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Full-Text Articles in Law

Why Arrest?, Rachel A. Harmon Dec 2016

Why Arrest?, Rachel A. Harmon

Michigan Law Review

Arrests are the paradigmatic police activity. Though the practice of arrests in the United States, especially arrests involving minority suspects, is under attack, even critics widely assume the power to arrest is essential to policing. As a result, neither commentators nor scholars have asked why police need to make arrests. This Article takes up that question, and it argues that the power to arrest and the use of that power should be curtailed. The twelve million arrests police conduct each year are harmful not only to the individual arrested but also to their families and communities and to society as ...


What Lurks Below Beckles, Leah Litman, Shakeer Rahman Nov 2016

What Lurks Below Beckles, Leah Litman, Shakeer Rahman

Articles

This Essay argues that if the Supreme Court grants habeas relief in Beckles v. United States, then it should spell out certain details about where a Beckles claim comes from and who such a claim benefits. Those details are not essential to the main question raised in the case, but the federal habeas statute takes away the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to hear just about any case that would raise those questions. For that reason, this Essay concludes that failing to address those questions now could arbitrarily condemn hundreds of prisoners to illegal sentences and lead to a situation where ...


The Tyranny Of Small Things, Yxta Maya Murray Oct 2016

The Tyranny Of Small Things, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In this legal-literary essay, I recount a day I spent watching criminal sentencings in an Alhambra, California courthouse, highlighting the sometimes mundane, sometimes despairing, imports of those proceedings. I note that my analysis resembles that of other scholars who tackle state over-criminalization and selective law enforcement. My original addition exists in the granular attention I pay to the moment-by-moment effects of a sometimes baffling state power on poor and minority people. In this approach, I align myself with advocates of the law and literature school of thought, who believe that the study (or, in this case, practice) of literature will ...


Tightening The Ooda Loop: Police Militarization, Race, And Algorithmic Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle Oct 2016

Tightening The Ooda Loop: Police Militarization, Race, And Algorithmic Surveillance, Jeffrey L. Vagle

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This Article examines how military automated surveillance and intelligence systems and techniques, when used by civilian police departments to enhance predictive policing programs, have reinforced racial bias in policing. I will focus on two facets of this problem. First, I investigate the role played by advanced military technologies and methods within civilian police departments. These approaches have enabled a new focus on deterrence and crime prevention by creating a system of structural surveillance where decision support relies increasingly upon algorithms and automated data analysis tools and automates de facto penalization and containment based on race. Second, I will explore these ...


Pushing An End To Sanctuary Cities: Will It Happen?, Raina Bhatt Oct 2016

Pushing An End To Sanctuary Cities: Will It Happen?, Raina Bhatt

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Sanctuary jurisdictions refer to city, town, and state governments (collectively, localities or local governments) that have passed provisions to limit their enforcement of federal immigration laws. Such local governments execute limiting provisions in order to bolster community cooperation, prevent racial discrimination, focus on local priorities for enforcement, or even to a show a local policy that differs from federal policy. The provisions are in the forms of executive orders, municipal ordinances, and state resolutions. Additionally, the scope of the provisions vary by locality: some prohibit law enforcement from asking about immigration status, while others prohibit the use of state resources ...


A Legal Obituary For Ramiro, Sheri Lynn Johnson Sep 2016

A Legal Obituary For Ramiro, Sheri Lynn Johnson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Most death penalty lawyers who practice long enough will watch the execution of a client. It is always, always terrible, but not always terrible in the same way. With each client’s execution, a lawyer is confronted with the death of a human being—not an accidental death, not an inevitable death, but an avoidable one—and with his or her own failure to prevent that death. Some executions also involve a very personal loss for the lawyer because of their relationship with the client. Other executions are horrific because things go awry and impose extreme suffering on the executed ...


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.


The Price Of Carceral Citizenship: Punishment, Surveillance, And Social Welfare Policy In An Age Of Carceral Expansion, Reuben Jonathan Miller, Amanda Alexander May 2016

The Price Of Carceral Citizenship: Punishment, Surveillance, And Social Welfare Policy In An Age Of Carceral Expansion, Reuben Jonathan Miller, Amanda Alexander

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The unprecedented rise in the number of people held in U.S. jails and prisons has garnered considerable attention from policy makers, activists, and academics alike. Signaled in part by Michelle Alexander’s New York Times bestseller, The New Jim Crow, and the unlikely coalition of activists, policy makers, celebrities, and business leaders on both sides of the political aisle who have pledged to end mass incarceration in our lifetime, the prison system has returned to public policy discourse in a way that was unforeseen less than a decade ago. On any given day in 2014, just over 2.3 ...


