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Full-Text Articles in Law

Crying Wolves, Paper Tigers, And Busy Beavers—Oh My!: A New Approach To Pro Se Prisoner Litigation, Justin C. Van Orsdol Jan 2023

Crying Wolves, Paper Tigers, And Busy Beavers—Oh My!: A New Approach To Pro Se Prisoner Litigation, Justin C. Van Orsdol

Arkansas Law Review

To say that the United States is infatuated with incarceration would be a gross understatement. As a result of “tough on-crime” laws, the United States has “the largest prison population in the world, with more than 2.3 million persons behind bars on any given day” and it “also has the world’s highest per capita rate of incarceration” with a rate that is “five to ten times higher than those of other industrialized democracies like England and Wales . . . . Canada . . . , and Sweden.” Due in part to prison population increases, the conditions of U.S. prisons …


A First Step Back In Time?, Blake Jacobs Jan 2023

A First Step Back In Time?, Blake Jacobs

West Virginia Law Review

This Note discusses the implications of the United States Supreme Court’s holding in Concepcion v. United States, which left open whether district courts must reanalyze the 18 U.S.C.A. § 3553(a) factors when ruling on a motion to reduce a defendant’s sentence under the First Step Act. The decision settled a dispute between the First, Fifth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, which did not require sentencing courts to consider intervening factual or legal developments; and the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits which did. However, the Supreme Court’s decision only obligates a district court to consider intervening …


The Presumption Of Wealthiness: How The Current Bail System In Minnesota Is Problematically Classist, Myranda Sandberg Jan 2023

The Presumption Of Wealthiness: How The Current Bail System In Minnesota Is Problematically Classist, Myranda Sandberg

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Kahler V. Kansas: How The Current Insanity Defense Regime Underserves Postpartum Psychosis Defendants, How The Supreme Court Failed To Act, And How Now Is The Perfect Time To Implement A Gender-Specific Postpartum Defense, Victoria Frazier Jan 2023

Kahler V. Kansas: How The Current Insanity Defense Regime Underserves Postpartum Psychosis Defendants, How The Supreme Court Failed To Act, And How Now Is The Perfect Time To Implement A Gender-Specific Postpartum Defense, Victoria Frazier

St. Mary's Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Countermajoritarian Criminal Law, Michael L. Smith Dec 2022

Countermajoritarian Criminal Law, Michael L. Smith

Pace Law Review

Criminal law pervades American society, subjecting millions to criminal enforcement, prosecution, and punishment every year. All too often, culpability is a minimal or nonexistent aspect of this phenomenon. Criminal law prohibits a wide range of common behaviors and practices, especially when one considers the various federal, state, and municipal levels of law restricting people’s actions. Recent scholarship has criticized not only the scope and impact of these laws but has also critiqued these laws out to the extent that they fail to live up to supermajoritarian ideals that underlie criminal justice.

This Article adds to and amplifies this criticism by …


The Inconsistencies Of Consent, Chunlin Leonhard Dec 2022

The Inconsistencies Of Consent, Chunlin Leonhard

Catholic University Law Review

U.S. legal scholars have devoted a lot of attention to the role that consent has played in laws and judicial consent jurisprudence. This essay contributes to the discussion on consent by examining judicial approaches to determining the existence of consent in three selected areas--contracts, tort claims involving medical treatment, and criminal cases involving admissibility of confessions, from the late nineteenth century until the present. This article examines how courts have approached the basic factual question of finding consent and how judicial approaches in those areas have evolved over time. The review shows that the late 19th century saw courts adopting …


Designing For Justice: Pandemic Lessons For Criminal Courts, Cynthia Alkon Dec 2022

Designing For Justice: Pandemic Lessons For Criminal Courts, Cynthia Alkon

Faculty Scholarship

March 2020 brought an unprecedented crisis to the United States: COVID-19. In a two-week period, criminal courts across the country closed. But, that is where the uniformity ended. Criminal courts did not have a clear process to decide how to conduct necessary business. As a result, criminal courts across the country took different approaches to deciding how to continue necessary operations and in doing so many did not consider the impact on justice of the operational changes that were made to manage the COVID-19 crisis. One key problem was that many courts did not use inclusive processes and include all …


