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The Wrong Decision At The Wrong Time: Utah V. Strieff In The Era Of Aggressive Policing, Julian A. Cook Jan 2017

The Wrong Decision At The Wrong Time: Utah V. Strieff In The Era Of Aggressive Policing, Julian A. Cook

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On June 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court held in Utah v. Strieff that evidence discovered incident to an unconstitutional arrest of an individual should not be suppressed given that the subsequent discovery of an outstanding warrant attenuated the taint from the unlawful detention. Approximately two weeks later the issue of aggressive policing was again thrust into the national spotlight when two African-American individuals — Alton Sterling and Philando Castile — were killed by policemen in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Falcon Heights, Minnesota, respectively, under questionable circumstances. Though connected by proximity in time, this article will demonstrate that these events are ...


Louisiana Rapper’S Case Speaks To Bigger Problems In The Criminal Justice System, Andrea L. Dennis, Erik Nelson, Michael Render Apr 2016

Louisiana Rapper’S Case Speaks To Bigger Problems In The Criminal Justice System, Andrea L. Dennis, Erik Nelson, Michael Render

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This article published on April 25, 2016 at the Huffington Post examines the case of McKinley Phipps. He was sentenced to thirty years of hard labor for a crime that, to this day, he insists he did not commit. During the trial prosecutors used Phipps’s rap persona and lyrics - remixed for special effect - to carefully construct a story of Phipps’s guilt. The article discusses how Phipps lyrics and persona contributed to his conviction and the progress of his appeals.


Schools Fail To Get It Right On Rap Music, Andrea L. Dennis Dec 2015

Schools Fail To Get It Right On Rap Music, Andrea L. Dennis

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School officials treat rap music as a serious threat to the school environment. Fear and misunderstanding of, as well as bias against, this highly popular and lucrative musical art form negatively shape their perspectives on this vital aspect of youth culture.

As a result, students who express themselves through rap music in a way that challenges the schoolhouse setting risk the possibility of suspension, permanent exclusion and referral to the criminal justice system.

The ongoing case of Taylor Bell is the latest and most complex battleground on which this issue is playing out.


Unconstitutionality And The Rule Of Wide-Open Cross-Examination: Encroaching On The Fifth Amendment When Examining The Accused, Ronald L. Carlson, Michael S. Carlson Apr 2014

Unconstitutionality And The Rule Of Wide-Open Cross-Examination: Encroaching On The Fifth Amendment When Examining The Accused, Ronald L. Carlson, Michael S. Carlson

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When Georgia adopted a new evidence code on January 1, 2013, it embraced the rule on scope of cross-examination which local courts have traditionally followed. This is the wide-open rule which permits the cross-examiner to range across the entire case, no matter how limited the direct exam. Subjects foreign to the direct can be freely explored, limited only by the rule of relevancy.

Commentators have associated the majority, more limited cross-examination methodology with American jurisprudence and the wide-ranging approach with English courts. Reflecting this divide, the Supreme Court of South Dakota recognized "two principal schools of thought" when it comes ...


Teaching “The Wire”: Crime, Evidence, And Kids, Andrea L. Dennis Jan 2014

Teaching “The Wire”: Crime, Evidence, And Kids, Andrea L. Dennis

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I have a confession: I have only watched Season 1 of The Wire, and it has been many years since I did that. Thus, both my knowledge and pedagogical use of the show are limited. What explanation can I offer for my failings? I am a Maryland native with family who resides in Baltimore City, or Charm City as it is affectionately called. I worked for several years as an assistant federal public defender in Baltimore City. Over time, I have seen the city evolve, and I have seen it chew up and spit out many good people and some ...


Toward Ethical Plea Bargaining, Erica J. Hashimoto Dec 2008

Toward Ethical Plea Bargaining, Erica J. Hashimoto

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Defendants in criminal cases are overwhelmingly more likely to plead guilty than to go to trial. Presumably, at least a part of the reason that most of them do so is that it is in their interest to plead guilty, i.e., they will receive a more favorable outcome if they plead guilty than if they go to trial. The extent to which pleas reflect fair or rational compromises in practice, however, depends upon a variety of factors, including the amount of information each of the parties has about the case. Some level of informational symmetry therefore is critical to ...


