the rate of decline is so slow that it would take half a century for incarceration numbers to reduce to historical levels. Further, the drop in prison numbers has occurred against the backdrop of piecemeal reforms, and there is no meaningful, systematic mechanism to reduce incarceration levels. Despite this, there is now, for the first time, a growing public acceptance that prison is a problematic, possibly …