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Toward A Better Criminal Legal System: Improving Prisons, Prosecution, And Criminal Defense, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris Jan 2024

Toward A Better Criminal Legal System: Improving Prisons, Prosecution, And Criminal Defense, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris

Articles

During the Fall 2023 semester, 15 law (Outside) students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and 13 incarcerated (Inside) students from the State Correctional Institution – Greene, in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, took a full semester class together called Issues in Criminal Justice and Law. The class, occurring each week at the prison, utilized the Inside-Out Prison Exchange pedagogy, and was facilitated by Professor David Harris. Subjects include the purposes of prison, addressing crime, the criminal legal system and race, and issues surrounding victims and survivors of crime. The course culminated in a Group Project; under the heading “improving the …


“Social Workers By Day And Terrorists By Night?” Wounded Healers, Restorative Justice, And Ex-Prisoner Reentry, Allely Albert Oct 2023

“Social Workers By Day And Terrorists By Night?” Wounded Healers, Restorative Justice, And Ex-Prisoner Reentry, Allely Albert

Articles

Common to many post-conflict societies, former political prisoners and combatants in Northern Ireland are often portrayed as security threats rather than as potential contributors to societal peacebuilding processes. This distrust limits their ability to contribute to the transitional landscape and additionally hinders desistance processes during their reentry from prison. Drawing from the work of Maruna, LeBel, and others on “wounded healers,” this article critically examines the restorative justice work of ex-prisoners who have become involved in leadership roles within community based restorative justice. It is argued that such practitioner work can help former combatants overcome many of the challenges typically …


Public Defenders As Gatekeepers Of Freedom, Alma Magaña Oct 2023

Public Defenders As Gatekeepers Of Freedom, Alma Magaña

Articles

Nearly half a million people are currently held in pretrial detention across the United States. Legal scholarship has explored many of the actors and factors contributing to the deprivation of freedom of those presumed innocent. And while the scholarship in these areas is rich, it has primarily focused on certain system actors—including judges, prosecutors, and profit-seeking sheriffs—structural concerns, such as the role race plays in who is being held in pretrial detention, or critiques of the failed promise of algorithms to deliver on bias-free bail determinations. But relatively little scholarship exists about the contributions of public defenders to this deprivation. …


Race Ethics: Colorblind Formalism And Color-Coded Pragmatism In Lawyer Regulation, Anthony V. Alfieri Jul 2023

Race Ethics: Colorblind Formalism And Color-Coded Pragmatism In Lawyer Regulation, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

The recent, high-profile civil and criminal trials held in the aftermath of the George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery murders, the Kyle Rittenhouse killings, and the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally violence renew debate over race, representation, and ethics in the U.S. civil and criminal justice systems. For civil rights lawyers, prosecutors, and criminal defense attorneys, neither the progress of post-war civil rights movements and criminal justice reform campaigns nor the advance of Critical Race Theory and social movement scholarship have resolved the debate over the use of race in pretrial, trial, and appellate advocacy, and in the lawyering process more …


Inventing Deportation Arrests, Lindsay Nash Jun 2023

Inventing Deportation Arrests, Lindsay Nash

Articles

At the dawn of the federal deportation system, the nation’s top immigration official proclaimed the power to authorize deportation arrests “an extraordinary one” to vest in administrative officers. He reassured the nation that this immense power—then wielded by a cabinet secretary, the only executive officer empowered to authorize these arrests—was exercised with “great care and deliberation.” A century later, this extraordinary power is legally trivial and systemically exercised by low-level enforcement officers alone. Consequently, thousands of these officers—the police and jailors of the immigration system— now have the power to solely determine whether deportation arrests are justified and, therefore, whether …


Human Frailty, Unbreakable Victims And Asylum, Rebecca Sharpless, Kristi E. Wintermeyer Apr 2023

Human Frailty, Unbreakable Victims And Asylum, Rebecca Sharpless, Kristi E. Wintermeyer

Articles

This article analyzes the asylum decisions of immigration agencies and federal appellate courts and demonstrates that the case law driven standard for persecution is out of step with the original meaning of the term, international law standards, and contemporary understanding of how human beings experience physical and mental harm. Medical and psychological evidence establishes that even trauma at the lower end of the spectrum of severity can inflict lasting and debilitating effects on people's health. Yet over the last three decades, virtually no court decisions have decreased the showing of harm needed to establish persecution. To the contrary, courts have …


Dual Sovereignty In The U.S. Territories, Emmanuel Hiram Arnaud Apr 2023

Dual Sovereignty In The U.S. Territories, Emmanuel Hiram Arnaud

Articles

This Essay examines the emergence and application of the “ultimate source” test and sheds light on the dual sovereign doctrine’s patently colonial framework, particularly highlighting the paternalistic relationship it has produced between federal and territorial prosecutorial authorities.


