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All Eyez On Rap & Hip-Hop: Analyzing How Black Expression Is Criminalized And The Language Of The Rap Act Of 2022, Maia Young Apr 2024

All Eyez On Rap & Hip-Hop: Analyzing How Black Expression Is Criminalized And The Language Of The Rap Act Of 2022, Maia Young

Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

The Black existence, in the United States of America, has always been regarded as a conditional right. Conventionally, Blackness must always be nonviolent and non-disruptive to safely exist. Because of this, Blackness cannot be confined to restraints and disrupts these conventions with acts of joy and creative expression. Black creativity is both unconventional and sacred. Black creative expression documents, preserves, and unifies cultural lived experiences, from a first-hand lens of those oppressed. Creative and artistic expression celebrates the myriad of stories that are a part of the collective Black experience. Yet, Black creative expression is now being weaponized by prosecutors …


Salvaging Federal Domestic Violence Gun Regulations In Bruen’S Wake, Bonnie Carlson Mar 2024

Salvaging Federal Domestic Violence Gun Regulations In Bruen’S Wake, Bonnie Carlson

Washington Law Review

Congress passed two life-saving laws in the mid-1990s: a protection order prohibition, which bars firearm possession for protection order respondents, and the Lautenberg Amendment, which bars firearm possession for those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. Both laws have been repeatedly upheld by federal courts nationwide in the nearly thirty years since their enactment. Both faced renewed constitutional challenges after the United States Supreme Court’s foundation-shifting decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen on June 23, 2022. The Lautenberg Amendment has fared well; every court to consider it post-Bruen has upheld it. Courts have …


Criminal Caselaw Notebook 2024, Hon. Ronald Kessler Feb 2024

Criminal Caselaw Notebook 2024, Hon. Ronald Kessler

Washington State Books

This publication from King County Superior Court judge Ronald Kessler is updated semi-annually and is distributed free of charge. It includes citations to Washington state case law on a variety of criminal law topics.


After The Criminal Justice System, Benjamin Levin Oct 2023

After The Criminal Justice System, Benjamin Levin

Washington Law Review

Since the 1960s, the “criminal justice system” has operated as the common label for a vast web of actors and institutions. But as critiques of mass incarceration have entered the mainstream, academics, activists, and advocates increasingly have stopped referring to the “criminal justice system.” Instead, they have opted for critical labels—the “criminal legal system,” the “criminal punishment system,” the “prison industrial complex,” and so on. What does this re-labeling accomplish? Does this change in language matter to broader efforts at criminal justice reform or abolition? Or does an emphasis on labels and language distract from substantive engagement with the injustices …


Private Police Regulation And The Exclusionary Remedy: How Washington Can Eliminate The Public/Private Distinction, Jared Rothenberg Oct 2023

Private Police Regulation And The Exclusionary Remedy: How Washington Can Eliminate The Public/Private Distinction, Jared Rothenberg

Washington Law Review

Private security forces such as campus police, security guards, loss prevention officers, and the like are not state actors covered by the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures nor the Fifth Amendment’s Miranda protections. As members of the umbrella category of “private police,” these private law enforcement agents often obtain evidence, detain individuals, and elicit confessions in a manner that government actors cannot, which can then be lawfully turned over to the government. Though the same statutory law governing private citizens (assault, false imprisonment, trespass, etc.) also regulates private police conduct, private police conduct is not bound by …


Marital Disharmony: Examining The Adverse Spousal Testimonial Privilege And Its Impact In Washington State, Sabrina Suen Jun 2023

Marital Disharmony: Examining The Adverse Spousal Testimonial Privilege And Its Impact In Washington State, Sabrina Suen

Washington Law Review

In Washington State, RCW 5.60.060(1) provides that “[a] spouse or domestic partner shall not be examined for or against his or her spouse or domestic partner, without the consent of the spouse or domestic partner.” This evidence rule, known as the adverse spousal testimonial privilege, allows a defendant to exclude witness testimony by their spouse under most circumstances. A product of common law tradition, this privilege stems from a time when the law treated women as chattel with no independent legal rights. Since Washington State codified the adverse spousal privilege, the United States Supreme Court amended the federal spousal testimonial …


