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Imagining The Progressive Prosecutor, Benjamin Levin Jan 2021

Imagining The Progressive Prosecutor, Benjamin Levin

Articles

As criminal justice reform has attracted greater public support, a new brand of district attorney candidate has arrived: the “progressive prosecutors.” Commentators increasingly have keyed on “progressive prosecutors” as offering a promising avenue for structural change, deserving of significant political capital and academic attention. This Essay asks an unanswered threshold question: what exactly is a “progressive prosecutor”? Is that a meaningful category at all, and if so, who is entitled to claim the mantle? In this Essay, I argue that “progressive prosecutor” means many different things to many different people. These differences in turn reveal important fault lines in academic ...


The Failure Of The Criminal Procedure Revolution, William T. Pizzi Jan 2020

The Failure Of The Criminal Procedure Revolution, William T. Pizzi

Articles

No abstract provided.


Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In this Essay, I offer a brief account of how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the realities and structural flaws of the carceral state. I provide two primary examples or illustrations, but they are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list. Rather, by highlighting these issues, problems, or (perhaps) features, I mean to suggest that this moment of crisis should serve not just as an opportunity to marshal resources to address the pandemic, but also as a chance to address the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal system. Further, my claim isn’t that criminal law is in ...


What's Wrong With Police Unions?, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

What's Wrong With Police Unions?, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In an era of declining labor power, police unions stand as a rare success story for worker organizing—they exert political clout and negotiate favorable terms for their members. Yet, despite broad support for unionization on the political left, police unions have become public enemy number one for academics and activists concerned about race and police violence. Much criticism of police unions focuses on their obstructionist nature and how they prioritize the interests of their members over the interests of the communities they police. These critiques are compelling—police unions shield officers and block oversight. But, taken seriously, they often ...


The Left's Law-And-Order Agenda, Aya Gruber Jan 2019

The Left's Law-And-Order Agenda, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin

Articles

This review of The New Criminal Justice Thinking (Sharon Dolovich & Alexandra Natapoff, eds.) tracks the shifting and uncertain contours of “criminal justice” as an object of study and critique.

Specifically, I trace two themes in the book:

(1) the uncertain boundaries of the “criminal justice system” as a web of laws, actors, and institutions; and

(2) the uncertain boundaries of “criminal justice thinking” as a universe of interdisciplinary scholarship, policy discourse, and public engagement.

I argue that these two themes speak to critically important questions about the nature of criminal justice scholarship and reform efforts. Without a firm understanding of what constitutes the “criminal justice system,” it is difficult to agree on the proper targets of critique or to determine what legal, social, and political problems are properly the province of “criminal justice thinking.” And, deciding which voices to accept and privilege in these ...


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Articles

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


Guns And Drugs, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Guns And Drugs, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article argues that the increasingly prevalent critiques of the War on Drugs apply to other areas of criminal law. To highlight the broader relevance of these critiques, this Article uses as its test case the criminal regulation of gun possession. This Article identifies and distills three lines of drug war criticism and argues that they apply to possessory gun crimes in much the same way that they apply to drug crimes. Specifically, this Article focuses on: (1) race- and class-based critiques; (2) concerns about police and prosecutorial power; and (3) worries about the social and economic costs of mass ...


Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin Jan 2016

Response, Values And Assumptions In Criminal Adjudication, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Response to Andrew Manuel Crespo's Systemic Facts: Toward Institutional Awareness in Criminal Courts proceeds in two Parts. In Part I, I argue that Crespo presents a compelling case for the importance of systemic factfinding to the task of criminal court judges. If, as a range of scholars has argued, criminal courts are increasingly serving a quasi-administrative function, then shouldn’t they at least be administrating accurately? Systemic Facts provides a novel account of how — with comparatively little institutional reform — courts might begin to serve as more effective administrators. However, in Part II, I also argue that Crespo’s ...


When Theory Met Practice: Distributional Analysis In Critical Criminal Law Theorizing, Aya Gruber Jan 2015

When Theory Met Practice: Distributional Analysis In Critical Criminal Law Theorizing, Aya Gruber

Articles

Progressive (critical race and feminist) theorizing on criminal law exists within an overarching American criminal law culture in which the U.S penal system has become a "peculiar institution" and a defining governance structure. Much of criminal law discourse is subject to a type of ideological capture in which it is natural to assume that criminalization is a valid, if not preferred, solution to social dysfunction. Accordingly, progressives’ primary concerns about harms to minority victims takes place in a political-legal context in which criminalization is the technique of addressing harm. In turn, progressive criminal law theorizing manifests some deep internal ...