Why Criminal Defendants Cooperate: The Defense Attorney's Perspective, Jessica A. Roth, Anna D. Vaynman, Steven D. Penrod Mar 2023

Why Criminal Defendants Cooperate: The Defense Attorney's Perspective, Jessica A. Roth, Anna D. Vaynman, Steven D. Penrod

Articles

Cooperation is at the heart of most complex federal criminal cases, with profound ramifications for who can be brought to justice and for the fate of those who decide to cooperate. But despite the significance of cooperation, scholars have yet to explore exactly how individuals confronted with the decision whether to pursue cooperation with prosecutors make that choice. This Article—the first empirical study of the defense experience of cooperation—begins to address that gap. The Article reports the results of a survey completed by 146 criminal defense attorneys in three federal districts: the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District …


From The Editors In Chief, Kathleen Claussen, Sergio Puig, Michael Waibel Mar 2023

From The Editors In Chief, Kathleen Claussen, Sergio Puig, Michael Waibel

Articles

No abstract provided.


No Sense Of Decency, Kathryn E. Miller Mar 2023

No Sense Of Decency, Kathryn E. Miller

Articles

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 …


Asymmetric Review Of Qualified Immunity Appeals, Alexander A. Reinert Mar 2023

Asymmetric Review Of Qualified Immunity Appeals, Alexander A. Reinert

Articles

This article presents results from the most comprehensive study to date of the resolution of qualified immunity in the federal courts of appeals and the US Supreme Court. By analyzing more than 4000 appellate decisions issued between 2004 and 2015, this study provides novel insights into how courts of appeals resolve arguments for qualified immunity. Moreover, by conducting an unprecedented analysis of certiorari practice, this study reveals how the US Supreme Court has exercised its discretionary jurisdiction in the area of qualified immunity. The data presented here have significant implications for civil rights enforcement and the uniformity of federal law. …


Creating A Better, Fairer Criminal Justice System, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris Jan 2023

Creating A Better, Fairer Criminal Justice System, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris

Articles

In the Fall 2022 semester, 14 law (Outside) students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and 14 incarcerated (Inside) students at the State Correctional Institution at Greene, in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, took a full-semester class together called "Issues in Criminal Justice and the Law." The class, taught and facilitated by Professor David Harris, utilized the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program pedagogy, emphasizing dialogic learning and peer teaching. The semester culminated with a group project, with the topic selected by the students: "creating a better, fairer criminal justice system." Members of the class organized themselves into small groups, each working for …


Collusive Prosecution, Ben A. Mcjunkin, J.J. Prescott Jan 2023

Collusive Prosecution, Ben A. Mcjunkin, J.J. Prescott

Articles

In this Article, we argue that increasingly harsh collateral consequences have surfaced an underappreciated and undertheorized dynamic of criminal plea bargaining. Collateral consequences that mostly or entirely benefit third parties (such as other communities or other states) create an interest asymmetry that prosecutors and defendants can exploit in plea negotiations. In particular, if a prosecutor and a defendant can control the offense of conviction (often through what some term a “fictional plea”), they can work together to evade otherwise applicable collateral consequences, such as deportation or sex-offender registration and notification. Both parties arguably benefit: Prosecutors can leverage collateral consequences to …


Surveillance Normalization, Christian Sundquist Jan 2023

Surveillance Normalization, Christian Sundquist

Articles

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has expanded public surveillance measures in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus. As the pandemic wears on, racialized communities and other marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by this increased level of surveillance. This article argues that increases in public surveillance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic give rise to the normalization of surveillance in day-to-day life, with serious consequences for racialized communities and other marginalized groups. This article explores the legal and regulatory effects of surveillance normalization, as well as how to protect civil rights and liberties …


Title Theft, Stewart E. Sterk Jan 2023

Title Theft, Stewart E. Sterk

Articles

Real property owners across the country have been targeted by scammers who prepare deeds purporting to convey title to property the scammers do not own. Sometimes, the true owners are entirely unaware of these bogus transfers. In other instances, the scammers use misrepresentation to induce unsophisticated owners to sign documents they do not understand.

