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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


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 …


Juries, Democracy, And Petty Crime, John D. King Jan 2022

Juries, Democracy, And Petty Crime, John D. King

Scholarly Articles

The right to trial by jury in criminal cases is basic to the design of American criminal justice and to the structure of American government. Guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution, the Sixth Amendment, and every one of the original state constitutions, the criminal jury was seen as critically important not only to the protection of individual rights but also to the architecture of American democracy. The vast majority of criminal prosecutions today, however, are resolved without even the prospect of community review by a jury. Despite the textual clarity of the guarantee, the Supreme Court has long recognized …


Constitutional Rights In The Time Of Covid-19: Sf Public Defender Sues Sf Superior Court, Alleging Violations Of Detainees’ Sixth Amendment Rights, Golden Gate University School Of Law Nov 2021

Constitutional Rights In The Time Of Covid-19: Sf Public Defender Sues Sf Superior Court, Alleging Violations Of Detainees’ Sixth Amendment Rights, Golden Gate University School Of Law

GGU Law Review Blog

“One of the most oppressive things a state can do is to take away your freedom and then deny you what’s necessary to win it back,” said Manojar Raju, San Francisco Public Defender, during a rally held on the front steps of San Francisco’s Hall of Justice.

On September 14, 2021, Raju filed a lawsuit against the Superior Court of California and the city of San Francisco. The lawsuit alleges that the San Francisco Superior Court has been routinely violating citizens’ Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.

In fact, as of August 30, 2021, there are about 429 people …


Confrontation’S Multi-Analyst Problem, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Nov 2021

Confrontation’S Multi-Analyst Problem, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Texas A&M Law Review

The Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment affords the “accused” in “criminal prosecutions” the right “to be confronted with the witnesses against” them. A particular challenge for courts over at least the last decade-plus has been the degree to which the Confrontation Clause applies to forensic reports, such as those presenting the results of a DNA, toxicology, or other CSI-type analysis. Should use of forensic reports entitle criminal defendants to confront purportedly “objective” analysts from the lab producing the report? If so, which analyst or analysts? For forensic processes that require multiple analysts, should the prosecution be required to produce …


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 …


Enhanced Public Defense Improves Pretrial Outcomes And Reduces Racial Disparities, Paul Heaton Apr 2021

Enhanced Public Defense Improves Pretrial Outcomes And Reduces Racial Disparities, Paul Heaton

Indiana Law Journal

Numerous jurisdictions are working to reform pretrial processes to reduce or eliminate money bail and decrease pretrial detention. Although reforms such as the abandonment of bail schedules or adoption of actuarial risk assessment tools have been widely enacted, the role of defense counsel in the pretrial process has received less attention.

This Article considers an approach to pretrial reform focused on improving the quality of defense counsel. In Philadelphia, a substantial fraction of people facing criminal charges are detained following rapid preliminary hearings where initial release conditions are set by bail magistrates operating with limited information. Beginning in 2017, the …


When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi Jan 2021

When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The Supreme Court’s opinion in McCoy v. Louisiana held that a defendant has a constitutional right to insist their attorney not concede guilt as to any element of an offense, even if doing so is the only reasonable trial strategy to give the defendant a chance at life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. Under McCoy’s holding, a defendant can insist on maintaining their innocence—even in the face of overwhelming evidence—and force their attorney to pursue a defense that will land them on death row. The Supreme Court’s holding makes clear that a strategic concession of guilt at trial—over …


Transparency In Plea Bargaining, Jenia I. Turner Jan 2021

Transparency In Plea Bargaining, Jenia I. Turner

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

lea bargaining is the dominant method by which our criminal justice system resolves cases. More than 95% of state and federal convictions today are the product of guilty pleas. Yet the practice continues to draw widespread criticism. Critics charge that it is too coercive and leads innocent defendants to plead guilty, that it obscures the true facts in criminal cases and produces overly lenient sentences, and that it enables disparate treatment of similarly situated defendants.

