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Social Media, Venue And The Right To A Fair Trial, Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer Jun 2019

Social Media, Venue And The Right To A Fair Trial, Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Judicial failure to recognize social media's influence on juror decision making has identifiable constitutional implications. The Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial demands that courts grant a defendant's change of venue motion when media-generated pretrial publicity invades the unbiased sensibility of those who are asked to sit in judgment. Courts limit publicity suitable for granting a defendant's motion to information culled from newspapers, radio, and television reports. Since about 2014, however, a handful of defendants have introduced social media posts to support their claims of unconstitutional bias in the community. Despite defendants' introduction of negative social ...


Between Brady Discretion And Brady Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2019

Between Brady Discretion And Brady Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court’s decision in Brady v. Maryland presented prosecutors with new professional challenges. In Brady, the Supreme Court held that the prosecution must provide the defense with any evidence in its possession that could be exculpatory. If the prosecution fails to timely turn over evidence that materially undermines the defendant’s guilt, a reviewing court must grant the defendant a new trial. While determining whether evidence materially undermines a defendant’s guilt may seem like a simple assessment, the real-life application of such a determination can be complicated. The prosecution’s disclosure determination can be complicated under the ...


The State Of American Juvenile Justice, Merril Sobie Apr 2018

The State Of American Juvenile Justice, Merril Sobie

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This article will summarize the major twenty-first century state legislative and case law developments. It will also briefly note the expansion of state and local initiatives limiting the prosecution of youthful offenders, such as diversion and restorative justice programs.

The state of American juvenile justice has improved significantly in the past several years. However, the reforms are best viewed as a work in progress. Much has been accomplished, but much remains to be accomplished. Crucially, after a generation of “tough on kids” measures, we are on the road toward a true “justice” system for children.


A Penal Colony For Bad Lawyers, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2018

A Penal Colony For Bad Lawyers, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

In this article I set out what I believe is an extreme and unconventional way to discipline egregiously bad lawyers. For starters, I think it might be useful to survey briefly the kinds of lawyering conduct currently subject to disciplinary sanctions. Regulation of the conduct of defense lawyers in the U.S. is hedged by various legal and professional rules that are enforced by courts and disciplinary bodies essentially to ensure a minimum level of competent and ethical representation. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel--the so-called “sacred” right--seeks to ensure at least a reasonable degree of lawyering skill. Also, professional ...


The Nypd And The Mentally Ill, Randolph M. Mclaughlin, Debra S. Cohen Feb 2017

The Nypd And The Mentally Ill, Randolph M. Mclaughlin, Debra S. Cohen

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Recently, a federal court judge cleared the way for a trial in the case of Mohamed Bah, a 28-year-old student killed in his home by NYPD officers after his mother, Hawa Bah, called 911 for assistance to take him to a hospital. Southern District Judge P. Kevin Castel's ruling denied New York City's motion seeking to dismiss claims of unlawful entry and excessive force against the police officers who responded to Mr. Bah's apartment, breached his door and then shot and killed him. Mr. Bah's family alleges that the final and fatal shot to Mr. Bah ...


Ministers Of Justice And Mass Incarceration, Lissa Griffin Jan 2017

Ministers Of Justice And Mass Incarceration, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Over the past few years, scholars, legislators, and politicians have come to recognize that our current state of “mass incarceration” is the result of serious dysfunction in our criminal justice system. As a consequence, there has been significant attention to the causes of mass incarceration. These include the war on drugs and political decisions based on a “law and order” perspective. Congressional and state legislative enactments increased the financing of the expansion of police powers and provided for severely punitive sentencing statutes, thereby giving prosecutors uniquely powerful weapons in securing guilty pleas. All of this occurred as crime rates dropped ...


The Prosecutor’S Duty Of Silence, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2016

The Prosecutor’S Duty Of Silence, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Prosecutors enjoy broad opportunities to communicate with the public outside the courtroom. Justice Holmes’s famous dictum -- “The theory of our system is that conclusions to be reached in a case will be induced only by evidence and argument in open court, and not by any outside influence, whether of private talk or public print” – is just that – a “theory.” The reality is otherwise. Prosecutors, and defense lawyers too, engage in extrajudicial speech frequently, and often irresponsibly. But in contrast to other lawyers, prosecutors have a higher “special” duty to serve justice rather than a private client. And public statements ...


