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Criminal Law

Maurer School of Law: Indiana University

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The Law And Politics Of Ransomware, Asaf Lubin Oct 2022

The Law And Politics Of Ransomware, Asaf Lubin

Articles by Maurer Faculty

What do Lady Gaga, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the city of Valdez in Alaska, and the court system of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul all have in common? They have all been victims of ransomware attacks, which are growing both in number and severity. In 2016, hackers perpetrated roughly four thousand ransomware attacks a day worldwide, a figure which was already alarming. By 2020, however, ransomware attacks reached a staggering number, between 20,000 and 30,000 per day in the United States alone. That is a ransomware attack every eleven seconds, each of which cost victims …


Criminal Defamation And Freedom Of Speech In The Internet Age: A Study For Indonesian Democratic Values, Eka Nugraha Putra Aug 2022

Criminal Defamation And Freedom Of Speech In The Internet Age: A Study For Indonesian Democratic Values, Eka Nugraha Putra

Maurer Theses and Dissertations

For a country that has been declared a democratic nation since it gained independence, Indonesia still faces the real challenge of maintaining democratic values. Currently, Indonesian legal regulations do not provide a clear standard for when speech is protected and when it can be considered actionable defamation. The obscure scope of the law means that it can affect some kinds of speech, such as opinion or criticism, and render that speech punishable as a crime.

This study analyzes Indonesia’s criminal defamation laws by examining what is protected and unprotected speech. The study examines various laws, including Indonesian statutes and judicial …


The Pathological Whiteness Of Prosecution, India Thusi Jun 2022

The Pathological Whiteness Of Prosecution, India Thusi

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Criminal law scholarship suffers from a Whiteness problem. While scholars appear to be increasingly concerned with the racial disparities within the criminal legal system, the scholarship’s focus tends to be on the marginalized communities and the various discriminatory outcomes they experience as a result of the system. Scholars frequently mention racial bias in the criminal legal system and mass incarceration, the lexical descendent of overcriminalization. However, the scholarship often fails to consider the roles Whiteness and White supremacy play as the underlying logics and norms driving much of the bias in the system.

This Article examines the ways that Whiteness …


Feminist Scripts For Punishment, India Thusi May 2021

Feminist Scripts For Punishment, India Thusi

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Review of:

THE FEMINIST WAR ON CRIME: THE UNEXPECTED ROLE OF WOMEN’S LIBERATION IN MASS INCARCERATION. By Aya Gruber. Oakland, C.A.: University of California Press. 2020. Pp. xii, 288. $29.95.


Enhanced Public Defense Improves Pretrial Outcomes And Reduces Racial Disparities, Paul Heaton Apr 2021

Enhanced Public Defense Improves Pretrial Outcomes And Reduces Racial Disparities, Paul Heaton

Indiana Law Journal

Numerous jurisdictions are working to reform pretrial processes to reduce or eliminate money bail and decrease pretrial detention. Although reforms such as the abandonment of bail schedules or adoption of actuarial risk assessment tools have been widely enacted, the role of defense counsel in the pretrial process has received less attention.

This Article considers an approach to pretrial reform focused on improving the quality of defense counsel. In Philadelphia, a substantial fraction of people facing criminal charges are detained following rapid preliminary hearings where initial release conditions are set by bail magistrates operating with limited information. Beginning in 2017, the …


Rehabilitating Charge Bargaining, Nancy Combs Apr 2021

Rehabilitating Charge Bargaining, Nancy Combs

Indiana Law Journal

Nobody likes plea bargaining. Scholars worldwide have excoriated the practice, calling it coercive and unjust, among other pejorative adjectives. Despite its unpopularity, plea bargaining constitutes a central component of the American criminal justice system, and the United States has exported the practice to a host of countries worldwide. Indeed, plea bargaining has even appeared at international criminal tribunals, created to prosecute genocide and crimes against humanity—the gravest crimes known to humankind. Although all forms of plea bargaining are unpopular, commentators reserve their harshest criticism for charge bargaining because charge bargaining is said to distort the factual basis of the defendant’s …


The Economic Case For Rewards Over Imprisonment, Brian D. Galle Jan 2021

The Economic Case For Rewards Over Imprisonment, Brian D. Galle

Indiana Law Journal

There seems to be a growing social consensus that the United States imprisons far too many people for far too long. But reform efforts have slowed in the face of a challenging question: How can we reduce reliance on prisons while still discouraging crime, particularly violent crime? Through the 1970s, social scientists believed the answer was an array of what I will call preventive benefits: drug and mental health treatment, housing, and even unconditional cash payments. But early evaluations of these programs failed to find much evidence that they were successful, confirming a then-developing economic theory that predicted the programs …


