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Gambling On The Blockchain: How The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Has Opened The Door For Offshore Crypto Casinos, Samuel H. Brown Vii Jan 2022

Gambling On The Blockchain: How The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Has Opened The Door For Offshore Crypto Casinos, Samuel H. Brown Vii

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

Online cryptocurrency casinos have seen a dramatic rise in popularity over the past thirty years as the rate of ownership of cryptocurrencies has risen almost as quickly as the US monetary value of a single Bitcoin. Current US laws and regulations are outdated; the only piece of federal legislation that provides oversight in the area of virtual gambling originated in 2006, more than fifteen years before the publication of this Note. Previous scholarship suggests that a lack of federal action has resulted in a surge of criminal activity, such as money laundering and tax evasion, as well as significant missed …


Criminal Injustice, Edward Rubin Jan 2022

Criminal Injustice, Edward Rubin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

As its title suggests, Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free is a wide-ranging critique of our criminal justice system. While it is hardly the first, it offers a number of distinctive insights. Most of the now voluminous work on this topic is written by scholars, policy analysts, or journalists and is addressed to the legislature or the executive. This certainly makes sense. External observers are well positioned to critique a system that punishes without purpose, and the major determinants of its dysfunction are the legislature that enacts the criminal law and the executive that enforces it. …


Evisceration Of The Right To Appeal: Denial Of Individual Responsibility As Actionable Genocide Denial, Jennifer E. King Jan 2021

Evisceration Of The Right To Appeal: Denial Of Individual Responsibility As Actionable Genocide Denial, Jennifer E. King

Vanderbilt Law Review

Tensions arise during litigation in the international criminal justice system between the practice of the international criminal tribunals, domestic laws, and policy decisions of United Nation (“UN”) Member States. One such tension arises between domestic genocide denial laws, which typically criminalize denial of genocide as a strict liability offense, and the preservation of due process for persons convicted of genocide seeking appeal. In theory, denying individual responsibility during the appeal of a conviction by an international tribunal could constitute punishable genocide denial under some domestic laws. This criminalization of the appeal process would violate the due process rights of international …


Preventive Justice: How Algorithms Parole Boards, And Limiting Retributivism Could End Mass Incarceration, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2021

Preventive Justice: How Algorithms Parole Boards, And Limiting Retributivism Could End Mass Incarceration, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A number of states use statistically derived algorithms to provide estimates of the risk of reoffending. In theory, these risk assessment instruments could bring significant benefits. Fewer people of all ethnicities would be put in jail prior to trial and in prison after conviction, the duration of sentences would be reduced for low-risk offenders, and treatment resources would be more efficiently allocated. As a result, the capital outlays for prisons and jails would be substantially reduced. The public would continue to be protected from the most dangerous individuals, while lower-risk individuals would be less subject to the criminogenic effects of …


Handling Aggravating Facts After Blakely: Findings From Five Presumptive Guidelines States, Nancy J. King Jan 2021

Handling Aggravating Facts After Blakely: Findings From Five Presumptive Guidelines States, Nancy J. King

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article reveals how five states with presumptive (binding) sentencing guidelines have implemented the right announced in Blakely v. Washington to a jury finding of aggravating facts allowing upward departures from the presumptive range. Using data provided by the sentencing commissions and courts in Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington, as well as information from more than 2,200 docket sheets, the study discloses how upward departures are used in plea bargaining, sometimes undercutting policy goals; how often aggravating facts are tried and by whom; common types of aggravating facts; and the remarkably different, sometimes controversial interpretations of Blakely and …


Primer On Risk Assessment For Legal Decision-Makers, Christopher Slobogin Sep 2020

Primer On Risk Assessment For Legal Decision-Makers, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This primer is addressed to judges, parole board members, and other legal decisionmakers who use or are considering using the results of risk assessment instruments (RAIs) in making determinations about post-conviction dispositions, as well as to legislators and executive officials responsible for authorizing such use. It is meant to help these decisionmakers determine whether a particular RAI is an appropriate basis for legal determinations and whether evaluators who rely on an RAI have done so properly. This primer does not take a position on whether RAIs should be integrated into the criminal process. Rather, it provides legal decision-makers with information …


Plea Bargaining And Collateral Consequences: An Experimental Analysis, Carlie Malone May 2020

Plea Bargaining And Collateral Consequences: An Experimental Analysis, Carlie Malone