Closing The Gap Between What Is Lawful And What Is Right In Police Use Of Force Jurisprudence By Making Police Departments More Democratic Institutions, Jonathan M. Smith May 2016

Closing The Gap Between What Is Lawful And What Is Right In Police Use Of Force Jurisprudence By Making Police Departments More Democratic Institutions, Jonathan M. Smith

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri, by police officer Darren Wilson. Members of the Ferguson community rose up in response. Protests demanding that police violence against African Americans cease and that accountability for police misconduct be addressed erupted across the country, and they have not subsided since. Incidents in Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; WallerCounty, Texas; and elsewhere have kept the movement alive. The mass media, the political elite, and the White middle class woke up to a reality that had been long known to communities of color – force is used disproportionately against people ...


Pretextual Sanctions, Contempt, And The Practical Limits Of Bearden-Based Debtors' Prison Litigation, Colin Reingold May 2016

Pretextual Sanctions, Contempt, And The Practical Limits Of Bearden-Based Debtors' Prison Litigation, Colin Reingold

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

At the time of this writing, recent events in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York City, and elsewhere have triggered quite justified social outrage at debtors’ prisons. Our country’s state and city courts keep scores of indigent people in jail for the crime of being poor, despite the Supreme Court’s clear prohibition on the practice. Skilled litigators and their journalist allies have seized on the moment to win victories in court and in the public eye, which prevent unconscionable bond and probation practices and try to reduce our burgeoning jail populations. Lost in the uproar, though, are the many ways ...


The Ohio Model For Combatting Debtors' Prisons, Jocelyn Rosnick, Mike Brickner May 2016

The Ohio Model For Combatting Debtors' Prisons, Jocelyn Rosnick, Mike Brickner

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

In 2013, the ACLU of Ohio released a report titled The Outskirts of Hope: How Ohio’s Debtors’ Prisons Are Ruining Lives and Costing Communities. The report exposed the blatantly unconstitutional practice in courts across Ohio of jailing people who were too poor to pay their court fines and fees, and along with our ongoing advocacy efforts, resulted in sweeping change across the state. This Essay looks at the destruction modern debtors’ prisons have on individuals, families, and communities and overviews the research, advocacy, and communications tools the ACLU of Ohio has used to successfully combat debtors’ prisons. The goal ...


How The Ada Regulates And Restricts Solitary Confinement For People With Mental Disabilities, Margo Schlanger May 2016

How The Ada Regulates And Restricts Solitary Confinement For People With Mental Disabilities, Margo Schlanger

Other Publications

In a landmark decision two decades ago, United States District Judge Thelton Henderson emphasized the toxic effects of solitary confinement for inmates with mental illness. In Madrid v. Gomez, a case about California’s Pelican Bay prison, Judge Henderson wrote that isolated conditions in the Special Housing Unit, or SHU, while not amounting to cruel and unusual punishment for all prisoners, were unconstitutional for those “at a particularly high risk for suffering very serious or severe injury to their mental health . . . .” Vulnerable prisoners included those with pre-existing mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and brain damage. Henderson concluded that “[f]or these ...


To Seek A Newer World: Prisoners’ Rights At The Frontier, David M. Shapiro Apr 2016

To Seek A Newer World: Prisoners’ Rights At The Frontier, David M. Shapiro

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Prisoners’ rights lawyers have long faced a dismal legal landscape. Yet, 2015 was a remarkable year for prison litigation that could signal a new period for this area of law—the Supreme Court handed down decisions that will reverberate in prison jurisprudence for decades to come. New questions have been asked, new avenues opened. This piece is about what the Court has done recently, and what possibilities it has opened for the future. More broadly, I suggest that the Court may be subjecting prison officials to greater scrutiny and that this shifting judicial landscape reflects an evolving social discourse about ...


The Exceptional Circumstances Of Johnson V. United States, Leah M. Litman Jan 2016

The Exceptional Circumstances Of Johnson V. United States, Leah M. Litman

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Johnson v. United States held that the “residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) is unconstitutionally vague. Since Johnson was decided six months ago, courts have been sorting out which of the currently incarcerated defendants who were sentenced under ACCA’s residual clause may be resentenced. Determining who can be resentenced in light of Johnson requires courts to answer several questions. For example, does the rule in Johnson apply retroactively to convictions that have already become final? And can prisoners who have already filed one petition for postconviction review—review that occurs after a defendant’s conviction has ...