The Perils Of "Old" And "New" In Sentencing Reform, Jessica M. Eaglin Jan 2021

The Perils Of "Old" And "New" In Sentencing Reform, Jessica M. Eaglin

Articles by Maurer Faculty

This Essay turns attention from actuarial risk assessment tools as a reform to the inclination for a technical sentencing reform more broadly. When situated in the context of technical guidelines created to structure and regulate judicial discretion in the 1980s and beyond, the institutionalization of an actuarial risk assessment at sentencing is both an old and new idea. Both sentencing guidelines and actuarial risk assessments raise conceptual and empirical questions about sentencing law and policy. This Essay drills down on two conceptual issues—equality and selective incapacitation—to highlight that actuarial risk assessments as a reform raise recurring questions about sentencing, even …


When Freedom Of Speech Comes At A Cost: A Case Study Of E.S. V. Austria, Rachael Taylor Aug 2020

When Freedom Of Speech Comes At A Cost: A Case Study Of E.S. V. Austria, Rachael Taylor

Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies

In the fall of 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a decision upholding the criminal conviction of an Austrian national (E.S.) in violation of Austria's Criminal Code against the disparagement of religious doctrines. Her initial conviction in the Austrian court was based on statements she made about the Prophet Muhammad while teaching a series of seminars entitled "Basic Information on Islam." In upholding her conviction, the ECtHR found that there had been no violation of the Austrian's right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (Convention), and …


Flipping The Script On Brady, Ion Meyn Jul 2020

Flipping The Script On Brady, Ion Meyn

Indiana Law Journal

Brady v. Maryland imposes a disclosure obligation on the prosecutor and, for this

reason, is understood to burden the prosecutor. This Article asks whether Brady also

benefits the prosecutor, and if so, how and to what extent does it accomplish this?

This Article first considers Brady’s structural impact—how the case influenced

broader dynamics of litigation. Before Brady, legislative reform transformed civil

and criminal litigation by providing pretrial information to civil defendants but not

to criminal defendants. Did this disparate treatment comport with due process?

Brady arguably answered this question by brokering a compromise: in exchange for

imposing minor obligations on …


Recidivist Sentencing And The Sixth Amendment, Benjamin E. Adams Jun 2020

Recidivist Sentencing And The Sixth Amendment, Benjamin E. Adams

Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality

No abstract provided.


The Violence Of Nosy Questions, Jeannine Bell May 2020

The Violence Of Nosy Questions, Jeannine Bell

Articles by Maurer Faculty

This Essay examines a little-studied aspect of police procedure: police officers’ unfettered power to ask questions of motorists. The questions officers ask after they have stopped a car can run the gamut from questions about the nature of the motorist’s travel plans to nosy personal questions. Such questions are often intrusive, and drivers report feeling degraded by having to answer them. This Essay argues that these questions should be regulated because giving officers complete control over what they ask motorists provides a significant space for racial discrimination in policing, creates resentment, and encourages minorities to distrust the police.


First Amendment “Harms”, Stephanie H. Barclay Apr 2020

First Amendment “Harms”, Stephanie H. Barclay

Indiana Law Journal

What role should harm to third parties play in the government’s ability to protect religious rights? The intuitively appealing “harm” principle has animated new theories advanced by scholars who argue that religious exemptions are indefensible whenever they result in cognizable harm to third parties. This third-party harm theory is gaining traction in some circles, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s pending cases in Little Sisters of the Poor and Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. While focusing on harm appears at first to provide an appealing, simple, and neutral principle for avoiding other difficult moral questions, the definition of harm …


A Case For Reforming The Anti-Money Laundering Regulatory Regime: How Financial Institutions’ Criminal Reporting Duties Have Created An Unfunded Private Police Force, Christopher Wilkes Apr 2020

A Case For Reforming The Anti-Money Laundering Regulatory Regime: How Financial Institutions’ Criminal Reporting Duties Have Created An Unfunded Private Police Force, Christopher Wilkes

Indiana Law Journal

Part I of this Note provides background information outlining the relevant BSA/AML laws that establish financial institutions’ affirmative duties to report financial crimes. Part II analyzes the contours of other laws that create mandatory criminal reporting obligations, including their extent, their underlying justifications, and how stringently government agencies enforce them. Part III demonstrates how financial institutions’ reporting duties are uniquely stringent and punitive compared to those imposed elsewhere in the law, and it questions the justifications of this policy. Lastly, Part IV of this Note argues that the BSA/AML regulatory regime could be reformed to reduce the costs and duties …


Bhopal In The Federal Courts: How Indian Victims Failed To Get Justice, Jayanth K. Krishnan Apr 2020

Bhopal In The Federal Courts: How Indian Victims Failed To Get Justice, Jayanth K. Krishnan

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Over thirty-five years ago, the city of Bhopal, India, witnessed a horrific gas leak that originated from a facility operated by Union Carbide India Limited (“UCIL”), which had as its parent company the American-based Union Carbide Corporation (“UCC”). Thousands were killed, with many more injured. One hundred forty-five cases were filed throughout various U.S. federal district courts on behalf of the victims asserting that UCIL and UCC were liable. Eventually, these cases were consolidated through the multi-district litigation (“MDL”) process and placed onto the docket of federal Judge John Keenan. In 1986, Judge Keenan issued his famous forum non conveniens …


Revenge Porn And The Aclu’S Inconsistent Approach, Elena Lentz Jan 2020

Revenge Porn And The Aclu’S Inconsistent Approach, Elena Lentz

Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality

No abstract provided.