Vanderbilt Law Review

The overwhelming majority of convictions in the United States are obtained through guilty pleas. Many of these guilty pleas are a product of plea bargaining, where a defendant enters a guilty plea in exchange for some form of official concessions. Despite its prominence, plea bargaining is subject to limited regulation. One consequence of this limited regulation is that courts generally only require the direct consequences of a guilty plea to be communicated to a defendant. Thus, when a defendant is deciding whether to plead guilty, he is often operating with incomplete information about the costly collateral consequences that may attach …


Shackling Prejudice: Expanding The Deck V. Missouri Rule To Nonjury Proceedings, Sadie Shourd Mar 2020

Shackling Prejudice: Expanding The Deck V. Missouri Rule To Nonjury Proceedings, Sadie Shourd

Vanderbilt Law Review

Courts in the United States have traditionally held that criminal defendants have the right to be free from unwarranted restraints visible to the jury during the guilt phase of a trial. The term “unwarranted restraints” refers to the use of restraints on a defendant absent a court’s individualized determination that such restraints are justified by an essential state interest. In Deck v. Missouri, the Supreme Court expanded the prohibition against unwarranted restraints to the sentencing phase of a trial. The law regarding the unwarranted shackling of defendants in nonjury proceedings, however, remains unsettled. The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the …


Detecting Mens Rea In The Brain, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Gideon Yaffe Jan 2020

Detecting Mens Rea In The Brain, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Gideon Yaffe

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

What if the widely used Model Penal Code (MPC) assumes a distinction between mental states that doesn’t actually exist? The MPC assumes, for instance, that there is a real distinction in real people between the mental states it defines as “knowing” and “reckless.” But is there?

If there are such psychological differences, there must also be brain differences. Consequently, the moral legitimacy of the Model Penal Code’s taxonomy of culpable mental states – which punishes those in defined mental states differently – depends on whether those mental states actually correspond to different brain states in the way the MPC categorization …


The Case For A Federal Criminal Court System (And Sentencing Reform), Christopher Slobogin Jan 2020

The Case For A Federal Criminal Court System (And Sentencing Reform), Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In their article in this issue, Professors Peter Menell and Ryan Vacca describe a federal court docket that is overloaded and unable to process cases efficiently. As they depict it, justice in the federal courts is either delayed or denied, disparity in legal outcomes among circuits is increasing, and the Supreme Court is falling farther and farther behind in resolving circuit splits. While these problems have been around for a while, Menell and Vacca argue they are getting worse and will only continue to worsen if radical action is not taken. Their article provides enough of a factual record to …


Reestablishing A Knowledge Mens Rea Requirement For Armed Career Criminal Act "Violent Felonies" Post-Voisine, Jeffrey A. Turner Oct 2019

Reestablishing A Knowledge Mens Rea Requirement For Armed Career Criminal Act "Violent Felonies" Post-Voisine, Jeffrey A. Turner

Vanderbilt Law Review

Until 2016, federal courts unanimously concluded that predicate offenses for the Armed Career Criminal Act ('ACCA") required a knowledge mens rea. Therefore, any state law crimes that could be com- mitted with a reckless mens rea were not "violent felonies" and could not serve as ACCA predicates. In 2016, however, the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Voisine v. United States disrupted that lower court consensus. The Court stated that a reckless mens rea was sufficient to violate 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), which bars individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses from possessing firearms.

The ACCA's language is similar to § …


Disclosing Prosecutorial Misconduct, Jason Kreag Jan 2019

Disclosing Prosecutorial Misconduct, Jason Kreag

Vanderbilt Law Review

Prosecutorial misconduct in the form of Brady violations continues to plague the criminal justice system. Brady misconduct represents a fundamental breakdown in the adversarial process, denying defendants a fair trial and undermining the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. Commentators have responded by proposing a range of reforms to increase Brady compliance. Yet these reforms largely ignore the need to remedy the harms from past Brady violations. Furthermore, these proposals focus almost entirely on the harms defendants face from prosecutors'Brady misconduct, ignoring the harms victims, jurors, witnesses, and others endure because of Brady misconduct. This Article proposes a new remedy …


Penile Polygraphy: The Admissibility Of Penile-Plethysmograph Results At Sentencing In Tennessee, Steven Poland Jan 2019

Penile Polygraphy: The Admissibility Of Penile-Plethysmograph Results At Sentencing In Tennessee, Steven Poland

