Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 24 of 24

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Federal Government's Role In Local Policing, Farhang Heydari, Barry Friedman, Rachel Harmon Dec 2023

The Federal Government's Role In Local Policing, Farhang Heydari, Barry Friedman, Rachel Harmon

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

For far too long, the federal government has failed to exercise its constitutional authority to mitigate the harms imposed by local policing. Absent federal intervention, though, some harmful aspects of policing will not be addressed effectively, or at all. States and localities often lack the necessary capacity and expertise to change policing, and many states and localities lack the will. This Article argues for federal intervention and describes what that intervention should look like.

The Article begins by describing three paradigmatic areas of local policing that require federal intervention to create real change: excessive use offorce, racial discrimination, and the …


Historicizing The War(S) On Drugs Across National (And Disciplanary) Borders, Sara Mayeux Apr 2023

Historicizing The War(S) On Drugs Across National (And Disciplanary) Borders, Sara Mayeux

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Notwithstanding the title, The War on Drugs: A History, this illuminating book is not "a" history of "the" War on Drugs but an edited collection with a sampling of new research into the intertwined histories of drug regulation and criminalization, deregulation and decriminalization, both in the United States and around the world. To use the parlance of Jotwell, I like this book a lot.

But I am also writing this Jot because I worry that the title may mislead legal scholars into thinking that this is only a book for historians of criminal law or scholars of the "carceral state." …


Equality In The Streets: Using Proportionality Analysis To Regulate Street Policing, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2022

Equality In The Streets: Using Proportionality Analysis To Regulate Street Policing, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The racially disparate impact and individual and collective costs of stop and frisk, misdemeanor arrests, and pretextual traffic stops have been well documented. Less widely noticed is the contrast between Supreme Court case law permitting these practices and the Court's recent tendency to strictly regulate technologically enhanced searches that occur outside the street policing setting and that--coincidentally or not--happen to be more likely to affect the middle class. If, as the Court has indicated, electronic tracking and searches of digital records require probable cause that evidence of crime will be found, stops and frisks should also require probable cause that …


A World Of Difference? Law Enforcement, Genetic Data, And The Fourth Amendment, Christopher Slobogin, J. W. Hazel Jan 2021

A World Of Difference? Law Enforcement, Genetic Data, And The Fourth Amendment, Christopher Slobogin, J. W. Hazel

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Law enforcement agencies are increasingly turning to genetic databases as a way of solving crime, either through requesting the DNA profile of an identified suspect from a database or, more commonly, by matching crime scene DNA with DNA profiles in a database in an attempt to identify a suspect or a family member of a suspect. Neither of these efforts implicates the Fourth Amendment, because the Supreme Court has held that a Fourth Amendment "search" does not occur unless police infringe "expectations of privacy society is prepared to recognize as reasonable" and has construed that phrase narrowly, without reference to …


Police As Community Caretakers: Caniglia V. Strom, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2021

Police As Community Caretakers: Caniglia V. Strom, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

What is the proper role of the police? That question has been at the forefront of debates about policing for quite some time, but especially in the past year. One answer, spurred by countless news stories about black people killed by law enforcement officers, is that the power of the police should be reduced to the bare minimum, with some in the Defund the Police movement calling for outright abolition of local police departments. Toward the other end of the spectrum is the notion that the role of the police in modern society is and must be capacious. Police should …


Preventive Justice: How Algorithms Parole Boards, And Limiting Retributivism Could End Mass Incarceration, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2021

Preventive Justice: How Algorithms Parole Boards, And Limiting Retributivism Could End Mass Incarceration, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A number of states use statistically derived algorithms to provide estimates of the risk of reoffending. In theory, these risk assessment instruments could bring significant benefits. Fewer people of all ethnicities would be put in jail prior to trial and in prison after conviction, the duration of sentences would be reduced for low-risk offenders, and treatment resources would be more efficiently allocated. As a result, the capital outlays for prisons and jails would be substantially reduced. The public would continue to be protected from the most dangerous individuals, while lower-risk individuals would be less subject to the criminogenic effects of …


