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Criminal Procedure

Criminal Law and Procedure

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

Articles 1 - 14 of 14

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Case Of Weak Will And Wayward Desire., Vera Bergelson Sep 2008

The Case Of Weak Will And Wayward Desire., Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

In this article, I confront Garvey¡¯s argument that a weak-willed individual deserves partial excuse for trying to resist a strong desire that pushes him toward commission of a criminal act even though in the end he unreasonably abandons his resistance and commits the crime.

I attempt to refute Garvey¡¯s argument on two counts: one, I question whether the law should indeed provide mitigation to such an offender; and two, I argue that, even if it should, this mitigation may not come in the form of a partial defense. Defenses, even partial, are desert based, and there is nothing ...


Consent To Harm, Vera Bergelson Jul 2008

Consent To Harm, Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This article continues conversation about consent to physical harm started in Vera Bergelson, The Right to Be Hurt: Testing the Boundaries of Consent, 75 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 165 (2007).

Intentionally injuring or killing another person is presumptively wrong. To overcome this presumption, the perpetrator must establish a defense of justification. Consent of the victim may serve as one of the grounds for such a defense. This article puts forward criteria for the defense of consent.

One element of the proposed defense is essential to both its complete and partial forms ¨C that consent of the victim be rational and ...


Rights, Wrongs, And Comparative Justifications, Vera Bergelson Apr 2007

Rights, Wrongs, And Comparative Justifications, Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

The goal of this article is to rethink the relationship between the concepts of justification and wrongdoing, which play vital roles in the theory of criminal law. Reading George P. Fletcher’s new book, The Grammar of Criminal Law, in the context of his earlier scholarship has led me to one major disagreement with Fletcher as well as with the traditional criminal law doctrine: for Fletcher and many others, wrongdoing and justification mutually exclude each other; for me, they do not.

Consider a hypothetical: a group of people are captured by criminals. The criminals are about to kill everyone but ...


Solving The Lawyer Problem In Criminal Cases, George C. Thomas Iii Feb 2007

Solving The Lawyer Problem In Criminal Cases, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

We are learning that the vaunted American adversarial system too often fails to protect innocent defendants. Part of the problem is that indigent criminal defenders, in many parts of the country, are overburdened to the point that they cannot always provide an adequate adversarial testing of the State’s case. Part of the problem is the emotional burn out that many defenders experience. A less well known part of the problem is that the very nature of the adversarial mentality too often causes prosecutors to cut corners and thus threaten innocent defendants. “Solving the Lawyer Problem in Criminal Cases,” a ...


Making Crime (Almost) Disappear, George C. Thomas Iii Feb 2007

Making Crime (Almost) Disappear, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This essay sketches the outlines of a future world in which crime has been drastically reduced. The author proposes two radical approaches to achieve this crime reduction. Some crimes, like drunk driving, can be almost completely eliminated by using technology to prevent the operation of a vehicle by a driver with a blood alcohol greater than the permissible level. Other crimes, like larceny or burglary of expensive items, can be made extremely easy to solve by requiring the installation of micro chips that will, when activated, broadcast their location to police.

To the objection that it will be expensive to ...


The Right To Be Hurt. Testing The Boundaries Of Consent., Vera Bergelson May 2006

The Right To Be Hurt. Testing The Boundaries Of Consent., Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

People's right to consent to pain, injury or death has always been one of the most controversial issues in criminal law and moral philosophy. In recent years, that issue has moved to the forefront of public, legislative, and academic debates in the United States and abroad due to a series of high-profile criminal trials, which involved consenting victims in various contexts--from sadomasochism and cannibalism to experimental medical treatment and mercy killing.

Currently, American criminal law does not recognize consent of the victim as a defense to bodily harm, except in a few historically defined circumstances. That rule has been ...


Standing Room Only: Why Fourth Amendment Exclusion And Standing No Longer Logically Coexist, Sherry F. Colb Mar 2006

Standing Room Only: Why Fourth Amendment Exclusion And Standing No Longer Logically Coexist, Sherry F. Colb

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

The Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule provides that a criminal defendant may suppress the fruits of unreasonable searches and seizures at his prosecution. The Fourth Amendment standing requirement limits the class of criminal defendants who may invoke the exclusionary rule to those who have personally suffered a violation of their rights. This Article argues that the two doctrines are logically inconsistent with each other. The exclusionary rule rests on a foundation of deterrence that takes as its point of departure the police officer's subjective perspective of events and asks: did the information known to him justify his conduct? The standing ...