The Categorical Imperative As A Decarceral Agenda, Jessica M. Eaglin Jan 2020

The Categorical Imperative As A Decarceral Agenda, Jessica M. Eaglin

Articles by Maurer Faculty

In his forthcoming book, The Insidious Momentum of Mass Incarceration, Frank Zimring proposes two alternative methods to decarcerate: states can adopt a categorical imperative to reduce prison populations or states can reform the governance of sentencing. This symposium Essay focuses on the first of these options, as proposed in his tentative Chapter Six, wherein Zimring calls for categorically removing drug-addicted offenders from eligibility for prison sanctions and expanding use of jails for categories of offenses or offenders.

These methods, I suggest, exist in tension with numerous popular sentencing reforms being implemented in the states right now. Popular reforms, including the …


Beyond Policing, India Thusi Jan 2020

Beyond Policing, India Thusi

Books & Book Chapters by Maurer Faculty

We all deserve to live in communities where we feel safe

And true community safety means feeling safe from violence by the state, which includes the police. Social inequity has systematically and institutionally permeated our country since its founding, becoming more visible at various times in our history. We are now living in one of those moments of tremendous clarity, and it calls on us to look deeply at the efficacy of the reforms and narratives which preceded it . The deadly consequences of political decisions that create health disparities are now a wound that cannot be unseen as the …


The Noisy "Silent Witness": The Misperception And Misuse Of Criminal Video Evidence, Aaron M. Williams Oct 2019

The Noisy "Silent Witness": The Misperception And Misuse Of Criminal Video Evidence, Aaron M. Williams

Indiana Law Journal

This Note examines recent developments in the research of situational video evidence biases. Part I examines the current and growing body of psychological research into the various situational biases that can affect the reliability of video evidence and the gaps in this research that require further attention from researchers and legal academics. Because these biases do not “operate in a vacuum,” Part I also examines some of the recent and exciting research into the interaction between situational and dispositional biases. Part II examines the development of camera and video processing technology and its limitations as a means of mitigating such …


Gender Disparities In Plea Bargaining, Carlos Berdejo Oct 2019

Gender Disparities In Plea Bargaining, Carlos Berdejo

Indiana Law Journal

Across wide-ranging contexts, academic literature and the popular press have identified pervasive gender disparities favoring men over women in society. One area in which gender disparities have conversely favored women is the criminal justice system. Most of the empirical research examining gender disparities in criminal case outcomes has focused on judges’ sentencing decisions. Few studies have assessed disparities in the steps leading up to a defendant’s conviction, where various actors make choices that constrain judges’ ultimate sentencing discretion. This Article addresses this gap by examining gender disparities in the plea-bargaining process. The results presented in this Article reveal significant gender …


Fictional Pleas, Thea Johnson Jul 2019

Fictional Pleas, Thea Johnson

Indiana Law Journal

A fictional plea is one in which a 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 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 noncriminal consequences. In this context, the …


Commencement Calls For Review Of Annual Milestones, Austen L. Parrish May 2019

Commencement Calls For Review Of Annual Milestones, Austen L. Parrish

Austen Parrish (2014-2022)

This weekend is a time of celebration in Bloomington, as we welcome friends and family of the Class of 2019 for our annual commencement ceremony. It’s an important milestone in our students’ lives. Commencement is also a time for looking back. The past year saw several significant milestones for the IU Maurer School of Law. I’d like to touch on just a few of them in this month’s column.


Opioid Policing, Barbara Fedders Apr 2019

Opioid Policing, Barbara Fedders

Indiana Law Journal

This Article identifies and explores a new, local law enforcement approach to alleged drug offenders. Initially limited to a few police departments, but now expanding rapidly across the country, this innovation takes one of two primary forms. The first is a diversion program through which officers refer alleged offenders to community-based social services rather than initiate criminal proceedings. The second form offers legal amnesty as well as priority access to drug detoxification programs to users who voluntarily relinquish illicit drugs. Because the upsurge in addiction to —and death from—opioids has spurred this innovation, I refer to it as “opioid policing.” …


