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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 …


Confrontation, The Legacy Of Crawford, And Important Unanswered Questions, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Jan 2023

Confrontation, The Legacy Of Crawford, And Important Unanswered Questions, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This is a short piece for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform as part of its 2024 Symposium on “Crawford at 20: Reforming the Confrontation Clause.” The piece's purpose is to highlight certain important questions left unanswered by Crawford v. Washington and subsequent confrontation cases.


Navigating Between "Politics As Usual" And Sacks Of Cash, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2023

Navigating Between "Politics As Usual" And Sacks Of Cash, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Like other recent corruption reversals, Percoco was less about statutory text than what the Court deems “normal” politics. As prosecutors take the Court’s suggestions of alternative theories and use a statute it has largely ignored, the Court will have to reconcile its fears of partisan targeting and its textualist commitments


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 …


Requiring What’S Not Required: Circuit Courts Are Disregarding Supreme Court Precedent And Revisiting Officer Inadvertence In Cyberlaw Cases, Michelle Zakarin Jan 2022

Requiring What’S Not Required: Circuit Courts Are Disregarding Supreme Court Precedent And Revisiting Officer Inadvertence In Cyberlaw Cases, Michelle Zakarin

Scholarly Works

As the age of technology has taken this country by surprise and left us with an inability to formally prepare our legal system to incorporate these advances, many courts are forced to adapt by applying pre-technology rules to new technological scenarios. One illustration is the plain view exception to the Fourth Amendment. Recently, the issue of officer inadvertence at the time of the search, a rule that the United States Supreme Court has specifically stated is not required in plain view inquiries, has been revisited in cyber law cases. It could be said that the courts interested in the existence …


Seeing Color: America's Judicial System, Elizabeth Poulin May 2021

Seeing Color: America's Judicial System, Elizabeth Poulin

Senior Honors Projects

In many eyes, it often seems as though being white in America is easy, or a privilege. Being white in America is considered a safety blanket, with an abundance of opportunities beneath it. Yet, how does a physical difference such as skin color manifest itself as privilege? Noticing color is not wrong, hateful, or oppressive. Even children notice color, and we define them as the ultimate innocence. But in fact, skin color is often a trigger. When the world has preconceived notions about people of color, an oppressive system designed to harm people who have never done anything to deserve …


Nine Ways Of Looking At Oklahoma City: An Essay On Sam Anderson’S Boom Town, Rodger D. Citron Jan 2021

Nine Ways Of Looking At Oklahoma City: An Essay On Sam Anderson’S Boom Town, Rodger D. Citron

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


The Defender General, Daniel Epps, William Ortman Jan 2020

The Defender General, Daniel Epps, William Ortman

Scholarship@WashULaw

The United States needs a Defender General—a public official charged with representing the collective interests of criminal defendants before the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court is effectively our nation’s chief regulator of criminal justice. But in the battle to influence the Court’s rulemaking, government interests have substantial structural advantages. As compared to counsel for defendants, government lawyers—and particularly those from the U.S. Solicitor General’s office—tend to be more experienced advocates who have more credibility with the Court. Most importantly, government lawyers can act strategically to play for bigger long-term victories, while defense lawyers must zealously advocate …


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, …


The Criminal Law Docket: A Term Of Modest Changes, Alan Raphael Jan 2019

The Criminal Law Docket: A Term Of Modest Changes, Alan Raphael

Faculty Publications & Other Works

No abstract provided.


Neil Gorsuch And The Return Of Rule-Of-Law Due Process, Nathan Chapman Apr 2018

Neil Gorsuch And The Return Of Rule-Of-Law Due Process, Nathan Chapman

Popular Media

Something curious happened at the Supreme Court last week. While the country was glued to the Cirque du Trump, the rule of law made a comeback, revived by Neil Gorsuch, whose place on the Court may prove to be one of Trump’s most important legacies.

Unlike the partisan gerrymander and First Amendment cases currently pending before the Court, immigration cases are usually long on textual analysis and short on grand themes. Accordingly, court-watchers didn’t have especially high expectations for Sessions v. Dimaya.