Another feature of plea bargaining — its lack of transparency — has received less attention, but is also concerning. In contrast to the trials it …


Restoring The Presumption Of Innocence: Protecting A Defendant’S Right To A Fair Trial By Closing The Door On 404(B) Evidence, Aaron Diaz Sep 2020

Restoring The Presumption Of Innocence: Protecting A Defendant’S Right To A Fair Trial By Closing The Door On 404(B) Evidence, Aaron Diaz

St. Mary's Law Journal

Congress enacted the Federal Rules of Evidence to govern evidentiary procedures and “eliminate unjustifiable expense and delay.” In criminal cases, for example, Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) seeks to prevent prosecutors from improperly introducing a defendant’s past misdeeds. Nevertheless, prosecutors often attempt to introduce a defendant’s past misconduct to suggest that a defendant has a propensity to commit crimes, which is improper character evidence. Unsurprisingly, 404(b) is one of the most litigated evidence rules and has generated more published opinions than any other subsections of the Rules. And despite efforts to amend Rule 404(b), the rule has remained virtually untouched. …


Ethical And Aggressive Appellate Advocacy: The Decision To Petition For Certiorari In Criminal Cases, J. Thomas Sullivan Jun 2020

Ethical And Aggressive Appellate Advocacy: The Decision To Petition For Certiorari In Criminal Cases, J. Thomas Sullivan

St. Mary's Law Journal

Over the past six decades, United States Supreme Court decisions have dramatically reshaped the criminal justice process to provide significant protections for defendants charged in federal and state proceedings reflecting a remarkable expansion of due process and specific constitutional guarantees. For criminal defendants seeking relief based on recognition of new rules of constitutional criminal procedure, application of existing rules or precedent to novel factual scenarios, or in some cases, enforcement of existing precedent, obtaining relief requires further action on the Court’s part. In those situations, the Court’s exercise of its certiorari jurisdiction is the exclusive remedy offering an avenue for …


The Right To A Public Trial In The Time Of Covid-19, Stephen E. Smith May 2020

The Right To A Public Trial In The Time Of Covid-19, Stephen E. Smith

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

Maintaining social distance in the time of COVID-19 is a public health priority. A crowded courtroom is an environment at odds with public health needs. Accordingly, until science determines otherwise, it will be necessary for judges to manage courtroom attendance and exclude the public from trials, wholly or in part. Courtrooms may be closed to the public, despite the Sixth Amendment’s right to a public trial, when the closure is justified by a strong government interest and is narrowly tailored to further that interest. Typically, this heightened scrutiny is applied on a case-by-case basis and turns on a case’s specific …


You Made Gideon A Promise, Eh?: Advocating For Mandated Publicly Appointed Counsel At Bail Hearings In The United States Through Domestic Comparisons With Canadian Practices And Legal Considerations, Lauren Elizabeth Lisauskas Feb 2020

You Made Gideon A Promise, Eh?: Advocating For Mandated Publicly Appointed Counsel At Bail Hearings In The United States Through Domestic Comparisons With Canadian Practices And Legal Considerations, Lauren Elizabeth Lisauskas

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


Balancing Sorna And The Sixth Amendment: The Case For A "Restricted Circumstance-Specific Approach", John F. Howard Jan 2020

Balancing Sorna And The Sixth Amendment: The Case For A "Restricted Circumstance-Specific Approach", John F. Howard

Marquette Law Review

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is in place to protect the public, children especially, from sex offenders. Under SORNA, anyone and everyone convicted of what the law defines as a “sex offense” is required to register as a “sex offender,” providing accurate and up-to-date information on where they live, work, and go to school. Failure to do so constitutes a federal crime punishable by up to ten years imprisonment. But how do federal courts determine whether a particular state-level criminal offense constitutes a “sex offense” under SORNA? Oftentimes when doing comparisons between state and federal law for …


Anderson (Arnold) V. State, 135 Nev. Adv. Op. 37 (Sept. 5, 2019), Alexandra Matloff Sep 2019

Anderson (Arnold) V. State, 135 Nev. Adv. Op. 37 (Sept. 5, 2019), Alexandra Matloff

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

The Court held that if a trial court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that a witness is unable to testify because the defendant wrongfully procured the witness’s unavailability and acted with intent to do so, the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing exception can be applied in order to deny a defendant’s rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment. The Court also held that in determining whether the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing exception applies, the trial court must hear the opposing parties’ arguments in the absence of a jury.


Peña-Rodriguez V. Colorado: Carving Out A Racial-Bias Exception To The No-Impeachment Rule, John Austin Morales Aug 2019

Peña-Rodriguez V. Colorado: Carving Out A Racial-Bias Exception To The No-Impeachment Rule, John Austin Morales

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Sixth Amendment safeguards an accused in criminal proceedings and affords them “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” Consistent with this right, the no-impeachment rule prohibits a juror from testifying after a verdict has been handed down about the jurors’ deliberations. While there are limited exceptions to the no-impeachment rule, juror expressed racial bias is not one of them. When presented with the dilemma of a juror using racial bias in deliberations, courts must weigh two competing doctrines that serve as the foundation to our judicial system: (1) affording a defendant his or her …


Social Media, Venue And The Right To A Fair Trial, Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer Jun 2019

