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Fictional Pleas, Thea B. Johnson Jul 2019

Fictional Pleas, Thea B. Johnson

Faculty Publications

A fictional plea is one in which the defendant pleads guilty to a crime he has not committed with the knowledge of the defense attorney, prosecutor and judge. With fictional pleas, the plea of conviction is totally detached from the original factual allegations against the defendant. As criminal justice actors become increasingly troubled by the impact of collateral consequences on defendants, the fictional plea serves as an appealing response to this concern. It allows the parties to achieve parallel aims: the prosecutor holds the defendant accountable in the criminal system, while the defendant avoids devastating non-criminal consequences. In this context ...


The Challenge Of Convicting Ethical Prosecutors That Their Profession Has A Brady Problem, Adam M. Gershowitz Apr 2019

The Challenge Of Convicting Ethical Prosecutors That Their Profession Has A Brady Problem, Adam M. Gershowitz

Faculty Publications

In recent decades, both the media and legal scholars have documented the widespread problem of prosecutors failing to disclose favorable evidence to the defense – so called Brady violations. Despite all of this documentation however, many ethical prosecutors reject the notion that the criminal justice system has a Brady problem. These prosecutors – ethical lawyers who themselves have not been accused of misconduct – believe that the scope of the Brady problem is exaggerated. Why do ethical prosecutors downplay the evidence that some of their colleagues have committed serious errors?

This essay, in honor of Professor Bennett Gershman, points to what psychologists have ...


Criminal-Justice Apps: A Modest Step Toward Democratizing The Criminal Process, Adam M. Gershowitz Feb 2019

Criminal-Justice Apps: A Modest Step Toward Democratizing The Criminal Process, Adam M. Gershowitz

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Social Media Crime In Canada: Annotated Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, C. C-46, 2nd Ed., Benjamin Perrin Jan 2019

Social Media Crime In Canada: Annotated Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, C. C-46, 2nd Ed., Benjamin Perrin

Faculty Publications

Over 80% of Canadians use the Internet and approximately 20 million Canadians are active on social media networks. It is not surprising that criminal activity is taking place in these global digital communities and this is raising challenges for criminal law and the criminal justice system. The Supreme Court of Canada recently recognized in R. v. K.R.J. that “[t]he rate of technological change over the past decade has fundamentally altered the social context” in which certain crimes are occurring and social media networks have given “unprecedented access to potential victims and avenues” for offending.

This annotated Criminal ...


Unreasonable Steps: Trying To Make Sense Of R. V. Morrison, Isabel Grant, Janine Benedet Jan 2019

Unreasonable Steps: Trying To Make Sense Of R. V. Morrison, Isabel Grant, Janine Benedet

Faculty Publications

Children and youth routinely have easy, unsupervised access to the internet through smartphones and tablets. This connectivity increases the danger that adults will sexually exploit them. Adult chat rooms, which may require nothing more than a child checking a box indicating that they are over the age of 18, are a common site for such exploitation. In most cases, this behaviour only comes to light when either a parent becomes aware of the activity, or when an in-person sexual offence against a child is detected and the online communications are discovered in the course of the investigation.


Confronting The Sexual Assault Of Teenage Girls: The Mistake Of Age Defence In Canadian Sexual Assault Law, Isabel Grant, Janine Benedet Jan 2019

Confronting The Sexual Assault Of Teenage Girls: The Mistake Of Age Defence In Canadian Sexual Assault Law, Isabel Grant, Janine Benedet

Faculty Publications

Teenage girls experience high rates of sexual assault. The Criminal Code permits the Crown to substitute proof of young age for proof of non-consent for sexual assault and related offences applicable to young complainants. This paper focuses on the defence of mistaken belief in age. It provides a defence where the accused honestly believed that the complainant was at or above the age of consent and where the accused took all reasonable steps to ascertain her age. A review of the cases considering the defence indicates that it is often applied incorrectly, where the accused does not have any belief ...


Lead Us Not Into Temptation: A Response To Barbara Fedders’S “Opioid Policing”, Anna Roberts Jan 2019

Lead Us Not Into Temptation: A Response To Barbara Fedders’S “Opioid Policing”, Anna Roberts

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In “Opioid Policing,” Barbara Fedders contributes to the law review literature the first joint scholarly analysis of two drug policing innovations: Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program and the Angel Initiative, which originated in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Even while welcoming the innovation and inspiration of these programs, she remains clear-eyed about the need to scrutinize their potential downsides. Her work is crucially timed. While still just a few years old, LEAD has been replicated many times and appears likely to be replicated still further—and to be written about much more. Inspired by Fedders’s call for a ...


