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Full-Text Articles in Law

Reforming Competence Restoration Statutes: An Outpatient Model, Susan A. Mcmahon Mar 2019

Reforming Competence Restoration Statutes: An Outpatient Model, Susan A. Mcmahon

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Defendants who suffer from mental illness and are found incompetent to stand trial are often ordered committed to an inpatient mental health facility to restore their competence, even if outpatient care may be the better treatment option. Inpatient facilities are overcrowded and place the defendants on long waiting lists. Some defendants then spend weeks, months, or even years in their jail cell, waiting for a transfer to a hospital bed.

Outpatient competence restoration programs promise to relieve this pressure. But even if every state suddenly opened a robust outpatient competence restoration program, an obstacle looms: the statutes governing competence restoration ...


The Constitutional Right To Collateral Post-Conviction Review, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck Sep 2017

The Constitutional Right To Collateral Post-Conviction Review, Carlos Manuel Vázquez, Stephen I. Vladeck

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For years, the prevailing academic and judicial wisdom has held that, between them, Congress and the Supreme Court have rendered post- conviction habeas review all but a dead letter. But in its January 2016 decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court may have dramatically upended that understanding in holding—for the first time—that there are at least some cases in which the Constitution itself creates a right to collateral post-conviction review, i.e., cases in which a prisoner seeks to enforce retroactively a “new rule” of substantive constitutional law under the familiar doctrine of Teague v. Lane.

On ...


Illegal Marijuana Cultivation On Public Lands: Our Federalism On A Very Bad Trip, Hope M. Babcock Jun 2017

Illegal Marijuana Cultivation On Public Lands: Our Federalism On A Very Bad Trip, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Fueled by increasing demand for marijuana, illegal cultivation of the drug on public lands is causing massive environmental harm. The federal government lacks the resources to wage what would be a difficult and costly campaign to eradicate these illegal grow sites and instead focuses its limited resources on enforcing the federal marijuana ban. Marijuana decriminalization might allow legally grown marijuana to squeeze out its illegal counterpart, but the political likelihood of decriminalization is low. The key is reducing demand for the illegal drug by changing public buying preferences. However, doing this depends on an available legal alternative. This Article discusses ...


Habeas As Forum Allocation: A New Synthesis, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jun 2016

Habeas As Forum Allocation: A New Synthesis, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The scope of habeas relief for state prisoners, especially during the decades before the Supreme Court’s 1953 decision in Brown v. Allen, is a famously disputed question – one of recognized significance for contemporary debates about the proper scope of habeas review. This Essay provides a new answer. It argues that, until the enactment of AEDPA in 1996, state prisoners were always entitled to de novo review of the legal and mixed law/fact questions decided against them by the state courts. Until 1916, such review was provided by the Supreme Court; after 1953, such review was provided by the ...


Comment: The Doctrine Of Chances, Brides Of The Bath And A Reply To Sean Sullivan, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2015

Comment: The Doctrine Of Chances, Brides Of The Bath And A Reply To Sean Sullivan, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The ‘Doctrine of Chances’ is a doctrine of probability that purports to solve an apparent logical conundrum or contradiction in the law of Evidence.

It is the author's thesis in this article that the doctrine of chances—in any acceptable logical form including that described by Mr. Sullivan—does properly describe when this kind of ‘other wrongs’ evidence is relevant, and how probative it is, but that relevance and probative value where this kind of proof is offered does depend on propensity reasoning even under these theories even in the cases where they say it does not. He is ...


Ambiguous-Purpose Statements Of Children And Other Victims Of Abuse Under The Confrontation Clause, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2015

Ambiguous-Purpose Statements Of Children And Other Victims Of Abuse Under The Confrontation Clause, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The author examines in this paper two kinds of ambiguous-purpose out-of-court statements that are especially problematic under current Confrontation law--problematic in ways that we hope will be solved directly or indirectly by the Supreme Court when it renders its decision in Ohio v. Clark. The statements he examines are:

(1) Statements made by abused children concerning their abuse, for example to police, physicians, teachers, welfare workers, baby sitters, or family members, some of whom may be under a legal duty to report suspected abuse to legal authorities. At least some of these statements will be directly addressed by the Court ...