Social Media, Venue And The Right To A Fair Trial, Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Judicial failure to recognize social media's influence on juror decision making has identifiable constitutional implications. The Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial demands that courts grant a defendant's change of venue motion when media-generated pretrial publicity invades the unbiased sensibility of those who are asked to sit in judgment. Courts limit publicity suitable for granting a defendant's motion to information culled from newspapers, radio, and television reports. Since about 2014, however, a handful of defendants have introduced social media posts to support their claims of unconstitutional bias in the community. Despite defendants' introduction of negative social media in support …


Privatizing Criminal Procedure, John D. King Apr 2019

Privatizing Criminal Procedure, John D. King

John D. King

As the staggering costs of the criminal justice system continue to rise, states have begun to look for nontraditional ways to pay for criminal prosecutions and to shift these costs onto criminal defendants. Many states now impose a surcharge on defendants who exercise their constitutional rights to counsel, confrontation, and trial by jury. As these “user fees” proliferate, they have the potential to fundamentally change the nature of criminal prosecutions and the way we think of constitutional rights. The shift from government funding of criminal litigation to user funding constitutes a privatization of criminal procedure. This intrusion of market ideology …


Addressing Racial Bias In The Jury System: Another Failed Attempt?, Alisa Micu Apr 2019

Addressing Racial Bias In The Jury System: Another Failed Attempt?, Alisa Micu

Georgia State University Law Review

This Note explores the majority opinion and the dissents in Pena- Rodriguez regarding whether the Supreme Court has adequately provided guidance for lower courts to follow the ruling, which now allows exceptions for evidence of racial bias to Rule 606(b). Part I discusses the history of the no-impeachment rule, its foundation in the Sixth Amendment, and its constitutional requirements. Further, Part I discusses the different approaches that courts have taken in adopting Rule 606(b) and what problems courts have identified in its application. Part II analyzes whether the Supreme Court, as a practical matter, has provided a workable procedural scheme …


Privatizing Criminal Procedure, John D. King Jan 2019

Privatizing Criminal Procedure, John D. King

Scholarly Articles

As the staggering costs of the criminal justice system continue to rise, states have begun to look for nontraditional ways to pay for criminal prosecutions and to shift these costs onto criminal defendants. Many states now impose a surcharge on defendants who exercise their constitutional rights to counsel, confrontation, and trial by jury. As these “user fees” proliferate, they have the potential to fundamentally change the nature of criminal prosecutions and the way we think of constitutional rights. The shift from government funding of criminal litigation to user funding constitutes a privatization of criminal procedure. This intrusion of market ideology …


Incorporating Collateral Consequences Into Criminal Procedure, Paul T. Crane Jan 2019

Incorporating Collateral Consequences Into Criminal Procedure, Paul T. Crane

Law Faculty Publications

A curious relationship currently exists between collateral consequences and criminal procedures. It is now widely accepted that collateral consequences are an integral component of the American criminal justice system. Such consequences shape the contours of many criminal cases, influencing what charges are brought by the government, the content of plea negotiations, the sentences imposed by trial judges, and the impact of criminal convictions on defendants. Yet, when it comes to the allocation of criminal procedures, collateral consequences continue to be treated as if they are external to the criminal justice process. Specifically, a conviction’s collateral consequences, no matter how severe, …


Regulating Interrogations And Excluding Confessions In The United States: Balancing Individual Rights And The Search For Truth, Jenia I. Turner Jan 2019

Regulating Interrogations And Excluding Confessions In The United States: Balancing Individual Rights And The Search For Truth, Jenia I. Turner

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Like other criminal justice systems, the U.S. system must balance, on the one hand, enforcing the criminal law and, on the other, protecting individual rights in the process. Reliable fact-finding is a prerequisite to the effective enforcement of criminal law and to just outcomes. Protection of individual rights often promotes reliable fact-finding, as when a ban on involuntary confessions prevents the introduction of unreliable testimony at trial. On occasion, however, the commitment to accurate fact-finding may conflict with individual rights in a particular case. One of the clearest examples of such a conflict occurs when a court must decide whether …


Judges Do It Better: Why Judges Can (And Should) Decide Life Or Death, Andrew R. Ford Jan 2019

Judges Do It Better: Why Judges Can (And Should) Decide Life Or Death, Andrew R. Ford

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

Following its decision in Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court of the United States has attempted to standardize procedures that states use to subject offenders to the ultimate penalty. In practice, this attempt at standardization has divided capital sentencing into two distinct parts: the death eligibility decision and the death selection decision. The eligibility decision addresses whether the sentencer may impose the death penalty, while the selection decision determines who among that limited subset of eligible offenders is sentenced to death. In Ring v. Arizona, the Court held for the first time that the Sixth Amendment right to …


