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Full-Text Articles in Law

Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair Jan 2018

Cabining Judicial Discretion Over Forensic Evidence With A New Special Relevance Rule, Emma F.E. Shoucair

Michigan Law Review

Modern forensic evidence suffers from a number of flaws, including insufficient scientific grounding, exaggerated testimony, lack of uniform best practices, and an inefficacious standard for admission that regularly allows judges to admit scientifically unsound evidence. This Note discusses these problems, lays out the current landscape of forensic science reform, and suggests the addition of a new special relevance rule to the Federal Rules of Evidence (and similar rules in state evidence codes). This proposed rule would cabin judicial discretion to admit non-DNA forensic evidence by barring prosecutorial introduction of such evidence in criminal trials absent a competing defense expert or …


Prosecuting The Informant Culture, Andrew E. Taslitz Jan 2011

Prosecuting The Informant Culture, Andrew E. Taslitz

Michigan Law Review

Alexandra Natapoff, in her outstanding new book, Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice, makes a compelling case for reform of the system by which we regulate police use of criminal informants. Indeed, as other writers have discussed, law enforcement's overreliance on such informants has led to a "snitching culture" in which informant snitching replaces other forms of law enforcement investigation (pp. 12, 31, 88-89). Yet snitches, especially jailhouse snitches, are notoriously unreliable.


Reconceiving The Right To Present Witnesses, Richard A. Nagareda Mar 1999

Reconceiving The Right To Present Witnesses, Richard A. Nagareda

Michigan Law Review

Modem American law is, in a sense, a system of compartments. For understandable curricular reasons, legal education sharply distinguishes the law of evidence from both constitutional law and criminal procedure. In fact, the lines of demarcation between these three subjects extend well beyond law school to the organization of the leading treatises and case headnotes to which practicing lawyers routinely refer in their trade. Many of the most interesting questions in the law, however, do not rest squarely within a single compartment; instead, they concern the content and legitimacy of the lines of demarcation themselves. This article explores a significant, …


The Case Against Section 1983 Immunity For Witnesses Who Conspire With A State Official To Present Perjured Testimony, Jennifer S. Zbytowski Jun 1995

The Case Against Section 1983 Immunity For Witnesses Who Conspire With A State Official To Present Perjured Testimony, Jennifer S. Zbytowski

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that witnesses who conspire with a state official to present perjured testimony at a judicial proceeding should not have absolute immunity from a section 1983 suit for damages. Part I provides background information on section 1983 and explains why a witness-state conspiracy satisfies the requirements of a section 1983 cause of action. Part I also summarizes the Supreme Court's doctrinal approach to section 1983 immunity. Finally, Part I examines two Supreme Court cases which are relevant to the issue of immunity for witness conspirators: Briscoe v. LaHue, and Malley v. Briggs. Part II applies the …


Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science In The Courtroom, John F. Baughman May 1992

Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science In The Courtroom, John F. Baughman

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom by Peter W. Huber


Commentary By Co-Defendant's Counsel On Defendant's Refusal To Testify: A Violation Of The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination?, Martin D. Litt Feb 1991

Commentary By Co-Defendant's Counsel On Defendant's Refusal To Testify: A Violation Of The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination?, Martin D. Litt

Michigan Law Review

Currently, the circuits are divided on whether comments by co-defendants' counsel on a defendant's silence impair that defendant's fifth amendment rights. Furthermore, among the circuits that regard such commentary as potentially prejudicial, disagreement exists over the proper test for identifying such comments. This Note asserts that the risk of prejudicing a defendant's fifth amendment rights is too great to allow counsel any comment on a defendant's decision to testify or to remain silent.

Part I of this Note examines the historical evolution of the privilege against self-incrimination and the policy goals behind the privilege. The Note argues that prohibiting comments …


The Ultimate Violation, Todd Maybrown May 1987

The Ultimate Violation, Todd Maybrown

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Ultimate Violation by Judith Rowland


Videotaping Children's Testimony: An Empirical View, Paula E. Hill, Samuel M. Hill Feb 1987

Videotaping Children's Testimony: An Empirical View, Paula E. Hill, Samuel M. Hill

Michigan Law Review

Increases in the number of reported incidents of child abuse and sexual molestation have resulted in more and younger children becoming courtroom participants. Some courts refuse to consider the special needs of the child in this adversarial environment. Relying on questionable precedent, these courts hold that the defendant's right to directly confront the child, as well as strict compliance with evidentiary rules, overrides that child's interest in freedom from embarrassment or psychological trauma. This Note focuses on pressures felt by the testifying child and the ways in which these pressures affect her testimony; it then proposes using videotaped testimony as …


