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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Trammel V. United States: Bad History, Bad Policy, And Bad Law, Michael W. Mullane Apr 2018

Trammel V. United States: Bad History, Bad Policy, And Bad Law, Michael W. Mullane

Maine Law Review

In 1980 the United States Supreme Court decided Trammel v. United States. The opinion changed the Spouses' Testimonial Privilege, overturning centuries of consistent case decisions. The Court based its decision on the history and effect of privilege and a straw poll of state legislative and court decisions on the issue. The Court concluded its decision would permit the admission of more spousal testimony without impairing the benefits the privilege was supposed to confer on spouses. The Court's decision in Trammel was wrong on three counts. The first was bad history overlaid with questionable analysis. The survey of the state ...


Identifying And Preventing Improper Prosecutorial Comment In Closing Argument, Robert W. Clifford Feb 2018

Identifying And Preventing Improper Prosecutorial Comment In Closing Argument, Robert W. Clifford

Maine Law Review

In recent years, several decisions of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court sitting as the Law Court have addressed the comments of prosecutors in final argument before criminal juries. Three of those decisions in particular have caused concern among prosecutors and have stirred discussion in the Maine legal community. In vacating convictions in State v. Steen, State v. Casella, and State v. Tripp, the Law Court focused on the language used by the prosecutors during closing argument and concluded that those prosecutors impermissibly expressed personal opinion concerning the credibility of the defendants, or witnesses called by the defendants. This Article examines ...


Innovating Criminal Justice, Natalie Ram Feb 2018

Innovating Criminal Justice, Natalie Ram

Northwestern University Law Review

From secret stingray devices that can pinpoint a suspect’s location, to advanced forensic DNA-analysis tools, to recidivism risk statistic software—the use of privately developed criminal justice technologies is growing. So too is a concomitant pattern of trade secret assertion surrounding these technologies. This Article charts the role of private law secrecy in shielding criminal justice activities, demonstrating that such secrecy is pervasive, problematic, and ultimately unnecessary for the production of well-designed criminal justice tools.

This Article makes three contributions to the existing literature. First, the Article establishes that trade secrecy now permeates American criminal justice, shielding privately developed ...


The Unintended Consequences Of California Proposition 47: Reducing Law Enforcement’S Ability To Solve Serious, Violent Crimes, Shelby Kail Aug 2017

The Unintended Consequences Of California Proposition 47: Reducing Law Enforcement’S Ability To Solve Serious, Violent Crimes, Shelby Kail

Pepperdine Law Review

For many years, DNA databases have helped solve countless serious, violent crimes by connecting low-level offenders to unsolved crimes. Because the passage of Proposition 47 reduced several low-level crimes to misdemeanors, which do not qualify for DNA sample collection, Proposition 47 has severely limited law enforcement’s ability to solve serious, violent crimes through California’s DNA database and reliable DNA evidence. This powerful law enforcement tool must be preserved to prevent additional crimes from being committed, to exonerate the innocent, and to provide victims with closure through conviction of their assailants or offenders. Proposition 47’s unintended consequences have ...


Neuroscience In Forensic Contexts: Ethical Concerns, Stephen J. Morse Feb 2017

Neuroscience In Forensic Contexts: Ethical Concerns, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is a chapter in a volume, Ethics Challenges in Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology Practice, edited by Ezra E. H. Griffith, M.D. and to be published by Columbia University Press. The chapter addresses whether the use of new neuroscience techniques, especially non-invasive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the data from studies employing them raise new ethical issues for forensic psychiatrists and psychologists. The implicit thesis throughout is that if the legal questions, the limits of the new techniques and the relevance of neuroscience to law are properly understood, no new ethical issues are raised. A major ethical lapse ...


The Fragile Promise Of Open-File Discovery, Ben Grunwald Jan 2017

The Fragile Promise Of Open-File Discovery, Ben Grunwald

Faculty Scholarship

Under traditional rules of criminal discovery, defendants are entitled to little prosecutorial evidence and are thus forced to negotiate plea agreements and prepare for trial in the dark. In an effort to expand defendants’ discovery rights, a number of states have recently enacted “open-file” statutes, which require the government to share the fruits of its investigation with the defense. Legal scholars have widely supported these reforms, claiming that they level the playing field and promote judicial efficiency by decreasing trials and speeding up guilty pleas. But these predictions are based largely on intuition and anecdotal data without extended theoretical analysis ...