Terrorism Trials In Article Iii Courts, Laura K. Donohue Jan 2015

Terrorism Trials In Article Iii Courts, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Some individuals reject Article III courts as a forum for bringing terrorist suspects to justice on the grounds that the ordinary judicial system cannot handle such cases. As an empirical matter, this claim is simply false. Since 2001, myriad terrorism trials have progressed through the criminal system. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that between 2001 and 2010, there were 998 defendants indicted in terrorism prosecutions. Eighty-seven percent of the defendants were convicted on at least one charge. According to the Executive Office for the U.S. Attorneys, from FY 2004 to FY 2009, there were 3,010 ...


Prison Abolition And Grounded Justice, Allegra M. Mcleod Jan 2015

Prison Abolition And Grounded Justice, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article introduces to legal scholarship the first sustained discussion of prison abolition and what I will call a “prison abolitionist ethic.” Prisons and punitive policing produce tremendous brutality, violence, racial stratification, ideological rigidity, despair, and waste. Meanwhile, incarceration and prison-backed policing neither redress nor repair the very sorts of harms they are supposed to address—interpersonal violence, addiction, mental illness, and sexual abuse, among others. Yet despite persistent and increasing recognition of the deep problems that attend U.S. incarceration and prison-backed policing, criminal law scholarship has largely failed to consider how the goals of criminal law—principally deterrence ...


Sexual Assaults Among University Students: Prevention, Support, And Justice, Rebecca B. Reingold, Lawrence O. Gostin Jan 2015

Sexual Assaults Among University Students: Prevention, Support, And Justice, Rebecca B. Reingold, Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Sexual assault is common among college-aged women (18 to 25 years), with 1 in 5 reporting having experienced these crimes during their college years. Acute and long-term consequences of sexual assault may include physical trauma, sexually transmitted infections, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance abuse. Survivors have the option of reporting assaults to the university or to the police, but the goals of these 2 systems—and women’s experiences with them—can be quite different. The criminal justice system’s principal aim is to adjudicate guilt, but the university has the broader purpose of fostering a safe learning environment ...


Some Thoughts On The Fundamentals Of An Evidence Code From The U.S. American Perspective, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2014

Some Thoughts On The Fundamentals Of An Evidence Code From The U.S. American Perspective, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the U.S. American trial system proof mainly consists of live witnesses presented in open court under oath before the judge, jury, and parties, subject to perjury laws. Cross-examination of the witnesses in that setting is the principal (though not the only) form of testing their reliability. It is for these reasons that we have a rule against hearsay (second-hand reporting in court of what someone has said outside of court).


Gideon At Guantánamo, Neal K. Katyal Jan 2013

Gideon At Guantánamo, Neal K. Katyal

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The right to counsel maintains an uneasy relationship with the demands of trials for war crimes. Drawing on the author’s personal experiences from defending a Guantánamo detainee, the Author explains how Gideon set a baseline for the right to counsel at Guantánamo. Whether constitutionally required or not, Gideon ultimately framed the way defense lawyers represented their clients. Against the expectations of political and military leaders, both civilian and military lawyers vigorously challenged the legality of the military trial system. At the same time, tensions arose because lawyers devoted to a particular cause (such as attacking the Guantánamo trial system ...


Reassessing The Citizens Protection Act: A Good Thing It Passed, And A Good Thing It Failed, Rima Sirota Jan 2013

Reassessing The Citizens Protection Act: A Good Thing It Passed, And A Good Thing It Failed, Rima Sirota

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Citizens Protection Act (CPA) of 1998 has always been a lightening rod for criticism, and it remains so today. This article reassesses the CPA’s perceived inadequacies in light of how it has actually affected (or, not affected) federal prosecutors’ involvement in criminal investigations. The article takes issue with the critics and demonstrates that the CPA succeeded where it should have, failed where it should have, and left us—however inadvertently—with a remarkably coherent and consistent approach to regulating federal prosecutors’ involvement in criminal investigations regardless of whether a suspect retains counsel early in the proceedings.

The CPA ...