In Memory Of Monroe Freedman: The Hardest Question For A Prosecutor, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2016

In Memory Of Monroe Freedman: The Hardest Question For A Prosecutor, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

I’ve chosen to honor Monroe Freedman’s iconic essay on the hardest questions for a criminal defense attorney by posing the same question for prosecutors. What is the hardest question for a prosecutor? This in itself is a hard question. The thousands of federal, state, and local prosecutors in the country would likely give widely varying responses – discretionary charging, immunity grants, bargained pleas, unreliable witnesses, police testimony, and disclosure duties, for starters. Too, prosecutors are not a generic group. Just as some defense lawyers might recoil or be indifferent to Freedman’s provocative thesis, so might many prosecutors reject ...


Is America Becoming A Nation Of Ex-Cons?, John A. Humbach Jan 2015

Is America Becoming A Nation Of Ex-Cons?, John A. Humbach

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Recent rates of mass incarceration have become a concern, but those rates are only part of the challenge facing (and posed by) the American criminal justice system. An estimated 25% of the U.S. adult population already has a criminal record and, with new felony convictions churning out at a rate of a million per year, America is well on its way to becoming a nation of ex-cons. Already, the ex-offender class is the nation’s biggest law-defined, legally discriminated-against minority group, and it is growing. The adverse social implications of this trend remain unclear and the critical demographic tipping ...


Forensic Evidence And The Court Of Appeal For England And Wales, Lissa Griffin Jan 2015

Forensic Evidence And The Court Of Appeal For England And Wales, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal has extensively analyzed the role of forensic evidence. In doing so, the court has grappled with the admissibility and reliability of a broad range of forensic evidence, from DNA and computer forensics to medical and psychological proof, to more outlying subjects like facial mapping, fiber analysis, or voice identification. The court has analyzed these subjects from two perspectives: the admissibility of such evidence in the lower courts and the admissibility of such evidence as fresh evidence on appeal. In both contexts, the court has taken a practical approach to admitting forensic proof ...


Why Full Implementation Is Long Overdue, Merril Sobie Oct 2014

Why Full Implementation Is Long Overdue, Merril Sobie

Pace Law Faculty Publications

In 1980, the American Bar Association (ABA) promulgated a far-reaching comprehensive body of Juvenile Justice Standards, thereby providing a blueprint for the reform of a system that had serious deficiencies. Developed in partnership with the Institute of Judicial Administration (IJA) at New York University, the standards address the entire juvenile justice continuum, from police handling and intake to adjudication, disposition, juvenile corrections, and ancillary functions. Approximately 300 professionals collaborated for a decade to produce the 23 volumes approved by the ABA House of Delegates.

To this day, the standards remain relevant and reformist. Several have been implemented in whole or ...


The Prosecutor’S Contribution To Wrongful Convictions, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2014

The Prosecutor’S Contribution To Wrongful Convictions, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

A prosecutor is viewed by the public as a powerful law enforcement official whose responsibility is to convict guilty people of crimes. But not everybody understands that a prosecutor’s function is not only to win convictions of law-breakers. A prosecutor is a quasi-judicial official who has a duty to promote justice to the entire community, including those people charged with crimes. Indeed, an overriding function of a prosecutor is to ensure that innocent people not get convicted and punished.

A prosecutor is constitutionally and ethically mandated to promote justice. The prosecutor is even considered a "Minister of Justice" who ...


Threats And Bullying By Prosecutors, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2014

Threats And Bullying By Prosecutors, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Essay describes ten contexts in which prosecutors make threats and behave like bullies. Some of these contexts are familiar, such as grand jury proceedings or plea discussions, where threats are generally upheld. Threats in other contexts are not as easy to justify, such as threats to obtain testimony from prosecution witnesses, retaliating for the exercise of constitutional rights, forcing a waiver of civil rights claims, and publicly humiliating people. Other threats clearly are illegitimate and unethical, such as threats that drive defense witnesses off the stand, bringing criminal charges against outspoken critics and defense experts, and ...


Due Process Disaggregation, Jason Parkin Jan 2014

Due Process Disaggregation, Jason Parkin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

One-size-fits-all procedural safeguards are becoming increasingly suspect under the Due Process Clause. Although the precise requirements of due process vary from context to context, the Supreme Court has held that, within any particular context, the Due Process Clause merely requires one-size-fits-all procedures that are designed according to the needs of the average or typical person using the procedures. As the Court explained when announcing the modern approach to procedural due process in Mathews v. Eldridge, the due process calculus must be focused on “the generality of cases, not the rare exceptions.” A more granular approach to due process rules, the ...


The Unanimous Verdict According To The Talmud: Ancient Law Providing Insight Into Modern Legal Theory, Ephraim Glatt Jan 2013

The Unanimous Verdict According To The Talmud: Ancient Law Providing Insight Into Modern Legal Theory, Ephraim Glatt

Pace International Law Review Online Companion

Part I of this paper will provide background information regarding the current academic discussion surrounding the unanimous verdict. Part II will discuss the startling Talmudic passage on the unanimous verdict. It will additionally focus on one explanation that radically reinterprets this passage. Part IIIA will introduce two schools of thought on the rationale behind the anti-unanimity rule. Part IIIB will highlight two areas of modern legal theory affected by such rationales.