Making Bad Decisions With Toxic Emissions: Exploring The Prosecution Of Companies For Superfund Crimes, Dr. Melissa Jarrell Ozymy, Dr. Joshua Ozymy May 2023

Making Bad Decisions With Toxic Emissions: Exploring The Prosecution Of Companies For Superfund Crimes, Dr. Melissa Jarrell Ozymy, Dr. Joshua Ozymy

Washington Journal of Social & Environmental Justice

Marginalized communities in the United States bear the brunt of toxic pollution from Superfund sites. Criminal provisions in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, allow prosecutors to seek penalties for environmental crimes involving significant harm and/or culpable conduct, but we know little about how companies have been prosecuted for Superfund crimes. We utilize content analysis of 2,728 environmental crime prosecutions stemming from U.S. EPA criminal investigations from 1983-2021, and select cases of companies prosecuted for Superfund crimes. We found that across 41 prosecutions, 126 defendants were prosecuted, resulting in 68 years of probation …


Evaluating Congress's Constitutional Basis To Abolish Felony Disenfranchisement, James E. Lauerman Mar 2023

Evaluating Congress's Constitutional Basis To Abolish Felony Disenfranchisement, James E. Lauerman

Washington Law Review

In the past three years, members of Congress unsuccessfully introduced a series of federal voting rights legislation, most recently the Freedom to Vote Act. One goal of the legislation is to abolish felony disenfranchisement. Felony disenfranchisement is the practice of revoking a citizen’s right to vote due to a prior felony conviction. The Freedom to Vote Act aims to restore voting rights for every citizen who has completed their prison sentence. A ban on felony disenfranchisement would be historic, as the practice stretches back to ancient Greece and Rome. Moreover, the United States Supreme Court consistently upholds the practice by …


Gone Fishing: Casting A Wide Net Using Geofence Warrants, Ryan Tursi Mar 2023

Gone Fishing: Casting A Wide Net Using Geofence Warrants, Ryan Tursi

Washington Law Review

Technology companies across the country receive requests from law enforcement agencies for cell phone location information near the scenes of crimes. These requests rely on the traditional warrant process and are known as geofence warrants, or reverse location search warrants. By obtaining location information, law enforcement can identify potential suspects or persons of interest who were near the scene of a crime when they have no leads. But the use of this investigative technique is controversial, as it threatens to intrude upon the privacy of innocent bystanders who had the misfortune of being nearby when the crime took place. Innocent …


No Sense Of Decency, Kathryn E. Miller Mar 2023

No Sense Of Decency, Kathryn E. Miller

Washington Law Review

For nearly seventy years, the Court has assessed Eighth Amendment claims by evaluating “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” In this Article, I examine the evolving standards of decency test, which has long been a punching bag for critics on both the right and the left. Criticism of the doctrine has been fierce but largely academic until recent years. Some fault the test for being too majoritarian, while others argue that it provides few constraints on the Justices’ discretion, permitting their personal predilections to rule the day. For many, the test is seen …


Beware What You Google: Fourth Amendment Constitutionality Of Keyword Warrants, Chelsa Camille Edano Dec 2022

Beware What You Google: Fourth Amendment Constitutionality Of Keyword Warrants, Chelsa Camille Edano

Washington Law Review

Many Americans have potentially had their privacy rights invaded through invisible, widespread police searches. In recent years, local and federal governments have compelled Google and other search engine companies to produce the personal information of users who have conducted a search query related to a crime. By using keyword warrants, the government can conduct a dragnet search for suspects, imposing suspicion on users and exposing their personal information. The keyword warrant is a symptom of the erosion of the Fourth Amendment protection against suspicionless searches. Not only is scholarship scarce on keyword warrants, but also instances of these warrants are …


Renewing The Vagueness Challenge To Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude, Melissa London Jun 2022

Renewing The Vagueness Challenge To Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude, Melissa London

Washington Law Review

Noncitizens who have been convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT) under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) can be deported. However, the INA fails to provide a definition for “moral turpitude” or a list of crimes that necessarily involve “moral turpitude.” As a result, judges are given wide discretion to decide when a crime is morally reprehensible enough to render a noncitizen deportable. This moral determination in the CIMT analysis has led to disparate results among the lower courts, which deprives noncitizens of meaningful notice of what conduct could render them deportable. In 1951, the Supreme Court held …