Courts Without Court, Andrew Ferguson Oct 2022

Courts Without Court, Andrew Ferguson

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

What role does the physical courthouse play in the administration of criminal justice? This Article uses recent experiments with virtual courts to reimagine a future without criminal courthouses at the center. The key insight of this Article is to reveal how integral physical courts are to carceral control and how the rise of virtual courts helps to decenter power away from judges. This Article examines the effects of online courts on defendants, lawyers, judges, witnesses, victims, and courthouse officials and offers a framework for a better and less court-centered future. By studying post-COVID-19 disruptions around traditional conceptions of place, time, …


War Crimes: History, Basic Concepts, And Structures, Richard J. Wilson Oct 2022

War Crimes: History, Basic Concepts, And Structures, Richard J. Wilson

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

On May 24, 20022, the Washington Post carried front-page news that a court in Ukraine had sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier, Vadim Shishimarin, to life imprisonment for the war crime of premeditated murder of a civilian, 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov. The session was the first war crimes trial in Ukraine since Russia's invasion three months earlier.


Reported Experiences With Plea Bargaining: A Theoretical Analysis Of The Legal Standard, Krystia Reed, Allison Franz, Vincent Calderon, Alisha Meschkow, Valerie F. Reyna May 2022

Reported Experiences With Plea Bargaining: A Theoretical Analysis Of The Legal Standard, Krystia Reed, Allison Franz, Vincent Calderon, Alisha Meschkow, Valerie F. Reyna

West Virginia Law Review

Although the majority of criminal cases in the United States are settled with plea bargains, very little empirical evidence exists to explain how defendants make life-altering plea bargain decisions. This Article first discusses the psychologicalfactors involved in plea bargaining decisions. Next, this Article empirically examines the factors involved in plea decisions of real-life defendants within the legal and psychological contexts. Finally, this Article highlights the psychological issues that need to be further examined in pleabargaining literature.


Modern Sentencing Mitigation, John B. Meixner Jr. Apr 2022

Modern Sentencing Mitigation, John B. Meixner Jr.

Northwestern University Law Review

Sentencing has become the most important part of a criminal case. Over the past century, criminal trials have given way almost entirely to pleas. Once a case is charged, it almost always ends up at sentencing. And notably, judges learn little sentencing-relevant information about the case or the defendant prior to sentencing and have significant discretion in sentencing decisions. Thus, sentencing is the primary opportunity for the defense to affect the outcome of the case by presenting mitigation: reasons why the nature of the offense or characteristics of the defendant warrant a lower sentence. It is surprising, then, that relatively …


Rewriting Whren V. United States, Jonathan Feingold, Devon Carbado Apr 2022

Rewriting Whren V. United States, Jonathan Feingold, Devon Carbado

Faculty Scholarship

In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Whren v. United States—a unanimous opinion in which the Court effectively constitutionalized racial profiling. Despite its enduring consequences, Whren remains good law today. This Article rewrites the opinion. We do so, in part, to demonstrate how one might incorporate racial justice concerns into Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, a body of law that has long elided and marginalized the racialized dimensions of policing. A separate aim is to reveal the “false necessity” of the Whren outcome. The fact that Whren was unanimous, and that even progressive Justices signed on, might lead one to conclude that …


Quo Vadis? Assessing New York’S Civil Forfeiture Law, Steven L. Kessler Apr 2022

Quo Vadis? Assessing New York’S Civil Forfeiture Law, Steven L. Kessler

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Regulating Police Chokeholds, Trevor George Gardner, Esam Al-Shareffi Apr 2022

