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Federalization's Folly, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2019

Federalization's Folly, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

Overcriminalization and overpunishment are the two key features of federal criminal law today, yet the constant drumbeat to “federalize” criminal law has accomplished precious little in terms of public safety. The failed drug war proves as much: federal prosecutors have filled the nation’s prisons with low-level drug dealers and drug users serving long sentences, but drugs remain widely available at greater purity and lower prices throughout the land — and drug overdoses are at record highs. Instead of focusing on areas of federal comparative advantage, such as terrorism, international drug trafficking, and organized crime, federal prosecutors waste scarce resources “playing ...


The Quantum Of Suspicion Needed For An Exigent Circumstances Search, Kit Kinports Jan 2019

The Quantum Of Suspicion Needed For An Exigent Circumstances Search, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

For decades, the United States Supreme Court opinions articulating the standard of exigency necessary to trigger the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement have been maddeningly opaque and confusing. Some cases require probable cause, others call for reasonable suspicion, and still others use undefined and unhelpful terms such as "reasonable to believe" in describing how exigent the situation must be to permit the police to proceed without a warrant. Nor surprisingly, the conflicting signals coming from the Supreme Court have led to disagreement in the lower courts.

To resolve this conflict and provide guidance to law ...


The Death Penalty As Incapacitation, Marah S. Mcleod Jan 2018

The Death Penalty As Incapacitation, Marah S. Mcleod

Journal Articles

Courts and commentators give scant attention to the incapacitation rationale for capital punishment, focusing instead on retribution and deterrence. The idea that execution may be justified to prevent further violence by dangerous prisoners is often ignored in death penalty commentary. The view on the ground could not be more different. Hundreds of executions have been premised on the need to protect society from dangerous offenders. Two states require a finding of future dangerousness for any death sentence, and over a dozen others treat it as an aggravating factor that turns murder into a capital crime.

How can courts and commentators ...


Illegal Predicate Searches And Tainted Warrants After Heien And Strieff, Kit Kinports Jan 2018

Illegal Predicate Searches And Tainted Warrants After Heien And Strieff, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

A long-standing debate has surrounded the relationship between two features of the Fourth Amendment's exclusionary rule - the fruits of the poisonous tree doctrine and the good-faith exception - in cases where the evidence used to secure a search warrant was obtained in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights. Some judges and scholars maintain that the fruits of the poisonous tree doctrine takes precedence in such "tainted warrant" cases, leading to the suppression of any evidence seized in executing the warrant unless the warrant was supported by probable cause independent of the illegal predicate search. By contrast, others believe that ...


Constraining Monitors, Veronica Root Jan 2017

Constraining Monitors, Veronica Root

Journal Articles

Monitors oversee remediation efforts at dozens, if not hundreds, of institutions that are guilty of misconduct. The remediation efforts that the monitors of today engage in are, in many instances, quite similar to activities that were once subject to formal court oversight. But as the importance and power of monitors has increased, the court’s oversight of monitors and the agreements that most often result in monitorships has, at best, been severely diminished and, at worst, vanished altogether.

The lack of regulation governing monitors is well documented; yet, the academic literature on monitorships to date has largely taken the state ...


Justice Scalia, Implied Rights Of Action, And Historical Practice, Anthony J. Bellia Jan 2017

Justice Scalia, Implied Rights Of Action, And Historical Practice, Anthony J. Bellia

Journal Articles

In the realm of Federal Courts, the question of “implied rights of action” asks when, if ever, may a plaintiff bring a federal right of action for the violation of a federal statute that does not expressly create one. Justice Scalia argued that a court should not entertain an action for damages for the violation of a federal statute unless the text of the statute demonstrates that Congress meant to create a right of action. The Supreme Court adopted this approach in 2001 in Alexander v. Sandoval, with Justice Scalia writing for the majority. Certain judges and scholars have argued ...


Heien'S Mistake Of Law, Kit Kinports Jan 2016

Heien'S Mistake Of Law, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court has been whittling away at the Fourth Amendment for decades. The Court's 2014 ruling in Heien v. North Carolina allowing the police to make a traffic stop based on a reasonable mistake of law generated little controversy among the Justices and escaped largely unnoticed by the press-perhaps because yet another Supreme Court decision reading the Fourth Amendment narrowly is not especially noteworthy or because the opinion's cursory and overly simplistic analysis equating law enforcement's reasonable mistakes of fact and law minimized the significance of the Court's decision. But the temptation to dismiss Heien ...


