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Sexual Violence, Intangible Harm, And The Promise Of Transformative Remedies, Jill C. Engle Jul 2022

Sexual Violence, Intangible Harm, And The Promise Of Transformative Remedies, Jill C. Engle

Washington and Lee Law Review

This Article describes alternative remedies that survivors of sexual violence can access inside and outside the legal system. It describes the leading restorative justice approaches and recommends one of the newest and most innovative of those—“transformative justice”—to heal the intangible harms of sexual violence. The Article also discusses the intersectional effects of sexual violence on women of color and their communities. It explains the importance of transformative justice’s intersectional approach to redress sexual violence. Transformative justice offers community-based, victim-centric methods that cultivate deep, lasting healing for sexual violence survivors and their communities, with genuine accountability for those who have caused …


The Computer Got It Wrong: Facial Recognition Technology And Establishing Probable Cause To Arrest, T.J. Benedict Apr 2022

The Computer Got It Wrong: Facial Recognition Technology And Establishing Probable Cause To Arrest, T.J. Benedict

Washington and Lee Law Review

Facial recognition technology (FRT) is a popular tool among police, who use it to identify suspects using photographs or still-images from videos. The technology is far from perfect. Recent studies highlight that many FRT systems are less effective at identifying people of color, women, older people, and children. These race, gender, and age biases arise because FRT is often “trained” using non-diverse faces. As a result, police have wrongfully arrested Black men based on mistaken FRT identifications. This Note explores the intersection of facial recognition technology and probable cause to arrest.

Courts rarely, if ever, examine FRT’s role in establishing …


Blood In The Water: Why The First Step Act Of 2018 Fails Those Sentenced Under The Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, Lauren R. Robertson Oct 2021

Blood In The Water: Why The First Step Act Of 2018 Fails Those Sentenced Under The Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, Lauren R. Robertson

Washington and Lee Law Review

For some, the open ocean is prison. The Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act (MDLEA) prohibits individuals from knowingly or intentionally distributing a controlled substance or possessing it with the intent to distribute. Empowered by the MDLEA, the United States Coast Guard arrests and detains foreign nationals hundreds of miles outside of U.S. territorial waters. After months shackled to Coast Guard ships, these individuals face the harsh reality of American mandatory minimum drug sentencing, judged by the kilograms of drugs on their vessels. But the MDLEA conflates kilograms with culpability. More often than not, those sentenced are fishermen-turned-smugglers due to financial …


Antiracism In Action, Daniel Harawa, Brandon Hasbrouck Jul 2021

Antiracism In Action, Daniel Harawa, Brandon Hasbrouck

Washington and Lee Law Review

Racism pervades the criminal legal system, influencing everything from who police stop and search, to who prosecutors charge, to what punishments courts apply. The Supreme Court’s fixation on colorblind application of the Constitution gives judges license to disregard the role race plays in the criminal legal system, and all too often, they do. Yet Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory challenges the facially race-neutral reasoning of criminal justice actors, often applying ostensibly colorblind scrutiny to achieve a color-conscious jurisprudence. Nor is he afraid of engaging directly in a frank discussion of the racial realities of America, rebuking those within the system …


Antiracist Remedial Approaches In Judge Gregory’S Jurisprudence, Leah M. Litman Jul 2021

Antiracist Remedial Approaches In Judge Gregory’S Jurisprudence, Leah M. Litman

Washington and Lee Law Review

This piece uses the idea of antiracism to highlight parallels between school desegregation cases and cases concerning errors in the criminal justice system. There remain stark, pervasive disparities in both school composition and the criminal justice system. Yet even though judicial remedies are an integral part of rooting out systemic inequality and the vestiges of discrimination, courts have been reticent to use the tools at their disposal to adopt proactive remedial approaches to address these disparities. This piece uses two examples from Judge Roger Gregory’s jurisprudence to illustrate how an antiracist approach to judicial remedies might work.


Deportation And Depravity: Does Failure To Register As A Sex Offender Involve Moral Turpitude?, Rosa Nielsen Jul 2021

Deportation And Depravity: Does Failure To Register As A Sex Offender Involve Moral Turpitude?, Rosa Nielsen

Washington and Lee Law Review

Under U.S. immigration law, non-citizens are subject to deportation following certain criminal convictions. One deportation category is for “crimes involving moral turpitude,” or CIMTs. This category usually refers to crimes that involve fraud or actions seen as particularly depraved. For example, tax evasion and spousal abuse are CIMTs, but simple assault generally is not. For a crime to qualify as a CIMT, it must include depraved conduct and some level of intent.

