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Full-Text Articles in Law

Territoriality In American Criminal Law, Emma Kaufman Dec 2022

Territoriality In American Criminal Law, Emma Kaufman

Michigan Law Review

It is a bedrock principle of American criminal law that the authority to try and punish someone for a crime arises from the crime’s connection to a particular place. Thus, we assume that a person who commits a crime in some location— say, Philadelphia—can be arrested by Philadelphia police for conduct deemed criminal by the Pennsylvania legislature, prosecuted in a Philadelphia court, and punished in a Pennsylvania prison. The idea that criminal law is tied to geography in this way is called the territoriality principle. This idea is so familiar that it usually goes unstated.

This Article foregrounds and questions …


Through A Glass, Darkly: Systemic Racism, Affirmative Action, And Disproportionate Minority Contact, Robin Walker Sterling Dec 2021

Through A Glass, Darkly: Systemic Racism, Affirmative Action, And Disproportionate Minority Contact, Robin Walker Sterling

Michigan Law Review

This Article is the first to describe how systemic racism persists in a society that openly denounces racism and racist behaviors, using affirmative action and disproportionate minority contact as contrasting examples. Affirmative action and disproportionate minority contact are two sides of the same coin. Far from being distinct, these two social institutions function as two sides of the same ideology, sharing a common historical nucleus rooted in the mythologies that sustained chattel slavery in the United States. The effects of these narratives continue to operate in race-related jurisprudence and in the criminal legal system, sending normative messages about race and …


Failed Interventions: Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, And The Criminalization Of Survival, Alaina Richert Nov 2021

Failed Interventions: Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, And The Criminalization Of Survival, Alaina Richert

Michigan Law Review

Over the last decade, state legislators have enacted statutes acknowledging the link between criminal behavior and trauma resulting from domestic violence and human trafficking. While these interventions take a step in the right direction, they still have major shortcomings that prevent meaningful relief for survivor-defendants. Until now, there has been no systematic overview of the statutes that require courts to consider a defendant’s history of trauma in the contexts of domestic violence and human trafficking. There has also been no attempt to explore how these statutes relate to each other. This Note fills those gaps. It also identifies essential elements …


Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski Feb 2021

Rethinking The Reasonable Response: Safeguarding The Promise Of Kingsley For Conditions Of Confinement, Hanna Rutkowski

Michigan Law Review

Nearly five million individuals are admitted to America’s jails each year, and at any given time, two-thirds of those held in jail have not been convicted of a crime. Under current Supreme Court doctrine, these pretrial detainees are functionally protected by the same standard as convicted prisoners, despite the fact that they are formally protected by different constitutional amendments. A 2015 decision, Kingsley v. Hendrickson, declared that a different standard would apply to pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners in the context of use of force: consistent with the Constitution’s mandate that they not be punished at all, pretrial detainees …


Possible Reliance: Protecting Legally Innocent Johnson Claimants, Keagan Potts Nov 2020

Possible Reliance: Protecting Legally Innocent Johnson Claimants, Keagan Potts

Michigan Law Review

The writ of habeas corpus presents the last chance for innocent defendants to obtain relief from invalid convictions and sentences. The writ constitutes a limited exception to the finality of judgments. Given the role finality plays in conserving judicial resources and deterring criminal conduct, exceptions created by habeas must be principally circumscribed. Since the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause in Johnson v. United States, the federal courts of appeals have attempted to develop a test that protects the writ from abuse by Johnson claimants.

This Note first contributes a new understanding of the …


Equal Protection Under Algorithms: A New Statistical And Legal Framework, Crystal S. Yang, Will Dobbie Nov 2020

Equal Protection Under Algorithms: A New Statistical And Legal Framework, Crystal S. Yang, Will Dobbie

Michigan Law Review

In this Article, we provide a new statistical and legal framework to understand the legality and fairness of predictive algorithms under the Equal Protection Clause. We begin by reviewing the main legal concerns regarding the use of protected characteristics such as race and the correlates of protected characteristics such as criminal history. The use of race and nonrace correlates in predictive algorithms generates direct and proxy effects of race, respectively, that can lead to racial disparities that many view as unwarranted and discriminatory. These effects have led to the mainstream legal consensus that the use of race and nonrace correlates …


What Is Remembered, Alice Ristroph May 2020

What Is Remembered, Alice Ristroph

Michigan Law Review

Review of Sarah A. Seo's Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom.