Justice Story Cuts The Gordian Knot Of Hung Jury Instructions, George C. Thomas Iii, Mark Greenbaum Jan 2006

Justice Story Cuts The Gordian Knot Of Hung Jury Instructions, George C. Thomas Iii, Mark Greenbaum

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

Constitutional law grows more complex over time. The complexity is due, in large part, to the rule of stare decisis. When faced with precedents that it does not wish to follow, the Court usually distinguishes the case before it. Thus, the constitutional landscape is littered with cases that do not fit well together. Navigating past these shoals is often difficult for courts following the Supreme Court’s lead. One example is the law governing instructions that a trial judge can give a deadlocked jury in a criminal case. The right to a jury trial entails the right to have the ...


Discretion And Criminal Law: The Good, The Bad, And The Mundane, George C. Thomas Iii Jul 2005

Discretion And Criminal Law: The Good, The Bad, And The Mundane, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

Most academic papers condemn discretion in the enforcement and prosecution of crime. This essay argues that discretion should be understood to come in three varieties: good discretion, which is beneficial; bad discretion, which is typified by acts motivated by race, sex, or class considerations; and mundane discretion, which is value-neutral. The decision to pursue a drunken driver rather than a speeder, for example, is a good use of discretion while the decision to pursue one speeder rather than another based on race is bad discretion. Most motives that prompt acts of discretion, however, are value-neutral or what I call “mundane ...


Time Travel, Hovercrafts, And The Framers: James Madison Sees The Future And Rewrites The Fourth Amendment, George C. Thomas Iii Jul 2005

Time Travel, Hovercrafts, And The Framers: James Madison Sees The Future And Rewrites The Fourth Amendment, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

The Framers could not have contemplated the interpretational problems that cloud the Fourth Amendment because police, in the modern sense, were unknown to the Framers. Also unknown to the Framers, of course, were wiretaps, drug interdiction searches, thermal imagining, helicopters, and blood tests. We can infer from the history surrounding the Fourth Amendment what the Framers hoped it would accomplish in their time. What if the Framers could have seen the future and known the kind of police techniques that are being used today? What kind of Fourth Amendment would they have written with that knowledge? This article seeks to ...


Missing Miranda's Story, A Review Of Gary L. Stuart's, Miranda: The Story Of America's Right To Remain Silent, George C. Thomas Iii Jun 2005

Missing Miranda's Story, A Review Of Gary L. Stuart's, Miranda: The Story Of America's Right To Remain Silent, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

Miranda v. Arizona is the best known criminal procedure decision in the history of the Supreme Court. It has spawned dozens of books and hundreds of articles. The world does not need another Miranda book unless it has something new and interesting to tell readers. Unfortunately, to borrow an old cliche, the parts of Gary Stuart’s book that are new are, for the most part, not interesting and the parts that are interesting are, for the most part, not new. Stuart adds material to the Miranda storehouse about the involvement of local Arizona lawyers and judges in the original ...


Conditional Rights And Comparative Wrongs: More On The Theory And Application Of Comparative Criminal Liability, Vera Bergelson Apr 2005

Conditional Rights And Comparative Wrongs: More On The Theory And Application Of Comparative Criminal Liability, Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This article continues to develop an argument in favor of comparative criminal liability started in "Victims and Perpetrators: An Argument for Comparative Liability in Criminal Law," (http://law.bepress.com/rutgersnewarklwps/fp/art19/) Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 385 (2005). The essence of my argument is that people’s rights are not static but depend on their actions, and victims may reduce their right not to be harmed either voluntarily, by consent, waiver or assumption of risk, or involuntarily, by an attack on some legally recognized rights of the perpetrator. If that happens, perpetrators should be entitled to a defense of ...


Victims And Perpetrators: An Argument For Comparative Liability In Criminal Law, Vera Bergelson Feb 2005

Victims And Perpetrators: An Argument For Comparative Liability In Criminal Law, Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This article challenges the legal rule according to which the victim’s conduct is irrelevant to the determination of the perpetrator’s criminal liability. The author attacks this rule from both positive and normative perspectives, and argues that criminal law should incorporate an affirmative defense of comparative liability. This defense would fully or partially exculpate the defendant if the victim by his own acts has lost or reduced his right not to be harmed.

Part I tests the descriptive accuracy of the proposition that the perpetrator’s liability does not depend on the conduct of the victim. Criminological and victimological ...


The Conviction Of Andrea Yates: A Narrative Of Denial, Sherry F. Colb Jul 2003

The Conviction Of Andrea Yates: A Narrative Of Denial, Sherry F. Colb

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This piece discusses the case of Andrea Yates, the woman who confessed to drowning her five children to death and was subsequently convicted of murder (though the conviction has since been overturned). In this piece, Colb contends that Andrea Yates was convicted because of the jurors’ emotional/psychological response to the possibility that post-partum psychosis could cause an otherwise decent person to commit such brutal acts. As a symptom of denial, Colb argues, the jury rejected the insanity defense and thereby reassured itself that only evil people could do what Yates did. If that were the case, then it would ...