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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Judicializing History: Mass Crimes Trials And The Historian As Expert Witness In West Germany, Cambodia, And Bangladesh, Rebecca Gidley, Mathew Turner Dec 2018

Judicializing History: Mass Crimes Trials And The Historian As Expert Witness In West Germany, Cambodia, And Bangladesh, Rebecca Gidley, Mathew Turner

Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal

Henry Rousso warned that the engagement of historians as expert witnesses in trials, particularly highly politicized proceedings of mass crimes, risks a judicialization of history. This article tests Rousso’s argument through analysis of three quite different case studies: the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial; the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; and the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh. It argues that Rousso’s objections misrepresent the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, while failing to account for the engagement of historical expertise in mass atrocity trials beyond Europe. Paradoxically, Rousso’s criticisms are less suited to the European context that represents his purview ...


Do You See What I See? Problems With Juror Bias In Viewing Body-Camera Video Evidence, Morgan A. Birck Oct 2018

Do You See What I See? Problems With Juror Bias In Viewing Body-Camera Video Evidence, Morgan A. Birck

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, advocates and activists called for greater oversight and accountability for police. One of the measures called for and adopted in many jurisdictions was the implementation of body cameras in police departments. Many treated this implementation as a sign of change that police officers would be held accountable for the violence they perpetrate. This Note argues that although body-camera footage may be useful as one form of evidence in cases of police violence, lawyers and judges should be extremely careful about how it is presented to the jury. Namely, the ...


Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair Oct 2018

Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair

Michigan Law Review

Modern forensic evidence suffers from a number of flaws, including insufficient scientific grounding, exaggerated testimony, lack of uniform best practices, and an inefficacious standard for admission that regularly allows judges to admit scientifically unsound evidence. This Note discusses these problems, lays out the current landscape of forensic science reform, and suggests the addition of a new special relevance rule to the Federal Rules of Evidence (and similar rules in state evidence codes). This proposed rule would cabin judicial discretion to admit non-DNA forensic evidence by barring prosecutorial introduction of such evidence in criminal trials absent a competing defense expert or ...


Blackness As Character Evidence, Mikah K. Thompson Sep 2015

Blackness As Character Evidence, Mikah K. Thompson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Federal Rule of Evidence 404 severely limits the government’s ability to offer evidence of a defendant’s character trait of violence to prove action in conformity with that trait on the occasion in question. The Rule states that such character evidence is generally inadmissible when offered to prove propensity. The Rule also allows the government to offer evidence of an alleged victim’s character for peacefulness in homicide cases where the defendant asserts the self-defense privilege. Although criminal defendants may offer character evidence under limited circumstances, Rule 404 creates a significant disincentive for doing so. Where a defendant offers ...


Jack Weinstein And The Missing Pieces Of The Hearsay Puzzle, Richard D. Friedman Dec 2014

Jack Weinstein And The Missing Pieces Of The Hearsay Puzzle, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

For the first three quarters of the twentieth century, the Wigmore treatise was the dominant force in organizing, setting out, and explaining the American law of evidence. Since then, the first two of those roles have been taken over in large part by the Federal Rules of Evidence (Rules). And the third has been performed most notably by the Weinstein treatise. Judge Jack Weinstein was present at the creation of the Rules and before. Though he first made his name in Civil Procedure, while still a young man he joined two of the stalwarts of evidence law, Edmund Morgan and ...


Responding To Independent Juror Research In The Internet Age: Positive Rules, Negative Rules, And Outside Mechanisms, Robbie Manhas Mar 2014

Responding To Independent Juror Research In The Internet Age: Positive Rules, Negative Rules, And Outside Mechanisms, Robbie Manhas

Michigan Law Review

Independent juror research is an old problem for jury trials. It invites potentially prejudicial, irrelevant, and inaccurate information to guide jury decisionmaking. At the same time, independent juror research compromises our adversarial system by preventing parties from responding to all the evidence under consideration and obfuscating the record on which the jury’s decision is made. These threats have only increased in the internet age, where inappropriate sources of information are ubiquitous and where improper access is hard to detect. Nevertheless, courts and parties continue to engage in the same inhibitory measures they have employed for decades. This Note argues ...


Toward A Child-Centered Approach To Evaluating Claims Of Alienation In High-Conflict Custody Disputes, Allison M. Nichols Feb 2014

Toward A Child-Centered Approach To Evaluating Claims Of Alienation In High-Conflict Custody Disputes, Allison M. Nichols

Michigan Law Review

Theories of parental alienation abound in high-conflict custody cases. The image of one parent brainwashing a child against the other parent fits with what we think we know about family dynamics during divorce. The concept of a diagnosable “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (“PAS”) developed as an attempt to explain this phenomenon, but it has been widely discredited by mental health professionals and thus fails the standard for evidentiary admissibility. Nevertheless, PAS and related theories continue to influence the decisions of family courts, and even in jurisdictions that explicitly reject such theories, judges still face the daunting task of resolving these volatile ...


