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Toward A Better Criminal Legal System: Improving Prisons, Prosecution, And Criminal Defense, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris Jan 2024

Toward A Better Criminal Legal System: Improving Prisons, Prosecution, And Criminal Defense, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris

Articles

During the Fall 2023 semester, 15 law (Outside) students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and 13 incarcerated (Inside) students from the State Correctional Institution – Greene, in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, took a full semester class together called Issues in Criminal Justice and Law. The class, occurring each week at the prison, utilized the Inside-Out Prison Exchange pedagogy, and was facilitated by Professor David Harris. Subjects include the purposes of prison, addressing crime, the criminal legal system and race, and issues surrounding victims and survivors of crime. The course culminated in a Group Project; under the heading “improving the …


Public Defenders As Gatekeepers Of Freedom, Alma Magaña Oct 2023

Public Defenders As Gatekeepers Of Freedom, Alma Magaña

Articles

Nearly half a million people are currently held in pretrial detention across the United States. Legal scholarship has explored many of the actors and factors contributing to the deprivation of freedom of those presumed innocent. And while the scholarship in these areas is rich, it has primarily focused on certain system actors—including judges, prosecutors, and profit-seeking sheriffs—structural concerns, such as the role race plays in who is being held in pretrial detention, or critiques of the failed promise of algorithms to deliver on bias-free bail determinations. But relatively little scholarship exists about the contributions of public defenders to this deprivation. …


Race Ethics: Colorblind Formalism And Color-Coded Pragmatism In Lawyer Regulation, Anthony V. Alfieri Jul 2023

Race Ethics: Colorblind Formalism And Color-Coded Pragmatism In Lawyer Regulation, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

The recent, high-profile civil and criminal trials held in the aftermath of the George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery murders, the Kyle Rittenhouse killings, and the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally violence renew debate over race, representation, and ethics in the U.S. civil and criminal justice systems. For civil rights lawyers, prosecutors, and criminal defense attorneys, neither the progress of post-war civil rights movements and criminal justice reform campaigns nor the advance of Critical Race Theory and social movement scholarship have resolved the debate over the use of race in pretrial, trial, and appellate advocacy, and in the lawyering process more …


Inventing Deportation Arrests, Lindsay Nash Jun 2023

Inventing Deportation Arrests, Lindsay Nash

Articles

At the dawn of the federal deportation system, the nation’s top immigration official proclaimed the power to authorize deportation arrests “an extraordinary one” to vest in administrative officers. He reassured the nation that this immense power—then wielded by a cabinet secretary, the only executive officer empowered to authorize these arrests—was exercised with “great care and deliberation.” A century later, this extraordinary power is legally trivial and systemically exercised by low-level enforcement officers alone. Consequently, thousands of these officers—the police and jailors of the immigration system— now have the power to solely determine whether deportation arrests are justified and, therefore, whether …


From The Editors In Chief, Kathleen Claussen, Sergio Puig, Michael Waibel Mar 2023

From The Editors In Chief, Kathleen Claussen, Sergio Puig, Michael Waibel

Articles

No abstract provided.


No Sense Of Decency, Kathryn E. Miller Mar 2023

No Sense Of Decency, Kathryn E. Miller

Articles

For nearly seventy years, the Court has assessed Eighth Amendment claims by evaluating “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” In this Article, I examine the evolving standards of decency test, which has long been a punching bag for critics on both the right and the left. Criticism of the doctrine has been fierce, but largely academic until recent years. Some fault the test for being too majoritarian, while others argue that it provides few constraints on the Justices’ discretion, permitting their personal predilections to rule the day. For many, the test is seen …


