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Taking Psychological Torture Seriously: The Torturous Nature Of Credible Death Threats And The Collateral Consequences For Capital Punishment, John Bessler Jan 2019

Taking Psychological Torture Seriously: The Torturous Nature Of Credible Death Threats And The Collateral Consequences For Capital Punishment, John Bessler

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This article explores how the death penalty and the indefinite nature of death row in the United States creates a constant threat of death, which can violate the United Nations Convention Against Torture’s prohibitions on death threats.


Left Behind: How The Absence Of A Federal Vacatur Law Disadvantages Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Jessica Emerson, Alison Aminzadeh Oct 2017

Left Behind: How The Absence Of A Federal Vacatur Law Disadvantages Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Jessica Emerson, Alison Aminzadeh

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After a hamstring injury in October of 2004 forced her to surrender her athletic scholarship at St. John's University, Shamere McKenzie chose to spend her winter break working in order to save the money she needed to pay the remainder of her tuition. In January of 2005, Shamere met a man named Corey Davis, who expressed an interest in dating her. After getting to know him for several weeks, she eventually shared with him the challenges she was having earning the money she needed to continue her enrollment in college. Davis encouraged her to consider exotic dancing as a ...


How The Right To Speedy Trial Can Reduce Mass Pretrial Incarceration, Zina Makar Nov 2015

How The Right To Speedy Trial Can Reduce Mass Pretrial Incarceration, Zina Makar

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Kenny Johnson1 was thirty-two years old when he was released from a Baltimore City jail— almost three years after his arrest in October 2012. Johnson was not serving a sentence, but these three years were spent under pretrial detention. He had been denied bail. Johnson’s case was a rollercoaster of delays and uncertainty, particularly towards the end of his pretrial incarceration. The need for certainty convinced Johnson to plead guilty—he could not stand knowing that his pretrial incarceration could be indefinite and he wanted to be sure he was going home, guilty or not guilty.

Between the time ...


Flawed Coalitions And The Politics Of Crime, David Jaros May 2014

Flawed Coalitions And The Politics Of Crime, David Jaros

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Bipartisanship can be dangerous. In the late 1970s, liberal and conservative forces united to discard two centuries of federal sentencing practice and usher in an era of fixed guidelines that would reshape the criminal justice landscape. In the decades that followed, liberals would come to bitterly regret their alliance with conservative sentencing reformers. The guideline regime established by the Sentencing Reform Act ultimately advanced hardline conservative criminal justice goals that were antithetical to the objectives of many of the Act’s former liberal supporters.

Researchers have shown that a particular cognitive bias — cultural cognition — can explain why intense partisan conflicts ...


Preempting The Police, David Jaros Jan 2014

Preempting The Police, David Jaros

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Fighting crime requires that we vest police with extensive discretion so that they can protect the public. Unfortunately, the nature of police work makes it difficult to ensure that law enforcement authority is not abused. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that a great deal of questionable police activity exists in the legal shadows — unregulated practices that do not violate defined legal limits because they have generally eluded both judicial and legislative scrutiny. Local law enforcement strategies, like the maintenance of unauthorized police DNA databases and the routine practice of initiating casual street encounters, threaten fundamental notions of a ...


Perfecting Criminal Markets, David Jaros Dec 2012

Perfecting Criminal Markets, David Jaros

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From illicit drugs to human smuggling to prostitution, legislators may actually be perfecting the very criminal markets they seek to destroy. Criminal laws often create new dangers and new criminal opportunities. Criminalizing drugs creates the opportunity to sell fake drugs. Raising the penalties for illegal immigration increases the risk that smugglers will rely on dangerous methods that can injure or kill their human cargo. Banning prostitution increases the underground spread of sexually transmitted disease. Lawmakers traditionally respond to these “second order” problems in predictable fashion — with a new wave of criminalization that imposes additional penalties on fake drug dealers, dangerous ...


Separate But Equal: Miranda's Rights To Silence And Counsel, Steven P. Grossman Oct 2012

Separate But Equal: Miranda's Rights To Silence And Counsel, Steven P. Grossman

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Three decades ago, the Supreme Court created a dubious distinction between the rights accorded to suspects in custody who invoke their right to silence and who invoke their right to counsel. This distinction significantly disadvantages those who do not have the good sense or good fortune to specify they want an attorney when they invoke their right to remain silent. This article argues that this distinction was flawed at its genesis and that it has led to judicial decisions that are inconsistent, make little sense, and permit police behavior that substantially diminishes the right to silence as described in Miranda ...