Subverting Brady V. Maryland And Denying A Fair Trial: Studying The Schuelke Report, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2013

Subverting Brady V. Maryland And Denying A Fair Trial: Studying The Schuelke Report, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The Schuelke Report about the ill-fated federal prosecution of the late-Senator Ted Stevens is an extraordinary contribution to criminal procedure. No other official documentation or investigative study of a criminal prosecution to my knowledge has dissected and analyzed as carefully and thoroughly the sordid and clandestine actions of a team of prosecutors who zealously wanted to win a criminal conviction at all costs. In examining this Report, one gets the feeling that as the investigation and prosecution of Senator Stevens unfolded, and the prosecution’s theory of guilt unraveled, the prosecutors became indifferent whether the defendant was really guilty; they ...


International Perspectives On Correcting Wrongful Convictions: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Lissa Griffin Jan 2013

International Perspectives On Correcting Wrongful Convictions: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Article traces the history of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) and outlines the procedures employed by the SCCRC after an application is received, with particular attention to its extensive investigatory procedures. It also describes and analyzes the standards for referral of an application to the Scottish court. Part II briefly sets forth the statistics concerning applications, referrals, and judicial decisions. Part III includes an analysis of the SCCRC’s work by looking at the cases that have been referred and decided by the court. Those cases are divided into several categories: fresh evidence referrals ...


Preplea Disclosure Of Impeachment Evidence, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2012

Preplea Disclosure Of Impeachment Evidence, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Response to R. Michael Cassidy, Plea Bargaining, Discovery, and the Intractable Problem of Impeachment Disclosures, 64 Vand. L. Rev. 1429 (2011)


Educating Prosecutors And Supreme Court Justices About Brady V. Maryland, Bennett L. Gershman Oct 2011

Educating Prosecutors And Supreme Court Justices About Brady V. Maryland, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The author reviews the Supreme Court decision in Connick v. Thompson and provides a course outline, including problems, for training prosecutors on their duty to disclose materially favorable evidence to the defendant under Brady v. Maryland.


Pretrial Procedures For Innocent People: Reforming Brady, Lissa Griffin Jan 2011

Pretrial Procedures For Innocent People: Reforming Brady, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

In this article, the author proposes that the prosecution’s obligation to disclose exculpatory information to the defense be formalized by statute, court rule, or internal protocol in ways that would reflect the current state of our knowledge of and experience with both Brady and wrongful convictions. This would improve on the current ineffective constitutional protection—and any existing statutory or rule-based regimes—in several ways. First, such a formalized regime would require disclosure of all materials that are reasonably helpful to the defense. Second, unlike the constitutional doctrine, which provides no reliable mechanism for monitoring police disclosure to the ...


The Zealous Prosecutor As Minister Of Justice, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2011

The Zealous Prosecutor As Minister Of Justice, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

As my contribution to this Memorial tribute to Professor Fred Zacharias, I have chosen to write about Fred's 1991 article in theVanderbilt Law Review entitled Structuring the Ethics of Prosecutorial Trial Practice: Can Prosecutors Do Justice? I have always seen this article as a classic, one of the finest and most important discussions of the special role of the prosecutor in the criminal justice system and of the meaning of the prosecutor's ethical duty to “do justice.” This article is cited repeatedly for numerous points: the conception of the prosecutor's duty not to win a case ...


When An Offense Is Not An Offense: Rethinking The Supreme Court’S Reasonable Doubt Jurisprudence, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

When An Offense Is Not An Offense: Rethinking The Supreme Court’S Reasonable Doubt Jurisprudence, Luis E. Chiesa

Pace Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Prosecutorial Decisionmaking And Discretion In The Charging Function, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2011

Prosecutorial Decisionmaking And Discretion In The Charging Function, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

A prosecutor's charging decision is the heart of the prosecution function. The charging decision involves an extraordinary exercise of discretionary power that is unreviewable. As a result, the decision is difficult to guide except in the broadest terms. The proposed revisions to the ABA's Criminal Justice Standards for the Prosecution Function attempt to address several key issues that inform the charging decision, by broadening the language of several provisions of the current Standards as well as adding several new provisions. To be sure, the proposed Standards significantly change the current Standards with respect to the proper factors and ...