The Municipal Pardon Power, Hayato Watanabe Feb 2020

The Municipal Pardon Power, Hayato Watanabe

Michigan Law Review

At the state and federal levels, the pardon power can be used to restore the dignity and legal rights lost by a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, those facing similar consequences from municipal convictions may not have access to a pardon. Although clemency is exceedingly rare at any level of government, municipal defendants face a unique structural problem that deprives them of the possibility of a pardon. Specifically, many cities have simply failed to create a local clemency power. This Note argues that the authority to grant pardons for municipal offenses is part of the toolbox of powers provided to cities through …


Thoughts, Crimes, And Thought Crimes, Gabriel S. Mendlow Jan 2020

Thoughts, Crimes, And Thought Crimes, Gabriel S. Mendlow

Michigan Law Review

Thought crimes are the stuff of dystopian fiction, not contemporary law. Or so we’re told. Yet our criminal legal system may in a sense punish thought regularly, even as our existing criminal theory lacks the resources to recognize this state of affairs for what it is—or to explain what might be wrong with it. The beginning of wisdom lies in the seeming rhetorical excesses of those who complain that certain terrorism and hate crime laws punish offenders for their malevolent intentions while purporting to punish them for their conduct. Behind this too-easily-written-off complaint is a half-buried precept of criminal jurisprudence, …


America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap, Colleen Chien Jan 2020

America's Paper Prisons: The Second Chance Gap, Colleen Chien

Michigan Law Review

Over the last decade, dozens of states and the federal government have enacted “second chance” reforms that increase the eligibility of individuals arrested, charged, or convicted of crimes to shorten their sentences, clear their criminal records, and/or regain the right to vote. While much fanfare has accompanied the increasing availability of “second chances,” little attention has been paid to their delivery. This study introduces the concept of the “second chance gap,” which it defines as the difference between eligibility and delivery of second chance relief; explores its causes; and approximates its size in connection with several second chance laws and …


Policing, Danger Narratives, And Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods Jan 2019

Policing, Danger Narratives, And Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods

Michigan Law Review

This Article presents findings from the largest and most comprehensive study to date on violence against the police during traffic stops. Every year, police officers conduct tens of millions of traffic stops. Many of these stops are entirely unremarkable—so much so that they may be fairly described as routine. Nonetheless, the narrative that routine traffic stops are fraught with grave and unpredictable danger to the police permeates police training and animates Fourth Amendment doctrine. This Article challenges this dominant danger narrative and its centrality within key institutions that regulate the police.

The presented study is the first to offer an …


Small Crimes, Big Injustices, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2019

Small Crimes, Big Injustices, Stephanos Bibas

Michigan Law Review

Review of Alexandra Natapoff's Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal.


Insider Trading Law And The Ambiguous Quest For Edge, A. C. Pritchard Apr 2018

Insider Trading Law And The Ambiguous Quest For Edge, A. C. Pritchard

Michigan Law Review

A review of Sheelah Kolhatkar, Black Edge.


Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin Apr 2018

Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin

Michigan Law Review

A review of John F. Pfaff, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration - And How to Achieve Real Reform.


All Bathwater, No Baby: Expressive Theories Of Punishment And The Death Penalty, Susan A. Bandes Apr 2018

All Bathwater, No Baby: Expressive Theories Of Punishment And The Death Penalty, Susan A. Bandes

Michigan Law Review

A review of Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker, Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment.


Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Michigan Law Review

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame); and …


Humanizing The Corporation While Dehumanizing The Individual: The Misuse Of Deferred-Prosecution Agreements In The United States, Andrea Amulic Oct 2017

Humanizing The Corporation While Dehumanizing The Individual: The Misuse Of Deferred-Prosecution Agreements In The United States, Andrea Amulic

Michigan Law Review

American prosecutors routinely offer deferred-prosecution and nonprosecution agreements to corporate defendants, but not to noncorporate defendants. The drafters of the Speedy Trial Act expressly contemplated such agreements, as originally developed for use in cases involving low-level, nonviolent, noncorporate defendants. This Note posits that the almost exclusive use of deferrals in corporate cases is inconsistent with the goal that these agreements initially sought to serve. The Note further argues that this exclusivity can be attributed to prosecutors’ tendency to only consider collateral consequences in corporate cases and not in noncorporate cases. Ultimately, this Note recommends that prosecutors evaluate collateral fallout when …