Madness Alone Punishes The Madman: The Search For Moral Dignity In The Court's Competency Doctrine As Applied In Capital Cases, J. Amy Dillard Apr 2012

Madness Alone Punishes The Madman: The Search For Moral Dignity In The Court's Competency Doctrine As Applied In Capital Cases, J. Amy Dillard

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The purposes of the competency doctrine are to guarantee reliability in criminal prosecutions, to ensure that only those defendants who can appreciate punishment are subject to it, and to maintain moral dignity, both actual and apparent, in criminal proceedings. No matter his crime, the “madman” should not be forced to stand trial. Historically, courts viewed questions of competency as a binary choice, finding the defendant either competent or incompetent to stand trial. However, in Edwards v. Indiana, the Supreme Court conceded that it views competency on a spectrum and offered a new category of competency — borderline-competent. The Court held that ...


Introduction: Benefits Of Private Enforcement: Empirical Background, Robert H. Lande Jan 2012

Introduction: Benefits Of Private Enforcement: Empirical Background, Robert H. Lande

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This short piece takes a first step toward providing the empirical bases for an assessment of the benefits of private enforcement. It presents evidence showing that private enforcement of the antitrust laws is serving its intended purposes and is in the public interest. Private enforcement helps compensate victimized consumers, and it also helps deter anticompetitive conduct. This piece demonstrates this by briefly summarizing a more detailed analysis of forty of the largest recent successful private antitrust cases.

To analyze these cases' compensation effects this presents, inter alia, the amount of money each action recovered, what proportion of the money was ...


The Criminal Class Action, Adam S. Zimmerman, David Jaros Apr 2011

The Criminal Class Action, Adam S. Zimmerman, David Jaros

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Over the past ten years, in a variety of high-profile corporate scandals, prosecutors have sought billions of dollars in restitution for crimes ranging from environmental dumping and consumer scams to financial fraud. In what we call “criminal class action” settlements, prosecutors distribute that money to groups of victims as in a civil class action while continuing to pursue the traditional criminal justice goals of retribution and deterrence.

Unlike civil class actions, however, the emerging criminal class action lacks critical safeguards for victims entitled to compensation. While prosecutors are encouraged, and even required by statute, to seek victim restitution, they lack ...


And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard Mar 2011

And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard

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This article examines the Court’s categorical exclusion of mentally retarded defendants from execution and explores how trial courts should employ procedures to accomplish heightened reliability in the mental retardation determination; it maintains that if a mentally retarded defendant is subjected to a death sentence then the Atkins directive has been ignored. To satisfy the Atkins Court’s objective of protecting mentally retarded defendants from the “special risk of wrongful execution,” the article explores whether trial courts should engage in a unified, pre-trial competency assessment in all capital cases where the defendant asserts mental retardation as a bar to execution ...


"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain Jan 2011

"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain

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A three-year-old child, while being bathed by her babysitter, innocently mentions that her “pee-pee” hurts. When the babysitter asks the child how she hurt it, she says, “Uncle Ernie (her mother’s boyfriend) told me not to tell.” A subsequent medical examination reveals that the child has gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.

By the time of trial, the child is four and-a-half-years old. When questioned by the trial judge, she cannot explain to the judge’s satisfaction, “the difference between the truth and a lie.” Moreover, she has no long term memory of the incident. The judge rules the child ...


Hot Crimes: A Study In Excess, Steven P. Grossman Jan 2011

Hot Crimes: A Study In Excess, Steven P. Grossman

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Societies appear to be subject, every now and then, to periods of moral panic. . . . [I]ts nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) restored to; . . . sometimes the panic passes over and is forgotten . . . at other times it has more serious and long-lasting repercussions and might produce such as those in legal and social policy or even in the way society conceives itself.

In the ...