Poetic (In)Justice? Rap Music Lyrics As Art, Life, And Criminal Evidence, Andrea L. Dennis Jan 2007

Poetic (In)Justice? Rap Music Lyrics As Art, Life, And Criminal Evidence, Andrea L. Dennis

Scholarly Works

Courts routinely admit defendant-authored rap music lyrics as substantive evidence in the adjudication of criminal cases. In doing so, courts fail to recognize that rap music lyrics are art. Rather, judges view the interpretation of rap music lyrics as a subject of common knowledge, interpret the defendant's lyrics literally, and characterize lyrics as autobiographical depictions of actual events. In making admissibility decisions, courts must give consideration to the social constraints and artistic conventions impacting the composition and interpretation of rap music lyrics. More particularly, they must understand the commercialized nature of the rap music industry, artist claims of authenticity ...


Gatekeeping After Gilbert: How Lawyers Should Address The Court's New Emphasis, Brian Benner, Ronald L. Carlson Mar 2006

Gatekeeping After Gilbert: How Lawyers Should Address The Court's New Emphasis, Brian Benner, Ronald L. Carlson

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In the world of modern trials, expert witnesses are the coin of the realm. Lawyers know that most of the time, experts are case-breakers. Their demeanor, knowledge, and presentation ability are key qualities. Accordingly, their persuasive effect on modern lay jurors makes it incumbent on judges to ensure that an expert's opinions are appropriately directed. That means not allowing an economist to testify about the medical dynamics of bone disease, for example.


Daubert & Danger: The "Fit" Of Expert Predictions In Civil Commitments, Alex Scherr Nov 2003

Daubert & Danger: The "Fit" Of Expert Predictions In Civil Commitments, Alex Scherr

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The opinions of experts in prediction in civil commitment hearings should help the courts, but over thirty years of commentary, judicial opinion, and scientific review argue that predictions of danger lack scientific rigor. The United States Supreme Court has commented regularly on the uncertainty of predictive science. The American Psychiatric Association has argued to the Court that "[t]he professional literature uniformly establishes that such predictions are fundamentally of very low reliability." Scientific studies indicate that some predictions do little better than chance or lay speculation, and even the best predictions leave substantial room for error about individual cases. The ...


The Supreme Court's Decision To Recognize A Psychotherapist Privilege In Jaffee V. Redmond, 116 S. Ct. 1923 (1996): The Meaning Of The Term 'Experience' And The Role Of 'Reason' Under Federal Rule Of Evidence 501, Diane Marie Amann, Edward J. Imwinkelried Jul 1997

The Supreme Court's Decision To Recognize A Psychotherapist Privilege In Jaffee V. Redmond, 116 S. Ct. 1923 (1996): The Meaning Of The Term 'Experience' And The Role Of 'Reason' Under Federal Rule Of Evidence 501, Diane Marie Amann, Edward J. Imwinkelried

Scholarly Works

In Jaffee v. United States, 116 S. Ct. 1923 (1996), the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a testimonial privilege protecting the patient-psychotherapist relationship. Its decision is based on Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which permits courts to decide novel questions of privilege in the light of reason and experience. The Court held that this rule authorized not only recognition of a new privilege, but also a privilege of a broad scope, extending to relationships between patients and licensed clinical social workers. Its decision came as a mild surprise, given a widely shared assumption that Rule 501 creates ...


The Proper Role Of After-Acquired Evidence In Employment Discrimination Litigation, Rebecca White, Robert D. Brussack Dec 1993

The Proper Role Of After-Acquired Evidence In Employment Discrimination Litigation, Rebecca White, Robert D. Brussack

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A new defense to employment discrimination claims has gained acceptance in the lower courts. Employers who allegedly have discriminated against their employees because of race, sex or age are winning judgments on the basis of after-acquired evidence of employee misconduct. The evidence is “after-acquired” in the sense that the misconduct was unknown to the employer at the time the alleged discrimination occurred but was acquired later, often through the use of discovery devices in the employee's discrimination action. Lower courts have accepted the proposition that if the employer would have discharged the plaintiff on the basis of the after-acquired ...


The Common Law Theory Of Experts: Deference Or Education?, Joseph S. Miller, Ronald J. Allen Jan 1993

The Common Law Theory Of Experts: Deference Or Education?, Joseph S. Miller, Ronald J. Allen

Scholarly Works

What if witness testimony emerges from, or can only be understood by reference to, an experience that the fact finder lacks? Or what if the connection between what a witness says and the full import of what the witness means is so arcane that the chances are virtually zero that the jury will understand what the spoken words are intended to convey? Both cases arise surprisingly frequently in the trial of disputes. For example, the problem arises whenever a witness is not fluent in English, as it often does when the common practice of a business or trade plays a ...