Arrests As Guilt, Anna Roberts Jan 2019

Arrests As Guilt, Anna Roberts

Faculty Publications

An arrest puts a halt to one’s free life and may act as prelude to a new process. That new process—prosecution—may culminate in a finding of guilt. But arrest and guilt—concepts that are factually and legally distinct—frequently seem to be fused together. This fusion appears in many of the consequences of arrest, including the use of arrests in assessing “risk,” in calculating “recidivism,” and in identifying “offenders.” An examination of this fusion elucidates obstacles to key aspects of criminal justice reform. Efforts at reform, whether focused on prosecution or defense, police or bail, require a ...


Prosecutorial Dismissals As Teachable Moments (And Databases) For The Police, Adam M. Gershowitz Nov 2018

Prosecutorial Dismissals As Teachable Moments (And Databases) For The Police, Adam M. Gershowitz

Faculty Publications

The criminal justice process typically begins when the police make a warrantless arrest. Although police usually do a good job of bringing in the “right” cases, they do make mistakes. Officers sometimes arrest suspects even though there is no evidence to prove an essential element of the crime. Police also conduct unlawful searches and interrogations. And officers make arrests in marginal cases—schoolyard fights are a good example—in which prosecutors do not think a criminal conviction is appropriate. Accordingly, prosecutors regularly dismiss cases after police have made warrantless arrests and suspects have sat in jail for days, or even ...


The Right To Counsel In Criminal Cases: Still A National Crisis?, Mary Sue Backus, Paul Marcus Nov 2018

The Right To Counsel In Criminal Cases: Still A National Crisis?, Mary Sue Backus, Paul Marcus

Faculty Publications

In 1963, Gideon v. Wainwright dramatically changed the landscape of criminal justice with its mandate that poor criminal defendants be entitled to legal representation funded by the government. As scholars and practitioners have noted repeatedly over more than fifty years, states have generally failed to provide the equal access Gideon promised. This Article revisits the questions raised by the authors over a decade ago when they asserted that a genuine national crisis exists regarding the right to counsel in criminal cases for poor people. Sadly, despite a few isolated instances where litigation has sparked some progress, the issues remain the ...


Too Ill To Be Killed: Mental And Physical Competency To Be Executed Pursuant To The Death Penalty, Linda A. Malone Oct 2018

Too Ill To Be Killed: Mental And Physical Competency To Be Executed Pursuant To The Death Penalty, Linda A. Malone

Faculty Publications

Mentally ill individuals are being housed in prisons and jails throughout the country. Due to decreased funding and overpopulation of correctional facilities, individuals with pre-existing illnesses, as well as others who develop illnesses, are in severe need of mental health services and punished for their ailments through the use of solitary confinement, long prison sentences, and lack of care. The stress created by such conditions is amplified for mentally ill prisoners who are awaiting execution or the dismissal of their death row sentences. These individuals must show that they are competent to stand trial, exhibit the mental state required for ...


Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin Apr 2018

Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Deconstructing The Epistemic Challenges To Mass Atrocity Prosecutions, Nancy Amoury Combs Jan 2018

Deconstructing The Epistemic Challenges To Mass Atrocity Prosecutions, Nancy Amoury Combs

Faculty Publications

Mass atrocity prosecutions are credited with advancing a host of praiseworthy objectives. They are believed to impose much-needed retribution, deter future atrocities, and affirm the rule of law in previously lawless societies. However, mass atrocity prosecutions will accomplish none of these laudable ends unless they are able to find accurate facts. Convicting the appropriate individuals of the appropriate crimes is a necessary and foundational condition for the success of mass atrocity prosecutions. But it is a condition that is frequently difficult to meet, as mass atrocity prosecutions are often bedeviled by pervasive and invidious obstacles to accurate fact-finding. This Article ...


The Role Of Section 718.2(A)(Ii) In Sentencing For Male Intimate Partner Violence Against Women, Isabel Grant Jan 2018

The Role Of Section 718.2(A)(Ii) In Sentencing For Male Intimate Partner Violence Against Women, Isabel Grant

Faculty Publications

This article examines sentencing for male intimate partner violence against women since the 1996 enactment of s 718.2(a)(ii) of the Criminal Code, which requires that a spousal/common-law relationship between an offender and victim be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing. The article argues that, while in general appellate courts in Canada are taking this violence seriously, cases involving level I sexual assaults still demonstrate the longstanding tendency to treat the intimate relationship as mitigating. Further appellate guidance is necessary on how courts should reconcile s 718.2(a)(ii) with s 718.2(e), which requires ...


