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Jury Sentencing And Juveniles: Eighth Amendment Limits And Sixth Amendment Rights, Sarah French Russell Mar 2015

Jury Sentencing And Juveniles: Eighth Amendment Limits And Sixth Amendment Rights, Sarah French Russell

Boston College Law Review

Across the country, states are grappling with how to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Miller v. Alabama, which held that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles violate the Eighth Amendment. Following Miller, it appears a sentencer may impose life without parole on a juvenile homicide offender only in those rare instances in which the sentencer determines, after considering the mitigating qualities of youth, that the juvenile’s crime reflects “irreparable corruption.” Courts are preparing to conduct resentencing hearings in states nationwide, and new cases where juveniles face the possibility of life in prison are entering ...


Anchors Away: Why The Anchoring Effect Suggests That Judges Should Be Able To Participate In Plea Discussions, Colin Miller Sep 2013

Anchors Away: Why The Anchoring Effect Suggests That Judges Should Be Able To Participate In Plea Discussions, Colin Miller

Boston College Law Review

The “anchoring effect” is a cognitive bias by which people evaluate numbers by focusing on a reference point—an anchor—and adjusting up or down. Unfortunately, people usually do not sufficiently adjust away from their anchors, so the initial choice of anchors has an inordinate effect on their final estimates. More than ninety percent of all criminal cases are resolved by plea bargains. In the vast majority of those cases, the prosecutor makes the initial plea offer, and prosecutors often make high initial offers. Assuming that the prosecutor’s opening offer operates as an anchor, nearly all criminal case in ...


Judicial Policy Nullification Of The Antitrust Sentencing Guideline, Frederick Thide Mar 2013

Judicial Policy Nullification Of The Antitrust Sentencing Guideline, Frederick Thide

Boston College Law Review

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines provide for special treatment of hard-core cartel activity to ensure that penalties for antitrust crimes effectively deter and punish criminals. The U.S. Supreme Court’s transformational sentencing cases, however, have returned significant discretion to sentencing judges, including the discretion to vary from the Guidelines on policy grounds. Yet, judicial discretion in sentencing is not unlimited. Judges are required by statute to impose sentences that are “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to achieve the goals of sentencing, subject to appellate review for reasonableness. This Note analyzes whether there is a sustainable basis for judicial policy ...


Border Searches In The Age Of Terrorism, Robert M. Bloom Feb 2009

Border Searches In The Age Of Terrorism, Robert M. Bloom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article will first explore the history of border searches. It will look to the reorganization of the border enforcement apparatus resulting from 9/11 as well as the intersection of the Fourth Amendment and border searches generally. Then, it will analyze the Supreme Court's last statement on border searches in the Flores-Montano27 decision, including what impact this decision has had on the lower courts. Finally, the article will focus on Fourth Amendment cases involving terrorism concerns after 9/11, as a means of drawing some conclusions about the effect the emerging emphasis on terrorism and national security concerns ...


From Inquisitorial To Accusatory: Colombia And Guatemala's Legal Transition, Andrés Torres Jan 2007

From Inquisitorial To Accusatory: Colombia And Guatemala's Legal Transition, Andrés Torres

Law and Justice in the Americas Working Paper Series

No abstract provided.


Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy Nov 2006

Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this article the author explores how domestic violence prevention efforts have been adversely impacted by the Supreme Court’s new “testimonial” approach to the confrontation clause. Examining the Court’s trilogy of cases from Crawford to Davis and Hammon, the author argues that the introduction of certain forms of hearsay in criminal cases has been drastically limited by the court’s new originalist approach to the Sixth Amendment. The author explains how state spousal privilege statutes often present a significant barrier to obtaining live testimony from victims of domestic violence. The author then argues that state legislatures should reconsider ...


Catholic Judges In Capital Cases, John H. Garvey, Amy Coney Barrett Jan 2005

Catholic Judges In Capital Cases, John H. Garvey, Amy Coney Barrett

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Catholic Church’s opposition to the death penalty places Catholic judges in a moral and legal bind. While these judges are obliged by oath, professional commitment, and the demands of citizenship to enforce the death penalty, they are also obliged to adhere to their church’s teaching on moral matters. Although the legal system has a solution for this dilemma by allowing the recusal of judges whose convictions keep them from doing their job, Catholic judges will want to sit whenever possible without acting immorally. However, litigants and the general public are entitled to impartial justice, which may be ...


Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy Jan 2000

Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s decision in Williams, in which the Court struck down an attempt by the Tenth Circuit to impose an obligation on federal prosecutors to disclose substantial exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. The author discusses the contours of this case and the ethical underpinnings of a prosecutor’s disclosure obligations before the grand jury, and sets forth a new framework for consideration of such issues.


Should Federalism Shield Corruption?—Mail Fraud, State Law And Post-Lopez Analysis, George D. Brown Jan 1997

Should Federalism Shield Corruption?—Mail Fraud, State Law And Post-Lopez Analysis, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, Professor Brown examines the issues that federal prosecutions of state and local officials pose. The analysis focuses on prosecutions under the mail fraud statute and considers the general debate over the proper scope of federal criminal law. Professor Brodin addresses the question of whether a re-examination of mail fraud would focus on constitutional or statutory issues and by utilizing the Supreme Court case United States v. Lopez examines the question of internal limits on the mail fraud statute.


German Criminal Justice As A Guide To American Law Reform: Similar Problems, Better Solutions?, Richard S. Frase, Thomas Weigend Aug 1995

German Criminal Justice As A Guide To American Law Reform: Similar Problems, Better Solutions?, Richard S. Frase, Thomas Weigend

Boston College International and Comparative Law Review

No abstract provided.


Judicial Integrity: A Call For Its Re-Emergence In The Adjudication Of Criminal Cases, Robert M. Bloom Jan 1993

Judicial Integrity: A Call For Its Re-Emergence In The Adjudication Of Criminal Cases, Robert M. Bloom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A court can invalidate or rectify certain kinds of offensive official action on the grounds of judicial integrity. In the past, it has served as a check on overzealous law enforcement agents whose actions so seriously impaired due process principles that they shocked the bench’s conscience. The principle not only preserves the judiciary as a symbol of lawfulness and justice, but it also insulates the courts from becoming aligned with illegal actors and their bad acts. The 1992 case of U.S. v. Alvarez-Machain, however, may have signaled a departure from past practices. This article reviews current Supreme Court ...