Regulating Police Chokeholds, Trevor George Gardner, Esam Al-Shareffi

JCLC Online

This Article presents findings from an analysis of police chokehold policies enacted at the federal, state, and municipal levels of government. In addition to identifying the jurisdictions that restricted police chokeholds in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, the Article conveys (via analysis of an original dataset) the considerable variance in the quality of police chokehold regulation. While many jurisdictions regulate the police chokehold, the strength of such regulations should not be taken for granted. Police chokehold policies vary by the type of chokehold barred (“air choke” and/or carotid choke), the degree of the chokehold restriction, …


Friends Without Benefits: Criminal Insider Trading Liability And The "Personal Benefit" Test After Blaszczak, Curtis A. French Apr 2022

Friends Without Benefits: Criminal Insider Trading Liability And The "Personal Benefit" Test After Blaszczak, Curtis A. French

JCLC Online

The U.S. Supreme Court established the “personal benefit” test in Dirks v. SEC to determine whether a tippee assumed a fiduciary duty to not trade based on or disclose inside information when a tipper breached his or her fiduciary duty by improperly disclosing such information to the tippee. Under the personal benefit test, a tipper breaches his or her fiduciary duty if the tipper derives a personal benefit, either directly or indirectly, from disclosing the inside information to a tippee. The Supreme Court provided examples as to what constitutes a personal benefit, such as the tipper’s expectation of reputational benefits …


The Saga Of Reginald Mcfadden—"Pennsylvania's Willie Horton" And The Commutation Of Life Sentences In The Commonwealth: Part Ii, Regina Austin Apr 2022

The Saga Of Reginald Mcfadden—"Pennsylvania's Willie Horton" And The Commutation Of Life Sentences In The Commonwealth: Part Ii, Regina Austin

JCLC Online

The saga of the commutation of Reginald McFadden is a tortuous story of blunders, coincidences, and numerous instances of governmental officials tempting fate. It has the makings of a Serial true-crime podcast. In states throughout the country, there are lifers who are unfairly paying the price for the actions of one person who should never have had her or his life sentence commuted. This is the second in a series of two essays that explore Reginald McFadden’s commutation. This Part considers whether, in hindsight, there was any sound basis for McFadden’s release given the policy grounds for commutations and describes …


Stated Culpability Requirements, Scott England Apr 2022

Stated Culpability Requirements, Scott England

Faculty Scholarship

This Article comprehensively reviews the law of stated culpability requirements in Model Penal Code (MPC) jurisdictions. Part I provides an overview of section 2.02(4), explaining how the provision works and its role in the MPC’s culpability scheme. Part II then identifies section 2.02(4)’s main weaknesses, drawing on both the provision itself and the Code’s commentary. Next, Part III reviews the law in the twenty-five states with culpability provisions influenced by the MPC, identifying specific problems that section 2.02(4) has created in the case law. Finally, Part IV recommends new stated-culpability rules that improve section 2.02(4) and more rigorously enforce the …


Embracing Crimmigration To Curtail Immigration Detention, Pedro Gerson Apr 2022

Embracing Crimmigration To Curtail Immigration Detention, Pedro Gerson

Faculty Scholarship

Immigration advocates have long objected to both the constitutionality and conditions of immigration detention. However, legal challenges to the practice have been largely unsuccessful due to immigration law’s “exceptionality.” Placing recent litigation carried out against immigration detention during the COVID-19 pandemic within the context of the judiciary’s approach to immigration, this Article argues that litigation is an extremely limited strategic avenue to curtail the use of immigration detention. I then argue that anti-immigration detention advocates should attempt to incorporate their agenda into criminal legal reform and decarceration efforts. This is important for both movements. Normatively, immigration detention raises comparable issues: …


The Dignitary Confrontation Clause, Erin L. Sheley Apr 2022

The Dignitary Confrontation Clause, Erin L. Sheley

Faculty Scholarship

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


The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan Mar 2022

The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

Every jurisdiction in the United States gives criminal defendants “credit” against their sentence for the time they spend detained pretrial. In a world of mass incarceration and overcriminalization that disproportionately impacts people of color, this practice appears to be a welcome mechanism for mercy and justice. In fact, however, crediting detainees for time served is perverse. It harms the innocent. A defendant who is found not guilty, or whose case is dismissed, gets nothing. Crediting time served also allows the state to avoid internalizing the full costs of pretrial detention, thereby making overinclusive detention standards less expensive. Finally, crediting time …