Proportionality And Other Misdemeanor Myths, Eisha Jain Jan 2018

Proportionality And Other Misdemeanor Myths, Eisha Jain

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Capitalizing On Criminal Justice, Eisha Jain Jan 2018

Capitalizing On Criminal Justice, Eisha Jain

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Expansion Of Child Pornography Law, Carissa B. Hessick Jan 2018

The Expansion Of Child Pornography Law, Carissa B. Hessick

Faculty Publications

This Symposium essay identifies two dramatic expansions of child pornography law: prosecutions for possessing images of children who are clothed and not engaged in any sexual activity, and prosecutions for possessing smaller portions of artistic and non-pornographic images. These prosecutions have expanded the definition of the term ‘‘child pornography’’ well beyond its initial meaning. What is more, they signal that child pornography laws are being used to punish people not necessarily because of the nature of the picture they possess, but rather because of the conclusion that those individuals are sexually attracted to children. If law enforcement concludes that a ...


Punishing Criminals For Their Conduct: A Return To Reason For The Armed Career Criminal Act, Sheldon Evans Jan 2018

Punishing Criminals For Their Conduct: A Return To Reason For The Armed Career Criminal Act, Sheldon Evans

Faculty Publications

For over twenty-five years, the Armed Career Criminal Act has produced inconsistent results and has taxed judicial economy perhaps more than any other federal sentencing mechanism. This recidivist sentencing enhancement is meant to punish habitual criminals based on their numerous past crimes, but the Supreme Court’s application of the Act too often allows habitual criminals to escape the intended enhancement on a legal technicality. This comes as a result of the Court’s categorical approach, which punishes habitual criminal offenders based on the statutory elements of their past crimes rather than the conduct of their past crimes.

In an ...


The Miranda Custody Requirement And Juveniles, Paul Marcus Oct 2017

The Miranda Custody Requirement And Juveniles, Paul Marcus

Faculty Publications

Concerns about the interrogation process and the ability of minors to navigate the criminal justice system often intersect. The impact of the age of juveniles can be seen in a variety of judicial decisions, most markedly those dealing with punishment. But judicial concern for juveniles goes well beyond sentencing. The interrogation process raises especially grave fears.

Since the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Miranda v. Arizona disallowing compelled inculpatory statements by criminal suspects and defendants, there has been concern as to whether juveniles fully understand and appreciate their rights as articulated in Miranda and based in the Fifth ...


Terry V. Ohio And The (Un)Forgettable Frisk, Seth W. Stoughton Oct 2017

Terry V. Ohio And The (Un)Forgettable Frisk, Seth W. Stoughton

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


We Need To Talk About Police Disciplinary Records, Kate Levine Aug 2017

We Need To Talk About Police Disciplinary Records, Kate Levine

Faculty Publications

In March 2017, an employee of New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board leaked the disciplinary record of Daniel Pantaleo to the media. Pantaleo, the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death in the video that went public and horrified many citizens, is under federal investigation after a Staten Island grand jury refused to indict him for Garner’s death. Legal Aid Society attorneys had unsuccessfully sought the release of his records in the courts for years. The leak of his records is the public face of an important but rarely discussed issue facing police, legislators, judges, lawyers, and ...


Grounding Criminal Procedure, Catherine M. Grosso, Barbara O'Brien Jan 2017

Grounding Criminal Procedure, Catherine M. Grosso, Barbara O'Brien

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Measuring The Creative Plea Bargain, Thea B. Johnson Jan 2017

Measuring The Creative Plea Bargain, Thea B. Johnson

Faculty Publications

A great deal of criminal law scholarship and practice turns on whether a defendant gets a good deal through plea bargaining. But what is a good deal? And how do defense attorneys secure such deals? Much scholarship measures plea bargains by one metric: how many years the defendant receives at sentencing. In the era of collateral consequences, however, this is no longer an adequate metric as it misses a world of bargaining that happens outside of the sentence. Through empirical research, this Article examines the measure of a good plea and the work that goes into negotiating such a plea ...


The School To Prison Pipeline's Legal Architecture: Lessons From The Spring Valley Incident And Its Aftermath, Josh Gupta-Kagan Jan 2017

The School To Prison Pipeline's Legal Architecture: Lessons From The Spring Valley Incident And Its Aftermath, Josh Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Publications

This Article examines the 2015 Spring Valley High School incident – the high-profile arrest of a Columbia, South Carolina high school student for “disturbing schools” in which a school resource officer threw her out of her desk – to identify and illustrate the core elements of the school-to-prison pipeline’s legal architecture, and to evaluate legal reforms in response to growing concern over the pipeline.