Property doctrine protects owners against forgery and fraud—the primary vehicles scammers use in their efforts to transfer title. Owners enjoy protection not only against the scammers themselves, but generally against unsuspecting purchasers to whom the scammers transfer purported title.

Recovery of title, however, involves costs and …


Freedom From Speech, Mary Anne Franks Jul 2022

Freedom From Speech, Mary Anne Franks

Articles

The importance of freedom of speech in a democratic society is usually taken as a given, but freedom from speech is no less important in safeguarding the values of truth, autonomy, and democracy. Freedom from speech includes both the right of the individual to not be forced to speak and the freedom to avoid the speech of others. This essay attempts to highlight the significance of freedom from speech in order to clarify the importance of the First Amendment right against compelled speech; provide an explanation for when the right of free speech yields to other rights; and offer a …


Resurrecting Arbitrariness, Kathryn E. Miller Jul 2022

Resurrecting Arbitrariness, Kathryn E. Miller

Articles

What allows judges to sentence a child to die in prison? For years, they did so without constitutional restriction. That all changed in 2012’s Miller v. Alabama, which banned mandatory sentences of life without parole for children convicted of homicide crimes. Miller held that this extreme sentence was constitutional only for the worst offenders—the “permanently incorrigible.” By embracing individualized sentencing, Miller and its progeny portended a sea change in the way juveniles would be sentenced for serious crimes. But if Miller opened the door to sentencing reform, the Court’s recent decision in Jones v. Mississippi appeared to slam it …


Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers, Pamela Foohey, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne Apr 2022

Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers, Pamela Foohey, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne

Articles

One in ten adult Americans has turned to the consumer bankruptcy system for help. For almost forty years, the only systematic data collection about the people who file bankruptcy has come from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), for which we serve as co-principal investigators. In this Article, we use CBP data from 2013 to 2019 to describe who is using the bankruptcy system, providing the first comprehensive overview of bankruptcy filers in thirty years. We use principal component analysis to leverage these data to identify distinct groups of people who file bankruptcy. This technique allows us to situate the distinctions …


The Progressive Love Affair With The Carceral State, Kate Levine Apr 2022

The Progressive Love Affair With The Carceral State, Kate Levine

Articles

A Review of The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration. By Aya Gruber.


Disaggregating Slavery And The Slave Trade, Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum Apr 2022

Disaggregating Slavery And The Slave Trade, Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum

Articles

International law prohibits slavery and the slave trade as peremptory norms, customary international law prohibitions and crimes, humanitarian law prohibitions, and non-derogable human rights. Human rights bodies, however, focus on human trafficking, even when slavery and the slave trade—and not human trafficking—are enumerated within their mandates. International human rights law has conflated human trafficking with slavery and the slave trade. Consequently, human trafficking has subsumed the slave trade and, at times, slavery prohibitions, increasing perpetrator impunity for slavery and the slave trade abuses and denying full expressive justice to survivors.

This Article disaggregates slavery from the slave trade and slavery …


Participatory Litigation: A New Framework For Impact Lawyering, Jules Lobel Feb 2022

Participatory Litigation: A New Framework For Impact Lawyering, Jules Lobel

Articles

This Article argues that the manner in which class-action and impact lawyers have traditionally litigated leaves little room for class participation in lawsuits, and that a new, participatory framework can and should be adopted. Through the story of a successful class-action suit challenging California’s use of prolonged solitary confinement in its prisons, the Article demonstrates that plaintiff participation is both possible and important.

Academic literature has assumed that broad plaintiff participation in class-action and impact litigation is not achievable. Yet this Article describes how, in a key California case, attorneys actively involved the plaintiffs in all aspects of the litigation: …


Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang Jan 2022

Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang

Articles

The concept and naming of “hate crime,” and the adoption of special laws to address it, provoked controversy and raised fundamental questions when they were introduced in the 1980s. In the decades since, neither hate crime itself nor those hotly debated questions have abated. To the contrary, hate crime has increased in recent years—although the prominent target groups have shifted over time—and the debate over hate crime laws has reignited as well. The still-open questions range from the philosophical to the doctrinal to the pragmatic: What justifies the enhanced punishment that hate crime laws impose based on the perpetrator’s motivation? …


Keeping Guns In The Hands Of Abusive Partners: Prosecutorial And Judicial Subversion Of Federal Firearms Laws, Bonnie Carlson Jan 2022

Keeping Guns In The Hands Of Abusive Partners: Prosecutorial And Judicial Subversion Of Federal Firearms Laws, Bonnie Carlson

