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Reconsidering Federal And State Obstacles To Human Trafficking Victim Status And Entitlements, Amanda J. Peters Apr 2015

Reconsidering Federal And State Obstacles To Human Trafficking Victim Status And Entitlements, Amanda J. Peters

Amanda J Peters

Federal and state anti-trafficking laws describe the victim in the process of criminalizing the act of human trafficking. Nearly half of all states adopt the federal definition of victim, which requires proof of forced, defrauded or coerced labor, whereas the other half narrows this definition thereby limiting the number of victims qualifying for state victims services. Using this definition, victims must prove their status before they can access victim entitlements. Even when victims prove their status, they may be denied traditional crime victim benefits like restitution and Crime Victim Compensation funds. In this way, their victim status may be rendered …


Modern Prostitution Reform And The Return Of Volitional Consent, Amanda J. Peters Feb 2014

Modern Prostitution Reform And The Return Of Volitional Consent, Amanda J. Peters

Amanda J Peters

For decades, prostitution laws in America have focused exclusively on contractual consent: the agreement to exchange sexual services for a fee. Courts and legislatures alike ignored volitional consent, or traditional mens rea, by concentrating on the offer and acceptance of the prostitution agreement. In this way, the law disregarded the actor’s choice to engage in the crime. The de facto strict liability nature of the offense rendered it nearly impossible for prostitutes to successfully raise the defenses of duress and necessity. The failure of the law to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary prostitution resulted in charges, trials, and convictions …


Disparate Protections For American Human Trafficking Victims, Amanda J. Peters Aug 2012

Disparate Protections For American Human Trafficking Victims, Amanda J. Peters

Amanda J Peters

The United States enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000. It was the first piece of legislation to address human trafficking. Since that time, the United States has monitored anti-trafficking efforts worldwide. Nations that fail to meet minimum standards set by the United States risk losing non-humanitarian financial aid from the federal government, the International Monetary Fund, and global banks. Yet, these minimum standards are not met by the United States when it comes to protecting American trafficking victims.

According to the TVPA, governments shall attempt to prevent human trafficking, punish traffickers, and protect people who have been …


Lawyers Who Break The Law: What Congress Can Do To Prevent Mental Health Patient Advocates From Violating Federal Legislation, Amanda J. Peters Mar 2010

Lawyers Who Break The Law: What Congress Can Do To Prevent Mental Health Patient Advocates From Violating Federal Legislation, Amanda J. Peters

Amanda J Peters

In 1986, Congress enacted the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI). PAIMI created a national, federally-funded system of patient advocacy for individuals with mental illness. Patient advocates are lawyers who are charged with protecting individuals who have mental illness from abuse, neglect, and civil rights violations. Congress will review and revise PAIMI in 2011.

Over the past twenty-four years, advocates have saved countless individuals from abuse and death. However, numerous federal Department of Justice investigations reveal that patient advocates are not always carrying out their PAIMI responsibilities. Instead, patient advocates frequently engage in activities that are …


The Meaning, Measure, And Misuse Of Standards Of Review, Amanda J. Peters Sep 2008

The Meaning, Measure, And Misuse Of Standards Of Review, Amanda J. Peters

Amanda J Peters

Standards of review are critical to appellate review because they set limitations upon the appellate court's review process. In doing so, standards of review balance judicial authority, make judicial review more efficient, standardize the review process, and give notice to parties who wish to appeal their cases. However, these policies and their effects are diminished when appellate judges misuse or ignore standards of review.

This article examines the theories that led to the creation of standards of review and identifies four ways that appellate courts misuse standards of review. It analyzes over 8,000 cases from Texas and California, along with …