Hearsay And The Confrontation Clause, Lynn Mclain Oct 2016

Hearsay And The Confrontation Clause, Lynn Mclain

All Faculty Scholarship

This speech was delivered to the Wicomico Co. Bar Association on October 28th, 2016. It is an updated version of the 2012 speech, available at http://scholarworks.law.ubalt.edu/all_fac/924/ .

Overview: Only an out-of-court statement ("OCS") offered for the truth of the matter that was being asserted by the out-of-court declarant ("declarant") at the time when s/he made the OCS ("TOMA") = hearsay ("HS"). If evidence is not HS, the HS rule cannot exclude it. The Confrontation Clause also applies only to HS, but even then, only to its subcategory comprising "testimonial hearsay." Cross-references to "MD-EV" are to ...


Recent Development: Peterson V. State: Limitations On Defense Cross-Examination Are Permitted When The Testimony Lacks A Factual Foundation, Is Overly Prejudicial, Or Has Not Been Adequately Preserved, Meghan E. Ellis Jan 2016

Recent Development: Peterson V. State: Limitations On Defense Cross-Examination Are Permitted When The Testimony Lacks A Factual Foundation, Is Overly Prejudicial, Or Has Not Been Adequately Preserved, Meghan E. Ellis

University of Baltimore Law Forum

The Court of Appeals of Maryland held that the defendant’s right to confrontation was not violated when the defense was precluded from cross-examining a witness about hallucinations and his potential sentence prior to entering into a plea agreement. Peterson v. State, 444 Md. 105, 153-54, 118 A.3d 925, 952-53 (2015). The court found that the defendant failed to preserve the issue of a witness’s expectation of benefit with respect to pending charges, and failed to show sufficient factual foundation for a cross-examination regarding the expectation. Id. at 138-39, 118 A.3d at 944. In addition, the court ...


Criminal Adjudication, Error Correction, And Hindsight Blind Spots, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2016

Criminal Adjudication, Error Correction, And Hindsight Blind Spots, Lisa Kern Griffin

Faculty Scholarship

Concerns about hindsight in the law typically arise with regard to the bias that outcome knowledge can produce. But a more difficult problem than the clear view that hindsight appears to provide is the blind spot that it actually has. Because of the conventional wisdom about error review, there is a missed opportunity to ensure meaningful scrutiny. Beyond the confirmation biases that make convictions seem inevitable lies the question whether courts can see what they are meant to assess when they do look closely for error. Standards that require a retrospective showing of materiality, prejudice, or harm turn on what ...


Evidence Laundering In A Post-Herring World, Kay L. Levine, Jenia I. Turner, Ronald F. Wright Jan 2016

Evidence Laundering In A Post-Herring World, Kay L. Levine, Jenia I. Turner, Ronald F. Wright

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s decision in Herring v. United States authorizes police to defeat the Fourth Amendment’s protections through a process we call evidence laundering. Evidence laundering occurs when one police officer makes a constitutional mistake when gathering evidence and then passes that evidence along to a second officer, who develops it further and then delivers it to prosecutors for use in a criminal case. When courts admit the evidence based on the good faith of the second officer, the original constitutional taint disappears in the wash.

In the years since Herring was decided, courts have allowed evidence laundering ...


Two Models Of Pre-Plea Discovery In Criminal Cases: An Empirical Comparison, Jenia I. Turner, Allison D. Redlich Jan 2016

Two Models Of Pre-Plea Discovery In Criminal Cases: An Empirical Comparison, Jenia I. Turner, Allison D. Redlich

Faculty Scholarship

Our criminal justice system resolves most of its cases through plea bargains. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court has not required that any evidence, even exculpatory or impeachment evidence, be provided to the defense before a guilty plea. As a result, state rules on pre-plea discovery differ widely. While some jurisdictions follow an “open-file” model, imposing relatively broad discovery obligations on prosecutors early in the criminal process, others follow a more restrictive, “closed-file” model and allow the prosecution to avoid production of critical evidence either entirely or until very near the time of trial. Though the advantages and disadvantages of ...


Barber V. State, 131 Nev. Adv, Op. 103 (December 31, 2015), Ronni N. Boscovich Dec 2015

Barber V. State, 131 Nev. Adv, Op. 103 (December 31, 2015), Ronni N. Boscovich

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

The Court considered an appeal from a district court conviction. The Court reversed the Eighth Judicial District Court’s judgment of conviction, pursuant to a jury verdict of burglary and grand larceny. The juvenile court retains jurisdiction over Barber because the legislation did not include language regarding jurisdiction stripping or dismissal requirements. However, the Court reversed the judgment because the prosecution presented insufficient evidence to support Barber’s conviction.