Military Commissions And The Paradigm Of Prevention, David Cole Jan 2013

Military Commissions And The Paradigm Of Prevention, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Why military commissions? Given the United States’s track record of success in trying terrorists in civilian criminal courts, and the availability of courts-martial to try war crimes, why has the United States government, under both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations alike, insisted on proceeding through untested military commissions instead? In May 2009, President Obama defended military commissions with the following claims:

Military commissions have a history in the United States dating back to George Washington and the Revolutionary War. They are an appropriate venue for trying detainees for violations of the laws of war. They allow ...


The Legal Significance Of The Psychological Ability To Appreciate The “Other”, Paul F. Rothstein Nov 2012

The Legal Significance Of The Psychological Ability To Appreciate The “Other”, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court, citing neurological and psychological studies, held that because juveniles are deficient in appreciating consequences to others, they should never be given the death penalty. The author found, in his years as a legal scholar, educator, and practitioner, that “appreciating the ‘other’”--putting oneself in the position of others---is critical to law and the study of law in more than the obvious ways.

The author became aware of empirical studies and psychological experiments demonstrating that children below a certain age have trouble seeing things from another’s vantage point, and found that the facility to ...


The First Amendment’S Borders: The Place Of Holder V. Humanitarian Law Project In First Amendment Doctrine, David Cole Jan 2012

The First Amendment’S Borders: The Place Of Holder V. Humanitarian Law Project In First Amendment Doctrine, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, the Supreme Court’s first decision pitting First Amendment rights against national security interests since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Court appears to have radically departed from some of the First Amendment’s most basic principles, including the maxims that speech may not be penalized because of its viewpoint, that even speech advocating crime deserves protection until it constitutes incitement, and that political association is constitutionally protected absent specific intent to further a group’s illegal ends. These principles lie at the core of our political and democratic freedoms, yet Humanitarian ...


Where Liberty Lies: Civil Society And Individual Rights After 9/11, David Cole Jan 2012

Where Liberty Lies: Civil Society And Individual Rights After 9/11, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Had someone told you, on September 11, 2001, that the United States would not be able to do whatever it wanted in response to the terrorist attacks of that day, you might well have questioned their sanity. The United States was the most powerful country in the world, and had the world’s sympathy in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Who would stop it? Al Qaeda had few friends beyond the Taliban. As a historical matter, Congress and the courts had virtually always deferred to the executive in such times of crisis. And the American polity was unlikely to ...


Could Specialized Criminal Courts Help Contain The Crises Of Overcriminalization And Overincarceration?, Allegra M. Mcleod Jan 2012

Could Specialized Criminal Courts Help Contain The Crises Of Overcriminalization And Overincarceration?, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In contrast to the existing scholarly commentary on specialized criminal courts, which is largely trapped in the mode of advocacy—alternately celebratory or disparaging, and insufficiently attentive to the remarkable variation between different specialized criminal courts—this article introduces an analytic framework and critical theoretical account of four contending criminal law reformist models at work in specialized criminal courts. These four criminal law reformist models include:

(1) a therapeutic jurisprudence model,

(2) a judicial monitoring model,

(3) an order maintenance model, and

(4) a decarceration model.

Based on a multi-method approach consisting of site visits, and an analysis of archived ...


The Master Mason: How Professor Baldus Built A Bridge From Learning To Law And The Legacy Of Equal Justice He Leaves Behind, James E. Baker Jan 2012

The Master Mason: How Professor Baldus Built A Bridge From Learning To Law And The Legacy Of Equal Justice He Leaves Behind, James E. Baker

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

These are Chief Judge Baker’s remarks eulogizing the late Professor David Baldus. Chief Judge Baker observes that Professor Baldus was an extraordinary educator-lawyer who mastered the fields of social science and statistics. He adds that Professor Baldus was diligent in his research and strived to make the law accessible. Chief Judge Baker discusses how Professor Baldus’s research on the death penalty and proportionality review successfully bridged the law and learning, without ever losing sight of compassion.