The Dignitary Confrontation Clause, Erin Sheley Mar 2022

The Dignitary Confrontation Clause, Erin Sheley

Washington Law Review

For seventeen years, the Supreme Court’s Confrontation Clause jurisprudence has been confused and confusing. In Crawford v. Washington (2004), the Court overruled prior precedent and held that “testimonial” out-of-court statements could not be admitted at trial unless the defendant had an opportunity to cross-examine the declarant, even when the statement would be otherwise admissible as particularly reliable under an exception to the rule against hearsay. In a series of contradictory opinions over the next several years, the Court proceeded to expand and then seemingly roll back this holding, leading to widespread chaos in common types of cases, particularly those involving …


Race And Washington’S Criminal Justice System: 2021 Report To The Washington Supreme Court, Task Force 2.0 Mar 2022

Race And Washington’S Criminal Justice System: 2021 Report To The Washington Supreme Court, Task Force 2.0

Washington Law Review

RACE & WASHINGTON’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM:

EDITOR’S NOTE

As Editors-in-Chief of the Washington Law Review, Gonzaga Law Review, and Seattle University Law Review, we represent the flagship legal academic publications of each law school in Washington State. Our publications last joined together to publish the findings of the first Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System in 2011/12. A decade later, we are honored to join once again to present the findings of Task Force 2.0. Law journals have enabled generations of legal professionals to introduce, vet, and distribute new ideas, critiques of existing legal structures, and reflections …


Due Process In Prison Disciplinary Hearings: How The “Some Evidence” Standard Of Proof Violates The Constitution, Emily Parker Dec 2021

Due Process In Prison Disciplinary Hearings: How The “Some Evidence” Standard Of Proof Violates The Constitution, Emily Parker

Washington Law Review

Prison disciplinary hearings have wide-reaching impacts on an incarcerated individual’s liberty. A sanction following a guilty finding is a consequence that stems from hearings and goes beyond mere punishment. Guilty findings for serious infractions, like a positive result on a drug test, can often result in a substantial increase in prison time. Before the government deprives an incarcerated individual of their liberty interest in a shorter sentence, it must provide minimum due process. However, an individual can be found guilty of serious infractions in Washington State prison disciplinary hearings under the “some evidence” standard of proof—a standard that allows for …


"Send Freedom House!": A Study In Police Abolition, Tiffany Yang Oct 2021

"Send Freedom House!": A Study In Police Abolition, Tiffany Yang

Washington Law Review

Sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the 2020 uprisings accelerated a momentum of abolitionist organizing that demands the defunding and dismantling of policing infrastructures. Although a growing body of legal scholarship recognizes abolitionist frameworks when examining conventional proposals for reform, critics mistakenly continue to disregard police abolition as an unrealistic solution. This Essay helps dispel this myth of “impracticality” and illustrates the pragmatism of abolition by identifying a community-driven effort that achieved a meaningful reduction in policing we now take for granted. I detail the history of the Freedom House Ambulance Service, a Black civilian …


How The Gun Control Act Disarms Black Firearm Owners, Maya Itah Oct 2021

How The Gun Control Act Disarms Black Firearm Owners, Maya Itah

Washington Law Review

Through 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), the Gun Control Act (GCA) outlaws the possession of a firearm “in furtherance of” a drug trafficking crime. The statute’s language is broad, and federal courts have interpreted it expansively. By giving prosecutors wide discretion in charging individuals with § 924(c) violations, the language enables the disproportionate incarceration of Black firearm owners.

This Comment addresses this issue in three parts. Part I discusses the ways early gun control laws overtly disarmed Black firearm owners. Additionally, Part I provides context for the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which coincided with the backlash to …


Police Or Pirates? Reforming Washington's Civil Asset Forfeiture System, Jasmin Chigbrow Oct 2021

Police Or Pirates? Reforming Washington's Civil Asset Forfeiture System, Jasmin Chigbrow

Washington Law Review

Civil asset forfeiture laws permit police officers to seize property they suspect is connected to criminal activity and sell or retain the property for the police department’s use. In many states, including Washington, civil forfeiture occurs independent of any criminal case—many property owners are never charged with the offense police allege occurred. Because the government is not required to file criminal charges, property owners facing civil forfeiture lack the constitutional safeguards normally guaranteed to defendants in the criminal justice system: the right to an attorney, the presumption of innocence, the government’s burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, …


Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman Oct 2021

Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman

Washington Law Review

Revocation of community supervision is a defining feature of American criminal law. Nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are on parole, probation, or supervised release, and 1/3 eventually have their supervision revoked, sending 350,000 to prison each year. Academics, activists, and attorneys warn that “mass supervision” has become a powerful engine of mass incarceration.