Using Burdens Of Proof To Allocate The Risk Of Error When Assessing Developmental Maturity Of Youthful Offenders, David L. Faigman, Kelsey Geiser Mar 2022

Using Burdens Of Proof To Allocate The Risk Of Error When Assessing Developmental Maturity Of Youthful Offenders, David L. Faigman, Kelsey Geiser

William & Mary Law Review

Behavioral and neuroscientific research provides a relatively clear window into the timing of developmental maturity from adolescence to early adulthood. We know with considerable confidence that, on average, sixteen-year-olds are less developmentally mature than nineteen-year-olds, who are less developmentally mature than twenty-three-year-olds, who are less developmentally mature than twenty-six-year-olds. However, in the context of a given case, the question presented might be whether a particular seventeen-year-old defendant convicted of murder is “developmentally mature enough” that a sentence of life without parole can be constitutionally imposed on him or her. While developmental maturity can be accurately measured in group data, it …


The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe Mar 2022

The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Jurisdictions are increasingly embracing the use of pretrial risk assessment algorithms as a solution to the problem of mass pretrial incarceration. Conversations about the use of pretrial algorithms in legal scholarship have tended to focus on their opacity, determinativeness, reliability, validity, or their (in)ability to reduce high rates of incarceration as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities within the pretrial system. This Article breaks from this tendency, examining these algorithms from a democratization of criminal law perspective. Using this framework, it points out that currently employed algorithms are exclusionary of the viewpoints and values of the racially marginalized communities most …


The United States Supreme Court’S Enduring Misunderstanding Of Insanity, David Dematteo, Daniel A. Krauss, Sarah Fishel, Kellie Wiltsie Mar 2022

The United States Supreme Court’S Enduring Misunderstanding Of Insanity, David Dematteo, Daniel A. Krauss, Sarah Fishel, Kellie Wiltsie

New Mexico Law Review

Within mental health law, the legal defense of insanity has received a disproportionate amount of attention. Classified as a legal excuse, the insanity defense generally negates legal blameworthiness for criminal defendants who successfully prove that at the time of the offense, they did not know right from wrong or were unable to conform their conduct to the requirements of the law, due to an underlying mental health condition. The insanity defense has a lengthy history in the United States, with several different formulations and numerous court decisions addressing various aspects of the defense. Despite its firm entrenchment in U.S. criminal …


Interrogating The Nonincorporation Of The Grand Jury Clause, Roger Fairfax Feb 2022

Interrogating The Nonincorporation Of The Grand Jury Clause, Roger Fairfax

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

With the Supreme Court's recent incorporation-in Ramos v. Louisiana of the Sixth Amendment's jury unanimity requirement to apply to the states, the project of "total incorporation" is all but complete in the criminal procedure context. Virtually every core criminal procedural protection in the Bill of Rights has been incorporated through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to constrain not only the federal government but also the states with one exception. The Fifth Amendment's grand jury right now stands alone as the only federal criminal procedural right the Supreme Court has permitted states to ignore. In one of the …


Remodelling Criminal Insanity: Exploring Philosophical, Legal, And Medical Premises Of The Medical Model Used In Norwegian Law, Linda Gröning, Unn K. Haukvik, Stephen J. Morse, Susanna Radovic Jan 2022

Remodelling Criminal Insanity: Exploring Philosophical, Legal, And Medical Premises Of The Medical Model Used In Norwegian Law, Linda Gröning, Unn K. Haukvik, Stephen J. Morse, Susanna Radovic

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

This paper clarifies the conceptual space of discussion of legal insanity by considering the virtues of the ‘medical model’ model that has been used in Norway for almost a century. The medical model identifies insanity exclusively with mental disorder, and especially with psychosis, without any requirement that the disorder causally influenced the commission of the crime. We explore the medical model from a transdisciplinary perspective and show how it can be utilised to systematise and reconsider the central philosophical, legal and medical premises involved in the insanity debate. A key concern is how recent transdiagnostic and dimensional approaches to psychosis …


Internal And External Challenges To Culpability, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2022

Internal And External Challenges To Culpability, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

This article was presented at “Guilty Minds: A Virtual Conference on Mens Rea and Criminal Justice Reform” at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. It is forthcoming in Arizona State Law Journal Volume 53, Issue 2.