Vanderbilt Law Review

State judges in Tennessee currently consider the results of penile plethysmograph ("PPG") evaluations when sentencing convicted sex offenders. These highly intrusive physical tests purport to identify whether an offender's arousal is considered "deviant" by measuring the change in penis size after viewing various stimuli. Because the results are usually buried in psychosexual evaluations that are part of general presentence assessments of recidivism risk, PPG evaluations suffer from a lack of standardization and little attention under the rules of evidence. Interestingly, PPG testing is similar to polygraphy in a number of ways, although studies have shown that PPG results are more …


Trafficking Terror And Sexual Violence: Accountability For Human Trafficking And Sexual And Gender-Based Violence By Terrorist Groups Under The Rome Statute, Coman Kenny, Nikita Malik Jan 2019

Trafficking Terror And Sexual Violence: Accountability For Human Trafficking And Sexual And Gender-Based Violence By Terrorist Groups Under The Rome Statute, Coman Kenny, Nikita Malik

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

Terrorist groups are increasingly involved in human trafficking, specifically targeting women and girls of ideologically opposed groups or religions. Frequently, this phenomenon involves the perpetration of various forms of sexual violence against those trafficked. The commission of the interlinked crimes of human trafficking, sexual violence, and terrorism is relatively new, encompassing a vicious cycle in which each crime effectively flows from the commission of the others: sexual violence is facilitated by human trafficking, human trafficking is motivated, in part, by sexual violence, and both crimes spread terror among civilian populations. In light of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court …


Financing Cr-Isis: The Efficacy Of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties In The Context Of Money Laundering And Terror Finance, Michaelene K. Wright Jan 2019

Financing Cr-Isis: The Efficacy Of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties In The Context Of Money Laundering And Terror Finance, Michaelene K. Wright

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

Technological development throughout the past fifty years has created a world in which information can be communicated across the globe in no time at all. International law enforcement tools like mutual legal assistance (MLA), on the other hand, have not changed with nearly the same pace. Unfortunately, criminal activity rarely stops at international borders, necessitating international cooperation for any sort of effective enforcement. As this Note will discuss, the problems attendant in the current mutual legal assistance scheme, such as extensive delay and incompatibility with electronic data, have led to global tension over extraterritorial action and conflict between regulatory bodies. …


Sharkfests And Databases: Crowdsourcing Plea Bargains, Nancy J. King, Kay L. Levine, Ronald F. Wright, Marc L. Miller Jan 2019

Sharkfests And Databases: Crowdsourcing Plea Bargains, Nancy J. King, Kay L. Levine, Ronald F. Wright, Marc L. Miller

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The stock image of a plea negotiation in a criminal case depicts two lawyers in frayed business suits, meeting one-on-one in a dim corner of a courtroom lobby. The defendant is somewhere nearby, ready to receive information about the prosecutor’s offer and to discuss counteroffers with his attorney and perhaps with his family. The victim or arresting officer may be available by phone, although neither has the power to veto a deal the prosecutor otherwise thinks is reasonable. In this depiction of plea bargaining, the defense attorney and the defendant form one unit, allied against another unit—comprised of the prosecutor, …


Dangerousness, Disability, And Dna, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2019

Dangerousness, Disability, And Dna, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article honors three of Professor Arnold Loewy's articles. The first, published over thirty years ago, is entitled Culpability, Dangerousness, and Harm: Balancing the Factors on Which Our Criminal Law is Predicated,' and the second is his 2009 article, The Two Faces of Insanity. In addition to commenting on these two articles about substantive criminal law, I can't resist also saying something about one of Professor Loewy's procedural pieces, A Proposal for the Universal Collection of DNA, published in 2015.

A theme that unites all three of these articles is that they appear to be quite radical, at least on …


Misdemeanor Appeals, Nancy J. King, Michael Heise Jan 2019

Misdemeanor Appeals, Nancy J. King, Michael Heise

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

We provide the first estimate of the rate of appellate review for misdemeanors, concluding that appellate courts review no more than eight in ten thousand misdemeanor convictions and disturb only one conviction or sentence out of every ten thousand misdemeanor judgments. This level of oversight is much lower than that for felony cases, for reasons we explain. To develop law and regulate error in misdemeanor cases, particularly in prosecutions for the lowest-level offenses, courts may need to provide mechanisms for judicial scrutiny outside the direct appeal process.

