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Mercer University School of Law

2022

Mercer Law Review

Criminal Procedure

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Prisoners, Punitive Damages, And Precedent, Oh My! The Eleventh Circuit In Hoever Overrules Prior Interpretation Of The Prison Litigation Reform Act, Tatiana Dobretsova May 2022

Prisoners, Punitive Damages, And Precedent, Oh My! The Eleventh Circuit In Hoever Overrules Prior Interpretation Of The Prison Litigation Reform Act, Tatiana Dobretsova

Mercer Law Review

Imagine you are a prisoner at Dooly State Prison in Unadilla, Georgia. A squad of about thirty officers march into the prison one day, dressed in riot gear, chanting, “kill, kill, kill.” The officers begin cursing and ordering inmates to get out of their cells, even yanking some by their shirts if they are not moving quickly enough. As you and the other inmates rush out of your cells, you are subjected to body cavity searches—you are ordered to strip naked, squat and cough, turn around, and bend over, all in the presence of several officers. An officer hands you …


Ding Dong! The Count Is Dead, Or Is It?: Criminal Defendants May Not Directly Appeal Convictions If Unresolved Counts Are On The Dead Docket, Lilly B. Nickels May 2022

Ding Dong! The Count Is Dead, Or Is It?: Criminal Defendants May Not Directly Appeal Convictions If Unresolved Counts Are On The Dead Docket, Lilly B. Nickels

Mercer Law Review

A defendant is indicted on two criminal counts, is found guilty on one of those counts, and is sentenced to time in prison. However, the jury could not come to a decision on the other count, so the trial court judge places the count on the court’s dead docket where the count could remain for an indefinite period of time, deeming the defendant’s case pending in the trial court. Due to the defendant’s case being classified as pending, the defendant does not have the right to a direct appeal. The defendant must helplessly serve prison time without any idea as …


The Death Penalty Standard That Won’T Die: The Georgia Supreme Court Maintains The Highest Possible Standard Of Proof For The Mentally Disabled, Alyssa Ledoux May 2022

The Death Penalty Standard That Won’T Die: The Georgia Supreme Court Maintains The Highest Possible Standard Of Proof For The Mentally Disabled, Alyssa Ledoux

Mercer Law Review

Several serious issues arise when applying the death penalty to the mentally disabled. First, the social purposes served by the death penalty, retribution and deterrence, are questionable when it comes to the mentally disabled. Retribution by execution is reserved for those at the highest level of culpability or the highest level of conscious and depraved guilt. Likewise, execution is viewed as an effective deterrent on cold calculus that is not found in individuals with a mental disability.

Second, challenges the disabled face, such as the tendency to falsely confess, the lesser ability to present a persuasive showing of mitigating factors, …


A Felicitous Meme: The Eleventh Circuit Solves The Preiser Puzzle?, Lisa N. Beckmann, Arthur O. Brown Apr 2022

A Felicitous Meme: The Eleventh Circuit Solves The Preiser Puzzle?, Lisa N. Beckmann, Arthur O. Brown

Mercer Law Review

This Article is about a legal phenomenon known as the Preiser Puzzle. More precisely, the article concerns a possible solution to the Preiser Puzzle articulated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. In part, this Article has a descriptive aim: The Authors will explain the Eleventh Circuit’s solution both in the abstract (this section, below), and by giving issue–specific examples in section three that may prove useful to practitioners. Important issues at present include: (a) challenges to parole procedures, (b) method of execution challenges, and (c) requests for release from administrative segregation. Yet this Article also …


Fostering Equity And Accountability In Georgia’S Criminal Legal System Through Conviction Integrity Reforms, E. Addison Gantt, Meagan R. Hurley Apr 2022

Fostering Equity And Accountability In Georgia’S Criminal Legal System Through Conviction Integrity Reforms, E. Addison Gantt, Meagan R. Hurley

Mercer Law Review

An often-quoted excerpt from Berger v. United States sums up the role of a prosecutor in the criminal legal system. The context is the federal system, but it applies across the board. It begins by explaining the duty of a prosecutor: to represent the sovereign, “whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.”2 Then, it turns to the real-world application of that role, instructing that prosecutors should present their cases with …