This is the first Article to study theories of punishment in revocation of community supervision, focusing on the federal system of supervised release. Federal courts apply a primarily retributive theory of revocation, aiming to sanction defendants for their “breach of trust.” However, the structure, …


"Benevolent Paternalism" Revisited, Daniel H. Foote Jun 2021

"Benevolent Paternalism" Revisited, Daniel H. Foote

Articles

Nearly thirty years ago, in an article entitled “The Benevolent Paternalism of Japanese Criminal Justice” (Benevolent Paternalism), I sought to set out a model for the Japanese criminal justice system, the “benevolent paternalism” model. As the label reflects, I viewed the Japanese criminal justice system as consisting of two sides, a “paternalistic” side and a “benevolent” side. This essay begins with a short summary of the model; it then turns to an examination of major developments in the intervening three decades and considers whether the model remains relevant today.


Benevolent Exclusion, Anna Offit Jun 2021

Benevolent Exclusion, Anna Offit

Washington Law Review

The American jury system holds the promise of bringing common sense ideas about justice to the enforcement of the law. But its democratizing effect cannot be realized if a segment of the population faces systematic exclusion based on income or wealth. The problem of unequal access to jury service based on socio-economic disparities is a longstanding yet under-studied problem—and one which the uneven fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated. Like race- and sex-based jury discrimination during the peremptory challenge phase of jury selection, the routine dismissal of citizens who face economic hardship excludes not only people but also the …


Talking Back In Court, M. Eve Hanan Jun 2021

Talking Back In Court, M. Eve Hanan

Washington Law Review

People charged with crimes often speak directly to the judge presiding over their case. Yet, what can be seen in courtrooms across the U.S. is that defendants rarely “talk back” in court, meaning that they rarely challenge authority’s view of the law, the crime, the defendant, the court’s procedure, or the fairness of the proposed sentence.

With few exceptions, legal scholars have treated the occasions when defendants speak directly to the court as a problem to be solved by appointing more lawyers and better lawyers. While effective representation is crucial, this Article starts from the premise that defendants have important …


Inheritance Crimes, David Horton, Reid Kress Weisbord Jun 2021

Inheritance Crimes, David Horton, Reid Kress Weisbord

Washington Law Review

The civil justice system has long struggled to resolve disputes over end-of-life transfers. The two most common grounds for challenging the validity of a gift, will, or trust— mental incapacity and undue influence—are vague, hinge on the state of mind of a dead person, and allow factfinders to substitute their own norms and preferences for the donor’s intent. In addition, the slayer doctrine—which prohibits killers from inheriting from their victims—has generated decades of constitutional challenges.

But recently, these controversial rules have migrated into an area where the stakes are significantly higher: the criminal justice system. For example, states have criminalized …


My Cash Is My Bond: Recognizing Rights To Cash Bail Forfeiture Exoneration In Washington, Olivia Hagel Mar 2021

My Cash Is My Bond: Recognizing Rights To Cash Bail Forfeiture Exoneration In Washington, Olivia Hagel

Washington Law Review

When criminal defendants fail to appear for a court date after they are released on a bail bond or cash bail, Washington courts will likely forfeit their bail. And when the defendant reappears—whether a day, a month, or a year later—that same court might return, or “exonerate,” the bail bond or cash bail.