Supreme Irrelevance: The Court’S Abdication In Criminal Procedure Jurisprudence, Tonja Jacobi, Ross Berlin Jan 2018

Supreme Irrelevance: The Court’S Abdication In Criminal Procedure Jurisprudence, Tonja Jacobi, Ross Berlin

Faculty Articles

Criminal procedure is one of the Supreme Court’s most active areas of jurisprudence, but the Court’s rulings are largely irrelevant to the actual workings of the criminal justice system. The Court’s irrelevance takes two forms: objectively, on the numbers, its jurisprudence fails to protect the vast majority of people affected by the criminal justice system; and in terms of salience, the Court has sidestepped the major challenges in the United States today relating to the criminal justice system. These challenges include discrimination in stops and frisks, fatal police shootings, unconscionable plea deals, mass incarceration, and disproportionate execution of racial minorities. …


Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Stein V. United States Of America (U.S. September 15, 2017) (No. 17-250)., Janet Moore Sep 2017

Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Stein V. United States Of America (U.S. September 15, 2017) (No. 17-250)., Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Petitioner’s case asks a basic but fundamental question: Will our criminal justice system permit convictions obtained through the knowing use of false testimony, simply because the prosecutor has not also suppressed evidence indicating the testimony was false? The Eleventh Circuit answered this question in the affirmative, but for decades this Court has known a very different justice system, one in which the knowing, uncorrected use of false testimony by the prosecutor could never be countenanced. And for good reason. As this Court has long recognized, the knowing use of false testimony is “as inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of justice …


Brief Of The National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Et Al As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Mcwilliams V. Dunn (U.S. March 6, 2017) (No. 16-5294)., Janet Moore Mar 2017

Brief Of The National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Et Al As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Mcwilliams V. Dunn (U.S. March 6, 2017) (No. 16-5294)., Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

We submit this brief to make three important points. First, Ake itself clearly and unambiguously held as a matter of due process that indigent capital defendants must be provided with independent expert assistance upon a reasonable showing of need. The Court was unanimous on this point and swept aside aging precedent that had held provision of neutral assistance was adequate.

Second, Ake was hardly a revolutionary decision. As the Court noted, many states already provided expert assistance. In the first six years after Ake, numerous states explicitly held independent expert assistance must be provided upon an adequate showing of need. …


Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense, Et Al As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Christeson V. Roper (U.S. January 30, 2017) (No. 16-7730)., Janet Moore Jan 2017

Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense, Et Al As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Christeson V. Roper (U.S. January 30, 2017) (No. 16-7730)., Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

This case involves federal courts doubling down on the effective denial of counsel to a severely mentally impaired capital habeas petitioner on the eve of his execution, thereby preventing the full and fair litigation of an issue that demands this Court’s attention: the role played by a petitioner’s mental impairment in determining whether equitable tolling applies to the statute of limitations for filing a habeas petition. This Court should grant the petition to address whether the denial of adequate funding in this case constituted a constructive denial of the right to counsel required by the capital representation statute, 18 U.S.C. …


Following Finality: Why Capital Punishment Is Collapsing Under Its Own Weight, Corinna Barrett Lain Jan 2017

Following Finality: Why Capital Punishment Is Collapsing Under Its Own Weight, Corinna Barrett Lain

Law Faculty Publications

Death is different, the adage goes - different in its severity and different in its finality. Death, in its finality, is more than just a punishment. Death is the end of our existence as we know it. It is final in an existential way.

Because death is final in an existential way, the Supreme Court has held that special care is due when the penalty is imposed. We need to get it right. My claim in this chapter is that the constitutional regulation designed to implement that care has led to a series of cascading effects that threaten the …


The Wrong Decision At The Wrong Time: Utah V. Strieff In The Era Of Aggressive Policing, Julian A. Cook Jan 2017

The Wrong Decision At The Wrong Time: Utah V. Strieff In The Era Of Aggressive Policing, Julian A. Cook

Scholarly Works

On June 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court held in Utah v. Strieff that evidence discovered incident to an unconstitutional arrest of an individual should not be suppressed given that the subsequent discovery of an outstanding warrant attenuated the taint from the unlawful detention. Approximately two weeks later the issue of aggressive policing was again thrust into the national spotlight when two African-American individuals — Alton Sterling and Philando Castile — were killed by policemen in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Falcon Heights, Minnesota, respectively, under questionable circumstances. Though connected by proximity in time, this article will demonstrate that these …


Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Christensen V. United States Of America (U.S. November 7, 2016) (No. 16-461)., Janet Moore Nov 2016

Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Christensen V. United States Of America (U.S. November 7, 2016) (No. 16-461)., Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

The jury is essential to our structure of government, available to criminal defendants as the final arbiter of guilt. As this Court has recognized time and again, the jury serves an important role both structurally within the balance of powers and as a check on governmental power, adding a layer of protection for individual defendants.