The Law On Police Use Of Force In The United States, Christopher Slobogin, Brandon Garrett Jan 2020

The Law On Police Use Of Force In The United States, Christopher Slobogin, Brandon Garrett

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Recent events in the United States have highlighted the fact that American police resort to force, including deadly force, much more often than in many other Western countries. This Article describes how the current regulatory regime may ignore or even facilitate these aggressive police actions. The law governing police use of force in the United States derives in large part from the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. As construed by the United States Supreme Court, the Fourth Amendment provides police wide leeway in using deadly force, making custodial arrests, and stopping and …


The Gendered Burdens Of Conviction And Collateral Consequences On Employment, Joni Hersch, Erin E. Meyers Jan 2019

The Gendered Burdens Of Conviction And Collateral Consequences On Employment, Joni Hersch, Erin E. Meyers

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Ex-offenders are subject to a wide range of employment restrictions that limit the ability of individuals with a criminal background to earn a living. This Article argues that women involved in the criminal justice system likely suffer a greater income-related burden from criminal conviction than do men. This disproportionate burden arises in occupations that women typically pursue, both through formal pathways, such as restrictions on occupational licensing, and through informal pathways, such as employers’ unwillingness to hire those with a criminal record. In addition, women have access to far fewer vocational programs while incarcerated. Further exacerbating this burden is that …


How And Why Is The American Punishment System "Exceptional"?, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2018

How And Why Is The American Punishment System "Exceptional"?, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Anyone interested in American criminal justice has to wonder why we have so many more people in prison—in absolute as well as relative terms—than the western half of the European continent, the part of the world most readily comparable to us. This book, consisting of eleven chapters by eminent criminal law scholars, criminologists and political scientists, provides both a detailed look at how U.S. punishment is different and an insightful analysis of why that might be so. While many chapters in the book describe previously declared positions of the authors, there is also much that is new in the book, …


Proportionality Skepticism In A Red State, Lauren Sudeall May 2017

Proportionality Skepticism In A Red State, Lauren Sudeall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

As someone who lives in a red state and has practiced capital defense in Georgia and Alabama, my view for some time has been that the death penalty is not going anywhere any time soon. And while the dominant message from legal experts and commentators in recent years has been that the death penalty is on the decline,' the results of this past election might suggest otherwise. The three referenda regarding capital punishment on the 2016 ballot - in California, Nebraska, and Oklahoma - were all resolved in favor of the death penalty. These votes could be taken to signal …


An Empirical Assessment Of Georgia's Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, Lauren Sudeall Apr 2017

An Empirical Assessment Of Georgia's Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, Lauren Sudeall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In Atkins v. Virginia, the Supreme Court held that execution of people with intellectual disabilities violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. In doing so, the Court explicitly left to the states the question of which procedures would be used to identify such defendants as exempt from the death penalty. More than a decade before Atkins, Georgia was the first state to bar execution of people with intellectual disability. Yet, of the states that continue to impose the death penalty as a punishment for capital murder, Georgia is the only state that requires capital defendants to prove …


Alleyne On The Ground: Factfinding That Limits Eligibility For Probation Or Parole Release, Nancy J. King, Brynn E. Applebaum Jan 2014

Alleyne On The Ground: Factfinding That Limits Eligibility For Probation Or Parole Release, Nancy J. King, Brynn E. Applebaum

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article addresses the impact of Alleyne v. United States on statutes that restrict an offender’s eligibility for release on parole or probation. Alleyne is the latest of several Supreme Court decisions applying the rule announced in the Court’s 2000 ruling, Apprendi v. New Jersey. To apply Alleyne, courts must for the first time determine what constitutes a minimum sentence and when that minimum is mandatory. These questions have proven particularly challenging in states that authorize indeterminate sentences, when statutes that delay the timing of eligibility for release are keyed to judicial findings at sentencing. The same questions also arise, …


