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Full-Text Articles in Law

Distracted Walking, Michael L. Smith Jan 2022

Distracted Walking, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

Throughout the United States and across the world, cities are enacting bans on "distracted walking." These bans target cell phone users who cross the street while using a telephone. Doing so in certain cities may result in a fine, community service, or even jail. Drawing inspiration from municipalities, lawmakers in several states have proposed similar statewide legislation. Pushback against these measures is rare-as many people have either directly, or indirectly, experienced the slow and oblivious behavior of "smartphone zombies."

This Article surveys these laws and demonstrates that the science is, at best, mixed on whether device usage results in distraction …


Police Use Of Force Laws In Texas, Gerald S. Reamey Jan 2021

Police Use Of Force Laws In Texas, Gerald S. Reamey

Faculty Articles

At the heart of calls for police reform lie use of force laws. While policing agencies adopt and enforce their own policies regarding when and how force may be used by officers of those agencies, state laws rarely define the uniform limits under which officers operate. Policing in the United States is highly fractured; of the hundreds of law enforcement agencies operating, most are autonomous, and they determine the policies under which they operate, including those for use of force. They also decide whether and how to investigate violations of internal policies, as well as the punishment that will be …


Undocumented Crime Victims: Unheard, Unnumbered, And Unprotected, Pauline Portillo Aug 2018

Undocumented Crime Victims: Unheard, Unnumbered, And Unprotected, Pauline Portillo

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming


Effects Of Senate Bill 4 On Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are At Risk In Low-Income Occupations, Daniella Salas-Chacon Aug 2018

Effects Of Senate Bill 4 On Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are At Risk In Low-Income Occupations, Daniella Salas-Chacon

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming


Blue Lives Have Always Mattered: The Usurping Of Hate Crime Laws For An Unintended And Unnecessary Purpose, Lisa M. Olson Jan 2017

Blue Lives Have Always Mattered: The Usurping Of Hate Crime Laws For An Unintended And Unnecessary Purpose, Lisa M. Olson

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming.


Resolving Civil Forfeiture Disputes, Rishi Batra Jan 2017

Resolving Civil Forfeiture Disputes, Rishi Batra

Faculty Articles

Under a legal process known as civil asset forfeiture, state and federal laws allow law enforcement officials and the government to seize assets from individuals who are not charged with a crime if the property is suspected of being involved in criminal activity. This is true even if the owner of the property is not charged with the underlying crime. Indeed, in 2014, The Washington Post analyzed 400 cases in seventeen states that were examples of civil forfeiture during traffic stops. Police stopped motorists under the pretext of a minor traffic infraction, analyzed the intentions of motorists by assessing nervousness, …


Deadly Misunderstandings About Police Use Of Deadly Force, Gerald S. Reamey Jan 2016

Deadly Misunderstandings About Police Use Of Deadly Force, Gerald S. Reamey

Faculty Articles

This short article, written for law enforcement and criminal justice professionals in Texas, summarizes and addresses some of the most common ways in which the laws of justification in Texas are misunderstood and misapplied. The focus is on the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers and the specific provisions contained within the Texas Penal Code regulating the use of the highest level of force by police and others.


Our Court Masters, Chad J. Pomeroy Jan 2015

Our Court Masters, Chad J. Pomeroy

Faculty Articles

In 1995, Utah became the first state to pass a bill prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states and nations. Thereafter, in 2004, Utah voters approved a ballot referendum on Utah Constitutional Amendment 3, which defined marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman and which restricted unmarried civil unions. This referendum was approved by 65.9% of those who voted on it. That is, 593,297 Utah citizens (of the approximately 900,000 who voted) voted to approve the amendment.

Then, in March of 2013, three couples filed suit in the United States District Court for …


The Dark Frontier: The Violent And Often Tragic Point Of Contact Between Law Enforcement And The Mentally Ill., Gary Howell Jan 2015

The Dark Frontier: The Violent And Often Tragic Point Of Contact Between Law Enforcement And The Mentally Ill., Gary Howell

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

There currently exists a widespread and unacceptable risk of violence between law enforcement personnel and mentally ill suspects. The point of contact between law enforcement and the mentally ill has evolved over the last fifty years and can trace its origins to deinstitutionalization. Deinstitutionalization aimed to close centralized, state mental health institutions in favor of decentralized, community-based mental health care facilities. Deinstitutionalization, however, created a number of consequences for the mentally ill and law enforcement. For example, in the years since deinstitutionalization, an excessive number of homeless mentally ill persons and their families have had little or no access to …


Regulating Law Enforcement's Use Of Drones: The Need For State Legislation, Michael L. Smith Jan 2015

Regulating Law Enforcement's Use Of Drones: The Need For State Legislation, Michael L. Smith

Faculty Articles

The recent rise of domestic drone technology has prompted privacy advocates and members of the public to call for the regulation of the use of drones by law enforcement officers. Numerous states have proposed legislation to regulate government drone use, and thirteen have passed laws that restrict the use of drones by law enforcement agencies. Despite the activity in state legislatures, commentary on drones tends to focus on how courts, rather than legislative bodies, can restrict the government's use of drones. Commentators call for wider Fourth Amendment protections that would limit government surveillance. In the process, in-depth analysis of state …


Racial Profiling In Texas Department Of Public Safety Traffic Stops: Race Aware Or Race Benign., Steven R. Wolfson Mar 2006

