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

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

Articles

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


Muslim Prisoner Litigation: An Unsung American Tradition (Introduction), Spearit Jan 2023

Muslim Prisoner Litigation: An Unsung American Tradition (Introduction), Spearit

Book Chapters

For most Americans, “prison jihad” may sound frightening and conjure images of religious militants, bearded, turbaned, and under the spell of foreign radical networks…. While this may be the immediate impression, there is nothing like that happening in American prisons. However, there has been a different type of jihad taking place, one that is real and identifiable. This is not the sensational jihad of headline media; rather, this jihad is uneventful and quiet by comparison and has persisted since the 1960s with hardly any public notice.

Despite little attention and recognition, Muslims in prison occupy a unique spot in the …


Surveillance Normalization, Christian Sundquist Jan 2023

Surveillance Normalization, Christian Sundquist

Articles

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


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

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

Articles

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

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


Prison Transfers And The Mootness Doctrine: Disappearing The Rule Of Law In Prisons, Spearit Jan 2022

Prison Transfers And The Mootness Doctrine: Disappearing The Rule Of Law In Prisons, Spearit

Book Chapters

Access to the legal system does not come easily for people in prison. There are administrative procedures that must be exhausted; federal legislation like the Prison Litigation Reform Act disadvantages prisoner-petitioners in multiple ways, including by imposing significant limits on damages and creating financial disincentives for lawyers to take on cases. Such onerous legislation and lack of legal aid ensure genuine issues evade redress. Sometimes, however, the law itself is the cause of evasion. Sometimes doctrine prevents the Rule of Law from functioning in prison, particularly when a prison-transfer moots a legal claim. In the most egregious situations, a transfer …


Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang Jan 2022

Reframing Hate, Lu-In Wang

Articles

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


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

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

Articles

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


Reimagining The Death Penalty: Targeting Christians, Conservatives, Spearit Jan 2020

Reimagining The Death Penalty: Targeting Christians, Conservatives, Spearit

Articles

This Article is an interdisciplinary response to an entrenched legal and cultural problem. It incorporates legal analysis, religious study and the anthropological notion of “culture work” to consider death penalty abolitionism and prospects for abolishing the death penalty in the United States. The Article argues that abolitionists must reimagine their audiences and repackage their message for broader social consumption, particularly for Christian and conservative audiences. Even though abolitionists are characterized by some as “bleeding heart” liberals, this is not an accurate portrayal of how the death penalty maps across the political spectrum. Abolitionists must learn that conservatives are potential allies …


Racial Profiling: Past, Present, And Future, David A. Harris Jan 2020

Racial Profiling: Past, Present, And Future, David A. Harris

Articles

It has been more than two decades since the introduction of the first bill in Congress that addressed racial profiling in 1997. Between then and now, Congress never passed legislation on the topic, but more than half the states passed laws and many police departments put anti-profiling policies in place to combat it. The research and data on racial profiling has grown markedly over the last twenty-plus years. We know that the practice is real (contrary to many denials), and the data reveal racial profiling’s shortcomings and great social costs. Nevertheless, racial profiling persists. While it took root most prominently …


Dignity Transacted, Lu-In Wang, Zachary W. Brewster Jan 2019

Dignity Transacted, Lu-In Wang, Zachary W. Brewster

Articles

In interactive customer service encounters, the dignity of the parties becomes the currency of a commercial transaction. Service firms that profit from customer satisfaction place great emphasis on emotional labor, the work that service providers do to make customers feel cared for and esteemed. But performing emotional labor can deny dignity to workers, by highlighting their subservience and requiring them to suppress their own emotions in an effort to elevate the status and experiences of their customers. Paradoxically, the burden of performing emotional labor may also impose transactional costs on some customers by facilitating discrimination in service delivery. Drawing on …


Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David A. Harris, David Rudovsky Jan 2018

Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David A. Harris, David Rudovsky

Articles

The investigative detention doctrine first announced in Terry v. Ohio and amplified over the past fifty years has been much analyzed, praised, and criticized from a number of perspectives. Significantly, however, over this time period commentators have only occasionally questioned the Supreme Court’s “common sense” judgments regarding the factors sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion for stops and frisks. For years, the Court has provided no empirical basis for its judgments, due in large part to the lack of reliable data. Now, with the emergence of comprehensive data on these police practices, much can be learned about the predictive power of …