The thesis of this article is simple: As long as we maintain the current folk psychological conception of ourselves as intentional and potentially rational creatures, as people and not simply as machines, mental states will inevitably remain central to ascriptions of culpability and responsibility more generally. It is also desirable. Nonetheless, we are in a condition of unprecedented internal challenges to …


Fetal Protection Laws And The "Personhood" Problem: Toward A Relational Theory Of Fetal Life And Reproductive Responsibility, Amanda Gvozden Jan 2022

Fetal Protection Laws And The "Personhood" Problem: Toward A Relational Theory Of Fetal Life And Reproductive Responsibility, Amanda Gvozden

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Fetal Protection Laws (FPLs) are laws that define and provide punishments for any number of crimes, including homicide, committed “against a fetus.” Previous literature has suggested that FPLs need to be explicit about who the intended target of this legislation is. Specifically, comments concerned about the use of FPLs against pregnant women in relation to their own pregnancies suggested that states include language in their FPLs that make it clear that the law ought not be applied to women for harm to their own fetuses. Indeed, some states like California have taken measures to curtail the application of FPLs to …


The Saga Of Reginald Mcfadden—"Pennsylvania's Willie Horton" And The Commutation Of Life Sentences In The Commonwealth: Part I, Regina Austin Jan 2022

The Saga Of Reginald Mcfadden—"Pennsylvania's Willie Horton" And The Commutation Of Life Sentences In The Commonwealth: Part I, Regina Austin

JCLC Online

The saga of the commutation of Reginald McFadden is a tortuous story of blunders, coincidences, and numerous instances of governmental officials tempting fate. It has the makings of a Serial true-crime podcast. In states throughout the country, there are lifers who are unfairly paying the price for the actions of one person who should never have had her or his life sentence commuted. This is the first in a series of two essays that explore Reginald McFadden’s commutation.


How Culture Impacts Courtrooms: An Empirical Study Of Alienation And Detachment In The Cook County Court System, Maria Hawilo, Kat Albrecht, Meredith Martin Rountree, Thomas Geraghty Jan 2022

How Culture Impacts Courtrooms: An Empirical Study Of Alienation And Detachment In The Cook County Court System, Maria Hawilo, Kat Albrecht, Meredith Martin Rountree, Thomas Geraghty

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Courtrooms operate as unique microcosms—inhabited by courtroom personnel, legal actors, defendants, witnesses, family members, and community residents who necessarily interact with each other to conduct the day-to-day functions of justice. This Article argues that these interactions create a nuanced and salient courtroom culture that separates courtroom insiders from courtroom outsiders. The authors use the Cook County courts, specifically the George N. Leighton Courthouse at 2650 S California Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, to investigate courtroom culture and construct a thematic portrait of one of the largest criminal court systems in the United States. Using this newly constructed data source of rich …


Risk-Based Sentencing And The Principles Of Punishment, Christopher Lewis Jan 2022

Risk-Based Sentencing And The Principles Of Punishment, Christopher Lewis

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Risk-based sentencing regimes use an offender’s statistical likelihood of returning to crime in the future to determine the amount of time he or she spends in prison. Many criminal justice reformers see this as a fair and efficient way to shrink the size of the incarcerated population, while minimizing sacrifices to public safety. But risk-based sentencing is indefensible even (and perhaps especially) by the lights of the theory that supposedly justifies it. Instead of trying to cut time in prison for those who are least likely to reoffend, officials should focus sentencing reform on the least advantaged who tend to …