Comparative Deterrence From Private Enforcement And Criminal Enforcement Of The U.S. Antitrust Laws, Robert H. Lande, Joshua P. Davis Jan 2011

Comparative Deterrence From Private Enforcement And Criminal Enforcement Of The U.S. Antitrust Laws, Robert H. Lande, Joshua P. Davis

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This article shows that private enforcement of the U. S. antitrust laws-which usually is derided as essentially worthless-serves as a more important deterrent of anticompetitive behavior than the most esteemed antitrust program in the world, criminal enforcement by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The debate over the value of private antitrust enforcement long has been heavy with self-serving assertions by powerful economic interests, but light on factual evidence. To help fill this void we have been conducting research for several years on a variety of empirical topics. This article develops and then explores the implications ...


"I'M Going To Dinner With Frank": Admissibility Of Nontestimonial Statements Of Intent To Prove The Actions Of Someone Other Than The Speaker—And The Role Of The Due Process Clause, Lynn Mclain Nov 2010

"I'M Going To Dinner With Frank": Admissibility Of Nontestimonial Statements Of Intent To Prove The Actions Of Someone Other Than The Speaker—And The Role Of The Due Process Clause, Lynn Mclain

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A woman tells her roommate that she is going out to dinner with Frank that evening. The next morning her battered body is found along a country road outside of town. In Frank’s trial for her murder, is her statement to her roommate admissible to place Frank with her that night? Since the Court’s 2004 Crawford decision, the confrontation clause is inapplicable to nontestimonial hearsay such as this.

American jurisdictions are widely divided on the question of admissibility under their rules of evidence, however. Many say absolutely not. A sizeable number unequivocally say yes. A small number say ...


Unfettered Discretion: Criminal Orders Of Protection And Their Impact On Parent Defendants, David Jaros Oct 2010

Unfettered Discretion: Criminal Orders Of Protection And Their Impact On Parent Defendants, David Jaros

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The last two decades have witnessed an astonishing increase in the use of the criminal justice system to police neglectful parents. Recasting traditional allegations of neglect as criminal charges of endangering the welfare of a child, prosecutors and the police have involved criminal courts in the regulation of aspects of the parent child relationship that were once the sole province of family courts. This Article explores the legal implications of vesting judges in these cases with the unfettered discretion to issue protective orders that criminalize contact between a parent and her child. I argue that procedures for issuing protective orders ...


Balancing Liberty, Dignity And Safety: The Impact Of Domestic Violence Lethality Screening, Margaret E. Johnson Jan 2010

Balancing Liberty, Dignity And Safety: The Impact Of Domestic Violence Lethality Screening, Margaret E. Johnson

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This Article undertakes the first ever analysis of the consequences of the justice and legal system’s extensive use of lethality assessment tools for women subjected to abuse. An increasing number of states are now requiring their police, prosecutors, civil attorneys, advocates, service providers, and court personnel to assess women in order to obtain a score that indicates the woman’s lethality risk because of domestic violence. The mandated danger assessment screen of all women subjected to violence focuses only on the risk of homicide and thereby limits the definition of what is domestic violence. In addition, the accompanying protocol ...


Stop The Killing: Potential Courtroom Use Of A Questionnaire That Predicts The Likelihood That A Victim Of Intimate Partner Violence Will Be Murdered By Her Partner, Amanda Hitt, Lynn Mclain Oct 2009

Stop The Killing: Potential Courtroom Use Of A Questionnaire That Predicts The Likelihood That A Victim Of Intimate Partner Violence Will Be Murdered By Her Partner, Amanda Hitt, Lynn Mclain

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Judges in domestic cases often underestimate the risk to a mother and her children that an angry and abusive father or other intimate partner poses. In a recent Maryland case, for example, two judges refused to deny a father visitation or require that visitation be supervised, despite the fact that the father had threatened suicide. During the father’s unsupervised visitation, he drowned all three of his children, then attempted to kill himself.

The Danger Assessment tool (the D.A.) developed by a Johns Hopkins Nursing professor and validated by herself and other social scientists shows how much the father ...


Dan Freed: My Teacher, My Colleague, My Friend, Ronald Weich Apr 2009

Dan Freed: My Teacher, My Colleague, My Friend, Ronald Weich

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At a recent meeting of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, Yale professor Dan Freed was honored during a panel discussion titled "Standing on the Shoulders of Sentencing Giants," Dan Freed is indeed a sentencing giant. but he is the gentlest giant of all. It is hard to imagine that a man as mild-mannered, soft-spoken, and self-effacing as Dan Freed has had such a profound impact on federal sentencing law and so many other areas of criminal justice policy, Yet he has.