Firepower To The People: Gun Rights & Self-Defense To Curb Police Misconduct, Spearit Jan 2017

Firepower To The People: Gun Rights & Self-Defense To Curb Police Misconduct, Spearit

Articles

This Article represents a polemic against the most harmful aspects of the policing status quo. At its core, the work asserts the right of civilians to defend against unlawful deadly police conduct. It argues that existing gun and self-defense laws provide a practical and principled basis for curbing police misconduct. It also examines legislative trends in gun laws to show that much of most recent liberalizing of gun rights is a direct response to self-defense concerns sparked by mass public shootings. The expansion of gun rights and self-defense comes at a time when ongoing police killings of Black civilians menace …


Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Class As Caste: The Thirteenth Amendment’S Applicability To Class-Based Subordination, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

As part of a symposium marking the sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment, this Article briefly explores whether the Thirteenth Amendment applies to class-based subordination. While recognizing that the increasingly rigid class-based stratification of our society, rampant discrimination against the poor, increasing income inequality, and the concentration of enormous wealth in the hands of so few are all pressing social challenges that the legal system must address, this Article concludes that generalized class-based discrimination likely would not fall within the scope of the “badges and incidents of slavery” that the Amendment prohibits.

This Article argues, however, that the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition …


Keeping It Real: Why Congress Must Act To Restore Pell Grant Funding For Prisoners, Spearit Jan 2016

Keeping It Real: Why Congress Must Act To Restore Pell Grant Funding For Prisoners, Spearit

Articles

In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (VCCLEA), a provision of which revoked Pell Grant funding “to any individual who is incarcerated in any federal or state penal institution.” This essay highlights the counter-productive effects this particular provision has on penological goals. The essay suggests Congress acknowledge the failures of the ban on Pell Grant funding for prisoners, and restore such funding for all qualified prisoners.


Riley V. California And The Beginning Of The End For The Third-Party Search Doctrine, David A. Harris Jan 2016

Riley V. California And The Beginning Of The End For The Third-Party Search Doctrine, David A. Harris

Articles

In Riley v. California, the Supreme Court decided that when police officers seize a smart phone, they may not search through its contents -- the data found by looking into the call records, calendars, pictures and so forth in the phone -- without a warrant. In the course of the decision, the Court said that the rule applied not just to data that was physically stored on the device, but also to data stored "in the cloud" -- in remote sites -- but accessed through the device. This piece of the decision may, at last, allow a re-examination of …


Whren's Flawed Assumptions Regarding Race, History, And Unconscious Bias, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2016

Whren's Flawed Assumptions Regarding Race, History, And Unconscious Bias, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article is adapted from remarks presented at CWRU Law School's symposium marking the 20th anniversary of Whren v. United States. The article critiques Whren’s constitutional methodology and evident willful blindness to issues of social psychology, unconscious bias, and the lengthy American history of racialized conceptions of crime and criminalized conceptions of race. The article concludes by suggesting a possible path forward: reconceptualizing racially motivated pretextual police encounters as a badge or incident of slavery under the Thirteenth Amendment issue rather than as abstract Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment issues.


Evolving Standards Of Domination: Abandoning A Flawed Legal Standard And Approaching A New Era In Penal Reform, Spearit Jan 2015

Evolving Standards Of Domination: Abandoning A Flawed Legal Standard And Approaching A New Era In Penal Reform, Spearit

Articles

This Article critiques the evolving standards of decency doctrine as a form of Social Darwinism. It argues that evolving standards of decency provided a system of review that was tailor-made for Civil Rights opponents to scale back racial progress. Although as a doctrinal matter, evolving standards sought to tie punishment practices to social mores, prison sentencing became subject to political agendas that determined the course of punishment more than the benevolence of a maturing society. Indeed, rather than the fierce competition that is supposed to guide social development, the criminal justice system was consciously deployed as a means of social …


Twenty Years After The Education Apocalypse: The Ongoing Fall Out From The 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill, Spearit, Mary Gould Jan 2014

Twenty Years After The Education Apocalypse: The Ongoing Fall Out From The 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill, Spearit, Mary Gould