Articles

State actors are imbued with the power of the government to enforce and apply the law. When they use that power to instead inhibit a law’s enforcement, they are engaging in subversion. Subversion is problematic on its face: it frustrates legislative intent, creates confusion, and destabilizes the separation of powers foundational to our democracy. But subversion is particularly insidious when it is done to the detriment of vulnerable individuals. That is the case when state prosecutors and judges purposefully undermine federal law intended to keep firearms out of the hands of abusive partners. Guns and domestic violence can be a …


White Supremacy, Police Brutality, And Family Separation: Preventing Crimes Against Humanity Within The United States, Elena Baylis Jan 2022

White Supremacy, Police Brutality, And Family Separation: Preventing Crimes Against Humanity Within The United States, Elena Baylis

Articles

Although the United States tends to treat crimes against humanity as a danger that exists only in authoritarian or war-torn states, in fact, there is a real risk of crimes against humanity occurring within the United States, as illustrated by events such as systemic police brutality against Black Americans, the federal government’s family separation policy that took thousands of immigrant children from their parents at the southern border, and the dramatic escalation of White supremacist and extremist violence culminating in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. In spite of this risk, the United States does not have …


Muslims In Prison: Advancing The Rule Of Law Through Litigation Praxis, Spearit Jan 2022

Muslims In Prison: Advancing The Rule Of Law Through Litigation Praxis, Spearit

Articles

Islamic ideas about justice and equality directly informed the development of prison law jurisprudence in the United States. Since the early 1960s, when federal courts began to hear claims by state prisoner-petitioners, Muslims began to look to courts to establish Islam in prison and inaugurated an ongoing campaign for civil rights. The trend is significant when considering Muslims represent a relatively small percentage of the American population. Decades of persistent litigation by Muslims in courts have been integral to developing the prisoners’ rights movement in America. The Muslim impact on prison law and culture is an underappreciated phenomenon that involves …


Limiting Access To Remedies: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2021-22 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Justin Hill Jan 2022

Limiting Access To Remedies: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2021-22 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Justin Hill

Articles

Although the most memorable cases from the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 Term were on the civil side of its docket, the Court addressed significant cases on the criminal side involving the Confrontation Clause, capital punishment, double jeopardy, criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, and important statutory interpretation principles, such as the mens rea presumption and the scope of the rule of lenity. Looking back, the Court’s decisions limiting individuals’ access to remedies for violations of their constitutional criminal procedure rights stand out. Shinn v. Ramirez and Shoop v. Twyford drastically limit the ability of persons incarcerated in state facilities to challenge the …


White Vigilantism And The Racism Of Race-Neutrality, Christian Sundquist Jan 2022

White Vigilantism And The Racism Of Race-Neutrality, Christian Sundquist

Articles

Race-neutrality has long been touted in American law as central to promoting racial equality while guarding against race-based discrimination. And yet the legal doctrine of race-neutrality has perversely operated to shield claims of racial discrimination from judicial review while protecting discriminators from liability and punishment. This Article critiques the doctrine of race-neutrality by examining the law’s response to white vigilantism in the much-publicized criminal trials of Kyle Rittenhouse and that of Ahmaud Arbery’s assailants.


Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Pamela Foohey, Dalie Jimenez, Christopher K. Odinet Jan 2022

Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Pamela Foohey, Dalie Jimenez, Christopher K. Odinet

Articles

As part of federal and state relief programs created during the COVID-19 pandemic, many American households received pauses on their largest debts, particularly on mortgages and student loans. Others may have come to agreements with their lenders, likewise pausing or altering payment on other debts, such as auto loans and credit cards. This relief allowed households to allocate their savings and income to necessary expenses, like groceries, utilities, and medicine. But forbearance does not equal forgiveness. At the end of the various relief periods and moratoria, people will have to resume paying all their debts, the amounts of which may …


Special Matters: Filtering Privileged Materials In Federal Prosecutions, Christina Frohock Oct 2021

Special Matters: Filtering Privileged Materials In Federal Prosecutions, Christina Frohock

Articles

This Article reviews the U.S. Department of Justice's toolbox for handling potentially privileged materials, with close attention to the evolution from filter teams to the Special Matters Unit in fraud prosecutions. Significant case opinions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits reveal the judiciary's diverse views on filter teams. The recent case of United States v. Esformes in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, now on appeal to the Eleventh Circuit, illustrates how a filter team can fall short and draw unflattering attention to the Department of Justice. In the …


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

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

Articles

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.