Racial Profiling In Texas Department Of Public Safety Traffic Stops: Race Aware Or Race Benign., Steven R. Wolfson

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

It is illegal for Texas law enforcement agencies to racially profile people. However, Texas continues to deal with racial profiling among law enforcement officers. This article concerns the right to travel, unmolested by state action based upon race or ethnicity. Since passing the Fourteenth Amendment and its Equal Protection Clause, our legal system under-includes, and outright excludes, certain groups of people from its promise. Such racial disparities have lived in the United States Constitution since the authors drafted the three-fifths compromise at its inception. When considering the criminality of a group of people and the overpopulation in state prisons, many …


The Ku Klux Klan Act And The Civil Rights Revolution: How Civil Rights Litigation Came To Regulate Police And Correctional Officer Misconduct., Alan W. Clarke Mar 2005

The Ku Klux Klan Act And The Civil Rights Revolution: How Civil Rights Litigation Came To Regulate Police And Correctional Officer Misconduct., Alan W. Clarke

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Modern civil rights litigation stems from the Ku Klux Klan Act, otherwise known as the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Congress codified this Act in the United States Code under Section 1983 of Title 42. No other law is more central to present day police and correctional officer accountability. The Civil Rights statute effectuates broad constitutional protections set in place in the aftermath of the Civil War. Congress designed this Act to change over time and intertwine with a continuing history of expanding rights. Section 1983 provides a remedy to any person who experienced another person, acting under the color …


When “Special Needs” Meet Probable Cause: Denying The Devil Benefit Of Law, Gerald S. Reamey Jan 1992

When “Special Needs” Meet Probable Cause: Denying The Devil Benefit Of Law, Gerald S. Reamey

Faculty Articles

Removing laws to pursue the lawbreaker may be well intentioned, but the result is that society is susceptible to the evils those laws protect against. The traditional Fourth Amendment safeguards--probable cause and warrants--have been abandoned due to the development of a reasonableness standard because of the presence of “special needs” that were used to justify searches. The adoption of this alternative approach to Fourth Amendment interpretation was signalled by the truly landmark case of Terry v. Ohio.

By adopting the “reasonableness” analysis, the Supreme Court altered the impact of the exclusionary rule without directly modifying the rule. After Griffin v. …


A Municipal Police Officer's Jurisdiction To Arrest Without Warrant, Gerald S. Reamey Apr 1988

A Municipal Police Officer's Jurisdiction To Arrest Without Warrant, Gerald S. Reamey

Faculty Articles

It is difficult to discern the jurisdictional boundaries of a Texas peace officer's warrantless arrest authority. This is due in part to the variety of “peace officers” recognized in Texas law, and in part to the numerous imprecise statutes which govern the issue. Arrest “jurisdiction” may mean the authority to arrest for certain kinds of offenses, or it may refer to the power to make an arrest in a certain territorial area. Territorial jurisdiction is most difficult to resolve in Texas. The determination of whether an arresting officer is a “peace officer,” and if so, what kind of officer, is …


Warrantless Arrest Jurisdiction In Texas: An Analysis And A Proposal., Gerald S. Reamey, J. Daniel Harkins Jan 1988

Warrantless Arrest Jurisdiction In Texas: An Analysis And A Proposal., Gerald S. Reamey, J. Daniel Harkins

St. Mary's Law Journal

Within the State of Texas, there exist a great number of “peace officers” who are granted a wide range of power and authority. This includes the power to make warrantless arrests and searches pursuant to those arrests. Significant ambiguity exists regarding a peace officer’s jurisdiction. The confusion is largely due to imprecise statutory language and varying judicial interpretations. Article 998 of Texas Revised Civil Statutes, for example, bestowed on city police officers the same powers, authority, and jurisdiction as city marshals. The statute, though, neglected to define the extent of that jurisdiction, or even what “jurisdiction” meant in that context. …


Warrantless Arrest Jurisdiction In Texas: An Analysis And A Proposal, Gerald S. Reamey, J. Daniel Harkins Jan 1988

Warrantless Arrest Jurisdiction In Texas: An Analysis And A Proposal, Gerald S. Reamey, J. Daniel Harkins

Faculty Articles

Within the State of Texas, there exist a great number of “peace officers” who are granted a wide range of power and authority. This includes the power to make warrantless arrests and searches pursuant to those arrests. Significant ambiguity exists regarding a peace officer’s jurisdiction. The confusion is largely due to imprecise statutory language and varying judicial interpretations.

Article 998 of Texas Revised Civil Statutes, for example, bestowed on city police officers the same powers, authority, and jurisdiction as city marshals. The statute, though, neglected to define the extent of that jurisdiction, or even what “jurisdiction” meant in that context. …


A Study In The Treatment Of Crime And Law Enforcement In The United States As Compared To The European Countries., George E. Glos Dec 1971

A Study In The Treatment Of Crime And Law Enforcement In The United States As Compared To The European Countries., George E. Glos

St. Mary's Law Journal

The United States holds a comparably higher crime rate than European countries in the area of homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, and incitation of riots. This article explores the differences existing in the treatment of serious crimes in the leading systems of criminal law and law enforcement. This study examines how the United States, compared with European countries, define subcategories of major crimes and establish the penalties, defenses, and the access to relief attached to each crime. Contrasted with the provisions of the various states of the United States, the European provisions are simpler and carry stiffer penalties. The object …