Counsel's Control Over The Presentation Of Mitigating Evidence During Capital Sentencing, James Michael Blakemore May 2013

Counsel's Control Over The Presentation Of Mitigating Evidence During Capital Sentencing, James Michael Blakemore

Michigan Law Review

The Sixth Amendment gives a defendant the right to control his defense and the right to a lawyer's assistance. A lawyer's assistance, however, sometimes interferes with a defendant's control over his case. As a result, the Supreme Court, over time, has had to delineate the spheres of authority that pertain to counsel and defendant respectively. The Court has not yet decisively assigned control over mitigating evidence to either counsel or defendant. This Note argues that counsel should control the presentation of mitigating evidence during capital sentencing. First, and most importantly, decisions concerning the presentation of mitigating evidence ...


Testimony For Sale: The Law And Ethics Of Snitches And Experts, George C. Harris Jul 2012

Testimony For Sale: The Law And Ethics Of Snitches And Experts, George C. Harris

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


Trial Objections From Beginning To End: The Handbook For Civil And Criminal Trials, Craig Lee Montz May 2012

Trial Objections From Beginning To End: The Handbook For Civil And Criminal Trials, Craig Lee Montz

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Relation Between Punitive And Compensatory Awards: Combining Extreme Data With The Mass Of Awards, Theodore Eisenberg, Valerie P. Hans, Martin T. Wells Mar 2012

The Relation Between Punitive And Compensatory Awards: Combining Extreme Data With The Mass Of Awards, Theodore Eisenberg, Valerie P. Hans, Martin T. Wells

Valerie P. Hans

This article assesses the relation between punitive and compensatory damages by combining two data sets of extreme awards with state court data from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) for 1992, 1996, and 2001. One data set of extreme awards consists of punitive damages awards in excess of $100 million from 1985 through 2003, gathered by Hersch and Viscusi (H-V); the other includes the National Law Journal's (NLJ) annual reports of the 100 largest trial verdicts from 2001 to 2004. The integration of these data sets provides the most comprehensive picture of punitive damages in American civil trials ...


Federal Discovery Stays, Gideon Mark Feb 2012

Federal Discovery Stays, Gideon Mark

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In federal civil litigation, unless a discretionary stay is granted, discovery often proceeds while motions to dismiss are pending. Plaintiffs with non-meritorious cases can compel defendants to spend massively on electronic discovery before courts ever rule on such motions. Defendants who are unable or unwilling to incur the huge up-front expense of electronic discovery may be forced to settle non-meritorious claims. To address multiple electronic discovery issues, Congress amended the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 2006 and the Federal Rules of Evidence in 2008. However, the amendments failed to significantly reduce costs and failed to address the critical issue ...


Ira P. Robbins, Writings On The Wall: The Need For An Authorship-Centric Approach To The Authentication Of Social-Networking Evidence, Ira Robbins Jan 2012

Ira P. Robbins, Writings On The Wall: The Need For An Authorship-Centric Approach To The Authentication Of Social-Networking Evidence, Ira Robbins

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

People are stupid when it comes to their online postings. The recent spate of social-networking websites has shown that people place shocking amounts of personal information online. Unlike more traditional modes of communication, the unique nature of these websites allows users to hide behind a veil of anonymity. But while social-networking sites may carry significant social benefits, they also leave users - and their personal information - vulnerable to hacking and other forms of abuse. This vulnerability is playing out in courtrooms across the country and will only increase as social-networking use continues to proliferate. This Article addresses the evidentiary hurdle of ...


Party's Over: Admissibility Of Post-Trial Juror Testimony Should Depend On The Nature Of The Conduct, Justin Gillett Jan 2012

Party's Over: Admissibility Of Post-Trial Juror Testimony Should Depend On The Nature Of The Conduct, Justin Gillett

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

What do you call a weeklong period in which you and a handful of acquaintances drink alcohol every day at lunch, sleep though the afternoons, smoke marijuana and ingest a couple lines of cocaine on occasion? You call it the time when a jury convicted Anthony Tanner and William Conover of conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit various acts of mail fraud. Under a current rule of evidence, which precludes juror testimony to impeach a verdict except on extraneous prejudicial information, juror intoxication is not an external influence about which jurors may testify. A new test for the ...