Untangling Double Jeopardy In Mixed-Verdict Cases, Lissa Griffin Jan 2010

Untangling Double Jeopardy In Mixed-Verdict Cases, Lissa Griffin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article attempts to describe and untangle the confusion leading up to and resulting from the Yeager decision. Part II examines the four distinct double jeopardy areas presented in Yeager, with particular emphasis on the two conflicting precedents of collateral estoppel and the non-finality of a hung jury. Part III closely examines the Yeager decision itself. Part IV analyzes Yeager in light of its tangled doctrinal history and places it in the context of the Court's several other short-lived and rapidly reversed precedents. The Article concludes that the Court's holding in Yeager is neither justified by its precedent ...


The Eyewitness Conundrum: How Courts, Police And Attorneys Can Reduce Mistakes By Eyewitnesses, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2009

The Eyewitness Conundrum: How Courts, Police And Attorneys Can Reduce Mistakes By Eyewitnesses, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Reducing the incidence of wrongful convictions based on eyewitness mistakes poses a difficult challenge to the criminal justice system. There is near-unanimity among courts and commentators that eyewitness mistakes account for more erroneous convictions than any other type of proof. It is therefore incumbent on every key participant in the criminal justice system - judge, prosecutor, police, and defense counsel - to use every available tool to protect an accused from being mistakenly identified by an eyewitness. For the judge, protecting the accused requires a willingness to give the jury special instructions on eyewitness identification and a willingness to allow the use ...


Bound And Gagged: The Peculiar Predicament Of Professional Jurors, Michael B. Mushlin Jan 2007

Bound And Gagged: The Peculiar Predicament Of Professional Jurors, Michael B. Mushlin

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article advocates two changes to the law. First, parties should be allowed (but not required) to strike professional jurors for cause in cases involving their expertise without any additional showing of a particular bias toward one side or the other. Second, if such jurors are empanelled, they should not be “gagged.” Rather, they should be free to draw on and share their expertise as are all other jurors. This Article proceeds in four Parts. Part I discusses recent reform efforts that have fundamentally altered the jury system by opening it up to increased numbers of professional jurors. Part II ...


Reflections On Brady V. Maryland, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2006

Reflections On Brady V. Maryland, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Article describes the evolution of the Brady rule over the past forty-three years. Part I sketches the origins of the rule and its doctrinal developments. Part II closely examines Brady's impact on constitutional criminal procedure. Part II suggests that Brady's essential goal has been eroded by the courts, subverted by prosecutors, and ignored by disciplinary bodies. Part III proposes that only through expanding a defendant's right to discovery can the goal of Brady be realized. The Article concludes that Brady, more than any other rule of constitutional criminal procedure, has been the most ...


Contaminating The Verdict: The Problem Of Juror Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2005

Contaminating The Verdict: The Problem Of Juror Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This article describes the myriad ways in which misconduct by jurors can contaminate a trial and verdict and the ability of courts to remedy such misconduct. Part II examines the case law in which criminal defendants have challenged their convictions on the basis of juror misconduct. Defendants have claimed that jurors were influenced by external contacts with third parties, exposed to extraneous, non-evidentiary information, engaged in contrived experiments and improper reenactments in the jury room, made dishonest and misleading statements during jury selection, engaged in conduct demonstrating bias and prejudgment, suffered from physical and mental impairments, engaged in pre-deliberation discussions ...


How Juries Get It Wrong - Anatomy Of The Detroit Terror Case, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2005

How Juries Get It Wrong - Anatomy Of The Detroit Terror Case, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article describes the background and trial of the four defendants in the so-called Detroit “Sleeper Cell” terrorist prosecution. It examines the evidence relied on by the jury to reach its verdict, particularly the testimony of a key turncoat witness who accused the defendants of participation in a terrorist conspiracy. Part III examines how the jury's search for truth was corrupted by false, misleading, and incomplete proof. It identifies several extrinsic sources of jury error including suppressed evidence, dishonest and unreliable testimony, partisan experts, coaching, obstructed cross-examination, and inflammatory arguments. Finally, with the Detroit terrorist trial as the model ...


Offensive Issue Preclusion In The Criminal Context: Two Steps Foward, One Step Back, Michelle S. Simon Jan 2004

Offensive Issue Preclusion In The Criminal Context: Two Steps Foward, One Step Back, Michelle S. Simon

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This article addresses whether the expansion of the doctrine of issue preclusion in the federal criminal area should mirror the expansion of the doctrine in the federal civil area. The article examines the general requirements of issue preclusion and the evolution of issue preclusion in both the civil and criminal context. Next, this article examines the current status of offensive and defensive issue preclusion when the first suit is civil and the second suit is criminal, the first suit is criminal and the second suit is civil, and where both the first and second action is criminal. The article then ...