Asymmetric Review Of Qualified Immunity Appeals, Alexander A. Reinert Mar 2023

Asymmetric Review Of Qualified Immunity Appeals, Alexander A. Reinert

Articles

This article presents results from the most comprehensive study to date of the resolution of qualified immunity in the federal courts of appeals and the US Supreme Court. By analyzing more than 4000 appellate decisions issued between 2004 and 2015, this study provides novel insights into how courts of appeals resolve arguments for qualified immunity. Moreover, by conducting an unprecedented analysis of certiorari practice, this study reveals how the US Supreme Court has exercised its discretionary jurisdiction in the area of qualified immunity. The data presented here have significant implications for civil rights enforcement and the uniformity of federal law. …


Coming Of Age In The Eyes Of The Law: Theconflict Between Miranda, J.D.B., And Puberty, David M. N. Garavito Jan 2023

Coming Of Age In The Eyes Of The Law: Theconflict Between Miranda, J.D.B., And Puberty, David M. N. Garavito

Articles

Everyone knows that going through puberty is associated with a multitude of changes: physical, mental, hormonal, etc. Fewer people know that when and how fast one goes through puberty can also be associated with changes to one’s legal rights. The Supreme Court of the United States held, in the landmark case of J.D.B. v. North Carolina, that there were many “commonsense conclusions” that could be drawn from how a child’s age would affect their interactions with law enforcement. In that case, the Court was deciding whether age should affect whether a child was considered “in custody” of the police, granting …


Title Theft, Stewart E. Sterk Jan 2023

Title Theft, Stewart E. Sterk

Articles

Real property owners across the country have been targeted by scammers who prepare deeds purporting to convey title to property the scammers do not own. Sometimes, the true owners are entirely unaware of these bogus transfers. In other instances, the scammers use misrepresentation to induce unsophisticated owners to sign documents they do not understand.

Property doctrine protects owners against forgery and fraud—the primary vehicles scammers use in their efforts to transfer title. Owners enjoy protection not only against the scammers themselves, but generally against unsuspecting purchasers to whom the scammers transfer purported title.

Recovery of title, however, involves costs and …


The Fourth Amendment's Constitutional Home, Gerald S. Dickinson Jan 2023

The Fourth Amendment's Constitutional Home, Gerald S. Dickinson

Articles

The home enjoys omnipresent status in American constitutional law. The Bill of Rights, peculiarly, has served as the central refuge for special protections to the home. This constitutional sanctuary has elicited an intriguing textual and doctrinal puzzle. A distinct thread has emerged that runs through the first five amendments delineating the home as a zone where rights emanating from speech, smut, gods, guns, soldiers, searches, sex, and self-incrimination enjoy special protections. However, the thread inexplicably unravels upon arriving at takings. There, the constitutional text omits and the Supreme Court’s doctrine excludes a special zone of safeguards to the home. This …


Creating A Better, Fairer Criminal Justice System, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris Jan 2023

Creating A Better, Fairer Criminal Justice System, David A. Harris, Created And Presented Jointly By Students From State Correctional Institution - Greene, Waynesburg, Pa, And University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law, Chief Editor: David A. Harris

Articles

In the Fall 2022 semester, 14 law (Outside) students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and 14 incarcerated (Inside) students at the State Correctional Institution at Greene, in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, took a full-semester class together called "Issues in Criminal Justice and the Law." The class, taught and facilitated by Professor David Harris, utilized the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program pedagogy, emphasizing dialogic learning and peer teaching. The semester culminated with a group project, with the topic selected by the students: "creating a better, fairer criminal justice system." Members of the class organized themselves into small groups, each working for …


Collusive Prosecution, Ben A. Mcjunkin, J.J. Prescott Jan 2023

Collusive Prosecution, Ben A. Mcjunkin, J.J. Prescott

Articles

In this Article, we argue that increasingly harsh collateral consequences have surfaced an underappreciated and undertheorized dynamic of criminal plea bargaining. Collateral consequences that mostly or entirely benefit third parties (such as other communities or other states) create an interest asymmetry that prosecutors and defendants can exploit in plea negotiations. In particular, if a prosecutor and a defendant can control the offense of conviction (often through what some term a “fictional plea”), they can work together to evade otherwise applicable collateral consequences, such as deportation or sex-offender registration and notification. Both parties arguably benefit: Prosecutors can leverage collateral consequences to …