Statutory Constraints And Constitutional Decisionmaking, Anthony O'Rourke Jan 2015

Statutory Constraints And Constitutional Decisionmaking, Anthony O'Rourke

Journal Articles

Although constitutional scholars frequently analyze the relationships between courts and legislatures, they rarely examine the relationship between courts and statutes. This Article is the first to systematically examine how the presence or absence of a statute can influence constitutional doctrine. It analyzes pairs of cases that raise similar constitutional questions, but differ with respect to whether the court is reviewing the constitutionality of legislation. These case pairs suggest that statutes place significant constraints on constitutional decisionmaking. Specifically, in cases that involve a challenge to a statute, courts are less inclined to use doctrine to regulate the behavior of nonjudicial officials ...


Book Review, Angela Mae Kupenda Jan 2015

Book Review, Angela Mae Kupenda

Journal Articles

Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America’s Civil Rights Murders is an exceptional work by Renee C. Romano. This review will first discuss a concern I had prior to reading her book. Discussion of this alleviated concern will be followed by brief consideration of Romano’s well selected titled, which will be followed by a discussion of what I see as major contributions of the book.


Auctioning Class Settlements, Jay Tidmarsh Oct 2014

Auctioning Class Settlements, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

Although they promise better deterrence at a lower cost, class actions are infected with problems that can keep them from delivering on this promise. One of these problems occurs when the agents for the class (the class representative and class counsel) advance their own interests at the expense of the class. Controlling agency cost, which often manifests itself at the time of settlement, has been the impetus behind a number of class-action reform proposals. This Article develops a proposal that, in conjunction with reforms in fee structure and opt-out rights, controls agency costs at the time of settlement. The idea ...


The Speedy Trial Right And National Security Detentions: Critical Comments On United States V. Ghailani, Anthony O'Rourke Jan 2014

The Speedy Trial Right And National Security Detentions: Critical Comments On United States V. Ghailani, Anthony O'Rourke

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Probable Cause And Reasonable Suspicion: Totality Tests Or Rigid Rules?, Kit Kinports Jan 2014

Probable Cause And Reasonable Suspicion: Totality Tests Or Rigid Rules?, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

This piece argues that the Supreme Court's April 2014 decision in Navarette v. Calfornia, like last Term's opinion in Florida v. Harris, deviates from longstanding Supreme Court precedent treating probable cause and reasonable suspicion as totality-of-the-circumstances tests. Instead, these two recent rulings essentially rely on rigid rules to define probable cause and reasonable suspicion. The article criticizes the Court for selectively endorsing bright-line tests that favor the prosecution, and argues that both decisions generate rules that oversimplify and therefore tend to be overinclusive.


Structural Overdelegation In Criminal Procedure, Anthony O'Rourke Jan 2013

Structural Overdelegation In Criminal Procedure, Anthony O'Rourke

Journal Articles

In function, if not in form, criminal procedure is a type of delegation. It requires courts to select constitutional objectives, and to decide how much discretionary authority to allocate to law enforcement officials in order to implement those objectives. By recognizing this process for what it is, this Article identifies a previously unseen phenomenon that inheres in the structure of criminal procedure decision-making.

Criminal procedure’s decision-making structure, this Article argues, pressures the Supreme Court to delegate more discretionary authority to law enforcement officials than the Court’s constitutional objectives can justify. By definition, this systematic “overdelegation” does not result ...


The Dog Days Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence, Kit Kinports Jan 2013

The Dog Days Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

This Article discusses Florida v. Harris and Florida v. Jardines, the two Fourth Amendment drug dog opinions issued by the Supreme Court earlier this year. Together the cases hold that a narcotics detection dog effects a “search” when it intrudes on a constitutionally protected area in order to collect evidence, but that the dog’s positive alert is generally sufficient to support a finding of probable cause. The piece argues that both cases essentially generate a bright-line rule, thereby deviating from precedent that favored a more amorphous standard considering all the surrounding circumstances. Like many purportedly clear rules, the ones ...


Culpability, Deterrence, And The Exclusionary Rule, Kit Kinports Jan 2013

Culpability, Deterrence, And The Exclusionary Rule, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

This Article discusses the Supreme Court’s use of the concepts of culpability and deterrence in its Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, in particular, in the opinions applying the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule. The contemporary Court sees deterrence as the exclusionary rule’s sole function, and the Article begins by taking the Court at its word, evaluating its exclusionary rule case law on its own terms. Drawing on three different theories of deterrence – economic rational choice theory, organizational theory, and the expressive account of punishment – the Article analyzes the mechanics by which the exclusionary rule deters unconstitutional searches and questions ...


The Innocence Effect, Avishalom Tor, Oren Gazal-Ayal Jan 2012

The Innocence Effect, Avishalom Tor, Oren Gazal-Ayal

Journal Articles

Nearly all felony convictions - about 95 percent - follow guilty pleas, suggesting that plea offers are very attractive to defendants compared to trials. Some scholars argue that plea bargains are too attractive and should be curtailed because they facilitate the wrongful conviction of innocents. Others contend that plea bargains only benefit innocent defendants, providing an alternative to the risk of a harsher sentence at trial. Hence, even while heatedly disputing their desirability, both camps in the debate believe that plea bargains commonly lead innocents to plead guilty. This Article shows, however, that the belief that innocents routinely plead guilty is overstated ...