The rule applied by the Ninth Circuit and some other courts, allowing dismissal of a holdout juror if a judge sees no reasonable possibility that his view is connected to the merits of the case, threatens the fundamental role of the jury. In contrast to …


Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Bridgeman V. District Attorney For Suffolk District, 476 Mass. 298 (2016) (No. Sjc-12157)., Janet Moore Oct 2016

Brief Of The National Association For Public Defense As Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioner, Bridgeman V. District Attorney For Suffolk District, 476 Mass. 298 (2016) (No. Sjc-12157)., Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

As the highest courts in Florida, Missouri, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania have demonstrated, systemic relief is necessary and appropriate to cure systemic failures that deny access to courts by imposing overwhelming demands on struggling public defense systems. Government misconduct created exactly that type of constitutional crisis by flooding the Commonwealth’s criminal legal system with 24,000 Dookhan cases. New revelations of even more corruption in the Commonwealth’s forensic sciences system are now anticipated to exacerbate that crisis by adding another 18,000 Farak wrongful-conviction cases. At the same time, the District Attorneys have undermined progress on fair, reliable case-by-case resolution of …


Choosing A Criminal Procedure Casebook: On Lesser Evils And Free Books, Ben L. Trachtenberg Apr 2016

Choosing A Criminal Procedure Casebook: On Lesser Evils And Free Books, Ben L. Trachtenberg

Faculty Publications

Among the more important decisions a law teacher makes when preparing a new course is what materials to assign. Criminal procedure teachers are spoiled for choice, with legal publishers offering several options written by teams of renowned scholars. This Article considers how a teacher might choose from the myriad options available and suggests two potentially overlooked criteria: weight and price.


The Antidemocratic Sixth Amendment, Janet Moore Jan 2016

The Antidemocratic Sixth Amendment, Janet Moore

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Criminal procedure experts often claim that poor people have no Sixth Amendment right to choose their criminal defense lawyers. These experts insist that the Supreme Court has reserved the Sixth Amendment right to choose for the small minority of defendants who can afford to hire counsel. This Article upends that conventional wisdom with new doctrinal, theoretical, and practical arguments supporting a Sixth Amendment right to choose for all defendants, including the overwhelming majority who are indigent. The Article’s fresh case analysis shows the Supreme Court’s “no-choice” statements are dicta, which the Court’s own reasoning and rulings refute. The Article’s new …


Policing In The Era Of Permissiveness: Mitigating Misconduct Through Third-Party Standing, Julian A. Cook Jan 2016

Policing In The Era Of Permissiveness: Mitigating Misconduct Through Third-Party Standing, Julian A. Cook

Scholarly Works

On April 4, 2015, Walter L. Scott was driving his vehicle when he was stopped by Officer Michael T. Slager of the North Charleston, South Carolina, police department for a broken taillight. A dash cam video from the officer’s vehicle showed the two men engaged in what appeared to be a rather routine verbal exchange. Sometime after Slager returned to his vehicle, Scott exited his car and ran away from Slager, prompting the officer to pursue him on foot. After he caught up with Scott in a grassy field near a muffler establishment, a scuffle between the men ensued, purportedly …


Will Oklahoma Put An Innocent Man To Death?, Lauren Carasik Oct 2015

Will Oklahoma Put An Innocent Man To Death?, Lauren Carasik

Media Presence

No abstract provided.


Trending @ Rwulaw: Susan Schwab Heyman's Post: Defining The Boundaries Of Insider Trading, Susan Schwab Heyman Aug 2015

Trending @ Rwulaw: Susan Schwab Heyman's Post: Defining The Boundaries Of Insider Trading, Susan Schwab Heyman

Law School Blogs

No abstract provided.