In Defense Of A Constitutional Theory Of Experts, Ronald L. Carlson Jan 1993

In Defense Of A Constitutional Theory Of Experts, Ronald L. Carlson

Scholarly Works

Professor Ronald Allen honors the memory of John Henry Wigmore on virtually every occasion in which he targets an aspect of evidence law for scholarly study. As Wigmore Professor of Law, Allen has consistently afforded modern evidence specialists some of the best in provocative theory as grist for review and discussion. He now places experts in his sights, and the results are no less stimulating.


Experts As Hearsay Conduits: Confrontation Abuses In Opinion Testimony, Ronald L. Carlson Feb 1992

Experts As Hearsay Conduits: Confrontation Abuses In Opinion Testimony, Ronald L. Carlson

Scholarly Works

The dispute over whether litigants may use experts to run unexamined hearsay into the trial record is a microcosm of a larger debate. The larger question is whether judicial review of expert testimony should be passive, or whether the expert witness process should be marked by active judicial policing. Does the plethora of expert opinions presently being offered in modern trials merit special scrutiny by the courts?

Some scholars urge that courts must accommodate experts. Proponents of this view favor few challenges to the unrestricted rendition of opinions by an expert, whether the expert is real or self-proclaimed. Under this ...


Should Michigan Rule Of Evidence 703 Be Revised?, Brian Benner, Ronald L. Carlson Jun 1991

Should Michigan Rule Of Evidence 703 Be Revised?, Brian Benner, Ronald L. Carlson

Popular Media

Technical witnesses regularly assist the fact-finding process in Michigan trials. Jury or bench trials in federal and state courts routinely feature the appearance of experts. Properly policed by our courts, few forms of testimony hold more promise for advancing the truth-seeking function of American litigation. The expanding presence of experts raises hard questions. Are the Michigan rules in turn with modern needs? Should the state rule controlling the basis for expert opinion be aligned with the federal pattern? If Michigan Rule of Evidence 703 could stand revision, does proper alteration require significant additions not presently contained in either state or ...


Policing The Bases Of Modern Expert Testimony, Ronald L. Carlson Apr 1986

Policing The Bases Of Modern Expert Testimony, Ronald L. Carlson

Scholarly Works

The expanding array of scientific (as well as some not-so-scientific) specialties available as sources for testimony raises hard questions. Will courts require that the witness' opinions be reasonably based upon trustworthy data? How far must judges inquire into the practice of other experts in the same field prior to allowing the trial witness to proffer an expert opinion? How much of the expert's supporting data will be received in evidence? This Essay addresses these and other important questions affecting the scope of modern expert testimony.


"Just Sign Here--It's Only A Formality": Parol Evidence In The Law Of Commercial Paper, Ellen R. Jordan Sep 1978

"Just Sign Here--It's Only A Formality": Parol Evidence In The Law Of Commercial Paper, Ellen R. Jordan

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Part I will argue that certainty is especially important in the law of negotiable instruments, although it does not outweigh all other values. In light of the need for certain rules, this Article will consider the policy choices made by the drafters of the Uniform Commercial Code's Article 3 on Commercial Paper with respect to parol evidence. Part II will examine certain parol evidence that is admissible against even the law's most favored plaintiff, the holder in due course. Part III will focus on the Code's indirect treatment of the most troublesome parol evidence problems, those which ...


"A Most Deplorable Paradox": Admitting Illegally Obtained Evidence In Georgia--Past, Present, And Future, Donald E. Wilkes Jr. Sep 1976

"A Most Deplorable Paradox": Admitting Illegally Obtained Evidence In Georgia--Past, Present, And Future, Donald E. Wilkes Jr.

Scholarly Works

This Article explores the admissibility of illegally obtained evidence in Georgia criminal cases prior to 1961 and during the post-Mapp era and endeavors to assess the future admissibility of illegally seized evidence in Georgia under both federal and state law.


Highlights Of The Proposed Federal Rules Of Evidence, Thomas F. Green Jr. Sep 1969

Highlights Of The Proposed Federal Rules Of Evidence, Thomas F. Green Jr.

Scholarly Works

To prepare a draft of proposed rules, the Chief Justice of the United States, as chairman of the Judicial Conference, appointed an Advisory Committee of fifteen members. Membership is comrpised of eight trial attorneys, the former chief of the criminal appeals unit of the Department of Justice, four federal judges, and two members of law school faculties. A third academician, Edward W. Cleary, who before teaching had 11 years of active practice, is Reporter for the Committee, furnishing many of the ideas, doing or directing most of the research, and usually doing the original drafting. After three and a half ...