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Full-Text Articles in Law

You Can't Handle The Truth! Trial Juries And Credibility, Renée M. Hutchins Jan 2014

You Can't Handle The Truth! Trial Juries And Credibility, Renée M. Hutchins

Faculty Scholarship

Every now and again, we get a look, usually no more than a glimpse, at how the justice system really works. What we see—before the sanitizing curtain is drawn abruptly down—is a process full of human fallibility and error, sometimes noble, more often unfair, rarely evil but frequently unequal.

The central question, vital to our adjudicative model, is: How well can we expect a jury to determine credibility through the ordinary adversary processes of live testimony and vigorous impeachment? The answer, from all I have been able to see is: not very well.


More Than A "Quick Glimpse Of The Life": The Relationship Between Victim Impact Evidence And Death Sentencing, Jerome E. Deise, Raymond Paternoster Jan 2013

More Than A "Quick Glimpse Of The Life": The Relationship Between Victim Impact Evidence And Death Sentencing, Jerome E. Deise, Raymond Paternoster

Faculty Scholarship

In striking down the use of victim impact evidence (VIE) during the penalty phase of a capital trial, the Supreme Court in Booth v. Maryland and South Carolina v. Gathers argued that such testimony would appeal to the emotions of jurors with the consequence that death sentences would not be based upon a reasoned consideration of the blameworthiness of the offender. After a change in personnel, the Court overturned both decisions in Payne v. Tennessee, decided just two years after Gathers. The majority in Payne were decidedly less concerned with the emotional appeal of VIE, arguing that it would only ...


Pain As Fact And Heuristic: How Pain Neuroimaging Illuminates Moral Dimensions Of Law, Amanda C. Pustilnik Jan 2012

Pain As Fact And Heuristic: How Pain Neuroimaging Illuminates Moral Dimensions Of Law, Amanda C. Pustilnik

Faculty Scholarship

Legal statuses, prohibitions, and protections often turn on the presence and degree of physical pain. In legal domains ranging from tort to torture, pain and its degree do important definitional work by delimiting boundaries of lawfulness and of entitlements. The omnipresence of pain in law suggests that the law embodies an intuition about the ontological primacy of pain. Yet, for all the work done by pain as a term in legal texts and practice, it has had a confounding lack of external verifiability. As with other subjective states, we have been able to impute pain’s presence but have not ...


My Brother's Keeper: An Empirical Study Of Attorney Facilitation Of Money-Laundering Through Commercial Transactions, Lawton P. Cummings, Paul T. Stepnowsky Feb 2011

My Brother's Keeper: An Empirical Study Of Attorney Facilitation Of Money-Laundering Through Commercial Transactions, Lawton P. Cummings, Paul T. Stepnowsky

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, various “gatekeeping initiatives” have been introduced through inter-governmental standard-setting organizations, such as the Financial Action Task Force, as well as through federal legislation in the United States, which seek to apply the mandatory customer due diligence, record keeping, and suspicious activity reporting obligations contained in the existing anti-money laundering regime to lawyers when they conduct certain commercial transactions on behalf of their clients. The organized bar has argued against such attempts to regulate it, in part, due to the lack of empirical data showing that, as a threshold matter, lawyers unwittingly aid money laundering in a significant ...


Beyond Experience: Getting Retributive Justice Right, Dan Markel, Chad Flanders, David C. Gray Jan 2011

Beyond Experience: Getting Retributive Justice Right, Dan Markel, Chad Flanders, David C. Gray

Faculty Scholarship

How central should hedonic adaptation be to the establishment of sentencing policy? In earlier work, Professors Bronsteen, Buccafusco, and Masur (BBM) drew some normative significance from the psychological studies of adaptability for punishment policy. In particular, they argued that retributivists and utilitarians alike are obliged on pain of inconsistency to take account of the fact that most prisoners, most of the time, adapt to imprisonment in fairly short order, and therefore suffer much less than most of us would expect. They also argued that ex-prisoners don't adapt well upon re-entry to society and that social planners should consider their ...