I've been in many rooms with Dan Freed over the years — classrooms, boardrooms, dining rooms, and others ...


Reflections On Standing: Challenges To Searches And Seizures In A High Technology World, José F. Anderson Apr 2006

Reflections On Standing: Challenges To Searches And Seizures In A High Technology World, José F. Anderson

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Among the profound issues that surround constitutional criminal procedure is the obscure often overlooked issue of who has standing to challenge an illegal search, seizure or confession. Privacy interests are often overlooked because without a legal status that allows a person to complain in court, there is no way to challenge whether one is constitutionally protected from personal invasions. Standing is that procedural barrier often imposed to prevent a person in a case from objecting to improper police conduct because of his or her relationship of ownership, proximity, location, or interest in an item searched or a thing seized. Although ...


Post-Crawford: Time To Liberalize The Substantive Admissibility Of A Testifying Witness's Prior Consistent Statements, Lynn Mclain Oct 2005

Post-Crawford: Time To Liberalize The Substantive Admissibility Of A Testifying Witness's Prior Consistent Statements, Lynn Mclain

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The United States Supreme Court's 1995 decision in Tome v. United States has read Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(1)(B) to prevent the prosecution's offering a child abuse victim's prior consistent statements as substantive evidence. As a result of that decision, the statements will also be inadmissible even for the limited purpose of helping to evaluate the credibility of a child, if there is a serious risk that the out-of-court statements would be used on the issue of guilt or innocence.

Moreover, after the Court's March 2004 decision in Crawford v. Washington, which redesigned ...


The Lessons Of People V. Moscat: Confronting Judicial Bias In Domestic Violence Cases Interpreting Crawford V. Washington, David Jaros Jul 2005

The Lessons Of People V. Moscat: Confronting Judicial Bias In Domestic Violence Cases Interpreting Crawford V. Washington, David Jaros

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Crawford v. Washington was a groundbreaking decision that radically redefined the scope of the Confrontation Clause. Nowhere has the impact of Crawford and the debate over its meaning been stronger than in the context of domestic violence prosecutions. The particular circumstances that surround domestic violence cases 911 calls that record cries for help and accusations, excited utterances made to responding police officers, and the persistent reluctance of complaining witnesses to cooperate with prosecutors -- combine to make the introduction of "out-of-comment statements" a critical component of many domestic violence prosecutions. Because domestic violence cases are subject to a unique set of ...


An Honest Approach To Plea Bargaining, Steven P. Grossman Jul 2005

An Honest Approach To Plea Bargaining, Steven P. Grossman

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In this Article, the author argues that differential sentencing of criminal defendants who plead guilty and those who go to trial is, primarily, a punishment for the defendant exercising the right to trial. The proposed solution requires an analysis of the differential sentencing motivation in light of the benefit to society and the drawbacks inherent in the plea bargaining system.


The Innocence Protection Act Of 2004: A Small Step Forward And A Framework For Larger Reforms, Ronald Weich Mar 2005

The Innocence Protection Act Of 2004: A Small Step Forward And A Framework For Larger Reforms, Ronald Weich

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Passage of the Innocence Protection Act in the closing days of the 108th Congress was a watershed moment. To be sure, the bill that finally became law was a shadow of the more ambitious criminal justice reforms first championed five years earlier by Senator Pat Leahy, Congressman Bill Delahunt and others. But the enactment of legislation designed to strengthen — not weaken — procedural protections for death row inmates was rich in symbolic importance and promise.

Writing in the April 2001 issue of THE CHAMPION (Innocence Protection Act: Death Penalty Reform on the Horizon), I said optimistically: "The criminal justice pendulum may ...