Freedom From Speech, Mary Anne Franks Jul 2022

Freedom From Speech, Mary Anne Franks

Articles

The importance of freedom of speech in a democratic society is usually taken as a given, but freedom from speech is no less important in safeguarding the values of truth, autonomy, and democracy. Freedom from speech includes both the right of the individual to not be forced to speak and the freedom to avoid the speech of others. This essay attempts to highlight the significance of freedom from speech in order to clarify the importance of the First Amendment right against compelled speech; provide an explanation for when the right of free speech yields to other rights; and offer a …


Resurrecting Arbitrariness, Kathryn E. Miller Jul 2022

Resurrecting Arbitrariness, Kathryn E. Miller

Articles

What allows judges to sentence a child to die in prison? For years, they did so without constitutional restriction. That all changed in 2012’s Miller v. Alabama, which banned mandatory sentences of life without parole for children convicted of homicide crimes. Miller held that this extreme sentence was constitutional only for the worst offenders—the “permanently incorrigible.” By embracing individualized sentencing, Miller and its progeny portended a sea change in the way juveniles would be sentenced for serious crimes. But if Miller opened the door to sentencing reform, the Court’s recent decision in Jones v. Mississippi appeared to slam it …


Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers, Pamela Foohey, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne Apr 2022

Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers, Pamela Foohey, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne

Articles

One in ten adult Americans has turned to the consumer bankruptcy system for help. For almost forty years, the only systematic data collection about the people who file bankruptcy has come from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), for which we serve as co-principal investigators. In this Article, we use CBP data from 2013 to 2019 to describe who is using the bankruptcy system, providing the first comprehensive overview of bankruptcy filers in thirty years. We use principal component analysis to leverage these data to identify distinct groups of people who file bankruptcy. This technique allows us to situate the distinctions …


The Progressive Love Affair With The Carceral State, Kate Levine Apr 2022

The Progressive Love Affair With The Carceral State, Kate Levine

Articles

A Review of The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration. By Aya Gruber.


Ending The Discriminatory Pretrial Incarceration Of People With Disabilities: Liability Under The Americans With Disabilities Act And The Rehabilitation Act, Margo Schlanger, Elizabeth Jordan, Roxana Moussavian Jan 2022

Ending The Discriminatory Pretrial Incarceration Of People With Disabilities: Liability Under The Americans With Disabilities Act And The Rehabilitation Act, Margo Schlanger, Elizabeth Jordan, Roxana Moussavian

Articles

Our federal, state, and local governments lock up hundreds of thousands of people at a time—millions over the course of a year—to ensure their appearance at a pending criminal or immigration proceeding. This type of pretrial incarceration—a term we use to cover both pretrial criminal detention and immigration detention prior to finalization of a removal order—can be very harmful. It disrupts the work and family lives of those detained, harms their health, interferes with their defense, and imposes pressure on them to forego their trial rights and accede to the government’s charges in an effort to abbreviate time behind bars. …


Keeping Guns In The Hands Of Abusive Partners: Prosecutorial And Judicial Subversion Of Federal Firearms Laws, Bonnie Carlson Jan 2022

Keeping Guns In The Hands Of Abusive Partners: Prosecutorial And Judicial Subversion Of Federal Firearms Laws, Bonnie Carlson

Articles

State actors are imbued with the power of the government to enforce and apply the law. When they use that power to instead inhibit a law’s enforcement, they are engaging in subversion. Subversion is problematic on its face: it frustrates legislative intent, creates confusion, and destabilizes the separation of powers foundational to our democracy. But subversion is particularly insidious when it is done to the detriment of vulnerable individuals. That is the case when state prosecutors and judges purposefully undermine federal law intended to keep firearms out of the hands of abusive partners. Guns and domestic violence can be a …