The Spring Valley incident illustrates, first, how broad criminal laws transform school discipline incidents into law enforcement matters. Second, it illustrates how legal instruments that should limit the role of police officers assigned to schools (school resource ...


The Ahistoricism Of Legal Pluralism In International Criminal Law, James G. Stewart, Asad Kiyani Jan 2017

The Ahistoricism Of Legal Pluralism In International Criminal Law, James G. Stewart, Asad Kiyani

Faculty Publications

International criminal law (“ICL”) is legally plural, not a single unified body of norms. As a whole, trials for international crimes involve a complex dance between international and domestic criminal law, the specificities of which vary markedly from one forum to the next. To date, many excellent scholars have suggested that the resulting doctrinal diversity in ICL should be tolerated and managed under the banner of Legal Pluralism. To our minds, these scholars omit a piece of the puzzle that has major implications for their theory – the law’s history. Neglecting the historical context of the international and national criminal ...


Henry V. British Columbia: Still Seeking A Just Approach To Damages For Wrongful Conviction, Emma Cunliffe Jan 2017

Henry V. British Columbia: Still Seeking A Just Approach To Damages For Wrongful Conviction, Emma Cunliffe

Faculty Publications

Henry v. British Columbia (Attorney General) was the first case in which a claimant sought damages under section 24(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for breaches of rights that led to a wrongful conviction and imprisonment. In its 2015 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada clarified the criteria for the award and quantum of such damages. In June 2016, Hinkson C.J.S.C. awarded $8,086,691.80 in damages to Ivan Henry in compensation, special damages and “to serve both the vindication and deterrence functions of s. 24(1) of the Charter”.

In this ...


Illicit Exploitation Of Natural Resources - Art. 28l Bis Of The Malabo Protocol, James G. Stewart, Daniëlla Dam Jan 2017

Illicit Exploitation Of Natural Resources - Art. 28l Bis Of The Malabo Protocol, James G. Stewart, Daniëlla Dam

Faculty Publications

Article 28A(1)(13) of the Protocol to the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights lists ‘Illicit exploitation of natural resources’ as a criminal offense within the Court’s jurisdiction. In conjunction with the new mandate of the African Court, which includes the exercise of jurisdiction over corporations for the first time in an international treaty, the prohibition of “illicit exploitation of natural resources” creates an offense with especially sharp teeth, for business people, their corporations, military actors and politicians. The crime constitutes an important innovation in international law, since it offers a distinct legal basis ...


Equality And The Defence Of Provocation: Irreconcilable Differences, Isabel Grant, Debra Parkes Jan 2017

Equality And The Defence Of Provocation: Irreconcilable Differences, Isabel Grant, Debra Parkes

Faculty Publications

Recent amendments to the defence of provocation have limited access to the defence to those who are provoked by conduct that, if prosecuted, would have been an indictable offence punishable by at least five years imprisonment. The paper argues that these amendments are both over- and under-inclusive and fail to confront the central problem surrounding provocation which is that it privileges loss-of-control rage often in the context of male violence against women or in response to same-sex advances. The paper supports the abolition of the defence of provocation but only if mandatory minimum sentences for murder are abolished providing trial ...


Dna Exonerations And The Elusive Promise Of Criminal Justice Reform, Carissa B. Hessick Jan 2017

Dna Exonerations And The Elusive Promise Of Criminal Justice Reform, Carissa B. Hessick

Faculty Publications

Review of Wrongful Convictions and the DNA Revolution: Twenty-Five Years of Freeing the Innocent (Daniel S. Medwed ed., Cambridge University Press 2017).


Corpus Linguistics And The Criminal Law, Carissa B. Hessick Jan 2017

Corpus Linguistics And The Criminal Law, Carissa B. Hessick

Faculty Publications

This brief response to Ordinary Meaning and Corpus Linguistics, an article by Stefan Gries and Brian Slocum, explains why corpus linguistics represents a radical break from current statutory interpretation practice, and it argues that corpus linguistics ought not be adopted as an interpretive theory for criminal laws. Corpus linguistics has superficial appeal because it promises to increase predictability and to decrease the role of judges’ personal preferences in statutory interpretation. But there are reasons to doubt that corpus linguistics can achieve these goals. More importantly, corpus linguistics sacrifices other, more important values, including notice and accountability.