The CIMT framework has been criticized for a variety of reasons. Not only is it defined ambiguously with outdated language, but the moral values it enshrines can sometimes …


Technological Tethereds: Potential Impact Of Untrustworthy Artificial Intelligence In Criminal Justice Risk Assessment Instruments, Sonia M. Gipson Rankin Apr 2021

Technological Tethereds: Potential Impact Of Untrustworthy Artificial Intelligence In Criminal Justice Risk Assessment Instruments, Sonia M. Gipson Rankin

Washington and Lee Law Review

Issues of racial inequality and violence are front and center today, as are issues surrounding artificial intelligence (“AI”). This Article, written by a law professor who is also a computer scientist, takes a deep dive into understanding how and why hacked and rogue AI creates unlawful and unfair outcomes, particularly for persons of color.

Black Americans are disproportionally featured in criminal justice, and their stories are obfuscated. The seemingly endless back-to-back murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and heartbreakingly countless others have finally shaken the United States from its slumbering journey towards intentional criminal justice reform. Myths about …


Pretrial Custody And Miranda, Kit Kinports Apr 2021

Pretrial Custody And Miranda, Kit Kinports

Washington and Lee Law Review

In two recent opinions, Maryland v. Shatzer and Howes v. Fields, the Supreme Court concluded that inmates serving prison sentences were not in custody for purposes of Miranda—in Shatzer’s case while he was living among the general prison population and in Fields’s case while he was undergoing police interrogation. The question addressed in this Article is one that has divided the lower courts in the wake of those two decisions: the impact of the Court’s rulings on the hundreds of thousands of pretrial detainees in this country, many of whom are poor, Black, and Brown. This Article maintains that …


Meaningless Guarantees: Comment On Mitchell E. Mccloy’S “Blind Justice: Virginia’S Jury Sentencing Scheme And Impermissible Burdens On A Defendant’S Right To A Jury Trial”, Alexandra L. Klein Jan 2021

Meaningless Guarantees: Comment On Mitchell E. Mccloy’S “Blind Justice: Virginia’S Jury Sentencing Scheme And Impermissible Burdens On A Defendant’S Right To A Jury Trial”, Alexandra L. Klein

Washington and Lee Law Review

Despite the important role that jurors play in the American criminal justice system, jurors are often deprived of critical information that might help them make sense of the law their oaths require them to follow. Such information with regard to sentencing might include the unavailability of parole, geriatric release, sentencing guidelines, or other information that is relevant to determining a defendant’s penalty. Withholding information from juries, particularly in sentencing, risks unjust and inequitable sentences. Keeping jurors in the dark perpetuates injustices and undermines public confidence and trust in the justice system.

Mitch McCloy’s excellent Note provides a compelling illustration of …


Blind Justice: Virginia’S Jury Sentencing Scheme And Impermissible Burdens On A Defendant’S Right To A Jury Trial, Mitchell E. Mccloy Jan 2021

Blind Justice: Virginia’S Jury Sentencing Scheme And Impermissible Burdens On A Defendant’S Right To A Jury Trial, Mitchell E. Mccloy

Washington and Lee Law Review

This Note argues that Virginia’s mandatory jury sentencing scheme, which bars juries from reviewing state sentencing guidelines, impermissibly burdens a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. By analyzing both judge and jury sentencing guidelines compliance rates from the past twenty-five years, this Note demonstrates that in Virginia, a defendant has a significantly higher chance of receiving a harsher sentence after a jury trial than after a bench trial or a guilty plea. Given that judges rarely modify jury sentences, the defendant is effectively left with a choice between two different sentences before plea negotiations can even begin.

Because …


Sex, Crime, And Serostatus, Courtney K. Cross Jan 2021

Sex, Crime, And Serostatus, Courtney K. Cross

Washington and Lee Law Review

The HIV crisis in the United States is far from over. The confluence of widespread opioid usage, high rates of HIV infection, and rapidly shrinking rural medical infrastructure has created a public health powder keg across the American South. Yet few states have responded to this grim reality by expanding social and medical services. Instead, criminalizing the behavior of people with HIV remains an overused and counterproductive tool for addressing this crisis—especially in the South, where HIV-specific criminal laws are enforced with the most frequency.

