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Full-Text Articles in Law

What Is A Business Crime?, Richard A. Booth Nov 2007

What Is A Business Crime?, Richard A. Booth

Working Paper Series

Criminal prosecution has been used with increasing frequency recently in connection with a variety of business failures and other financial offenses. Indeed, it appears that there are few such offenses that cannot be prosecuted criminally even though they also give rise to civil remedies. While some such offenses seem to be quite serious frauds, others seem to be as minor as getting the accounting rules wrong. Thus, the question addressed in this essay is how to define a business crime and what should be the proper role of criminal prosecution in connection with business offenses. I start with the proposition ...


Search Me?, John Burkoff Aug 2007

Search Me?, John Burkoff

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

Professor Burkoff contends that most people who purportedly “consent” to searches by law enforcement officers are not really – "freely and voluntarily," as the Supreme Court decisional law supposedly requires – consenting to such searches. Yet, absent unusual circumstances, the great likelihood is that a court nonetheless will conclude that such consent was valid and any evidence seized admissible under the Fourth Amendment.

Professor Burkoff argues, however, that the Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in Georgia v. Randolph now dictates that the application of consent law doctrine should reflect the actual voluntariness (or involuntariness) of the questioned consents that come before the ...


The Prisoners’ (Plea Bargain) Dilemma, Oren Bar-Gill, Omri Ben-Shahar Jul 2007

The Prisoners’ (Plea Bargain) Dilemma, Oren Bar-Gill, Omri Ben-Shahar

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

How can a prosecutor, who has only limited resources, credibly threaten so many defendants with costly and risky trials and extract plea bargains involving harsh sentences? Had defendants refused to settle, many of them would not have been charged or would have escaped with lenient sanctions. But such collective stonewalling requires coordination among defendants, which is difficult if not impossible to attain. Moreover, the prosecutor, by strategically timing and targeting her plea offers, can create conflicts of interest among defendants, frustrating any attempt at coordination. The substantial bargaining power of the resource-constrained prosecutor is therefore the product of the collective ...


Credibility: A Fair Subject For Expert Testimony?, Anne Poulin Jul 2007

Credibility: A Fair Subject For Expert Testimony?, Anne Poulin

Working Paper Series

This article explores the ways in which experts can assist the jury to assess the credibility of other witnesses and suggests analytical approaches to such expert testimony. The article argues that the courts should be more receptive to expert testimony bearing on witness credibility and engage in a more nuanced consideration of the role played by proffered expert testimony and how the role of the evidence affects its admissibility. Doing so should lead the courts to embrace the promise of the modern rules of evidence and permit experts to assist juries as they assess credibility.


Every Juror Wants A Story: Narrative Relevance, Third Party Guilt And The Right To Present A Defense, John H. Blume, Sheri L. Johnson, Emily C. Paavola Jul 2007

Every Juror Wants A Story: Narrative Relevance, Third Party Guilt And The Right To Present A Defense, John H. Blume, Sheri L. Johnson, Emily C. Paavola

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

On occasion, criminal defendants hope to convince a jury that the state has not met its burden of proving them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by offering evidence that someone else (a third party) committed the crime. Currently, state and federal courts assess the admissibility of evidence of third-party guilt using a variety of standards. In general, however, there are two basic approaches. Many state courts require a defendant to proffer evidence of some sort of direct link or connection between a specific third-party and the crime. A second group of state courts, as well as federal courts, admit evidence ...


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 ...


Parallel Courts, Elena A. Baylis Feb 2007

Parallel Courts, Elena A. Baylis

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

Even as American attention is focused on Iraq’s struggles to rebuild its political and legal systems in the face of violent sectarian divisions, another fractured society – Kosovo – has just begun negotiations to resolve the question of its political independence. The persistent ethnic divisions that have obstructed Kosovo’s efforts to establish multi-ethnic “rule of law” offer lessons in transitional justice for Iraq and other states.

In Kosovo today, two parallel judicial systems each claim absolute and exclusive jurisdiction over the province. One system is sponsored by the United Nations administration in Kosovo and is mostly, although not exclusively, staffed ...


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 ...


Economics Of Plea Bargaining, Richard Adelstein Jan 2007

Economics Of Plea Bargaining, Richard Adelstein

Division II Faculty Publications

A short summary of earlier work for a sociological audience.


Forgiveness In Criminal Procedure, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2007

Forgiveness In Criminal Procedure, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Though forgiveness and mercy matter greatly in social life, they play fairly small roles in criminal procedure. Criminal procedure is dominated by the state, whose interests in deterring, incapacitating, and inflicting retribution leave little room for mercy. An alternative system, however, would focus more on the needs of human participants. Victim-offender mediation, sentencing discounts, and other mechanisms could encourage offenders to express remorse, victims to forgive, and communities to reintegrate and employ offenders. All of these actors could then better heal, reconcile, and get on with their lives. Forgiveness and mercy are not panaceas: not all offenders and victims would ...


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 ...