Punishment As Suffering, David C. Gray Jan 2010

Punishment As Suffering, David C. Gray

Faculty Scholarship

In a series of recent high-profile articles, a group of contemporary scholars argue that the criminal law is a grand machine for the administration of suffering. The machine requires calibration, of course. The main standard we use for ours is objective proportionality. We generally punish more serious crimes more severely and aim to inflict the same punishment on similarly situated offenders who commit similar crimes. In the views of these authors, this focus on objective proportionality makes ours a rather crude machine. In particular, it ignores the fact that 1) different offenders may suffer to a different degree when subjected ...


Death Ineligibility And Habeas Corpus, Lee B. Kovarsky Jan 2010

Death Ineligibility And Habeas Corpus, Lee B. Kovarsky

Faculty Scholarship

I examine the interaction between what I call 'death ineligibility' challenges and the habeas writ. A death ineligibility claim alleges that a criminally-confined capital prisoner belongs to a category of offenders for which the Eighth Amendment forbids execution. By contrast, a 'crime innocence' claim alleges that, colloquially speaking, a capital prisoner 'wasn’t there, and didn’t do it.' In the last eight years, the Supreme Court has identified several new ineligibility categories, including mentally retarded offenders. Configured primarily to address crime innocence and procedural challenges, however, modern habeas law is poorly equipped to accommodate ineligibility claims. Death Ineligibility traces ...


Violence On The Brain: A Critique Of Neuroscience In Criminal Law, Amanda C. Pustilnik Jan 2009

Violence On The Brain: A Critique Of Neuroscience In Criminal Law, Amanda C. Pustilnik

Faculty Scholarship

Is there such a thing as a criminally "violent brain"? Does it make sense to speak of "the neurobiology of violence" or the "psychopathology of crime"? Is it possible to answer on a physiological level what makes one person engage in criminal violence and another not, under similar circumstances?

This Article first demonstrates parallels between certain current claims about the neurobiology of criminal violence and past movements that were concerned with the law and neuroscience of violence: phrenology, Lombrosian biological criminology, and lobotomy. It then engages in a substantive review and critique of several current claims about the neurological bases ...


Judging Genes: Implications Of The Second Generation Of Genetic Tests In The Courtroom, Diane E. Hoffmann, Karen H. Rothenberg Oct 2007

Judging Genes: Implications Of The Second Generation Of Genetic Tests In The Courtroom, Diane E. Hoffmann, Karen H. Rothenberg

Faculty Scholarship

The use of DNA tests for identification has revolutionized court proceedings in criminal and paternity cases. Now, requests by litigants to admit or compel a second generation of genetic tests – tests to confirm or predict genetic diseases and conditions – threaten to affect judicial decision-making in many more contexts. Unlike DNA tests for identification, these second generation tests may provide highly personal health and behavioral information about individuals and their relatives and will pose new challenges for trial court judges. This article reports on an original empirical study of how judges analyze these requests and uses the study results to inform ...


Extraordinary Crimes At Ordinary Times: International Justice Beyond Crisis Situations, Sonja Starr Jan 2007

Extraordinary Crimes At Ordinary Times: International Justice Beyond Crisis Situations, Sonja Starr

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Prisons Of The Mind: Social Value And Economic Inefficiency In The Criminal Justice Response To Mental Illness, Amanda C. Pustilnik Jan 2006

Prisons Of The Mind: Social Value And Economic Inefficiency In The Criminal Justice Response To Mental Illness, Amanda C. Pustilnik

Faculty Scholarship

Can constructs of social meaning lead to actual criminal confinement? Can the intangible value ascribed to the maintenance of certain social norms lead to radically inefficient choices about resource allocation? The disproportionate criminal confinement of people with severe mental illnesses relative to non-mentally ill individuals suggests that social meanings related to mental illness can create legal and physical walls around this disfavored group. Responding to the non-violent mentally ill principally through the criminal system imposes at least 6 billion dollars in costs annually on the public, above any offsetting public safety and deterrence benefits, and imposes terrible human costs on ...


The French Experience With Duty To Rescue: A Dubious Case For Criminal Enforcement, Edward A. Tomlinson Jan 2000

The French Experience With Duty To Rescue: A Dubious Case For Criminal Enforcement, Edward A. Tomlinson

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.