People living with HIV are subject to arrest, prosecution, and lengthy prison sentences if they …


Comment: Wysiati And False Confessions, Michael R. Hoernlein Jan 2021

Comment: Wysiati And False Confessions, Michael R. Hoernlein

Washington and Lee Law Review

Decades after the Supreme Court mandated in Miranda v. Arizona that police advise suspects of their constitutional rights before custodial interrogation, confusion remains about the contours of the rule, and some law enforcement officers still try to game the system. In his excellent Note, “No Earlier Confession to Repeat”: Seibert, Dixon, and Question-First Interrogations, Lee Brett presents a careful analysis of the legal landscape applicable to so-called question-first interrogations. Mr. Brett offers a compelling argument urging courts not to interpret Bobby v. Dixon as limiting the application of Missouri v. Seibert to two-step (i.e., question-first) interrogations only when …


“No Earlier Confession To Repeat”: Seibert, Dixon, And Question-First Interrogations, Lee S. Brett Jan 2021

“No Earlier Confession To Repeat”: Seibert, Dixon, And Question-First Interrogations, Lee S. Brett

Washington and Lee Law Review

The Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Missouri v. Seibert forbade the use of so-called question-first interrogations. In a question-first interrogation, police interrogate suspects without giving Miranda warnings. Once the suspect makes incriminating statements, the police give the warnings and induce the suspect to repeat their earlier admissions.

Lower courts are increasingly interpreting a per curiam Supreme Court case, Bobby v. Dixon, to significantly limit the scope and applicability of Seibert. These courts claim that postwarning statements need only be suppressed under Seibert when there is an “earlier confession to repeat.” In this Note, I argue that this reading …


Another Collateral Consequence: Kicking The Victim When She’S Down, Lauren N. Hancock Jul 2020

Another Collateral Consequence: Kicking The Victim When She’S Down, Lauren N. Hancock

Washington and Lee Law Review

Every state has a victim compensation fund that provides financial relief to victims of crime who have no other way to pay for medical expenses, funeral costs, crime scene cleanup, or other costs associated with the crime. States impose their own eligibility requirements to determine which victims can receive funding. Six states prohibit victims with certain criminal histories from obtaining compensation. This means that innocent victims of crime are left with nowhere to turn because of something that they already “paid” for. This leaves victims, who are likely already in a financially precarious situation due to their felon status, with …


Kids, Not Commodities: Proposing A More Protective Interpretation Of The Child Sex Trafficking Statute For Victims And Defendants, Kimberly Blasey Apr 2020

Kids, Not Commodities: Proposing A More Protective Interpretation Of The Child Sex Trafficking Statute For Victims And Defendants, Kimberly Blasey

Washington and Lee Law Review

This Note addresses how courts should interpret the “reasonable opportunity to observe” standard when assessing evidence. In other words, what quantum of evidence is, and should be, sufficient to prove a defendant had a “reasonable opportunity to observe” a sex trafficking victim? Would a singular brief encounter with an older-appearing prostitute satisfy the standard? If so, would the mere fact that the “prostitute” was actually a minor be the only evidence needed to obtain a conviction? Or would the defendant’s intention and attempt to order services from an adult prostitute shed light on the reasonableness of his observation opportunity? Moreover, …


Limited Privacy In “Pings:” Why Law Enforcement’S Use Of Cell-Site Simulators Does Not Categorically Violate The Fourth Amendment, Lara M. Mcmahon Apr 2020

Limited Privacy In “Pings:” Why Law Enforcement’S Use Of Cell-Site Simulators Does Not Categorically Violate The Fourth Amendment, Lara M. Mcmahon

Washington and Lee Law Review

This Note proposes four factors courts should consider when asked to determine whether law enforcement’s use of a cell-site simulator constituted a Fourth Amendment search. The first asks courts to consider whether the cell-site simulator surveillance infringed on a constitutionally protected area, such as the home. The second asks courts to consider the duration of the cell-site simulator surveillance. The third asks courts to consider whether the cell-site simulator surveillance was conducted actively or passively. The fourth asks courts to focus on the nature and depth of the information obtained as a result of the cell-site simulator surveillance. If, after …


Secret Conviction Programs, Meghan J. Ryan Mar 2020

Secret Conviction Programs, Meghan J. Ryan

Washington and Lee Law Review

Judges and juries across the country are convicting criminal defendants based on secret evidence. Although defendants have sought access to the details of this evidence—the results of computer programs and their underlying algorithms and source codes—judges have generally denied their requests. Instead, judges have prioritized the business interests of the for-profit companies that developed these “conviction programs” and which could lose market share if the secret algorithms and source codes on which the programs are based were exposed. This decision has jeopardized criminal defendants’ constitutional rights.