The U.S. Criminal-Immigration Convergence And Its Possible Undoing, Allegra M. Mcleod Jan 2012

The U.S. Criminal-Immigration Convergence And Its Possible Undoing, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The intensifying convergence of U.S. criminal law and immigration law poses fundamental structural problems. This convergence--which manifests in the criminal prosecution of immigration law violators, in deportation of criminal law violators, and in a growing immigration enforcement and detention apparatus--distorts criminal law incentives and drains enforcement resources, misguides immigration regulation, and undermines efforts to implement alternative immigration regulatory frameworks. This article offers an account, informed by social psychological and literary theory, of why this convergence persists notwithstanding these problems, as well as how the convergence (and inherently associated problems) might be undone. The U.S. criminal-immigration convergence holds powerful ...


Williams V. Illinois And The Confrontation Clause: Does Testimony By A Surrogate Witness Violate The Confrontation Clause?, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Jan 2011

Williams V. Illinois And The Confrontation Clause: Does Testimony By A Surrogate Witness Violate The Confrontation Clause?, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article comprises a four-part debate between Paul Rothstein, Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Center, and Ronald J. Coleman, who works in the litigation practice group at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, on Williams v. Illinois, a Supreme Court case that involves the Confrontation Clause, which entitles a criminal defendant to confront an accusing witness in court. The issue at hand is whether said clause is infringed when a report not introduced into evidence at trial is used by an expert to testify about the results of testing that has been conducted by a non-testifying third party.

The debate ...


In Praise Of The Guilty Project: A Criminal Defense Lawyer's Growing Anxiety About Innocence Projects, Abbe Smith Jan 2010

In Praise Of The Guilty Project: A Criminal Defense Lawyer's Growing Anxiety About Innocence Projects, Abbe Smith

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There is nothing more compelling than a story about an innocent person wrongly convicted and ultimately vindicated. An ordinary citizen is caught up in the criminal justice system through circumstances beyond his or her control, spends many years in prison, and then one day, with the assistance of a dedicated lawyer, is freed.

Often, when DNA is behind a vindication, not only is the innocent person exonerated but the true perpetrator is identified. This is a significant achievement even though it can also lead apologists for the system—even police and prosecutors implicated in the wrongful conviction—to proudly declare ...


Exporting U.S. Criminal Justice, Allegra M. Mcleod Jan 2010

Exporting U.S. Criminal Justice, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article explores how and why, in the Cold War’s wake, the U.S. government began to export U.S.-style criminal law and procedure models to developing and politically transitioning states. U.S. criminal law and development consultants now work in countries across the globe. This article reveals how U.S. initiatives have shaped state and non-state actors’ responses to a range of global challenges, even as this approach suffers from a deep democratic deficit. Further, this article argues that U.S. programs perpetuate U.S.-style legal institutional idolatry (which is often tied to systemic dysfunction both ...


Guilty Pleas Or Trials: Which Does The Barrister Prefer?, Peter W. Tague Jan 2008

Guilty Pleas Or Trials: Which Does The Barrister Prefer?, Peter W. Tague

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Barristers in England and attorneys in the United States have been upbraided for pursuing their interests to their clients' detriment in recommending guilty pleas over trials. While this accusation against American attorneys could be true since their incentives are sometimes skewed to favor guilty pleas, it is not accurate with respect to barristers in England. This is because the latter’s selfish incentives--to maximize income and avoid sanction--incline them to prefer trials over guilty pleas. In Melbourne and Sydney, barristers have never been similarly accused. Indeed, the topic has not been studied. Based on interviews with legal professionals in those ...


Guilty Pleas And Barristers' Incentives: Lessons From England, Peter W. Tague Jan 2007

Guilty Pleas And Barristers' Incentives: Lessons From England, Peter W. Tague

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

When considering the defendant's plea, barristers, like lawyers, have two overriding, selfish interests: maximizing remuneration and avoiding sanction. The tension between defendant and defender is most acute when the defendant is indigent and the defender has been chosen to represent him. It is their relationship that is addressed in this article.

The goal is to align the defender's selfish interests with the defendant's need for thoughtful advice over how to plead, so that, behind the guise of apparently disinterested advice, the advocate is not pursuing his interests at the defendant's expense. By contrast to most American ...