The Loss Of Constitutional Faith: Mccleskey V. Kemp And The Dark Side Of Procedure, Scott E. Sundby Jan 2012

The Loss Of Constitutional Faith: Mccleskey V. Kemp And The Dark Side Of Procedure, Scott E. Sundby

Articles

No abstract provided.


A Distributive Theory Of Criminal Law, Aya Gruber Jan 2010

A Distributive Theory Of Criminal Law, Aya Gruber

Articles

In criminal law circles, the accepted wisdom is that there are two and only two true justifications of punishment-retributivism and utilitarianism. The multitude of moral claims about punishment may thus be reduced to two propositions: (1) punishment should be imposed because defendants deserve it, and (2) punishment should be imposed because it makes society safer. At the same time, most penal scholars notice the trend in criminal law to de-emphasize intent, centralize harm, and focus on victims, but they largely write off this trend as an irrational return to antiquated notions of vengeance. This Article asserts that there is in ...


The False Promise Of Retributive Proportionality, Aya Gruber Jan 2010

The False Promise Of Retributive Proportionality, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Taser Use: Report Of The Use Of Force Working Group Of Allegheny County, David A. Harris Jan 2010

Taser Use: Report Of The Use Of Force Working Group Of Allegheny County, David A. Harris

Articles

The Use of Force Working Group was convened in October of 2008 to study police use of electronic control devices, better known as Tasers. Allegheny County (Pa.) District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. appointed the Working Group in the wake of an incident in which a person died following a Taser exposure at the hands of local police officers.

This Report concludes that Tasers can be worthwhile and safe weapons in the police arsenal, but only if they are used consistent with proper policy, training, supervision and accountability. Anything less makes the use of these weapons a risky choice from ...


Commentary: Was The Bill Of Rights Irrelevant To Nineteenth-Century State Criminal Procedure?, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2009

Commentary: Was The Bill Of Rights Irrelevant To Nineteenth-Century State Criminal Procedure?, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

No abstract provided.


In The Sweat Box: A Historical Perspective On The Detention Of Material Witnesses, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2009

In The Sweat Box: A Historical Perspective On The Detention Of Material Witnesses, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Justice Department detained scores of allegedly suspicious persons under a federal material witness statute--a tactic that provoked a great deal of controversy. Most critics assume that the abuse of material witness laws is a new development. Yet, rather than being transformed by the War on Terror, the detention of material witnesses is a coercive strategy that police officers across the nation have used since the nineteenth century to build cases against suspects. Fears of extraordinary violence or social breakdown played at most an indirect role in its advent and growth. Rather, it has ...


Garbage Pails And Puppy Dog Tails: Is That What Katz Is Made Of?, Aya Gruber Jan 2008

Garbage Pails And Puppy Dog Tails: Is That What Katz Is Made Of?, Aya Gruber

Articles

This Article takes the opportunity of the fortieth anniversary of Katz v. U.S. to assess whether the revolutionary case's potential to provide broad and flexible privacy protection to individuals has been realized. Answering this question in a circumspect way, the Article pinpoints the language in Katz that was its eventual undoing and demonstrates how the Katz test has been plagued by two principle problems that have often rendered it more harmful to than protective of privacy. The manipulation problem describes the tendency of conservative courts to define reasonable expectations of privacy as lower than the expectations society actually ...


In Memoriam: Francis A. Allen, Yale Kamisar Jan 2008

In Memoriam: Francis A. Allen, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Francis A. Allen graced the law faculties of five universities in the course of a remarkable, forty-six-year teaching career. In that time, he established himself as one of the half-dozen greatest twentieth century American scholars of criminal law and criminal procedure.


Francis A. Allen--Architect Of Modern Criminal Procedure Scholarship, Yale Kamisar Jan 2007

Francis A. Allen--Architect Of Modern Criminal Procedure Scholarship, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Francis A. Allen, who spent the last eight years of his distinguished teaching career at the University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law, died at the age of eighty-seven. He was a leading figure in law teaching, and the legal profession generally, for more than four decades.


In Memoriam: Francis A. Allen, Yale Kamisar Jan 2007

In Memoriam: Francis A. Allen, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Francis A. Allen graced the law faculties of five universities in the course of a remarkable, forty-six-year teaching career. In that time, he established himself as one of the half-dozen greatest twentieth-century American scholars of criminal law and criminal procedure.