Reinvesting In Rico With Cryptocurrencies: Using Cryptocurrency Networks To Prove Rico’S Enterprise Requirement, Andrew Robert Klimek Mar 2020

Reinvesting In Rico With Cryptocurrencies: Using Cryptocurrency Networks To Prove Rico’S Enterprise Requirement, Andrew Robert Klimek

Washington and Lee Law Review

This Note received the 2019 Roy L. Steinheimer Law Review Award.

This Note argues that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) may be suited to cryptocurrency prosecutions. RICO subsection 1962(a) addresses the infiltration of an enterprise by investing proceeds from racketeering activities and this Note contends that a cryptocurrency network could serve as the “enterprise” required by the statute. Instead of having to investigate and prove the relationships in an underlying criminal enterprise, proponents of a RICO case against crypto-criminals could rely on well-documented and publicly available information about the cryptocurrency network to prove the enterprise and the …


Reasonable Doubt And Relativity, Michael D. Cicchini Jan 2020

Reasonable Doubt And Relativity, Michael D. Cicchini

Washington and Lee Law Review

In theory, the Constitution protects us against criminal conviction unless the state can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In reality, this lofty standard is only as strong as the words used to explain it to the jury.

Unfortunately, attempts to explain reasonable doubt often create confusion, and sometimes even diminish the burden of proof. Many courts therefore believe that the better practice is not to attempt a definition. However, empirical studies demonstrate that reasonable doubt is not self-defining, i.e., when it is not explained to the jury, it offers defendants no greater protection against conviction than the two lower, …


Collateral Consequences Of Pretrial Diversion Programs Under The Heck Doctrine, Bonnie Gill Jan 2020

Collateral Consequences Of Pretrial Diversion Programs Under The Heck Doctrine, Bonnie Gill

Washington and Lee Law Review

Following the Introduction, Part II of this Note gives an overview of federal and state pretrial diversion programs. Part III explores the statutory and doctrinal background of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, including its interaction with another civil rights statute, 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the federal habeas statute. Both statutes are essential to understanding the Heck v. Humphrey doctrine’s purpose and application to pretrial diversion participants. Part III also explores the development and interpretation of the Heck doctrine in four Supreme Court cases. Part IV discusses the circuit split as it currently stands. Part V presents three proposals for resolving the …


Individualized Sentencing, William W. Berry May 2019

Individualized Sentencing, William W. Berry

Washington and Lee Law Review

In Woodson v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court proscribed the use of mandatory death sentences. One year later, in Lockett v. Ohio, the Court expanded this principle to hold that defendants in capital cases were entitled to “individualized sentencing determinations.” The Court’s reasoning in both cases centered on the seriousness of the death penalty. Because the death penalty is “different” in its seriousness and irrevocability, the Court required the sentencing court, whether judge or jury, to assess the individualized characteristics of the offender and the offense before imposing a sentence. In 2012, the Court expanded this Eighth Amendment concept …


Sentence For The Damned: Using Atkins To Understand The “Irreparable Corruption” Standard For Juvenile Life Without Parole, Zachary Crawford-Pechukas Feb 2019

Sentence For The Damned: Using Atkins To Understand The “Irreparable Corruption” Standard For Juvenile Life Without Parole, Zachary Crawford-Pechukas

Washington and Lee Law Review

This Note suggests that guidance should be drawn from the Supreme Court’s death penalty jurisprudence regarding the execution of intellectually disabled offenders. Atkins v. Virginia paved the way for the juvenile sentencing cases as the Supreme Court for the first time found that, under the Eighth Amendment, a selected class of offenders—the intellectually disabled — were not eligible for the state’s harshest penalty—the death penalty— because of their diminished culpability. Atkins similarly left the state courts to figure out how to decide whether an individual offender met this amorphous standard, “intellectually disabled.” As state courts grappled with this standard and …


287(G) Agreements In The Trump Era, Huyen Pham Nov 2018

287(G) Agreements In The Trump Era, Huyen Pham

Washington and Lee Law Review

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Clause Aggregation And The Marijuana Crimes, Scott W. Howe Apr 2018