"I Ain't Takin' No Plea": The Challenges In Counseling Young People Facing Serious Time, Abbe Smith Jan 2007

"I Ain't Takin' No Plea": The Challenges In Counseling Young People Facing Serious Time, Abbe Smith

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Criminal defendants daily entrust their liberty to the skill of their lawyers. The consequences of the lawyer’s decisions fall squarely upon the defendant. There is nothing untoward in this circumstance. To the contrary, the lawyer as the defendant’s representative is at the core of our adversary process.

As practicing lawyers know, interviewing and counseling are at the heart of legal representation. This is what lawyers do, even trial lawyers: we talk with and advise clients. As criminal lawyers know, the decision whether to go to trial is “the most important single decision” a client faces, and requires wise ...


The Burdens Of Representing The Accused In An Age Of Harsh Punishment, Abbe Smith Jan 2004

The Burdens Of Representing The Accused In An Age Of Harsh Punishment, Abbe Smith

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The crimes are not any worse than they used to be. They run, as crimes do, from the banal to the barbarous. But punishment seems to have taken on a life of its own.

There are people serving more than twenty years for nonviolent drug offenses. There are people serving more than thirty years for car theft, burglary, and unarmed robbery--crimes for which a harsh sentence used to be ten years. One Oklahoma woman is serving a thirty-five year sentence for "till-tapping"--stealing money out of cash registers--when she was in the throes of a heroin addiction. It is impossible ...


Reconceptualizing Criminal Law Defenses, Victoria Nourse Jan 2003

Reconceptualizing Criminal Law Defenses, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 1933, one of the leading theorists of the criminal law, Jerome Michael, wrote openly of the criminal law "as an instrument of the state." Today, criminal law is largely allergic to claims of political theory; commentators obsess about theories of deterrence and retribution, and the technical details of model codes and sentencing grids, but rarely speak of institutional effects or political commitments. In this article, the author aims to change that emphasis and to examine the criminal law as a tool for governance. Her approach is explicitly constructive: it accepts the criminal law that we have, places it in ...


Ensuring Able Representation For Publicly-Funded Criminal Defendants: Lessons From England, Peter W. Tague Jan 2000

Ensuring Able Representation For Publicly-Funded Criminal Defendants: Lessons From England, Peter W. Tague

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

While there are skilled private defense lawyers who enthusiastically represent indigent criminal defendants, too often defense lawyers whose income depends upon appointments provide deplorable representation. The problem is well known and pervasive. In addition to the blizzard of claims on appeal of ineffective representation, defenders' efforts have been savaged by judges and by fellow lawyers. These nagging problems persist: to induce private lawyers to represent their clients effectively by eliciting the defendant's story and managing their relationship in a way that at least does not displease the defendant; investigating his and the prosecution's positions; pressing the prosecution for ...


Ex Post Facto Payments In Legally-Aided Criminal Cases In The Old Bailey, Peter W. Tague Jan 1999

Ex Post Facto Payments In Legally-Aided Criminal Cases In The Old Bailey, Peter W. Tague

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

A much more pervasive scheme for overseeing the reasonableness of fees charged by legal professionals exists in England than in the United States. In England, for example, with or without a specific agreement over the fee, the client can challenge the solicitor's charges, and the court or the Law Society will assess their reasonableness.' Similarly, as part of assigning costs to the losing party, the reasonableness of the winning solicitor's claim for fees is evaluated. The lay client can even dispute the reasonableness of the barrister's fee after the fact.

In the United States, by contrast, lawyers ...


Gideon's Muted Trumpet, Victoria Nourse Jan 1999

Gideon's Muted Trumpet, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Once the darling of the legal academy, criminal procedure has fallen into disrepute. Thirty-five years ago, when Gideon was decided, criminal procedure was the flagship of constitutional law, criminal defense attorneys were heroes, and courts and lawyers were perceived as themselves agents of social justice. Today, there are still heroes. But the conventional wisdom, within the academy and the country at large, no longer associates criminal law or procedure with heroism. Indeed, in some quarters, criminal procedure has become the enemy. Increasingly, scholars urge revisionism, popular pundits brand procedural innovations as a loss of "common sense," and philosophers warn that ...