Camreta And Al-Kidd: The Supreme Court, The Fourth Amendment, And Witnesses, Kit Kinports Jan 2012

Camreta And Al-Kidd: The Supreme Court, The Fourth Amendment, And Witnesses, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

Although few noticed the link between them, two Supreme Court cases decided in the same week last Term, Ashcroft v. al-Kidd and Camreta v. Greene, both involved the Fourth Amendment implications of detaining witnesses to a crime. Al-Kidd, an American citizen, was arrested under the federal material witness statute in connection with an investigation into terrorist activities, and Greene, a nine-year-old suspected victim of child abuse, was seized and interrogated at school by two state officials. The opinions issued in the two cases did little to resolve the constitutional issues that arise in witness detention cases, and in fact muddied ...


The Political Economy Of Criminal Procedure Litigation, Anthony O'Rourke Jan 2011

The Political Economy Of Criminal Procedure Litigation, Anthony O'Rourke

Journal Articles

Criminal procedure has undergone several well-documented shifts in its doctrinal foundations since the Supreme Court first began to apply the Constitution’s criminal procedure protections to the States. This Article examines the ways in which the political economy of criminal litigation – specifically, the material conditions that determine which litigants are able to raise criminal procedure claims, and which of those litigants’ cases are appealed to the United States Supreme Court – has influenced these shifts. It offers a theoretical framework for understanding how the political economy of criminal litigation shapes constitutional doctrine, according to which an increase in the number of ...


Localism And Capital Punishment, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2011

Localism And Capital Punishment, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

Professor Adam Gershowitz presents an interesting proposal to transfer from localities to states the power to enforce the death penalty. In his view, state-level enforcement would result in a more rationally applied death penalty because states would be much more likely to make capital charging decisions based on desert, without the distorting influence of the severe resource constraints applicable to all but the wealthiest of localities. As well conceived as Professor Gershowitz’s proposal is, however, I remain skeptical that statewide enforcement of the death penalty would be preferable to continued local enforcement. First, Professor Gershowitz underestimates the benefits of ...


Memory And Punishment, O. Carter Snead Jan 2011

Memory And Punishment, O. Carter Snead

Journal Articles

This article is the first scholarly exploration of the implications of neurobiological memory modification for criminal law. Its point of entry is the fertile context of criminal punishment, in which memory plays a crucial role. Specifically, this article will argue that there is a deep relationship between memory and the foundational principles justifying how punishment should be distributed, including retributive justice, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, moral education, and restorative justice. For all such theoretical justifications, the questions of who and how much to punish are inextricably intertwined with how a crime is remembered - by the offender, by the sentencing authority, and ...


The Supreme Court's Love-Hate Relationship With Miranda, Kit Kinports Jan 2011

The Supreme Court's Love-Hate Relationship With Miranda, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

In recent years, the Supreme Court has enjoyed a love-hate relationship with its landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona. While the Court has not hesitated to narrow Miranda’s reach, it has also been wary of deliberate efforts to circumvent it. This pragmatic approach to Miranda can be doctrinally unsatisfying and even incoherent at times, but it basically maintains the core structure of Miranda as the police have come to know and adapt to it.

Last Term provided the first glimpse of the Roberts Court’s views on Miranda, as the Court considered three Miranda cases: Maryland v. Shatzer, Florida ...


Veteran Police Officers And Three-Dollar Steaks: The Subjective/Objective Dimensions Of Probable Cause And Reasonable Suspicion, Kit Kinports Jan 2010

Veteran Police Officers And Three-Dollar Steaks: The Subjective/Objective Dimensions Of Probable Cause And Reasonable Suspicion, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

This Article addresses two issues surrounding probable cause and reasonable suspicion that test the line between subjective and objective standards in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence: the extent to which a particular police officer’s training and experience ought to be considered in measuring probable cause and reasonable suspicion, and the relevance of the officer’s subjective beliefs about the presence of a weapon in assessing the reasonable suspicion required to justify a frisk. Although both questions have split the lower courts and remain unresolved by the Supreme Court, the majority of courts treat them inconsistently, recognizing the importance of an officer ...


Science, Public Bioethics, And The Problem Of Integration, O. Carter Snead Jan 2010

Science, Public Bioethics, And The Problem Of Integration, O. Carter Snead

Journal Articles

Public bioethics — the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology in the name of ethical goods — is an emerging area of American law. The field uniquely combines scientific knowledge, moral reasoning, and prudential judgments about democratic decision making. It has captured the attention of officials in every branch of government, as well as the American public itself. Public questions (such as those relating to the law of abortion, the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, and the regulation of end-of-life decision making) continue to roil the public square.