Proposing A One-Year Time Bar For 8 U.S.C. § 1226(C), Jenna Neumann Jan 2017

Proposing A One-Year Time Bar For 8 U.S.C. § 1226(C), Jenna Neumann

Michigan Law Review

Section 1226(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) requires federal detention of certain deportable noncitizens when those noncitizens leave criminal custody. This section applies only to noncitizens with a criminal record (“criminal noncitizens”). Under section 1226(c), the Attorney General must detain for the entire course of his or her removal proceedings any noncitizen who has committed a qualifying offense “when the alien is released” from criminal custody. Courts construe this phrase in vastly different ways when determining whether a criminal noncitizen will be detained. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the Fourth Circuit read “when …


Private Actors And Public Corruption: Why Courts Should Adopt A Broad Interpretation Of The Hobbs Act, Megan Demarco Dec 2016

Private Actors And Public Corruption: Why Courts Should Adopt A Broad Interpretation Of The Hobbs Act, Megan Demarco

Michigan Law Review

Federal prosecutors routinely charge public officials with “extortion under color of official right” under a public-corruption statute called the Hobbs Act. To be prosecuted under the Hobbs Act, a public official must promise official action in return for a bribe or kickback. The public official, however, does not need to have actual authority over that official action. As long as the victim reasonably believed that the public official could deliver or influence government action, the public official violated the Hobbs Act. Private citizens also solicit bribes in return for influencing official action. Yet most courts do not think the Hobbs …


The Changing Market For Criminal Law Casebooks, Jens David Ohlin Apr 2016

The Changing Market For Criminal Law Casebooks, Jens David Ohlin

Michigan Law Review

Criminal law is a nasty business. The field takes as its point of departure the indignities that human beings visit upon each other—each one worse than the one before. A book or article about criminal law often reads like a parade of horribles, an indictment of humanity’s descent into moral weakness. For those who teach criminal law, everything else pales in comparison. Neither the business disputes of contract law nor the physical injuries described in a torts casebook can compare with the depravity of what we teach in criminal law. Criminal law professors are often addicted to their subject. Nothing …


Judging Judicial Elections, Michael S. Kang, Joanna M. Shepherd Apr 2016

Judging Judicial Elections, Michael S. Kang, Joanna M. Shepherd

Michigan Law Review

Melinda Gann Hall’s new book Attacking Judges: How Campaign Advertising Influences State Supreme Court Elections suggests what seems impossible to many of us—a powerful defense of today’s partisan judicial elections. As judicial races hit new levels of campaign spending and television advertising, there has been a flood of criticism about the increasing partisanship, negativity, and role of money. In view of the “corrosive effect of money on judicial election campaigns” and “attack advertising,” the American Bar Association (ABA) recommends against judicial elections, which are currently used to select roughly 90 percent of state judges. Justice O’Connor, who has championed judicial-election …


It’S A Sin To Kill A Mockingbird: The Need For Idealism In The Legal Profession, Jonathan A. Rapping Apr 2016

It’S A Sin To Kill A Mockingbird: The Need For Idealism In The Legal Profession, Jonathan A. Rapping

Michigan Law Review

“[T]he first thing I lost in law school was the reason that I came.” This prescient quote by an unnamed law student defines, in a single sentence, our growing problem in training lawyers. From the moment he or she steps foot in a law school classroom, the future lawyer feels a strong pull to pursue a career that has nothing to do with justice. The law school experience will discourage the future lawyer from pursuing a career advocating for those in society who most need a voice. Once graduated, the young lawyer will enter a world where he or she …


Too Vast To Succeed, Miriam H. Baer Apr 2016

Too Vast To Succeed, Miriam H. Baer

Michigan Law Review

If sunlight is, in Justice Brandeis’s words, “the best of disinfectants,” then Brandon Garrett’s latest book, Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations might best be conceptualized as a heroic attempt to apply judicious amounts of Lysol to the murky world of federal corporate prosecutions. “How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations” is the book’s neutral- sounding secondary title, but even casual readers will quickly realize that Garrett means that prosecutors compromise too much with corporations, in part because they fear the collateral consequences of a corporation’s criminal indictment. Through an innovation known as the Deferred Prosecution Agreement, or DPA, …


