Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Criminal Procedure

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Criminal Law and Procedure

Articles 1 - 17 of 17

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Witness Coaching By Prosecutors, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2002

Witness Coaching By Prosecutors, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Given its controversial nature, one would expect the practice and ethics of witness coaching to have attracted close scrutiny by courts and commentators. Interestingly, however, the subject has received relatively modest attention. A handful of judicial and ethics opinions have discussed superficially the subject of witness preparation and coaching. Practitioner manuals typically offer general guidance on how to prepare witnesses, and occasionally address tactical and ethical issues involved in coaching. Scholarly commentary has examined the ethical limits of witness preparation, particularly by differentiating acceptable techniques from improper techniques, which promote false or misleading testimony. In addition, popular culture occasionally has ...


Child Witnesses And Procedural Fairness, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2001

Child Witnesses And Procedural Fairness, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Professor Gershman's Article notes that courts and lawmakers have changed procedural and evidentiary rules to protect child witnesses in child sexual abuse cases. Gershman discusses how courts apply the changed rules with careful scrutiny in an effort to ensure that the interests of the child witness and the accused defendant are appropriately balanced.


The Prosecutor's Duty To Truth, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2001

The Prosecutor's Duty To Truth, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Article discusses the prosecutor's duty to refrain from conduct that impedes the search for truth. A prosecutor may impede the truth-finding process in several ways: (1) distorting the truth by attacking the defendant's character, misleading and misrepresenting facts, and engaging in inflammatory conduct; (2) subverting the truth by making false statements and presenting false evidence; (3) suppressing the truth by failing to disclose potentially truth-enhancing evidence or obstructing defense access to potentially truth-enhancing evidence; and (4) other truth-disserving conduct that exploits defense counsel's misconduct and mistakes and prevents introduction of potentially truth-serving defenses ...


Mental Culpability And Prosecutorial Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1998

Mental Culpability And Prosecutorial Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article argues that a prosecutor's intent is always relevant to the courts' analysis of misconduct, and that the courts should always consider a prosecutor's intent in determining whether a rule was violated and whether the verdict was prejudiced. Part II of this Article examines the use of the objective test to analyze a prosecutor's trial conduct. Part II offers several reasons courts give for avoiding inquiry into a prosecutor's mental culpability, analyzes those reasons, and concludes that although the application of an objective test is sufficient to correct misconduct in some instances, it does not ...


The New Prosecutors, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1992

The New Prosecutors, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The power and prestige of the American prosecutor have changed dramatically over the past twenty years. Three generalizations appropriately describe this change. First, prosecutors wield vastly more power than ever before. Second, prosecutors are more insulated from judicial control over their conduct. Third, prosecutors are increasingly immune to ethical restraints. Only the last point may provoke some controversy; the first two are easily documented, and generally accepted by the courts and commentators.

Part I of this article examines in greater detail this vast accretion of prosecutorial power, and explains how this transformation has resulted in a radical skewing of the ...


The Most Fundamental Change In The Criminal Justice System: The Role Of The Prosecutor In Sentence Reduction, Bennett L. Gershman Oct 1990

The Most Fundamental Change In The Criminal Justice System: The Role Of The Prosecutor In Sentence Reduction, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

As every lawyer knows, the prosecutor is the most powerful figure in the American criminal justice system. The prosecutor decides whom to charge, what charges to bring, whether to permit a defendant to plead guilty, and whether to confer immunity. In carrying out this broad decision-making power, the prosecutor enjoys considerable independence. Indeed, one of the most elusive and vexing subjects in criminal justice has been to define the limits of the prosecutor’s discretion.


The Adversarial System At Risk, Bennett L. Gershman Apr 1990

The Adversarial System At Risk, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The most ominous recent development affecting the balance of forces in the adversary system is the unprecedented attack by prosecutors on criminal defense lawyers themselves. Grand jury subpoenas to attorneys, law office searches, disqualification motions, fee forfeiture proceedings, and, most recently, IRS attempts to enforce currency-reporting regulations do not seem to be isolated occurrences or mere happenstance. Rather, perhaps inspired by Shakespeare's injunction in Henry VI to "kill all the lawyers," some prosecutors appear to have concluded that the most effective way to prevail in the battle against crime is to cripple the defense lawyers, particularly those who represent ...


The Thin Blue Line: Art Or Trial In The Fact-Finding Process?, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1989

The Thin Blue Line: Art Or Trial In The Fact-Finding Process?, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Part I of this Commentary objectively analyzes The Thin Blue Line, focusing on the film’s monologues, dramatizations, and exhibits. The film's organizational structure roughly parallels the stages of the criminal justice process, from the investigation and arrest of Adams to his trial, conviction, sentence, and post-conviction litigation. The prologue and epilogue unify the story. Part II attempts to explain the bizarre judicial result, focusing on the prosecutor's dominant role in the criminal justice process. It concludes, as does the film, that one of the fundamental features of our legal system - the intrinsic ability of the adversary process ...


Proving The Defendant's Bad Character, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1988

Proving The Defendant's Bad Character, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The classic study of the American jury shows that when a defendant's criminal record is known and the prosecution's case has weaknesses, the defendant's chances of acquittal are thirty-eight percent, compared to sixty-five percent otherwise. Because of the danger that jurors will assume that the defendant is guilty based on proof that his bad character predisposes him to an act of crime, the courts and legislatures have attempted to circumscribe the use of such evidence. Some prosecutors, however, although well aware of the insidious effect such prejudicial evidence can have on jurors, violate the rules of evidence ...


Attorney Loyalty And Client Perjury - A Postscript To Nix V. Whiteside, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1986

Attorney Loyalty And Client Perjury - A Postscript To Nix V. Whiteside, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

How much, if at all, can a criminal defense lawyer cooperate in his or her client's decision to commit perjury? Courts, commentators, and bar committees have grappled with this question for years without offering clear or consistent guidelines. Any principled response must take into account some very hard questions. Under what circumstances, for instance, does the lawyer ever really "know" that his client's proposed testimony is false? Is it sufficient if the lawyer simply disbelieves his client's story, or that of his client's witnesses? Does it make any difference if the attorney learns of a plan ...


Entrapment, Shocked Consciences, And The Staged Arrest, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1982

Entrapment, Shocked Consciences, And The Staged Arrest, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article discusses the relatively spare and unsettled case law relating to the staged arrest, reflected primarily in United States v. Archer and Nigrone v. Murtagh. Part III of this Article examines the defense of entrapment, one of the most confusing and controversial legal doctrines, and its application to the staged arrest. Because the staged arrest ineluctably raises questions of offensive government conduct that neither constitutes unlawful entrapment nor invades any independent rights of citizens, part IV considers the analysis of courts that have invoked the due process clause to limit government investigations. In view of the failure of these ...


The "Perjury Trap", Bennett L. Gershman Jan 1981

The "Perjury Trap", Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

It is the aim of the present Article, first, to explore the boundaries of legitimate grand jury interrogation as it bears on the subject of perjury and, second, to formulate guidelines that strike a balance between the needs of the investigatory process and the rights of witnesses.