Privilege Against Self-Incrimination - Right To Compel A Suspect To Perform Physical Acts; City Of Piqua V. Hinger, Charles P. Brumbach Aug 2015

Privilege Against Self-Incrimination - Right To Compel A Suspect To Perform Physical Acts; City Of Piqua V. Hinger, Charles P. Brumbach

Akron Law Review

The writer respectfully disagrees with the Ohio Supreme Court's interpretation of Schmerber as standing for the proposition that such compelled evidence is admissible under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. In Schmerber the court merely recognized the evidential distinction between real and testimonial or communicative evidence and ruled that the distinction was determinative in that case. The court acknowledged that there are many possible situations in which the distinction could not so readily be applied. It is submitted that the facts of the instant case present one of those situations.


"Inevitable Discovery" Or Inevitable Demise Of The Exclusionary Rule? Nix V. Williams, John V. Boggins Jul 2015

"Inevitable Discovery" Or Inevitable Demise Of The Exclusionary Rule? Nix V. Williams, John V. Boggins

Akron Law Review

On June 11, 1984 in the case of Nix v. Williams, the Supreme Court adopted a further exception to the exclusionary rule, the "inevitable discovery" doctrine. The inevitable discovery doctrine permits the admission of evidence obtained in spite of a violation of a defendant's constitutional rights, where the prosecution can convince the trier of fact by a preponderance that this evidence would have been discovered regardless of any such violation.


Decision-Making In The Dark: How Pre-Trial Errors Change The Narrative In Criminal Jury Trials, Kara Mackillop, Neil Vidmar Jun 2015

Decision-Making In The Dark: How Pre-Trial Errors Change The Narrative In Criminal Jury Trials, Kara Mackillop, Neil Vidmar

Chicago-Kent Law Review

The jury trial plays a critical constitutional and institutional role in American jurisprudence. Jury service is, technically, the only constitutional requirement demanded of our citizens and, as such, places an important responsibility on those chosen to serve on any jury, especially within the criminal justice system. Jury research has established that, generally, jurors take their responsibilities seriously; they work with the evidence presented at trial and they reach verdicts that correlate to the narratives they develop throughout the trial. But with estimates of wrongful conviction rates as high as five percent in serious felony cases, how are juries getting it ...


The Admissibility Of Trueallele: A Computerized Dna Interpretation System, Katherine L. Moss Mar 2015

The Admissibility Of Trueallele: A Computerized Dna Interpretation System, Katherine L. Moss

Washington and Lee Law Review

No abstract provided.


Neuroprediction: New Technology, Old Problems, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2015

Neuroprediction: New Technology, Old Problems, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Neuroprediction is the use of structural or functional brain or nervous system variables to make any type of prediction, including medical prognoses and behavioral forecasts, such as an indicator of future dangerous behavior. This commentary will focus on behavioral predictions, but the analysis applies to any context. The general thesis is that using neurovariables for prediction is a new technology, but that it raises no new ethical issues, at least for now. Only if neuroscience achieves the ability to “read” mental content will genuinely new ethical issues be raised, but that is not possible at present.


Appellate Division, First Department, People V. Bradley, Kathleen Egan Nov 2014

Appellate Division, First Department, People V. Bradley, Kathleen Egan

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


"Not Just A Common Criminal": The Case For Sentencing Mitigation Videos, Regina Austin Apr 2014

"Not Just A Common Criminal": The Case For Sentencing Mitigation Videos, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sentencing mitigation or sentencing videos are a form of visual legal advocacy that is produced on behalf of defendants for use in the sentencing phases of criminal cases (from charging to clemency). The videos are typically short (5 to 10 minutes or so) nonfiction films that explore a defendant’s background, character, and family situation with the aim of raising factual and moral issues that support the argument for a shorter or more lenient sentence. Very few examples of mitigation videos are in the public domain and available for viewing. This article provides a complete analysis of the constituent elements ...


The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination In Bankruptcy And The Plight Of The Debtor, Timothy R. Tarvin Feb 2014

The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination In Bankruptcy And The Plight Of The Debtor, Timothy R. Tarvin

Timothy R Tarvin

An innocent debtor, who is either ignorant of her constitutional right to the privilege against self-incrimination or ineffectual in asserting it, may find herself wrongfully convicted and imprisoned in a criminal matter, due to unwitting complicity in the delivery of testimony or documents in her bankruptcy case. This lack of understanding poses a serious risk to debtors, and especially affects the increasing number of pro se debtors in bankruptcy.
The privilege extends to debtors in bankruptcy proceedings. However, a debtor who fails to properly invoke the privilege waives her rights. This possibility is made more probable because there is no ...