Additional findings include new information about the rate of felony trial court review …


The Jim Crow Jury, Thomas W. Frampton Oct 2018

The Jim Crow Jury, Thomas W. Frampton

Vanderbilt Law Review

Since the end of Reconstruction, the criminal jury box has both reflected and reproduced racial hierarchies in the United States. In the Plessy era, racial exclusion from juries was central to the reassertion of white supremacy. But it also generated pushback: a movement resisting "the Jim Crow jury" actively fought, both inside and outside the courtroom, efforts to deny black citizens equal representation on criminal juries. Recovering this forgotten history-a counterpart to the legal struggles against disenfranchisement and de jure segregationunderscores the centrality of the jury to politics and power in the post- Reconstruction era. It also helps explain Louisiana's …


Trafficked In Texas: Combatting The Sex-Trafficking Epidemic Through Prostitution Law And Sentencing Reform In The Lone Star State, Madison T. Santana Oct 2018

Trafficked In Texas: Combatting The Sex-Trafficking Epidemic Through Prostitution Law And Sentencing Reform In The Lone Star State, Madison T. Santana

Vanderbilt Law Review

American law has historically treated prostitution as a victimless crime, a moral trespass between two consenting individuals, rather than a potential act of violence, a product of fraud or coercion. However, growing awareness of the international sex-trafficking epidemic has brought long-settled prostitution law once more under the critical eye of academics and lawmakers as a potential tool in curbing the stillgrowing demand for illicit commercial sex. Whether prostitution law reform may in fact be effective remains a matter of academic debate in the United States; however, such reform has gained substantial ground abroad, with compelling results. This Note argues for …


Decoding Guilty Minds: How Jurors Attribute Knowledge And Guilt, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Kenneth W. Simons Jan 2018

Decoding Guilty Minds: How Jurors Attribute Knowledge And Guilt, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Kenneth W. Simons

Vanderbilt Law Review

Our personal data is everywhere and anywhere, moving across national borders in ways that defy normal expectations of how things and people travel from Point A to Point B. Yet, whereas data transits the globe without any intrinsic ties to territory, the governments that seek to access or regulate this data operate with territorial-based limits. This Article tackles the inherent tension between how governments and data operate, the jurisdictional conflicts that have emerged, and the power that has been delegated to the multinational corporations that manage our data across borders as a result. It does so through the lens of …


Invisible Bars: Adapting The Crime Of False Imprisonment To Better Address Coercive Control And Domestic Violence In Tennessee, Alexandra M. Ortiz Jan 2018

Invisible Bars: Adapting The Crime Of False Imprisonment To Better Address Coercive Control And Domestic Violence In Tennessee, Alexandra M. Ortiz

Vanderbilt Law Review

On average, three or more women are murdered by their intimate partners in the United States every day. Despite the now well-known correlation between coercive control-the strategic use of oppressive behavior to control primarily female partners-and intimate partner homicide, most states continue to focus their criminal domestic violence laws solely on physical violence. As a result, state laws often fail to protect victims from future and escalating violence. Focusing on Tennessee law and drawing from the work of Evan Stark as well as the United Kingdom's Serious Crime Act of 2015, this Note proposes adapting the preexisting crime of false …


When Discretion To Record Becomes Assertive: Body Camera Footage As Hearsay, Natalie P. Pike Jan 2018

When Discretion To Record Becomes Assertive: Body Camera Footage As Hearsay, Natalie P. Pike

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

As police body camera footage pervades courtrooms across the country as evidence in criminal trials, courts must reevaluate whether, and under which evidentiary frameworks, they will admit the footage to prove that what the footage depicts is true. This Note analyzes the frameworks under which courts have historically admitted filmic evidence: namely, through authentication and as demonstrative evidence. It concludes that body camera footage is distinct from evidence traditionally admitted through those frameworks because body camera footage is akin to an officer's assertive statement--the officer has discretion to activate and aim the body camera. Courts should therefore exclude the footage …


Cartel Criminalization In Europe: Addressing Deterrence And Institutional Challenges, Francesco Ducci Jan 2018

Cartel Criminalization In Europe: Addressing Deterrence And Institutional Challenges, Francesco Ducci

Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

This Article analyzes cartel criminalization in Europe from a deterrence and institutional perspective. First, it investigates the idea of criminalization by putting it in perspective with the more general question of what types of sanctions a jurisdiction might adopt against collusive behavior. Second, it analyzes the institutional element of criminalization by (1) discussing the compatibility of administrative enforcement with the potential de facto criminal nature of administrative fines under European law and (2) evaluating the trade-offs between an administrative and a criminal model of enforcement. Although a "panoply" of sanctions against both corporations and individuals may be necessary under a …


Decoding Guilty Minds: How Jurors Attribute Knowledge And Guilt, Owen D. Jones, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Kenneth W. Simons Jan 2018

Decoding Guilty Minds: How Jurors Attribute Knowledge And Guilt, Owen D. Jones, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Kenneth W. Simons

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A central tenet of Anglo-American penal law is that in order for an actor to be found criminally liable, a proscribed act must be accompanied by a guilty mind. While it is easy to understand the importance of this principle in theory, in practice it requires jurors and judges to decide what a person was thinking months or years earlier at the time of the alleged offense, either about the results of his conduct or about some elemental fact (such as whether the briefcase he is carrying contains drugs). Despite the central importance of this task in the administration of …


Principles Of Risk Assessment: Sentencing And Policing, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2018

Principles Of Risk Assessment: Sentencing And Policing, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Risk assessment — measuring an individual’s potential for offending — has long been an important aspect of criminal justice, especially in connection with sentencing, pretrial detention and police decision-making. To aid in the risk assessment inquiry, a number of states have recently begun relying on statistically-derived algorithms called “risk assessment instruments” (RAIs). RAIs are generally thought to be more accurate than the type of seat-of-the-pants risk assessment in which judges, parole boards and police officers have traditionally engaged. But RAIs bring with them their own set of controversies. In recognition of these concerns, this brief paper proposes three principles — …


How And Why Is The American Punishment System "Exceptional"?, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2018

How And Why Is The American Punishment System "Exceptional"?, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Anyone interested in American criminal justice has to wonder why we have so many more people in prison—in absolute as well as relative terms—than the western half of the European continent, the part of the world most readily comparable to us. This book, consisting of eleven chapters by eminent criminal law scholars, criminologists and political scientists, provides both a detailed look at how U.S. punishment is different and an insightful analysis of why that might be so. While many chapters in the book describe previously declared positions of the authors, there is also much that is new in the book, …


The Idea Of "The Criminal Justice System", Sara Mayeux Jan 2018

The Idea Of "The Criminal Justice System", Sara Mayeux

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The phrase "the criminal justice system " is ubiquitous in discussions of criminal law, policy, and punishment in the United States-so ubiquitous that, at least in colloquial use, almost no one thinks to question the phrase. However, this way of describing and thinking about police, courts, jails, and prisons, as a holistic "system, " became pervasive only in the 1960s. This essay contextualizes the idea of "the criminal justice system" within the longer history of systems theories more generally, drawing on recent scholarship in intellectual history and the history of science. The essay then recounts how that longer history converged, …


State Criminal Appeals Revealed, Michael Heise, Nancy J. King, Nicole A. Heise Nov 2017

State Criminal Appeals Revealed, Michael Heise, Nancy J. King, Nicole A. Heise

Vanderbilt Law Review

Every state provides appellate review of criminal judgments, yet little research examines which factors correlate with favorable outcomes for defendants who seek appellate relief. To address this scholarly gap, this Article exploits the Survey of Criminal Appeals in State Courts (2010) dataset, recently released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for State Courts (hereinafter, "NCSC Study"). The NCSC Study is the first and only publicly available national dataset on state criminal appeals and includes unprecedented information from every state court in the nation with jurisdiction to review criminal judgments.


A Theory Of Differential Punishment, Jack Boeglin, Zachary Shapiro Oct 2017

A Theory Of Differential Punishment, Jack Boeglin, Zachary Shapiro

Vanderbilt Law Review

A puzzle has long pervaded the criminal law: why are two offenders who commit the same criminal act punished differently when one of them, due to circumstances beyond her control, causes more harm than the other? This tradition of result-based differential punishment the practice of varying offenders' punishment based on whether or not they cause specific "statutory harms"-has long stood as an intractable problem for scholars and jurists alike.

This Article proposes a solution to this long-standing conceptual problem. We begin by introducing a dichotomy between two broad and exhaustive categories of ideological justifications for punishing criminal offenders. The first …