Federal Guilty Pleas: Inequities, Indigence And The Rule 11 Process, Julian A. Cook Jan 2019

Federal Guilty Pleas: Inequities, Indigence And The Rule 11 Process, Julian A. Cook

Scholarly Works

In 2017 and 2018, the Supreme Court issued two little-noticed decisions—Lee v. United States and Class v. United States. While neither case captured the attention of the national media nor generated meaningful academic commentary, both cases are well deserving of critical examination for reasons independent of the issues presented to the Court. They deserve review because of a consequential shared fact; a fact representative of a commonplace, yet largely overlooked, federal court practice that routinely disadvantages the indigent (and disproportionately minority populations), and compromises the integrity of arguably the most consequential component of the federal criminal justice process. In each …


Autonomy Isn't Everything: Some Cautionary Notes On Mccoy V. Louisiana, W. Bradley Wendel Dec 2018

Autonomy Isn't Everything: Some Cautionary Notes On Mccoy V. Louisiana, W. Bradley Wendel

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision in McCoy v. Louisiana has been hailed as a decisive statement of the priority of the value of a criminal defendant’s autonomy over the fairness and reliability interests that also inform both the Sixth Amendment and the ethical obligations of defense counsel. It also appears to be a victory for the vision of client-centered representation and the humanistic value of the inherent dignity of the accused. However, the decision is susceptible to being read too broadly in ways that harm certain categories of defendants. This paper offers a couple of cautionary notes, in response …


The Meaning Of Wrongdoing - A Crime Of Disrespecting The Flag: Grounds For Preserving National Unity, Mohammed Saif-Alden Wattad Sep 2018

The Meaning Of Wrongdoing - A Crime Of Disrespecting The Flag: Grounds For Preserving National Unity, Mohammed Saif-Alden Wattad

San Diego International Law Journal

To conclude on this issue, the rights of others, as individuals and as a whole, are formulated as the social protected interest that criminal law seeks to protect through criminal means, and it is with these rights that criminal law theory should be concerned in the first level of scrutiny. However, in the second level of scrutiny, an additional set of rights are brought into play; these are the rights of the individual, namely the actor, to exercise their constitutional rights e.g., free speech, liberty, free exercise of religion. The second level of scrutiny requires balancing those rights with the …


Garbage In, Garbage Out: Revising Strickland As Applied To Forensic Science Evidence, Mark Loudon-Brown Aug 2018

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Revising Strickland As Applied To Forensic Science Evidence, Mark Loudon-Brown

Georgia State University Law Review

Sophisticated scientific evidence may be an undesirable subject matter for a judge to tackle anew, and it can be even more daunting for a defense attorney to confront, particularly one faced with a crushing caseload. It can be tempting to avoid a challenge to a vulnerable forensic science discipline—be it new, novel, or simply recently called into question—when a lawyer reasonably believes that the evidence will be admitted regardless.

Worse still, it may seem reasonable to disregard any adversarial challenge to incriminatory science altogether, and to opt instead for a different defense or to encourage a guilty plea. With hundreds …


The Confrontation Clause: Employing The "Greatest Legal Engine Ever Invented For The Discovery Of Truth" To Promote Justice In Criminal Courts, Ani Oganesian Jul 2018

The Confrontation Clause: Employing The "Greatest Legal Engine Ever Invented For The Discovery Of Truth" To Promote Justice In Criminal Courts, Ani Oganesian

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

No abstract provided.


Testimonial Statements, Reliability, And The Sole Or Decisive Evidence Rule: A Comparative Look At The Right Of Confrontation In The United States, Canada, And Europe, Deborah Paruch Mar 2018

Testimonial Statements, Reliability, And The Sole Or Decisive Evidence Rule: A Comparative Look At The Right Of Confrontation In The United States, Canada, And Europe, Deborah Paruch

Catholic University Law Review

Criminal trials in the United States are meant to ascertain the truth. But other societal values, such as fairness to the parties and public confidence in the integrity of the process, are at stake as well. Among the cornerstone rights to protect a defendant’s right to a fair trial is the right to confrontation. The right to confrontation enables a criminal defendant to exclude hearsay evidence from a trial when the defendant did not have an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. This right has undergone substantial changes and revisions over the last decade, both in the United States and abroad. …


Fairness Over Finality: Peña-Rodriguez V. Colorado And The Right To An Impartial Jury, Katherine Brosamle Jan 2018

Fairness Over Finality: Peña-Rodriguez V. Colorado And The Right To An Impartial Jury, Katherine Brosamle

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

No abstract provided.