Transparency And Comparative Executive Clemency: Global Lessons For Pardon Reform In The United States, Andrew Novak Jan 2016

Transparency And Comparative Executive Clemency: Global Lessons For Pardon Reform In The United States, Andrew Novak

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article argues for transparency in the clemency process and contends that the concept of clemency as a benign sovereign’s “act of grace” is no longer appropriate in the modern world where executive action is subordinate to principles of constitutional due process and administrative equity. Despite calls for federal clemency reform in the United States, little comparative research examines clemency elsewhere in the common law world. This Article compares common law countries’ constitutional clemency mechanisms designed to promote openness, public and victim participation, and rational decision-making. In addition, this Article proposes four reforms to the U.S. pardon system ...


Search Incident To Probable Cause?: The Intersection Of Rawlings And Knowles, Marissa Perry Jan 2016

Search Incident To Probable Cause?: The Intersection Of Rawlings And Knowles, Marissa Perry

Michigan Law Review

The search incident to arrest exception authorizes an officer to search an arrestee’s person and his or her area of immediate control. This exception is based on two historical justifications: officer safety and evidence preservation. While much of search incident to arrest doctrine is settled, tension exists between two Supreme Court cases, Rawlings v. Kentucky and Knowles v. Iowa, and a crucial question remains unanswered: Must an officer decide to make an arrest prior to commencing a search? In Rawlings, the Supreme Court stated that a search may precede a formal arrest if the arrest follows quickly thereafter. In ...


The Firing Squad As "A Known And Available Alternative Method Of Execution" Post-Glossip, Deborah W. Denno Jan 2016

The Firing Squad As "A Known And Available Alternative Method Of Execution" Post-Glossip, Deborah W. Denno

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article does not address the medical debate surrounding the role of midazolam in executions; the problems associated with using the drug have been persuasively argued elsewhere. Nor does it question the soundness of the Glossip Court’s “alternative method of execution” requirement. Rather, this Article’s proposed reform is a constitutionally acceptable alternative that meets the Glossip Court’s standard, rendering moot—at least for the purposes of the following discussion—very real concerns regarding the validity of that dictate. Part I of this Article pinpoints several areas where the Glossip Court goes wrong in glaringly inaccurate or misleading ...


Retention And Reform In Japanese Capital Punishment, David T. Johnson Jan 2016

Retention And Reform In Japanese Capital Punishment, David T. Johnson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article focuses on the failure of abolition and of death penalty reform in Japan in order to illustrate contingencies in the trajectory of capital punishment in the modern world. Part I describes three facts about postwar Japan that help explain why it retains capital punishment today: a missed opportunity for abolition during the American occupation of the country after World War II; the long-term rule of a conservative political party; and economic and geopolitical power that has enabled the country to resist the influence of international norms. Part II describes a few ways in which Japanese capital punishment has ...


Why And How To Compensate Exonerees, Erik Encarnacion Jan 2016

Why And How To Compensate Exonerees, Erik Encarnacion

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

How can we bring greater uniformity to exoneree compensation in a principled and just way? This paper argues that answering this question becomes easier once we identify the principles of justice that best justify and explain compensation statutes. In particular, commentators have assumed incorrectly that the goal of compensating exonerees should be understood primarily in terms of corrective justice, which posits a duty to undo or repair wrongfully inflicted harms. This paper argues, by contrast, that restitutionary justice, which forces parties to relinquish unjust gains, better justifies and explains compensation statutes. The unjust gains at issue are fair wages withheld ...


The Incremental Retributive Impact Of A Death Sentence Over Life Without Parole, Michael L. Radelet Jan 2016

The Incremental Retributive Impact Of A Death Sentence Over Life Without Parole, Michael L. Radelet

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In this paper, the author takes a closer look at retribution, which is the primary justification for the death penalty today in the United States and the main component of the additional punishment imposed by the death penalty over and above life imprisonment without parole (LWOP). While all criminal punishments, to varying degrees, punish both the inmate and his or her family, this paper argues that the death penalty’s added punishment over LWOP often punishes the family just as much as the inmate, and after the execution the full brunt of the punishment falls on the family. This added ...


