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Evidence

University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Missing Algorithm: Safeguarding Brady Against The Rise Of Trade Secrecy In Policing, Deborah Won Oct 2021

The Missing Algorithm: Safeguarding Brady Against The Rise Of Trade Secrecy In Policing, Deborah Won

Michigan Law Review

Trade secrecy, a form of intellectual property protection, serves the important societal function of promoting innovation. But as police departments across the country increasingly rely on proprietary technologies like facial recognition and predictive policing tools, an uneasy tension between due process and trade secrecy has developed: to fulfill Brady’s constitutional promise of a fair trial, defendants must have access to the technologies accusing them, access that trade secrecy inhibits. Thus far, this tension is being resolved too far in favor of the trade secret holder—and at too great an expense to the defendant. The wrong balance has been ...


Recollections Refreshed And Recorded, Len Niehoff Apr 2021

Recollections Refreshed And Recorded, Len Niehoff

Articles

Witnesses forget stuff. When they do, the evidence rules give us two tools to help solve the problem. Lawyers call one "refreshed recollection" and the other "past recollection recorded," labels just similar enough to guarantee confusion. Nevertheless, these principles get at very different things and are well worth the effort necessary to distinguish and understand them. So how do we get there?


The Liar’S Mark: Character And Forfeiture In Federal Rule Of Evidence 609(A)(2), Jesse Schupack Mar 2021

The Liar’S Mark: Character And Forfeiture In Federal Rule Of Evidence 609(A)(2), Jesse Schupack

Michigan Law Review

Rule 609(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Evidence is an outlier. The Rule mandates admission of impeaching evidence of a witness’s past convictions for crimes of dishonesty. It is the only place in the Rules where judges are denied their usual discretion to exclude evidence on the grounds that its admission would be more prejudicial than probative. This Note analyzes three assumptions underlying this unusual Rule: (1) that there is a coherently definable category of crimes of dishonesty, (2) that convictions for crimes of dishonesty are uniquely probative of a person’s character, and (3) that an ...


Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan Dec 2020

Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan

Articles

Few medico-legal matters have generated as much controversy--both in the medical literature and in the courtroom--as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), now known more broadly as Abusive Head Trauma (AHT). The controversies are of enormous significance in the law because child abuse pediatricians claim, on the basis of a few non-specific medical findings supported by a weak and methodologically flawed research base, to be able to “diagnose” child abuse, and thereby to provide all of the evidence necessary to satisfy all of the legal elements for criminal prosecution (or removal of children from their parents). It is a matter, therefore, in ...


Incorporating Social Science Into Criminal Defense Practice, Eve Brensike Primus Nov 2020

Incorporating Social Science Into Criminal Defense Practice, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

In recent decades, social scientists have created a treasure trove of empirical and sociological data that defenders can and should use to help their clients. Evidence rules, criminal law, and criminal procedure are filled with concepts informed by social science. When is evidence likely to unfairly prejudice a defendant in the eyes of a jury? Do police interact differently with members of minority populations and how should that inform concepts of reasonableness? How easy or difficult is it for people to identify individuals they see during high-stress criminal episodes? How effective are police interrogation tactics at getting at the truth ...


New Juvenile Discovery Rules: Mandatory, Comprehensive, And Streamlined., Joshua B. Kay Jul 2019

New Juvenile Discovery Rules: Mandatory, Comprehensive, And Streamlined., Joshua B. Kay

Articles

The recently promulgated amendments and additions to the civil discovery rules include several changes affecting child protection and juvenile delinquency proceedings.1 The updates should make discovery in juvenile court matters more efficient by clarifying what is discoverable and requiring more timely exchange of information.