Constitutional Clause Aggregation And The Marijuana Crimes, Scott W. Howe

Washington and Lee Law Review

An important question for our time concerns whether the Constitution could establish a right to engage in certain marijuana-related activities. Several states have now legalized cannabis, within strict limits, for recreational purposes, and that number will grow. Yet, some states will not promptly legalize but, instead, continue to criminalize, or only “decriminalize” in minor ways, and the federal criminalization statutes also will likely survive for a time. There currently is no recognized right under the Constitution to possess, use, cultivate, or distribute cannabis for recreational purposes, even in small amounts, and traditional, single-clause arguments for such a right are weak. …


Appointed Counsel And Jury Trial: The Rights That Undermine The Other Rights, Russell L. Christopher Apr 2018

Appointed Counsel And Jury Trial: The Rights That Undermine The Other Rights, Russell L. Christopher

Washington and Lee Law Review

Do the Sixth Amendment rights to appointed counsel and jury trial unconstitutionally conflict with defendants’ other constitutional rights? For indigents charged with felonies, Gideon v. Wainwright guarantees the right to appointed counsel; for misdemeanors, Scott v. Illinois limits the right to indigents receiving the most severe authorized punishment—imprisonment.Duncan v. Illinois limits the right to jury trial to defendants charged with serious offenses. Consequently, the greater the jeopardy faced by defendants, the greater the eligibility for appointed counsel and jury trial. But defendants’ other constitutional rights generally facilitate just the opposite— minimizing jeopardy by reducing charges, lessening the likelihood of …


Deconstructing The Epistemic Challenges To Mass Atrocity Prosecutions, Nancy Amoury Combs Jan 2018

Deconstructing The Epistemic Challenges To Mass Atrocity Prosecutions, Nancy Amoury Combs

Washington and Lee Law Review

Mass atrocity prosecutions are credited with advancing a host of praiseworthy objectives. They are believed to impose much-needed retribution, deter future atrocities, and affirm the rule of law in previously lawless societies. However, mass atrocity prosecutions will accomplish none of these laudable ends unless they are able to find accurate facts. Convicting the appropriate individuals of the appropriate crimes is a necessary and foundational condition for the success of mass atrocity prosecutions. But it is a condition that is frequently difficult to meet, as mass atrocity prosecutions are often bedeviled by pervasive and invidious obstacles to accurate fact-finding. This Article …


In Their Defense: Conflict Between The Criminal Defendant’S Right To Counsel Of Choice And The Right To Appointed Counsel, Kit Thomas Jun 2017

In Their Defense: Conflict Between The Criminal Defendant’S Right To Counsel Of Choice And The Right To Appointed Counsel, Kit Thomas

Washington and Lee Law Review

No abstract provided.


Examining Rule 11(B)(1)(N) Error: Guilty Pleas, Appellate Waiver, And Dominguez Benitez, Leanna C. Minix Jan 2017

Examining Rule 11(B)(1)(N) Error: Guilty Pleas, Appellate Waiver, And Dominguez Benitez, Leanna C. Minix

Washington and Lee Law Review

No abstract provided.


Recasting Vagueness: The Case Of Teen Sex Statutes, Cynthia Godsoe Jan 2017

Recasting Vagueness: The Case Of Teen Sex Statutes, Cynthia Godsoe

Washington and Lee Law Review

When two minors below the age of consent have sex, who is the victim and who is the offender? Statutory rape law makes consensual sex among minors illegal in almost every state. Where half of high school students have had intercourse, the law’s immense scope and inevitable underenforcement allow prosecutors to virtually define the crime by the tiny percentage of cases they choose. Through the lens of peer statutory rape, this Article introduces and critiques “vaguenets”—broad, under-defined laws that punish widespread and largely harmless conduct, and invite selective enforcement. Like problematic police dragnet searches, the immense sweep of these statutes …


Criminal Adjudication, Error Correction, And Hindsight Blind Spots, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2016

Criminal Adjudication, Error Correction, And Hindsight Blind Spots, Lisa Kern Griffin

Washington and Lee Law Review

Concerns about hindsight in the law typically arise with regard to the bias that outcome knowledge can produce. But a more difficult problem than the clear view that hindsight appears to provide is the blind spot that it actually has. Because of the conventional wisdom about error review, there is a missed opportunity to ensure meaningful scrutiny. Beyond the confirmation biases that make convictions seem inevitable lies the question whether courts can see what they are meant to assess when they do look closely for error. Standards that require a retrospective showing of materiality, prejudice, or harm turn on what …