Portmanteau Ascendant: Post-Release Regulations And Sex Offender Recidivism, J. J. Prescott Jan 2016

Portmanteau Ascendant: Post-Release Regulations And Sex Offender Recidivism, J. J. Prescott

Articles

The purported purpose of sex offender post-release regulations (e.g., community notification and residency restrictions) is the reduction of sex offender recidivism. On their face, these laws seem well-designed and likely to be effective. A simple economic framework of offender behavior can be used to formalize these basic intuitions: in essence, post-release regulations either increase the probability of detection or increase the immediate cost of engaging in the prohibited activity (or both), and so should reduce the likelihood of criminal behavior. These laws aim to incapacitate people outside of prison. Yet, empirical researchers to date have found essentially no reliable ...


Confessions In An International Age: Re-Examining Admissibility Through The Lens Of Foreign Interrogations, Julie Tanaka Siegel Jan 2016

Confessions In An International Age: Re-Examining Admissibility Through The Lens Of Foreign Interrogations, Julie Tanaka Siegel

Michigan Law Review

In Colorado v. Connelly the Supreme Court held that police misconduct is necessary for an inadmissible confession. Since the Connelly decision, courts and scholars have framed the admissibility of a confession in terms of whether it successfully deters future police misconduct. As a result, the admissibility of a confession turns largely on whether U.S. police acted poorly, and only after overcoming this threshold have courts considered factors pointing to the reliability and voluntariness of the confession. In the international context, this translates into the routine and almost mechanic admission of confessions— even when there is clear indication that the ...


Prosecuting Rape Victims While Rapists Run Free: The Consequences Of Police Failure To Investigate Sex Crimes In Britain And The United States, Lisa Avalos Jan 2016

Prosecuting Rape Victims While Rapists Run Free: The Consequences Of Police Failure To Investigate Sex Crimes In Britain And The United States, Lisa Avalos

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Imagine that a close friend is raped, and you encourage her to report it to the police. At first, she thinks that the police are taking her report seriously, but the investigation does not seem to move forward. The next thing she knows, they accuse her of lying and ultimately file charges against her. You and your friend are in shock; this outcome never entered your minds. This nightmare may seem inconceivable, but it has in fact occurred repeatedly in both the United States and Britain—countries that are typically lauded for their high levels of gender equality. In Britain ...


The Complicated Economics Of Prison Reform, John F. Pfaff Jan 2016

The Complicated Economics Of Prison Reform, John F. Pfaff

Michigan Law Review

Two recent books on prison growth directly address the relationship between penal change and economic conditions: Hadar Aviram’s Cheap on Crime and Marie Gottschalk’s Caught. Aviram’s is the more optimistic of the two accounts, arguing that there is at least some potential in an economic-based reform effort. Gottschalk, on the other hand, fears not only that economic-based efforts could fail to lead to significant reforms, but that they could actually make prison life worse for inmates if states cut funding and support without cutting populations. Both books make many provocative points, but both also suffer from some ...


Anti-Incarcerative Remedies For Illegal Conditions Of Confinement, Margo Schlanger Jan 2016

Anti-Incarcerative Remedies For Illegal Conditions Of Confinement, Margo Schlanger

Articles

Opposition to mass incarceration has entered the mainstream. But except in a few states, mass decarceration has not, so far, followed: By the end of 2014 (the last data available), nationwide prison population had shrunk only 3% off its (2009) peak. Jail population, similarly, was down just 5% from its (2008) peak. All told, our current incarceration rate - 7 per 1,000 population - is the same as in 2002, and four times the level in 1970, when American incarceration rates began their rise. Our bloated prisoner population includes many groups of prisoners who are especially likely to face grievous harm ...


Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2016

Testing Racial Profiling: Empirical Assessment Of Disparate Treatment By Police, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

In this Article, I explore why measuring disparate-treatment discrimination by police is so difficult, and consider the ways that researchers' existing tools can make headway on these challenges and the ways they fall short. Lab experiments have provided useful information about implicit racial bias, but they cannot directly tell us how these biases actually affect real-world behavior. Meanwhile, for observational researchers, there are various hurdles, but the hardest one to overcome is generally the absence of data on the citizen conduct that at least partially shapes policing decisions. Most crime, and certainly most noncriminal "suspicious" or probable-cause-generating behavior, goes unreported ...