Harm, Sex, And Consequences, India Thusi Jan 2019

Harm, Sex, And Consequences, India Thusi

Articles by Maurer Faculty

At a moment in history when this country incarcerates far too many people, criminal legal theory should set forth a framework for reexamining the current logic of the criminal legal system. This Article is the first to argue that “distributive consequentialism,” which centers the experiences of directly impacted communities, can address the harms of mass incarceration and mass criminalization. Distributive consequentialism is a framework for assessing whether criminalization is justified. It focuses on the outcomes of criminalization rather than relying on indeterminate moral judgments about blameworthiness, or “desert,” which are often infected by the judgers’ own implicit biases. Distributive consequentialism …


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

Indiana Law Journal

In “Opioid Policing,”1 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 times2 and appears likely to be replicated still further—and to be written about much more. Inspired by Fedders’s call for a balanced take, this Response …


We Are All Farkhunda: An Examination Of The Treatment Of Women Within Afghanistan's Formal Legal System, Ashley Lenderman Oct 2018

We Are All Farkhunda: An Examination Of The Treatment Of Women Within Afghanistan's Formal Legal System, Ashley Lenderman

Indiana Journal of Constitutional Design

In this paper, I will examine three cases of violence against women that went through the Afghan formal legal system: the case of Farkhunda, the Paghman district gang rape case, and the case of Sahar Gul. In the first Part, I will discuss the formal legal system framework on which the cases are based. In the second Part, I will discuss the cases in detail. In the third Part, I will describe neo-liberal, reformist, and neo-fundamentalist approaches to interpretation of Islamic law, and I will then draw out pieces of the decisions from the three cases that closely match these …


Unusual: The Death Penalty For Inadvertent Killing, Guyora Binder, Brenner M. Fissell, Robert Weisberg Jul 2018

Unusual: The Death Penalty For Inadvertent Killing, Guyora Binder, Brenner M. Fissell, Robert Weisberg

Indiana Law Journal

Can a burglar who frightens the occupant of a house, causing a fatal heart attack, be executed? More generally, does the Eighth Amendment permit capital punishment of one who causes death inadvertently? This scenario is possible in the significant minority of American jurisdictions that permit capital punishment for felony murder without requiring a mental state of intent to kill or reckless indifference to human life. Thus far, Eighth Amendment death penalty jurisprudence has required a culpable mental state of recklessness for execution of accomplices in a fatal felony, but has not yet addressed the culpability required for execution of the …


The Prison To Homelessness Pipeline: Criminal Record Checks, Race, And Disparate Impact, Valerie Schneider Apr 2018

The Prison To Homelessness Pipeline: Criminal Record Checks, Race, And Disparate Impact, Valerie Schneider

Indiana Law Journal

Study after study has shown that securing housing upon release from prison is critical to reducing the likelihood of recidivism,1 yet those with criminal records— a population that disproportionately consists of racial minorities—are routinely denied access to housing, even if their offense was minor and was shown to have no bearing on whether the applicant would be likely to be a successful renter. In April of 2016, the Office of General Counsel for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued much anticipated guidance dealing directly with the racially disparate impact of barring those with criminal records …


Conflicting Approaches To Addressing Ex-Offender Unemployment: The Work Opportunity Tax Credit And Ban The Box, Katherine English Apr 2018

Conflicting Approaches To Addressing Ex-Offender Unemployment: The Work Opportunity Tax Credit And Ban The Box, Katherine English

Indiana Law Journal

Each year, roughly 700,000 prisoners are released from their six-by-eight-foot cells and back into society. Sadly, though, many of these ex-prisoners are not truly free. Upon returning to society, they often encounter several challenges that prevent them from resuming a normal, reintegrated lifestyle. For many, the difficulties associated with reentry prove to be too much, and within a short three years of their release, two-thirds of ex-offenders are rearrested, reconvicted, and thrown back into the familiar six-by-eight-foot cell. Recidivism might appear to be entirely the exoffenders’ fault, but ex-offenders are not solely responsible for these recidivism rates or the solution …


Debunked, Discredited, But Still Defended: Why Prosecutors Resist Challenges To Bad Science And Some Suggestions For Crafting Remedies For Wrongful Conviction Based On Changed Science, Aviva A. Orenstein Jan 2018

Debunked, Discredited, But Still Defended: Why Prosecutors Resist Challenges To Bad Science And Some Suggestions For Crafting Remedies For Wrongful Conviction Based On Changed Science, Aviva A. Orenstein

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Flawed science has significantly contributed to wrongful convictions. Courts struggle with how to address such convictions when the mistaken science (such as bogus expert claims about the differences between accidental fires and intentionally set ones) significantly affected the guilty verdict but there is no DNA evidence to directly exonerate the accused. My short piece explores why prosecutors often defend bad science. Mistakes in science tend to serve the prosecution, but there are other more subtle factors that explain prosecutors’ reluctance to address flawed forensic testimony. Such reluctance may arise from fondness for the status quo and a resistance to subverting …