Limiting Access To Remedies: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2021-22 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Justin Hill Jan 2022

Limiting Access To Remedies: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court's 2021-22 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Justin Hill

Articles

Although the most memorable cases from the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 Term were on the civil side of its docket, the Court addressed significant cases on the criminal side involving the Confrontation Clause, capital punishment, double jeopardy, criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, and important statutory interpretation principles, such as the mens rea presumption and the scope of the rule of lenity. Looking back, the Court’s decisions limiting individuals’ access to remedies for violations of their constitutional criminal procedure rights stand out. Shinn v. Ramirez and Shoop v. Twyford drastically limit the ability of persons incarcerated in state facilities to challenge the …


Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Pamela Foohey, Dalie Jimenez, Christopher K. Odinet Jan 2022

Steering Loan Modifications Post-Pandemic, Pamela Foohey, Dalie Jimenez, Christopher K. Odinet

Articles

As part of federal and state relief programs created during the COVID-19 pandemic, many American households received pauses on their largest debts, particularly on mortgages and student loans. Others may have come to agreements with their lenders, likewise pausing or altering payment on other debts, such as auto loans and credit cards. This relief allowed households to allocate their savings and income to necessary expenses, like groceries, utilities, and medicine. But forbearance does not equal forgiveness. At the end of the various relief periods and moratoria, people will have to resume paying all their debts, the amounts of which may …


Special Matters: Filtering Privileged Materials In Federal Prosecutions, Christina Frohock Oct 2021

Special Matters: Filtering Privileged Materials In Federal Prosecutions, Christina Frohock

Articles

This Article reviews the U.S. Department of Justice's toolbox for handling potentially privileged materials, with close attention to the evolution from filter teams to the Special Matters Unit in fraud prosecutions. Significant case opinions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits reveal the judiciary's diverse views on filter teams. The recent case of United States v. Esformes in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, now on appeal to the Eleventh Circuit, illustrates how a filter team can fall short and draw unflattering attention to the Department of Justice. In the …


Antiracist Remedial Approaches In Judge Gregory’S Jurisprudence, Leah M. Litman Jul 2021

Antiracist Remedial Approaches In Judge Gregory’S Jurisprudence, Leah M. Litman

Articles

This piece uses the idea of antiracism to highlight parallels between school desegregation cases and cases concerning errors in the criminal justice system. There remain stark, pervasive disparities in both school composition and the criminal justice system. Yet even though judicial remedies are an integral part of rooting out systemic inequality and the vestiges of discrimination, courts have been reticent to use the tools at their disposal to adopt proactive remedial approaches to address these disparities. This piece uses two examples from Judge Roger Gregory’s jurisprudence to illustrate how an antiracist approach to judicial remedies might work.


"Benevolent Paternalism" Revisited, Daniel H. Foote Jun 2021

"Benevolent Paternalism" Revisited, Daniel H. Foote

Articles

Nearly thirty years ago, in an article entitled “The Benevolent Paternalism of Japanese Criminal Justice” (Benevolent Paternalism), I sought to set out a model for the Japanese criminal justice system, the “benevolent paternalism” model. As the label reflects, I viewed the Japanese criminal justice system as consisting of two sides, a “paternalistic” side and a “benevolent” side. This essay begins with a short summary of the model; it then turns to an examination of major developments in the intervening three decades and considers whether the model remains relevant today.


(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Anthony V. Alfieri, Angela Onwuachi-Willig Jun 2021

(Re)Framing Race In Civil Rights Lawyering, Anthony V. Alfieri, Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Articles

This Review examines the significance of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s new book, Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, for the study of racism in our nation's legal system and for the regulation of race in the legal profession, especially in the everyday labor of civil-rights and poverty lawyers, prosecutors, and public defenders. Surprisingly, few have explored the relevance of the racial narratives distilled by Gates in Stony the Roa - the images, stereotypes, and tropes that Whites constructed of Blacks to deepen and ensure the life and legacy of white supremacy-to the practice …


A Call For An Intersectional Feminist Restorative Justice Approach To Addressing The Criminalization Of Black Girls, Donna Coker, Thalia Gonzalez Jan 2021

A Call For An Intersectional Feminist Restorative Justice Approach To Addressing The Criminalization Of Black Girls, Donna Coker, Thalia Gonzalez

Articles

No abstract provided.