Making Rule 23 Ideal: Using A Multifactor Test To Evaluate The Admissibility Of Evidence At Class Certification, Cianan M. Lesley Jan 2019

Making Rule 23 Ideal: Using A Multifactor Test To Evaluate The Admissibility Of Evidence At Class Certification, Cianan M. Lesley

Michigan Law Review

Circuit courts are split on whether and to what extent the Daubert standard should apply at class certification. Potential plaintiffs believe that application of Daubert would make it nearly impossible to obtain class certification. For potential defendants, the application of the standard is an important way to ensure that the certification process is fair. This Note examines the incentives underlying the push to apply the Daubert standard at class certification and the benefits and drawbacks associated with that proposal. It proposes a solution that balances the concerns of both plaintiffs and defendants by focusing on three factors: the obstacles to ...


Do You See What I See? Problems With Juror Bias In Viewing Body-Camera Video Evidence, Morgan A. Birck Oct 2018

Do You See What I See? Problems With Juror Bias In Viewing Body-Camera Video Evidence, Morgan A. Birck

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, advocates and activists called for greater oversight and accountability for police. One of the measures called for and adopted in many jurisdictions was the implementation of body cameras in police departments. Many treated this implementation as a sign of change that police officers would be held accountable for the violence they perpetrate. This Note argues that although body-camera footage may be useful as one form of evidence in cases of police violence, lawyers and judges should be extremely careful about how it is presented to the jury. Namely, the ...


Introduction, Shari S. Diamond, Richard O. Lempert Oct 2018

Introduction, Shari S. Diamond, Richard O. Lempert

Articles

Experts bedeviled the legal system long before seventeenth-century Salem, when the town's good citizens relied on youthful accusers and witchcraft experts to identify the devil's servants in their midst. As in Salem, claims of expertise have often been questioned and objections raised about the bases of expert knowledge. Expertise, then and now, did not have to be based on science; but the importance of science and the testimony of scientific experts has since medieval times been woven into the fabric of the English jurisprudence that Americans inherited. In cases as long ago as 1299 we find examples of ...


The Persistence Of The Probabilistic Perspective, Richard D. Friedman Aug 2018

The Persistence Of The Probabilistic Perspective, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

The publication now of an essay written by Craig Callen nearly a decade ago is cause for wistful celebration. Even while we are reminded how suddenly and prematurely Craig’s life ended, it is good to have one more academic contribution from him, especially because it is marked by the erudition, thoroughness, gentleness, and humor that characterized him.


Controlling The Jury-Teaching Function, Richard D. Friedman Apr 2018

Controlling The Jury-Teaching Function, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

When evidence with a scientific basis is offered, two fundamental questions arise. First, should it be admitted? Second, if so, how should it be assessed? There are numerous participants who might play a role in deciding these questions—the jury (on the second question only), the parties (through counsel), expert witnesses on each side, the trial court, the forces controlling the judicial system (which include, but are not limited to, the appellate courts), and the scientific establishment. In this Article, I will suggest that together, the last two—the forces controlling the judicial system and the scientific establishment—have a ...


Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair Jan 2018

Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair

Michigan Law Review

Modern forensic evidence suffers from a number of flaws, including insufficient scientific grounding, exaggerated testimony, lack of uniform best practices, and an inefficacious standard for admission that regularly allows judges to admit scientifically unsound evidence. This Note discusses these problems, lays out the current landscape of forensic science reform, and suggests the addition of a new special relevance rule to the Federal Rules of Evidence (and similar rules in state evidence codes). This proposed rule would cabin judicial discretion to admit non-DNA forensic evidence by barring prosecutorial introduction of such evidence in criminal trials absent a competing defense expert or ...


Neither Limited Nor Simplified: A Proposal For Reform Of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 222(B), Michael S. Smith Jan 2018

Neither Limited Nor Simplified: A Proposal For Reform Of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 222(B), Michael S. Smith

Michigan Law Review

A limited and simplified discovery system should broaden access to courts, resolve disputes quickly, and expedite relief to injured parties. It should not incentivize procedural gamesmanship or increase the system’s complexity. Regrettably, Illinois’s “limited and simplified” discovery system does both. The initiation procedure for the simplified system, Rule 222(b), creates procedural traps and perverse incentives for both plaintiffs and defendants, and conflicting appellate interpretations of the Rule intensify the problem. This Note examines the flaws underlying the current simplified discovery scheme and argues for reform. It examines simplified discovery schemes in other states to recommend a new ...