The Botched Hanging Of William Williams: How Too Much Rope And Minnesota’S Newspapers Brought An End To The Death Penalty In Minnesota, John Bessler Mar 2004

The Botched Hanging Of William Williams: How Too Much Rope And Minnesota’S Newspapers Brought An End To The Death Penalty In Minnesota, John Bessler

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This article describes Minnesota's last state-sanctioned execution: that of William Williams, who was hanged in 1906 in the basement of the Ramsey County Jail. Convicted of killing a teenage boy, Williams was tried on murder charges in 1905 and was put to death in February of the following year. Because the county sheriff miscalculated the length of the rope, the hanging was botched, with Williams hitting the floor when the trap door was opened. Three deputies, standing on the scaffold, thereafter seized the rope and forcibly pulled it up until Williams - fourteen and half minutes later - died by strangulation ...


A Healer Or An Executioner: The Proper Role Of A Psychiatrist In A Criminal Justice System, Gregory Dolin Jan 2003

A Healer Or An Executioner: The Proper Role Of A Psychiatrist In A Criminal Justice System, Gregory Dolin

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This article argues that despite the benefits of ridding the criminal justice system of some uncertainty and ignorance with respect to mental health issues, the very close involvement of psychiatrists in the criminal justice system as practiced in the United States is not only illogical and bad policy, but also unethical from the viewpoint of medical ethics. Part II of this article will lay the groundwork for the argument by discussing the history of the insanity defense, and of science's involvement with criminal justice; while Part III, will look into the association of science and the administration of justice ...


Innocence Protection Act: Death Penalty Reform On The Horizon, Ronald Weich Apr 2001

Innocence Protection Act: Death Penalty Reform On The Horizon, Ronald Weich

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The criminal justice pendulum may be swinging back in the direction of fairness. The Innocence Protection Act of 2001, introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives earlier this year, promises meaningful reforms in the administration of capital punishment in the United States.

Unlike previous slabs at reform, the Innocence Protection Act (lPA) has a real chance to become law because it commands unusually broad bipartisan support. The Senate bill (S. 486) is sponsored by Democrat Pat Leahy of Vermont and Republican Gordon Smith of Oregon. The House bill (H.R. 912) is sponsored by Democrat Bill Delahunt ...


Will The Punishment Fit The Victims? The Case For Pre-Trial Disclosure, And The Uncharted Future Of Victim Impact Information In Capital Jury Sentencing, José F. Anderson Jan 1997

Will The Punishment Fit The Victims? The Case For Pre-Trial Disclosure, And The Uncharted Future Of Victim Impact Information In Capital Jury Sentencing, José F. Anderson

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The United States Supreme Court decision in Payne v. Tennessee, upholding the use of victim impact statements in capital jury sentencing proceedings, marked one of the most dramatic reversals of a precedent in the history of United States constitutional jurisprudence. The decision in Payne expressly overruled Booth v. Maryland decided only four years earlier. The Booth case rejected the use of victim impact statements in capital sentencing cases that involved juries. In Payne, the Supreme Court made it clear that victims were entitled to offer, and juries were permitted to consider, the effect that a "death eligible" homicide had on ...


Consistently Inconsistent: The Supreme Court And The Confusion Surrounding Proportionality In Non-Capital Sentencing, Steven P. Grossman Mar 1996

Consistently Inconsistent: The Supreme Court And The Confusion Surrounding Proportionality In Non-Capital Sentencing, Steven P. Grossman

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(Adapted by permission from 84 Ky. L. J. 107 (1995)) This article examines the Supreme Court's treatment of the Eighth Amendment with respect to claims of excessiveness regarding prison sentences. Specifically, it addresses the issue of whether and to what degree the Eighth Amendment requires that a punishment not be disproportional to the crime punished. In analyzing all of the modern holdings of the Court in this area, one finds significant fault with each. The result of this series of flawed opinions from the Supreme Court is that the state of the law with respect to proportionality in sentencing ...


No Magic Formula: A New Approach For Calculating The Ten Year Time Period For Admission Of Prior Conviction Evidence, Amy E. Sloan Jul 1995

No Magic Formula: A New Approach For Calculating The Ten Year Time Period For Admission Of Prior Conviction Evidence, Amy E. Sloan

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Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 609 governs admission of prior conviction evidence. Under this rule, it is easier to admit evidence of a prior conviction that is less than ten years old than to admit evidence of older convictions. The ten year period is measured from the later of either the date of conviction or the date of release from confinement.

Calculating the ten year period is fairly straightforward in most cases but becomes confusing when the witness has been confined for violating the terms of probation, parole, or some other period of conditional release. Does the confinement for violation ...