Awakening The American Jury: Did The Killing Of George Floyd Alter Juror Deliberations Forever?, Tamara F. Lawson Jan 2021

Awakening The American Jury: Did The Killing Of George Floyd Alter Juror Deliberations Forever?, Tamara F. Lawson

Articles

In the summer of 2020, the witnessing of George Floyd's death triggered an outpouring of public expression far beyond other cases in modern times. While the experience led some to advocate for reform and participate in antiracism rallies, marches, and campaigns, it also forced many others into internal reflection, awareness, and awakening to the knowledge of a lived experience with police different from their own. The gruesome realities of the video were irreconcilable with those prior beliefs and did not comport with any moral or legal standards of dignity. Prior to witnessing George Floyd's death on video at the hands …


Getting To Know You: An Expanded Approach To Capital Jury Selection, Samuel P. Newton Jan 2021

Getting To Know You: An Expanded Approach To Capital Jury Selection, Samuel P. Newton

Articles

The Colorado Method of capital jury selection is a widely embraced strategy defense attorneys use to select jurors during voir dire, in which attorneys rank each juror exclusively on the likelihood that the juror will vote for death. The method could benefit from some expansion. Not all defense lawyers have access to Colorado-Method-based training. In innocence cases, defense lawyers should soften discussions of punishment prior to guilt since this tactic predisposes juries to vote for death. Nor do jurors' views or positions on the death penalty guarantee their eventual votes. While capital juries are already inclined to give death sentences …


Entitlement To Punishment, Kyron J. Huigens Jan 2021

Entitlement To Punishment, Kyron J. Huigens

Articles

This Article advances the idea of entitlement to punishment as the core of a normative theory of legal punishment's moral justification. It presents an alternative to normative theories of punishment premised on desert or public welfare; that is, to retributivism and consequentialism. The argument relies on H.L.A. Hart's theory of criminal law as a "choosing system," his theory of legal rules, and his theory of rights. It posits the advancement of positive freedom as a morally justifying function of legal punishment.

An entitlement to punishment is a unique, distinctive legal relation. We impose punishment when an offender initiates an ordered …


Courts Beyond Judging, Michael C. Pollack Jan 2021

Courts Beyond Judging, Michael C. Pollack

Articles

Across all fifty states, a woefully understudied institution of government is responsible for a broad range of administrative, legislative, law enforcement, and judicial functions. That important institution is the state courts. While the literature has examined the federal courts and federal judges from innumerable angles, study of the state courts as institutions of state government — and not merely as sources of doctrine and resolvers of disputes — has languished. This Article remedies that oversight by drawing attention for the first time to the wide array of roles state courts serve, and by evaluating the suitability of both the allocation …


Homes, History, And Shadows: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court’S 2020-21 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Lily Sawyer-Kaplan Jan 2021

Homes, History, And Shadows: Select Criminal Law And Procedure Cases From The Supreme Court’S 2020-21 Term, Eve Brensike Primus, Lily Sawyer-Kaplan

Articles

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020 and the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace her solidified a 6-3 majority on the Court for Republican appointees and is already affecting how the Court approaches and decides its criminal law and procedure cases. Justice Ginsburg, a strong advocate for equality and fair treatment, generally construed criminal statutes narrowly and stressed the importance of defendants’ procedural rights. Justice Barrett is an originalist who will look to history to seek answers on the scope of criminal procedure amendments. The combined appointments of Justice Gorsuch and Justice Barrett mean …