Articles

This essay is an introduction to the 2013 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison, organized by the Saint Louis University Prison Program. It is a primer on the current state of higher education in prison, which provides a social-legal framework for the conference and the symposium essays that follow. Beginning with the recent history of the exponential growth of incarceration in the past four decades, it charts the unprecedented reliance on incarceration that, at present, distinguishes the country as a world-class punisher. It was in the middle of this shift that the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill was born, which …


Muslim Radicalization In Prison: Responding With Sound Penal Policy Or The Sound Of Alarm?, Spearit Jan 2014

Muslim Radicalization In Prison: Responding With Sound Penal Policy Or The Sound Of Alarm?, Spearit

Articles

This article assesses radicalization among Muslim prisoners in the post- 9/11 era by analysis of ethnographic data in light of the available research. There are two primary motives that drive this inquiry: (1) to determine whether prisons are “fertile soil for jihad” as claimed, and (2) to the extent prisoner radicalization does occur, determine the ideological motives. In the last decade, politicians and analysts have clamored about the “danger” and “threat” posed by Islam in American prisons. Yet these characterizations sit in tension with several decades of sustained Islamic outreach in prison to support inmate rehabilitation and re-entry. They also …


Legal Punishment As Civil Ritual: Making Cultural Sense Of Harsh Punishment, Spearit Jan 2013

Legal Punishment As Civil Ritual: Making Cultural Sense Of Harsh Punishment, Spearit

Articles

This work examines mass incarceration through a ritual studies perspective, paying explicit attention to the religious underpinnings. Conventional analyses of criminal punishment focus on the purpose of punishment in relation to legal or moral norms, or attempt to provide a general theory of punishment. The goals of this work are different, and instead try to understand the cultural aspects of punishment that have helped make the United States a global leader in imprisonment and execution. It links the boom in incarceration to social ruptures of the 1950s and 1960s and posits the United States’ world leader status as having more …


Victory Without Success? – The Guantanamo Litigation, Permanent Preventive Detention, And Resisting Injustice, Jules Lobel Jan 2013

Victory Without Success? – The Guantanamo Litigation, Permanent Preventive Detention, And Resisting Injustice, Jules Lobel

Articles

When the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) brought the first habeas cases challenging the Executive’s right to detain prisoners in a law free zone at Guantanamo in 2002, almost no legal commentator gave the plaintiffs much chance of succeeding. Yet, two years later in 2004, after losing in both the District Court and Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court in Rasul v. Bush handed CCR a resounding victory. Four years later, the Supreme Court again ruled in CCR’s favor in 2008 in Boumediene v. Bush, holding that the detainees had a constitutional right to habeas and declaring the Congressional …


Across The Hudson: Taking The Stop And Frisk Debate Beyond New York City, David A. Harris Jan 2013

Across The Hudson: Taking The Stop And Frisk Debate Beyond New York City, David A. Harris

Articles

This article presents the results of a survey conducted by the author of 56 police departments across the country concerning the practice of data collection on stop and frisk practices of those police departments. These results are discussed against the backdrop of the debate on stop and frisk, examined in this article through a review of the legal basis for the practice and its use by police departments. The article then argues that greater data collection efforts in places other than New York City, where such efforts have been more robust than elsewhere, could broaden and deepen the debate on …


Religion As Rehabilitation? Reflections On Islam In The Correctional Setting, Spearit Jan 2012

Religion As Rehabilitation? Reflections On Islam In The Correctional Setting, Spearit

Articles

This essay is the keynote lecture from the Muslims in the United States and Beyond symposium at Whittier Law School. The work reflects on the state of research into Islam in prison, including the religion's historic role in supporting inmate rehabilitation and providing a means for coping with life as a prisoner and on the outside.


Law Enforcement And Intelligence Gathering In Muslim And Immigrant Communities After 9/11, David A. Harris Jan 2010

Law Enforcement And Intelligence Gathering In Muslim And Immigrant Communities After 9/11, David A. Harris

Articles

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, law enforcement agencies have actively sought partnerships with Muslim communities in the U.S. Consistent with community-based policing, these partnerships are designed to persuade members of these communities to share information about possible extremist activity. These cooperative efforts have borne fruit, resulting in important anti-terrorism prosecutions. But during the past several years, law enforcement has begun to use another tactic simultaneously: the FBI and some police departments have placed informants in mosques and other religious institutions to gather intelligence. The government justifies this by asserting that it must take a pro-active stance in order …


Taser Use: Report Of The Use Of Force Working Group Of Allegheny County, David A. Harris Jan 2010

Taser Use: Report Of The Use Of Force Working Group Of Allegheny County, David A. Harris

Articles

The Use of Force Working Group was convened in October of 2008 to study police use of electronic control devices, better known as Tasers. Allegheny County (Pa.) District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. appointed the Working Group in the wake of an incident in which a person died following a Taser exposure at the hands of local police officers.