Ira P. Robbins, Writings On The Wall: The Need For An Authorship-Centric Approach To The Authentication Of Social-Networking Evidence, Ira P. Robbins Dec 2011

Ira P. Robbins, Writings On The Wall: The Need For An Authorship-Centric Approach To The Authentication Of Social-Networking Evidence, Ira P. Robbins

Ira P. Robbins

People are stupid when it comes to their online postings. The recent spate of social-networking websites has shown that people place shocking amounts of personal information online. Unlike more traditional modes of communication, the unique nature of these websites allows users to hide behind a veil of anonymity. But while social-networking sites may carry significant social benefits, they also leave users - and their personal information - vulnerable to hacking and other forms of abuse. This vulnerability is playing out in courtrooms across the country and will only increase as social-networking use continues to proliferate. 

This Article addresses the evidentiary hurdle of ...


What Will We Lose If The Trial Vanishes?, Robert P. Burns Jan 2011

What Will We Lose If The Trial Vanishes?, Robert P. Burns

Faculty Working Papers

The number of trials continues to decline andfederal civil trials have almost completely disappeared. This essay attempts to address the significance of this loss, to answer the obvious question, "So what?" It argues against taking a resigned or complacent attitude toward an important problem for our public culture. It presents a short description of the trial's internal structure, recounts different sorts of explanations, and offers an inventory of the kinds of wounds this development would inflict.


Spoliation Of Electronic Evidence: Sanctions Versus Advocacy, Charles W. Adams Jan 2011

Spoliation Of Electronic Evidence: Sanctions Versus Advocacy, Charles W. Adams

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

This Article proposes that courts should refrain from imposing adverse inference jury instructions as sanctions for the spoliation of evidence. This proposal bears some similarity to the approach taken twenty years ago by the 1993 amendments to Rule 11, which constrained courts' ability to sanction. Instead of imposing an adverse jury instruction as a sanction for spoliation of evidence, courts should allow evidence of spoliation to be admitted at trial if a reasonable jury could find that spoliation had occurred and if the spoliation was relevant to a material issue. If a court allows the introduction of evidence of spoliation ...


"I'M Going To Dinner With Frank": Admissibility Of Nontestimonial Statements Of Intent To Prove The Actions Of Someone Other Than The Speaker—And The Role Of The Due Process Clause, Lynn Mclain Nov 2010

"I'M Going To Dinner With Frank": Admissibility Of Nontestimonial Statements Of Intent To Prove The Actions Of Someone Other Than The Speaker—And The Role Of The Due Process Clause, Lynn Mclain

All Faculty Scholarship

A woman tells her roommate that she is going out to dinner with Frank that evening. The next morning her battered body is found along a country road outside of town. In Frank’s trial for her murder, is her statement to her roommate admissible to place Frank with her that night? Since the Court’s 2004 Crawford decision, the confrontation clause is inapplicable to nontestimonial hearsay such as this.

American jurisdictions are widely divided on the question of admissibility under their rules of evidence, however. Many say absolutely not. A sizeable number unequivocally say yes. A small number say ...


The French Huissier As A Model For U.S. Civil Procedure Reform, Robert W. Emerson Jul 2010

The French Huissier As A Model For U.S. Civil Procedure Reform, Robert W. Emerson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Huissiers de justice serve multiple roles in the French legal system. One is that of a court officer who compiles dossiers (reports). In that role, the huissier is d'audiencier (literally translated as "hearing" or "assisting") and works directly for the court system itself.

The huissier's report remains alien to the American lawyer, who is steeped in notions of procedure and "testimonialism" and in principles of fairness which appear ancient, but are rather modern dissimulations of law and equity's rich history in the American tradition. An important aspect of most legal processes, the collection of data in preparation ...


The Death Of The American Trial, Robert P. Burns Jan 2009

The Death Of The American Trial, Robert P. Burns

Faculty Working Papers

This short essay is a summary of my assessment of the meaning of the "vanishing trial" phenomenon. It addresses the obvious question: "So what?" It first briefly reviews the evidence of the trial's decline. It then sets out the steps necessary to understand the political and social signficance of our vastly reducing the trial's importance among our modes of social ordering. The essay serves as the Introduction to a book, The Death of the American Trial, soon to be published by the University of Chicago Press.


Holmes V. South Carolina Upholds Trial By Jury, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2007

Holmes V. South Carolina Upholds Trial By Jury, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

Bobby Lee Holmes was convicted of a brutal rape-murder and sentenced to death. The only evidence that connected him to the crime was forensic: a palm print, and blood and fiber evidence. (Biological samples taken from the victim for two rape kits were compromised and yielded no identifiable evidence.) Holmes claimed that the state's forensic evidence was planted and mishandled, and that the rape and murder were committed by another man, Jimmy McCaw White. At a pretrial hearing three witnesses testified that they saw White near the victim's house at about the time of the crime, and four ...