What Is Criminal Law About?, Guyora Binder, Robert Weisberg Apr 2016

What Is Criminal Law About?, Guyora Binder, Robert Weisberg

Michigan Law Review

In “The Changing Market for Criminal Casebooks,” Jens David Ohlin offers an appreciative, but nevertheless critical review of established criminal law casebooks. He then introduces his own offering by describing “a vision for a new casebook” that will better serve the needs and wants of contemporary students. Ohlin begins with the arresting claim that criminal law professors are passionate about their subject because they are fascinated by human depravity. Then, throughout his essay, he stresses efficient, consumer-focused delivery of doctrinal instruction as the defining task of a successful casebook. Moreover, he argues, casebooks should devote less attention to academic theories …


Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction, Michael Farbiarz Feb 2016

Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction, Michael Farbiarz

Michigan Law Review

Over and over again during the past few decades, the federal government has launched ambitious international prosecutions in the service of U.S. national security goals. These extraterritorial prosecutions of terrorists, arms traffickers, and drug lords have forced courts to grapple with a question that has long been latent in the law: What outer boundaries does the Constitution place on criminal jurisdiction? Answering this question, the federal courts have crafted a new due process jurisprudence. This Article argues that this jurisprudence is fundamentally wrong. By implicitly constitutionalizing concerns for international comity, the new due process jurisprudence usurps the popular branches’ traditional …


The Complicated Economics Of Prison Reform, John F. Pfaff Jan 2016

The Complicated Economics Of Prison Reform, John F. Pfaff

Michigan Law Review

Two recent books on prison growth directly address the relationship between penal change and economic conditions: Hadar Aviram’s Cheap on Crime and Marie Gottschalk’s Caught. Aviram’s is the more optimistic of the two accounts, arguing that there is at least some potential in an economic-based reform effort. Gottschalk, on the other hand, fears not only that economic-based efforts could fail to lead to significant reforms, but that they could actually make prison life worse for inmates if states cut funding and support without cutting populations. Both books make many provocative points, but both also suffer from some surprising omissions. …


Holding On To Clarity: Reconciling The Federal Kidnapping Statute With The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Benjamin Reese Oct 2015

Holding On To Clarity: Reconciling The Federal Kidnapping Statute With The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Benjamin Reese

Michigan Law Review

In recent decades, the international community has come to recognize human trafficking as a problem of epidemic proportions. Congress responded to this global crisis in 2000 by passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and has since supplemented that comprehensive enactment. But, in light of the widespread use of psychological rather than physical coercion in trafficking cases, a long-standing split among federal courts regarding the scope of the federal kidnapping statute raises significant concerns about the United States’ efforts to combat traffickers. In particular, the broad interpretation adopted by several circuits threatens effective enforcement of statutes designed to prosecute traffickers, …


Criminal Infliction Of Emotional Distress, Avlana K. Eisenberg Mar 2015

Criminal Infliction Of Emotional Distress, Avlana K. Eisenberg

Michigan Law Review

This Article identifies and critiques a trend to criminalize the infliction of emotional harm independent of any physical injury or threat. The Article defines a new category of criminal infliction of emotional distress (“CIED”) statutes, which include laws designed to combat behaviors such as harassing, stalking, and bullying. In contrast to tort liability for emotional harm, which is cabined by statutes and the common law, CIED statutes allow states to regulate and punish the infliction of emotional harm in an increasingly expansive way. In assessing harm and devising punishment, the law has always taken nonphysical harm seriously, but traditionally it …


Missing Mcveigh, Michael E. Tigar Apr 2014

Missing Mcveigh, Michael E. Tigar

Michigan Law Review

The bombing that killed at least 169 people became an event by which time was thereafter measured — at least in Oklahoma. Ninety minutes after the bombing, a state trooper arrested Timothy McVeigh on a traffic charge; within hours, he was linked to the bombing, and the legal process began. Terry Nichols, who had met McVeigh when they were in the army together, was arrested in Herington, Kansas, where he lived with his wife and daughter. The Tenth Circuit chief judge designated Richard Matsch, chief judge for the District of Colorado, to preside over the case. Judge Matsch came to …