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

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

Scholarly Works

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 ...


The Duties Of Non-Judicial Actors In Ensuring Competent Negotiation, Stephanos Bibas Jul 2013

The Duties Of Non-Judicial Actors In Ensuring Competent Negotiation, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay, written for a symposium at Duquesne Law School entitled Plea Bargaining After Lafler and Frye, offers thoughts on how lawyers could learn from doctors’ experience in catching and preventing medical errors and aviation experts’ learning from airplane crashes and near misses. It also expresses skepticism about the efficacy of judges’ ex post review of ineffective assistance of counsel, but holds out more hope that public-defender organizations, bar associations, probation officers, sentencing judges, sentencing commissions, and line and supervisory prosecutors can do much more to prevent misunderstanding and remedy ineffective bargaining advice in the first place.


Discovery By The Prosecution In Criminal Cases: Prudhomme Reconsidered , Jon R. Rolefson May 2013

Discovery By The Prosecution In Criminal Cases: Prudhomme Reconsidered , Jon R. Rolefson

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


Limiting The Use Of Prior Felony Convictions To Impeach A Defendant - Witness In California Criminal Proceedings, Richard E. Boehm May 2013

Limiting The Use Of Prior Felony Convictions To Impeach A Defendant - Witness In California Criminal Proceedings, Richard E. Boehm

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


Evidentiary Use Of Other Crime Evidence: A Survey Of Recent Trends In Criminal Procedure, Susan Stuart Mar 2013

Evidentiary Use Of Other Crime Evidence: A Survey Of Recent Trends In Criminal Procedure, Susan Stuart

Susan P. Stuart

No abstract provided.


Drug Use And The Exclusionary Manque, Jerome A. Busch Feb 2013

Drug Use And The Exclusionary Manque, Jerome A. Busch

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


Bulk Misdemeanor Justice, Stephanos Bibas Feb 2013

Bulk Misdemeanor Justice, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This short essay responds to Alexandra Natapoff’s article Misdemeanors, which shines a much-needed spotlight on the mass production of criminal justice and injustice in millions of low-level cases. The prime culprit in Natapoff’s story is the hidden, informal discretion that police officers enjoy to arrest, charge, and effect convictions, abetted by prosecutors’ and judges’ abdication and defense counsel’s absence or impotence. The roots of the problem she identifies, I argue, go all the way down to the system’s professionalization and mechanization. Given the magnitude of the problem, Natapoff’s solutions are surprisingly half-hearted, masking the deeper ...


Finding The Original Meaning Of American Criminal Procedure Rights: Lessons From Reasonable Doubt's Development, Randolph N. Jonakait Jan 2012

Finding The Original Meaning Of American Criminal Procedure Rights: Lessons From Reasonable Doubt's Development, Randolph N. Jonakait

Articles & Chapters

Lessons can be learned about finding the original meaning of American criminal procedure rights by an examination of the development of the reasonable doubt standard. This is for a number of reasons. First, the status of the reasonable doubt standard seems secure. No debate questions the constitutional requirement that an accused can only be convicted if the crime is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The standard’s original meaning can be explored uncolored by the partisanship often engendered when present seekers of original meaning hope to define a new contour to a constitutional guarantee. Furthermore, serious scholars have studied the ...


"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain Jan 2011

"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain

All Faculty Scholarship

A three-year-old child, while being bathed by her babysitter, innocently mentions that her “pee-pee” hurts. When the babysitter asks the child how she hurt it, she says, “Uncle Ernie (her mother’s boyfriend) told me not to tell.” A subsequent medical examination reveals that the child has gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.

By the time of trial, the child is four and-a-half-years old. When questioned by the trial judge, she cannot explain to the judge’s satisfaction, “the difference between the truth and a lie.” Moreover, she has no long term memory of the incident. The judge rules the child ...


Plea Bargaining, Discovery, And The Intractable Problem Of Impeachment Disclosures, R. Michael Cassidy Dec 2010

Plea Bargaining, Discovery, And The Intractable Problem Of Impeachment Disclosures, R. Michael Cassidy

R. Michael Cassidy

In a criminal justice system where guilty pleas are the norm and trials the rare exception, the issue of how much discovery a defendant is entitled to before allocution has immense significance. This article examines the scope of a prosecutor’s obligation to disclose impeachment information before a guilty plea. This question has polarized the criminal bar and bedeviled the academic community since the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in United States v. Ruiz (2002). A critical feature of the debate has been the enduring schism between a prosecutor’s legal and ethical obligations – a gulf that the American Bar ...