Standard Of Review For Prosecutorial Use Of Race Evidence During Trial, Peter Chung Oct 2004

Standard Of Review For Prosecutorial Use Of Race Evidence During Trial, Peter Chung

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note argues that unfettered use of cultural evidence by prosecutors creates the same problems as would the use of evidence of race to show propensity of the accused to act. Using Wisconsin v. Chu as a case study, the author demonstrates that cultural evidence, just as any other evidence to show propensity to act, must rest upon the proper evidentiary foundation and that prosecutors must be sharply constrained in their use of cultural evidence.


Judges As Film Critics: New Approaches To Filmic Evidence, Jessica M. Silbey Jan 2004

Judges As Film Critics: New Approaches To Filmic Evidence, Jessica M. Silbey

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article exposes internal contradictions in case law concerning the use and admissibility of film as evidence. Based on a review of more than ninety state and federal cases dating from 1923 to the present, the Article explains how the source of these contradictions is the frequent miscategorization of film as "demonstrative evidence, "evidence that purports to illustrate other evidence, rather than to be directly probative of some fact at issue. The Article further demonstrates how these contradictions are based on two venerable jurisprudential anxieties. One is the concern about the growing trend toward replacing the traditional testimony of live ...


Blending Criminal Procedure At The Ad Hoc Tribunals, William A. Schabas Jan 2003

Blending Criminal Procedure At The Ad Hoc Tribunals, William A. Schabas

Michigan Journal of International Law

Review of International Criminal Evidence by Richard May & Marieke Wierda


Some Steps Between Attitudes And Verdicts, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

Some Steps Between Attitudes And Verdicts, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Book Chapters

Most research that has attempted to predict verdict preferences on the basis of stable juror characteristics, such as attitudes and personality traits, has found that individual differences among jurors are not very useful predictors, accounting for only a small proportion of the variance in verdict choices. Some commentators have therefore concluded that verdicts are overwhelmingly accounted for by "the weight of the evidence," and that differences among jurors have negligible effects. But there is a paradox here: In most cases the weight of the evidence is insufficient to produce firstballot unanimity in the jury (Hans & Vidmar, 1986; Hastie, Penrod, & Pennington, 1983; Kalven & Zeisel, 1966 ...


Expert Information And Expert Evidence: A Preliminary Taxonomy, Samuel R. Gross, Jennifer L. Mnookin Jan 2003

Expert Information And Expert Evidence: A Preliminary Taxonomy, Samuel R. Gross, Jennifer L. Mnookin

Articles

Federal Rule of Evidence 702 speaks in very general terms. It governs every situation in which "scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact," and provides that, in that situation, "a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise . . . .' In 2000, following a trio of Supreme Court cases interpreting Rule 702, the Rule was amended to include a third requirement, in addition to the helpfulness of the testimony and the qualifications of the witness: reliability. Under Rule 702 as amended, a qualified ...


Dial-In Testimony, Richard D. Friedman, Bridget Mary Mccormack Jan 2002

Dial-In Testimony, Richard D. Friedman, Bridget Mary Mccormack

Articles

For several hundred years, one of the great glories of the common law system of criminal justice has been the requirement that prosecution witnesses give their testimony in the presence of the accused" face to face," in the time-honored phrase-under oath, subject to cross-examination, and, unless unfeasible, in open court. In the United States, this principle is enshrined in the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment, which provides that "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him." But now a new way is developing for witnesses for the prosecution ...


Jury Trial Techniques In Complex Civil Litigation, Ronald S. Longhofer Dec 1999

Jury Trial Techniques In Complex Civil Litigation, Ronald S. Longhofer

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Ronald Longhofer, an experienced litigator, discusses the challenges inherent in trying a complex civil case to a jury. He explores aspects of complex litigation that often impede jurors from effectively hearing such cases. In conclusion, he suggests litigation techniques which have proved successful in overcoming such obstacles and effectively translating complex evidence to jurors.


When Balance And Fairness Collide: An Argument For Execution Impact Evidence In Capital Trials, Wayne A. Logan Dec 1999

When Balance And Fairness Collide: An Argument For Execution Impact Evidence In Capital Trials, Wayne A. Logan

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A central precept of death penalty jurisprudence is that only the "death worthy" should be condemned, based on a "reasoned moral response" by the sentencing authority. Over the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has distanced itself from its painstaking efforts in the 1970s to calibrate death decision making in the name of fairness. Compelling proof of this shift is manifest in the Court's decisions to permit victim impact evidence in capital trials, and to allow jurors to be instructed that sympathy for capital defendants is not to influence capital decisions. This Article examines a novel strategy now being ...


Lost Lives: Miscarriages Of Justice In Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1999

Lost Lives: Miscarriages Of Justice In Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

In case after case, erroneous conviction for capital murder has been proven. I contend that these are not disconnected accidents, but systematic consequences of the nature of homicice prosecution in the general and capital prosecution in particular - that in this respect, as in others, death distorts and undermines the course of the law.