This Report concludes that Tasers can be worthwhile and safe weapons in the police arsenal, but only if they are used consistent with proper policy, training, supervision and accountability. Anything less makes the use of these weapons a risky choice from …


Picture This: Body Worn Video Devices ('Head Cams') As Tools For Ensuring Fourth Amendment Compliance By Police, David A. Harris Jan 2010

Picture This: Body Worn Video Devices ('Head Cams') As Tools For Ensuring Fourth Amendment Compliance By Police, David A. Harris

Articles

A new technology has emerged with the potential to increase police compliance with the law and to increase officers’ accountability for their conduct. Called “body worn video” (BWV) or “head cams,” these devices are smaller, lighter versions of the video and audio recording systems mounted on the dash boards of police cars. These systems are small enough that they consist of something the size and shape of a cellular telephone earpiece, and are worn by police officers the same way. Recordings are downloaded directly from the device into a central computer system for storage and indexing, which protects them from …


How Accountability-Based Policing Can Reinforce - Or Replace - The Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule, David A. Harris Jan 2009

How Accountability-Based Policing Can Reinforce - Or Replace - The Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule, David A. Harris

Articles

In Hudson v. Michigan, a knock-and-announce case, Justice Scalia's majority opinion came close to jettisoning the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule. The immense costs of the rule, Scalia said, outweigh whatever benefits might come from it. Moreover, police officers and police departments now generally follow the dictates of the Fourth Amendment, so the exclusionary rule has outlived the reasons that the Court adopted it in the first place. This viewpoint did not become the law because Justice Kennedy, one member of the five-vote majority, withheld his support from this section of the opinion. But the closeness of the vote on …


Globalization, Legal Transnationalization And Crimes Against Humanity: The Lipietz Case, Vivian Grosswald Curran Jan 2008

Globalization, Legal Transnationalization And Crimes Against Humanity: The Lipietz Case, Vivian Grosswald Curran

Articles

Decided in June, 2006, the Lipietz case marks the unofficial entry into the French legal system of a tort action for complicity in crimes against humanity. It both departs from prior, established French law and reflects numerous mechanisms by which national law is transnationalizing. The case illustrates visible, invisible, substantive and methodological changes that globalization is producing as law's transnationalization changes national law. It also suggests some of the difficulties national legal systems face as their transnationalization produces legal change at a rate that outpaces the national capacity for efficient adaptation. The challenges illustrated by Lipietz, characteristic of globalization, include …


Prolonged Solitary Confinement And The Constitution, Jules Lobel Jan 2008

Prolonged Solitary Confinement And The Constitution, Jules Lobel

Articles

This Article will address whether the increasing practice of prolonged or permanent solitary confinement constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Constitution, and whether it violates the due process rights of the prisoners so confined. It will not only look at United States case law, but at the jurisprudence of international human rights courts, commissions, and institutions. As the U.S. Supreme Court has noted, international jurisprudence can be helpful in determining the scope and meaning of broad terms in our Constitution such as “cruel and unusual punishments” or “due process,” as those terms ought to be understood in …


The Preventive Paradigm And The Perils Of Ad Hoc Balancing, Jules Lobel Jan 2007

The Preventive Paradigm And The Perils Of Ad Hoc Balancing, Jules Lobel

Articles

This article addresses the claim that times of crisis require jettisoning legal rules in favor of ad hoc balancing. Part I demonstrates that the coercive preventive measures adopted by the Bush administration in carrying out the War on Terror discarded clear legal rules in favor of ad hoc balancing and relied on suspicions rather than objective evidence. Part II examines the claims of prevention paradigm supporters that ad hoc balancing is necessary in the new post-911 era in order to reach decisions that correctly weigh the values of liberty and peace versus national security. This article argues that discarding the …