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Evidence Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Between Brady Discretion And Brady Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman Apr 2019

Between Brady Discretion And Brady Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman

Dickinson Law Review

The Supreme Court’s decision in Brady v. Maryland presented prosecutors with new professional challenges. In Brady, the Supreme Court held that the prosecution must provide the defense with any evidence in its possession that could be exculpatory. If the prosecution fails to timely turn over evidence that materially undermines the defendant’s guilt, a reviewing court must grant the defendant a new trial. While determining whether evidence materially undermines a defendant’s guilt may seem like a simple assessment, the real-life application of such a determination can be complicated. The prosecution’s disclosure determination can be complicated under the ...


Where The Constitution Falls Short: Confession Admissibility And Police Regulation, Courtney E. Lewis Jan 2019

Where The Constitution Falls Short: Confession Admissibility And Police Regulation, Courtney E. Lewis

Dickinson Law Review

A confession presented at trial is one of the most damning pieces of evidence against a criminal defendant, which means that the rules governing its admissibility are critical. At the outset of confession admissibility in the United States, the judiciary focused on a confession’s truthfulness. Culminating in the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona, judicial concern with the reliability of confessions shifted away from whether a confession was true and towards curtailing unconstitutional police misconduct. Post-hoc constitutionality review, however, is arguably inappropriate. Such review is inappropriate largely because the reviewing court must find that the confession was voluntary only by ...


It’S Not The Thought That Counts: Pennsylvania Quietly Made Rape And Idsi Strict Liability Crimes, Jordan E. Yatsko Apr 2018

It’S Not The Thought That Counts: Pennsylvania Quietly Made Rape And Idsi Strict Liability Crimes, Jordan E. Yatsko

Dickinson Law Review

In 1982, the Pennsylvania Superior Court decided Commonwealth v. Williams, wherein the court held that a defendant charged with rape or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI) cannot use a mistake of fact defense as to the victim’s consent. The court relied on the reasoning that a defendant’s mens rea is not an element of either rape or IDSI. Section 302 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, however, requires that where the legislature has failed to expressly require a finding of mens rea in the text of the statute, at least recklessness must be imputed to each material element.

This ...