But Washington does not treat cash bail and bail bonds similarly in the context of forfeiture exoneration. Commercial bail bond agents enjoy robust statutory and judicial avenues for the return of their forfeited bail bonds. A little over one-hundred years ago, the Supreme Court of Washington treated …


Awakening The American Jury: Did The Killing Of George Floyd Alter Juror Deliberations Forever?, Tamara F. Lawson Jan 2021

Awakening The American Jury: Did The Killing Of George Floyd Alter Juror Deliberations Forever?, Tamara F. Lawson

Articles

In the summer of 2020, the witnessing of George Floyd's death triggered an outpouring of public expression far beyond other cases in modern times. While the experience led some to advocate for reform and participate in antiracism rallies, marches, and campaigns, it also forced many others into internal reflection, awareness, and awakening to the knowledge of a lived experience with police different from their own. The gruesome realities of the video were irreconcilable with those prior beliefs and did not comport with any moral or legal standards of dignity. Prior to witnessing George Floyd's death on video at the hands …


2021: How Gender And Race Affect Justice Now - Final Report, Justice Sheryl Gordon Mccloud, Dana Raigrodski, Sierra Rotakhina, Kelley Amburgey-Richardson Jan 2021

2021: How Gender And Race Affect Justice Now - Final Report, Justice Sheryl Gordon Mccloud, Dana Raigrodski, Sierra Rotakhina, Kelley Amburgey-Richardson

Books

In 1989, the Washington Supreme Court’s Task Force on Gender and Justice in the Courts produced a groundbreaking report on the impact of gender on selected areas of the law. It concluded that gender did affect the availability of justice. We – the Washington State Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission – are a product of that report and its recommendations. Now, in 2021, we have completed our follow-up study.

Our legal and social science research, our data collection, and our independent pilot projects all led us to the same frustrating conclusion about the effect of gender in Washington State …


Never Mistake Law For Justice: Releasing Indigent Defendants From Legal Purgatory, R.K. Brinkmann Dec 2020

Never Mistake Law For Justice: Releasing Indigent Defendants From Legal Purgatory, R.K. Brinkmann

Washington Law Review

Washington courts impose two mandatory legal financial obligations (LFOs) on almost anyone who pleads guilty to or is convicted of a crime: a $100 DNA sample fee and a crime victim penalty assessment of $250 for misdemeanors and $500 for felonies. These fines run afoul of the Social Security Act, which bars attachment of Social Security benefits to pay debts, including LFOs. As a result, defendants whose sole source of income is Social Security benefits are not obligated to pay their mandatory LFOs. But such defendants cannot obtain certificates of discharge to clear their conviction records and thus complete their …


Suspects, Cars & Police Dogs: A Complicated Relationship, Brian R. Gallini Dec 2020

Suspects, Cars & Police Dogs: A Complicated Relationship, Brian R. Gallini

Washington Law Review

Officers are searching and arresting vehicle occupants without a warrant with increasing regularity. For justification, this Article demonstrates, lower courts across the country unconstitutionally expand the scope of the Fourth Amendment’s automobile exception—often in the context of a positive dog alert. But Supreme Court jurisprudence specifically limits the scope of the automobile exception to warrantless searches of cars and their containers. In other words, the probable cause underlying the automobile exception allows police to search a vehicle and its containers—nothing more.

Despite that clear guidance, this Article argues that a growing number of lower courts nationwide unconstitutionally rely on the …


The Eighth Amendment Power To Discriminate, Kathryn E. Miller Jun 2020

The Eighth Amendment Power To Discriminate, Kathryn E. Miller

Washington Law Review

For the last half-century, Supreme Court doctrine has required that capital jurors consider facts and characteristics particular to individual defendants when determining their sentences. While liberal justices have long touted this individualized sentencing requirement as a safeguard against unfair death sentences, in practice the results have been disappointing. The expansive discretion that the requirement confers on overwhelmingly White juries has resulted in outcomes that are just as arbitrary and racially discriminatory as those that existed in the years before the temporary abolition of the death penalty in Furman v. Georgia.1 After decades of attempting to eliminate the requirement, conservative justices …


Providing A Meaningful Opportunity For Release: A Proposal For Improving Washington's Miller-Fix, Maya L. Ramakrishnan Jun 2020

Providing A Meaningful Opportunity For Release: A Proposal For Improving Washington's Miller-Fix, Maya L. Ramakrishnan

Washington Law Review

Miller v. Alabama1 set forth new constitutional requirements that necessitated changes in Washington State’s sentencing law for children. In response, the Washington legislature passed RCW 9.94A.730: a parole statute that presumptively releases children who committed crimes after they have served twenty years. Unless the parole board finds they are more likely than not to commit a future crime if released, the Miller-fix statute requires that eligible petitioners are released. The parole board has wide discretion in determining whether someone is more likely than not to commit a future crime because the statute provides no guidance about how to make this …