The Miranda Case Fifty Years Later, Yale Kamisar May 2017

The Miranda Case Fifty Years Later, Yale Kamisar

Articles

A decade after the Supreme Court decided Miranda v. Arizona, Geoffrey Stone took a close look at the eleven decisions the Court had handed down “concerning the scope and application of Miranda.” As Stone observed, “[i]n ten of these cases, the Court interpreted Miranda so as not to exclude the challenged evidence.” In the eleventh case, the Court excluded the evidence on other grounds. Thus, Stone noted, ten years after the Court decided the case, “the Court ha[d] not held a single item of evidence inadmissible on the authority of Miranda.” Not a single item. To use baseball ...


Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye Apr 2017

Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye

Michigan Law Review

Review of The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law by Michael J. Saks and Barbara A. Spellman.


Police Interrogations, False Confessions, And Alleged Child Abuse Cases, Richard Leo Mar 2017

Police Interrogations, False Confessions, And Alleged Child Abuse Cases, Richard Leo

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A discussion on false confession cases in the United States.


Evidence Of Child Abuse: Inferring The Causes Of Effects, Stephen E. Fienberg Mar 2017

Evidence Of Child Abuse: Inferring The Causes Of Effects, Stephen E. Fienberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A statistician's take on evidence of child abuse.


Bias, Subjectivity, And Wrongful Conviction, Katherine Judson Mar 2017

Bias, Subjectivity, And Wrongful Conviction, Katherine Judson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A talk about bias, subjectivity and wrongful convictions.


Short Fall Arguments In Court: A Probabilistic Analysis, Maria Cuellar Mar 2017

Short Fall Arguments In Court: A Probabilistic Analysis, Maria Cuellar

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A discussion about how statistical arguments are used in court, specifically in cases of Abusive Head Trauma in which the defendant has claimed that an accidental short fall, and not shaking or child abuse, has caused the child’s injuries.


Child Abuse--Nonaccidental Injury (Nai) And Abusive Head Trauma (Aht)--Medical Imaging: Issues And Controversies In The Era Of Evidence-Based Medicine, Patrick Barnes Mar 2017

Child Abuse--Nonaccidental Injury (Nai) And Abusive Head Trauma (Aht)--Medical Imaging: Issues And Controversies In The Era Of Evidence-Based Medicine, Patrick Barnes

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A look at nonaccidental injury and abusive head trauma in children with a focus on Shaken Baby Syndrome.


Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Introduction, Anna Kirkland, David Moran, Angela K. Perone Jan 2017

Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Introduction, Anna Kirkland, David Moran, Angela K. Perone

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Introduction to the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Symposium, Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives from Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics.


Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Opening Remarks, November 6, 2015, Bridget M. Mccormack Jan 2017

Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Opening Remarks, November 6, 2015, Bridget M. Mccormack

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Opening remarks by Justice Bridget McCormack, Michigan Supreme Court on November 6, 2015.


Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Question And Answer Session, Kimberly Thomas, Keith B. Maddox, Samuel R. Sommers, Patrick Barnes, Richard Leo Jan 2017

Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Question And Answer Session, Kimberly Thomas, Keith B. Maddox, Samuel R. Sommers, Patrick Barnes, Richard Leo

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A transcript of the Question and Answer session during the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Symposium, Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives from Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics.


Implicit Bias In Daily Perceptions And Legal Judgments, Keith B. Maddox, Samuel R. Sommers Jan 2017

Implicit Bias In Daily Perceptions And Legal Judgments, Keith B. Maddox, Samuel R. Sommers

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In today’s demonstration, we explored the audience’s positive and negative associations with blacks and whites. The demonstration is an adaptation of the Implicit Association Test (www.projectimplicit.net), a computer-based task designed to explore mental connections between various concepts. Participants were presented with a list of concepts (stereotypically black and white names, pleasant and unpleasant concepts) in a column down the middle of a screen along with the response categories (black/white or Pleasant/Unpleasant) along the left and right sides. When reading a word, participants were asked to categorize it by slapping the knee (left or right ...