This Article examines the question of how scientific methods and principles can ...


Fairness And The Willingness To Accept Plea Bargain Offers, Avishalom Tor Jan 2010

Fairness And The Willingness To Accept Plea Bargain Offers, Avishalom Tor

Journal Articles

In contrast with the common assumption in the plea bargaining literature, we show fairness-related concerns systematically impact defendants' preferences and judgments. In the domain of preference, innocents are less willing to accept plea offers (WTAP) than guilty defendants and all defendants reject otherwise attractive offers that appear comparatively unfair. We also show that defendants who are uncertain of their culpability exhibit egocentrically biased judgments and reject plea offers as if they were innocent. The article concludes by briefly discussing the normative implications of these findings.


Deferring Ineffectiveness Claims To Collateral Review: Ensuring Equal Access And A Right To Appointed Counsel, Thomas M. Place Jan 2010

Deferring Ineffectiveness Claims To Collateral Review: Ensuring Equal Access And A Right To Appointed Counsel, Thomas M. Place

Journal Articles

The article addresses a problem in criminal procedure that leaves an increasingly large number of defendants without a remedy to protect their right to effective assistance of counsel at trial and on direct appeal. The problem stems from the decision of states to move ineffectiveness claims from direct appeal to the post-conviction process and the fact that over half the states limit access to post-conviction remedies to defendants who are in custody. If the defendant’s prison sentence is completed during the period direct appeal is pending, or, in some jurisdictions, before the collateral review process is completed, the defendant ...


'False But Highly Persuasive:' How Wrong Were The Probability Estimates In Mcdaniel V. Brown?, David H. Kaye Jan 2009

'False But Highly Persuasive:' How Wrong Were The Probability Estimates In Mcdaniel V. Brown?, David H. Kaye

Journal Articles

In McDaniel v. Brown, the Supreme Court will review the use of DNA evidence in a 1994 trial for sexual assault and attempted murder. The Court granted certiorari to consider two procedural issues - the standard of federal postconviction review of a state jury verdict for sufficiency of the evidence, and the district court's decision to allow the prisoner to supplement the record of trials, appeals, and state postconviction proceedings with a geneticist's letter twelve years after the trial.

This essay clarifies the nature and extent of the errors in the presentation of the DNA evidence in Brown. It ...


Proportional Mens Rea, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2009

Proportional Mens Rea, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

This Essay makes the case for "proportional mens rea," a proportionality-based approach to mens rea selection. Proportional mens rea would provide proportionality safeguards that are otherwise entirely lacking in substantive criminal law and,as a practical matter, unavailable in constitutional law. Creating implied mens rea requirements, where necessary to ensure proportional punishment, is not a judicial usurpation of a legislative function. Rather, it is to take seriously the role that courts play, under both constitutional and substantive criminal law, to ensure that punishment "fits" the crime. Moreover, proportional mens rea would represent a needed counterweight to prosecutorial behavior whereas current ...


Taking Strickland Claims Seriously, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2009

Taking Strickland Claims Seriously, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

Every criminal defendant is promised the right to the effective assistance of counsel. Whether at trial or first appeal of right, due process is violated when attorney negligence undermines the fairness and reliability of judicial proceedings. That, at least, is the black-letter law articulated in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 688 (1984). In practice, however, the right to effective representation has meant surprisingly little over the last two decades. Under the standards that emerged from Strickland, scores of defendants have received prison or death sentences by virtue of serious unprofessional errors committed by their attorneys.

This Essay canvasses a ...


Diminishing Probable Cause And Minimalist Searches, Kit Kinports Jan 2009

Diminishing Probable Cause And Minimalist Searches, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

This paper comments on recent Supreme Court opinions that have used phrases such as "reasonable belief" and "reason to believe" when analyzing intrusions that generally require proof of probable cause. Historically, the Court used these terms as shorthand references for both probable cause and reasonable suspicion. While this lack of precision was unobjectionable when the concepts were interchangeable, that has not been true since Terry v. Ohio created a distinction between the two standards. When the Justices then resurrect these terms without situating them in the dichotomy between probable cause and reasonable suspicion, it is not clear whether they are ...


Criminal Procedure In Perspective, Kit Kinports Jan 2008

Criminal Procedure In Perspective, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

This Article attempts to situate the Supreme Court's constitutional criminal procedure jurisprudence in the academic debates surrounding the reasonable person standard, in particular, the extent to which objective standards should incorporate a particular individual's subjective characteristics. Analyzing the Supreme Court's search and seizure and confessions opinions, I find that the Court shifts opportunistically from case to case between subjective and objective tests, and between whose point of view - the police officer's or the defendant's - it views as controlling. Moreover, these deviations cannot be explained either by the principles the Court claims underlie the various constitutional ...