Pro Se Defendants And The Appointment Of Advisory Counsel, H. Patrick Furman Jan 2006

Pro Se Defendants And The Appointment Of Advisory Counsel, H. Patrick Furman

Articles

This article provides an overview of advisory counsel used to assist pro se criminal defendants, including the appointment and duties of advisory counsel, ethical obligations, and considerations for trial judges and prosecutors.


Improving Criminal Jury Decision Making After The Blakely Revolution, J. J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2006

Improving Criminal Jury Decision Making After The Blakely Revolution, J. J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

The shift in sentencing fact-finding responsibility triggered in many states by Blakely v. Washington may dramatically change the complexity and type of questions that juries will be required to answer. Among the most important challenges confronting legislatures now debating the future of their sentencing regimes is whether juries are prepared to handle this new responsibility effectively - and, if not, what can be done about it. Yet neither scholars addressing the impact of Blakely nor advocates of jury reform have seriously explored these questions. Nonetheless, a number of limitations on juror decision making seriously threaten the accuracy of verdicts in systems ...


Yale Kamisar: A Principled Man For All Seasons, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 2005

Yale Kamisar: A Principled Man For All Seasons, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

Yale Kamisar began his distinguished career as a law professor in 1957 at the University of Minnesota Law School. For three years prior to joining the Minnesota faculty, Yale had been an associate with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling specializing in antitrust law. Understandably, Yale and Minnesota assumed that he would devote the major part of his research and teaching to antitrust. At that time, the study of criminal law was near the bottom of the hierarchy of law school topics, and so young faculty often were assigned the task of teaching criminal law as the ...


Righting Victim Wrongs: Responding To Philosophical Criticisms Of The Nonspecific Victim Liability Defense, Aya Gruber Jan 2004

Righting Victim Wrongs: Responding To Philosophical Criticisms Of The Nonspecific Victim Liability Defense, Aya Gruber

Articles

Modern criminal law is intensely one-sided in its treatment of victims and defendants. Crime victims and criminal defendants do not enter the trial process on an equal moral footing. Rather, from the beginning victims are assumed blameless, truthful, and even beyond doubt, while defendants are guilty, not worthy of credence, and immoral. This one-sided view of victims, however, is a fiction. As any other people, victims differ in their characterizations. Some are indeed trustworthy, truthful, blameless and ultimately innocent. Others, however, are bad actors themselves, have memory failures, falsely identify, provoke, and even lie. Some victims are in fact, and ...


Seven Habits Of A Highly Effective Scholar, Jerold H. Israel Jan 2004

Seven Habits Of A Highly Effective Scholar, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

Yale Kamisar has been my friend and colleague for almost forty years now, and my first inclination was to write about those relationships, which have meant so much to me. But I know that other friends and colleagues participating in this tribute issue can bring to the description of those relationships far greater skill and far greater eloquence. I have been Yale's coauthor for roughly thirty-five years on his professional "pride and joy" - Modern Criminal Procedure' - and that is another relationship that I could describe with warmth and affection. But Wayne LaFave, who has shared this same role, is ...


The Ins And Outs, Stops And Starts Of Speedy Trial Rights In Colorado--Part I, H. Patrick Furman Jan 2002

The Ins And Outs, Stops And Starts Of Speedy Trial Rights In Colorado--Part I, H. Patrick Furman

Articles

This two-part article discusses the constitutional right to a speedy trial and the basics of the speedy trial statute.

See Part II at http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/articles/551/.


Fallen Superheroes And Constitutional Mirages: The Tale Of Brady V. Maryland, Scott E. Sundby Jan 2002

Fallen Superheroes And Constitutional Mirages: The Tale Of Brady V. Maryland, Scott E. Sundby

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Ins And Outs, Stops And Starts Of Speedy Trial Rights In Colorado--Part Ii, H. Patrick Furman Jan 2002

The Ins And Outs, Stops And Starts Of Speedy Trial Rights In Colorado--Part Ii, H. Patrick Furman

Articles

This two-part article reviews the constitutional and statutory right to a speedy trial and discusses the case law interpreting that right. The first part was printed in July 2002.

See Part I at http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/articles/550/.


The American "Adversary System"?, William T. Pizzi Jan 1998

The American "Adversary System"?, William T. Pizzi

Articles

No abstract provided.


Race And Criminal Justice, Richard B. Collins Jan 1997

Race And Criminal Justice, Richard B. Collins

Articles

No abstract provided.