Community Control Over Camera Surveillance: A Response To Bennett Capers's "Crime, Surveillance, And Communities", Christopher Slobogin Jan 2013

Community Control Over Camera Surveillance: A Response To Bennett Capers's "Crime, Surveillance, And Communities", Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Professor Capers's article helps stimulate thinking about the way in which community views and individual rights interact. In my view, where police propose to conduct surveillance of groups, as occurs with camera surveillance (including the newly developing drone camera systems)', the affected group should be heavily involved in the authorization process. If the surveillance is authorized, care must be taken to ensure that all members of the group are equally affected by it unless and until individualized suspicion, proportionate to the intrusion, develops. That formula ensures that the interests of both the collective and the individual are protected.


Comparative Empiricism And Police Investigative Practices, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2011

Comparative Empiricism And Police Investigative Practices, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In the search and seizure context, the United States is much more heavily wedded to warrants and exclusion than European countries and in the interrogation setting requires more robust warnings than most nations in Europe. Comparative empiricism is an empirical assessment of the relative effectiveness of these types of differences between nations regulatory regimes. In the law enforcement context, this type of assessment might be the only realistic means of determining the combination of mechanisms that best protects against government over-reaching without unduly stymying good police-work. Domestic research that attempts to explore differing regulatory approaches either occurs in experimental settings …


The Origins Of Back-End Sentencing In California: A Dispatch From The Archives, Sara Mayeux Jan 2011

The Origins Of Back-End Sentencing In California: A Dispatch From The Archives, Sara Mayeux

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In recent years, policy analysts have generated a small body of literature about the practice of "back-end sentencing," observing that California uses parole revocation in lieu of criminal prosecution for a surprisingly high number of cases, including many that would otherwise be considered serious crimes. Some of these offenders may be getting away with far shorter sentences than if their conduct were prosecuted criminally. Surely others are being railroaded into serving time for charges of which they could never be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. And many are being cycled in and out of prison on fairly minor violations for …


Government Dragnets, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2010

Government Dragnets, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article examines group-focused police investigation techniques - for instance, roadblocks, drug testing programs, area or industry-wide health and safety inspections, data mining, and camera surveillance - a phenomenon referred to as "government dragnets" because these general searches and seizures attempt to cull out bad actors through ensnaring a much larger number of individuals who are innocent of any wrongdoing. The courts have imposed few limitations on dragnets. Recent commentary has either advocated an even more laissez-faire attitude toward these group search and seizures or, at the other end of the spectrum, proposed schemes that would make most of them …


The Death Penalty In Florida, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2009

The Death Penalty In Florida, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article summarizes the findings and recommendations of the ABA Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project's Florida Assessment Team, which I chaired. Relying on an analysis of caselaw, studies, news reports, and interviews, the article describes significant flaws in Florida's death penalty law and practice in nine areas: the police investigative process; the analysis of scientific evidence; the conduct of prosecutors; the qualifications, reimbursement and competence of defense attorneys; the decision-making process of judges; the structure and decision-making process of capital sentencing juries; clemency; the system's reaction to the race of the victim; and the treatment of people with mental disability. …


Lying And Confessing, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2007

Lying And Confessing, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This essay, for a symposium on Citizen Ignorance, Police Deception and the Constitution, relies on moral philosophy and new empirical research in arguing that police deceit during interrogation is permissible when: (1) it takes place in the window between arrest and formal charging; (2) it is necessary (i.e., non-deceptive techniques have failed); (3) it is not coercive (i.e., avoids undermining the rights to silence and counsel and would not be considered impermissibly coercive if true); and (4) it does not take advantage of vulnerable populations (i.e., suspects who are young, have mental retardation, or have been subjected to prolonged interrogation). …