Keynote Address: Can A Sign Or Occult Finding Predict A Causal Relationship?: How To Reason About Possible Child Abuse, Peter Aspelin Jan 2017

Keynote Address: Can A Sign Or Occult Finding Predict A Causal Relationship?: How To Reason About Possible Child Abuse, Peter Aspelin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Keynote Address for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Symposium, Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives from Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics.


Reliability Of Expert Evidence In International Disputes, Matthew W. Swinehart Jan 2017

Reliability Of Expert Evidence In International Disputes, Matthew W. Swinehart

Michigan Journal of International Law

Part I of this article traces the historical trends in the use of expert evidence in international disputes, from the scattered reliance on experts in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to the ubiquity of experts in modern disputes. With that perspective, Part II examines how decision makers have attempted to ensure reliability of the expert evidence that is flooding the evidentiary records of international disputes, while Part III outlines the many problems that still remain. Finally, Part IV proposes a non-exhaustive and nonbinding checklist of questions for analyzing the reliability of any type of expert evidence.


The Crime Lab In The Age Of The Genetic Panopticon, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2017

The Crime Lab In The Age Of The Genetic Panopticon, Brandon L. Garrett

Michigan Law Review

Review of Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice by Adam Benforado, Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA by Erin E. Murphy, and Cops in Lab Coats: Curbing Wrongful Convictions Through Independent Forensic Laboratories by Sandra Guerra Thompson.


Rescued From The Grave And Then Covered With Mud: Justice Scalia And The Unfinished Restoration Of The Confrontation Right, Richard D. Friedman Jun 2016

Rescued From The Grave And Then Covered With Mud: Justice Scalia And The Unfinished Restoration Of The Confrontation Right, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

Some years before his death, when asked which was his favorite among his opinions, Antonin Scalia named Crawford v. Washington. It was a good choice. Justice Scalia's opinion in Crawford reclaimed the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution and restored it to its rightful place as one of the central protections of our criminal justice system. He must have found it particularly satisfying that the opinion achieved this result by focusing on the historical meaning of the text, and that it gained the concurrence of all but two members of the Court, from all ideological positions.


Milkovich V. Lorain Journal Twenty-Five Years Later: The Slow, Quiet, And Troubled Demise Of Liar Libel, Leonard Niehoff, Ashley Messenger Jan 2016

Milkovich V. Lorain Journal Twenty-Five Years Later: The Slow, Quiet, And Troubled Demise Of Liar Libel, Leonard Niehoff, Ashley Messenger

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., the Supreme Court held that there is no separate constitutional protection for statements of opinion. It also held that an accusation that an individual lied is a statement of fact actionable in defamation. Lower courts have, correctly in our view, essentially ignored both holdings. In Part I we discuss Milkovich and the infirmities in its reasoning. In Part II we discuss the complex nature of lies and accusations of lies and argue that Milkovich failed to account for that complexity. In Part III we discuss the strategies the lower courts have used to steer ...


Face-To-Face With Facial Recognition Evidence: Admissibility Under The Post-Crawford Confrontation Clause, Joseph Clarke Celentino Jan 2016

Face-To-Face With Facial Recognition Evidence: Admissibility Under The Post-Crawford Confrontation Clause, Joseph Clarke Celentino

Michigan Law Review

In Crawford v. Washington, the Supreme Court announced a major change in Confrontation Clause doctrine, abandoning a decades-old framework that focused on the common law principles of hearsay analysis: necessity and reliability. The new doctrine, grounded in an originalist interpretation of the Sixth Amendment, requires courts to determine whether a particular statement is testimonial. But the Court has struggled to present a coherent definition of the term testimonial. In its subsequent decisions, the Court illustrated that its new Confrontation Clause doctrine could be used to bar forensic evidence, including laboratory test results, if the government failed to produce the technician ...