Cutting Cops Too Much Slack, Wayne A. Logan Jan 2015

Cutting Cops Too Much Slack, Wayne A. Logan

Scholarly Publications

Police officers can make mistakes, which, for better or worse, the U.S. Supreme Court has often seen fit to forgive. Police, for instance, can make mistakes of fact when assessing whether circumstances justify the seizure of an individual or search of a residence; they can even be mistaken about the identity of those they arrest. This essay examines yet another, arguably more significant context where police mistakes are forgiven: when they seize a person based on their misunderstanding of what a law prohibits.


In The Beginning There Was None: Supreme Court Review Of State Criminal Prosecutions, Kevin C. Walsh Jan 2015

In The Beginning There Was None: Supreme Court Review Of State Criminal Prosecutions, Kevin C. Walsh

Law Faculty Publications

This Article challenges the unquestioned assumption of all contemporary scholars of federal jurisdiction that section 25 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 authorized Supreme Court appellate review of state criminal prosecutions. Section 25 has long been thought to be one of the most important provisions of the most important jurisdictional statute enacted by Congress. The Judiciary Act of 1789 gave concrete institutional shape to a federal judiciary only incompletely defined by Article III. And section 25 supplied a key piece of the structural relationship between the previously existing state court systems and the new federal court system that Congress constructed …


Using The Dna Testing Of Arrestees To Reevaluate Fourth Amendment Doctrine, Steven P. Grossman Jan 2015

Using The Dna Testing Of Arrestees To Reevaluate Fourth Amendment Doctrine, Steven P. Grossman

All Faculty Scholarship

With the advent of DNA testing, numerous issues have arisen with regard to obtaining and using evidence developed from such testing. As courts have come to regard DNA testing as a reliable method for linking some people to crimes and for exonerating others, these issues are especially significant. The federal government and most states have enacted statutes that permit or direct the testing of those convicted of at least certain crimes. Courts have almost universally approved such testing, rejecting arguments that obtaining and using such evidence violates the Fourth Amendment.

More recently governments have enacted laws permitting or directing the …


Unwrapping The Box The Supreme Court Justices Have Gotten Themselves Into: Internal Confrontations Over Confronting The Confrontation Clause, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2015

Unwrapping The Box The Supreme Court Justices Have Gotten Themselves Into: Internal Confrontations Over Confronting The Confrontation Clause, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Williams v. Illinois, handed down in 2012, is the latest in a new and revolutionary line of U.S. Supreme Court cases beginning with the 2004 decision of Crawford v. Washington which radically altered the Court's former approach to the Constitutional Confrontation Clause. That clause generally requires persons who make written or oral statements outside the trial, that may constitute evidence against a criminal defendant, to take the witness stand for cross-examination rather than those statements being presented at the trial only by the writing or by another person who heard the statement.

Previous to Crawford, under Ohio v. …


Two Excursions Into Current U.S. Supreme Court Opinion-Writing, Paul F. Rothstein Jan 2015

Two Excursions Into Current U.S. Supreme Court Opinion-Writing, Paul F. Rothstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In the last weeks in June, 2015, as the present term of the U.S. Supreme Court drew to a close, many controversial and important decisions were handed down by the Court. The substance of the decisions has been written about extensively. Two of the decisions in particular, though, caught my eye as a teacher of legal techniques, not for the importance of the subject of the particular decision, but for what they may illustrate in a teachable fashion about at least some opinion writing. The two cases are Ohio v. Clark (June 18, 2015) interpreting the Confrontation Clause of the …


Pursuing Justice For The Child: The Forgotten Women Of In Re Gault, David S. Tanenhaus Jan 2014

Pursuing Justice For The Child: The Forgotten Women Of In Re Gault, David S. Tanenhaus

Scholarly Works

In this article, I first draw on my recent book The Constitutional Rights of Children to introduce the facts of the case and place the case in the larger context of the history of American juvenile justice. I then focus specifically on the role of four remarkable women in the history of this landmark decision: Marjorie Gault, Gerald's mother; Amelia Lewis, Gerald's lawyer; Lorna Lockwood, an Arizona lawyer who became the first woman to serve as the Chief Justice of a State Supreme Court; and Getrude "Traute" Mainzer, who assisted in the litigation of Gerald's case before the U.S. Supreme …