Mental Disorder As An Exemption From The Death Penalty: The Aba-Irr Task Force Recommendations, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2005

Mental Disorder As An Exemption From The Death Penalty: The Aba-Irr Task Force Recommendations, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Task Force on Mental Disability and the Death Penalty (Task Force) established by the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the American Bar Association (ABA-IRR) has proposed that the ABA adopt three recommendations concerning the role of mental disability in capital cases. The first two recommendations call for a prohibition on execution of offenders whose mental disorder rendered them less culpable at the time of the offense, and the third would prohibit execution of those whose mental disability currently renders them incompetent to pursue appeals or to be executed. This Article discusses the first two, culpability-related, recommendations. With respect …


Subpoenas And Privacy, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2005

Subpoenas And Privacy, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This symposium article, the first of two on regulation of government's efforts to obtain paper and digital records of our activities, analyzes the constitutional legitimacy of subpoenas. Whether issued by a grand jury or an administrative agency, subpoenas are extremely easy to enforce, merely requiring the government to demonstrate that the items sought pursuant to the subpoena are "relevant" to a investigation. Yet today subpoenas and pseudo-subpoenas are routinely used not only to obtain business records and the like, but also documents containing significant amounts of personal information about individuals, including medical, financial, and email records. Part I provides an …


Damages To Deter Police Shootings, W. Kip Viscusi, S. Jeffrey Jan 2001

Damages To Deter Police Shootings, W. Kip Viscusi, S. Jeffrey

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Many fatal shootings by police are not warranted. These shootings impose losses on the victims and their families and reflect the failure of existing administrative and legal restraints to deter these unwarranted shootings. This Article proposes a revamping of existing incentives to both provide more adequate compensation to the victims' families and to establish levels of deterrence that are sufficient to curtail unjust fatalities. There are legal criteria for what level of force is "reasonable," but determining reasonableness in practice may be difficult. Practical guidance such as the "21-foot rule" for the threat to warrant a shooting is often problematic. …


Deceit, Pretext, And Trickery: Investigative Lies By The Police, Christopher Slobogin Jan 1997

Deceit, Pretext, And Trickery: Investigative Lies By The Police, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article has been a preliminary effort at identifying those limitations in connection with one specific type of lie-investigative lies, or lies told to people in an effort to gather evidence against them. The extrapolation of Bok's analysis developed in this Article suggests that once an individual has been identified as a suspect through the public proxy of a judge, noncoercive deception in the investigative setting is often permissible. On the other hand, in the absence of such an identification, or when deception leads the dupe to believe he has no choice but to provide the soughtafter evidence, investigative lying …


Testilying: Police Perjury And What To Do About It, Christopher Slobogin Jan 1996

Testilying: Police Perjury And What To Do About It, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Police, like people generally, lie in all sorts of contexts for all sorts of reasons. This article has focused on police lying designed to convict individuals the police think are guilty. Strong measures are needed to reduce the powerful incentives to practice such testilying and the reluctance of prosecutors and judges to do anything about it. Among them might be the adoption of rewards for truth telling, the redefinition of probable cause, and the elimination of the exclusionary rule and its insidious effect on the resolve of legal actors to implement the commands of the Constitution. Ultimately, however, the various …


Implications Of Prison Privatization For The Conduct Of Prisoner Litigation Under 42 U.S.C., Susan L. Kay May 1987

Implications Of Prison Privatization For The Conduct Of Prisoner Litigation Under 42 U.S.C., Susan L. Kay

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Prisoners often seek redress in federal courts through causes of action brought under 42 U.S.C. Section 19831 for violations of their constitutional rights caused by the overall condition of their confinement or by one specific condition or incident. Although commentators disagree over the extent to which these cases burden federal district courts, they agree that prisoner litigation constitutes a large percentage of the civil rights litigation in district courts. One of the attractions of prison privatization for state and local governments is the belief that contracting prison management to private firms will relieve the government of the burden of defending …