I Cannot Tell A Lie: The Standard For New Trial In False Testimony Cases, Daniel Wolf Aug 1985

I Cannot Tell A Lie: The Standard For New Trial In False Testimony Cases, Daniel Wolf

Michigan Law Review

This Note examines the question of what standard should be used for granting a new trial when a defendant's conviction is alleged to have been based, at least in part, on false testimony. Part I demonstrates the failure of the existing standards to strike a satisfactory balance between defendants' rights and the efficient administration of the criminal justice system. Part II argues that motions for retrial based upon false testimony should be governed by a standard drawn not only from newly discovered evidence cases generally, but also from cases involving prosecutorial misconduct. Finally, Part III suggests that the proper test …


The Insanity Plea: The Uses And Abuses Of The Insanity Defense, Michigan Law Review Feb 1984

The Insanity Plea: The Uses And Abuses Of The Insanity Defense, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Insanity Plea: The Uses and Abuses of the Insanity Defense by William J. Winslade and Judith Wilson Ross


Legal Psychology: Eyewitness Testimony--Jury Behavior, Michigan Law Review Mar 1983

Legal Psychology: Eyewitness Testimony--Jury Behavior, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Legal Psychology: Eyewitness Testimony--Jury Behavior by L. Craig Parker


Interview Notes Of Government Agents Under The Jencks Act, Michigan Law Review Aug 1982

Interview Notes Of Government Agents Under The Jencks Act, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

Most courts that have considered the issue have concluded that the Jencks Act does not require the government to retain and produce rough interview notes. This Note examines the language and purpose of the Act to determine whether interview notes should be considered Jencks Act statements. Part I examines the policy underlying the Jencks Act and argues that the majority position sanctioning pre-trial destruction of interview notes conflicts with these statutory purposes. Part II discusses the statutory language and argues that the status of the witness as a government agent or a private individual determines the applicable section of the …


Discovery Of Retained Nontestifying Experts' Identities Under The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, Michigan Law Review Jan 1982

Discovery Of Retained Nontestifying Experts' Identities Under The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note proposes an approach to the problem of identification of rule 26(b)(4)(B) experts that differs from both of the approaches taken in the reported opinions. 9 Part I analyzes the language of rule 26(b) and rejects the majority approach. As a matter of statutory construction, rule 26(b )( 4)(B) governs the disclosure of the identity of nontestifying experts retained by a party in preparation for trial. Part II examines the underlying purposes of rules 26(b)(l) and 26(b)(4)(B) - to ensure adequate pretrial disclosure and to prevent unfairness in adversarial competition - and suggests that both interests may be accommodated. …


Griffin V. California: Still Viable After All These Years, Craig M. Bradley May 1981

Griffin V. California: Still Viable After All These Years, Craig M. Bradley

Michigan Law Review

In a recent article in the Michigan Law Review, Donald Ayer levels a series of attacks on the Griffin decision. Specifically, he maintains that the decision is at once too broad, because it requires "almost automatic reversal where there are any remarks explicitly focused on the defendant's silence and the inference of guilt to be drawn from it" regardless of the strength of the prosecution's case, and too narrow, because it fails to prevent the natural prejudice against the nontestifying defendant that may arise in the minds of the jurors without any encouragement from prosecutor or judge. Ayer also …


Psycholegal Research: Past And Present, Wallace D. Loh Mar 1981

Psycholegal Research: Past And Present, Wallace D. Loh

Michigan Law Review

A Review of The Psychology of Eyewitness Testimony by A. Daniel Yarmey, and Eyewitness Testimony by Elizabeth F. Loftus, and Social Psychology in Court by Michael J. Saks and Reid Hastie, and The Criminal Justice System and Its Psychology by Alfred Cohn and Roy Udolf


The Future Of Confrontation, Peter K. Westen May 1979

The Future Of Confrontation, Peter K. Westen

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court seems to be setting the stage for a long-awaited examination of the confrontation clause. It has been ten years since the Court endeavored in Dutton v. Evans to reconcile the evidentiary rules of hearsay with the constitutional commands of confrontation. Dutton came at the tail end of a string of confrontation cases that the Court had resolved without apparent difficulty. Not surprisingly, the Court approached Dutton in the evident belief that it could resolve the constitutional problems of hearsay once and for all. Instead, after oral argument in 1969 and a rehearing in 1970, the Court found …


A Reconsideration Of The Sworn Testimony Requirement: Securing Truth In The Twentieth Century, Michigan Law Review Aug 1977

A Reconsideration Of The Sworn Testimony Requirement: Securing Truth In The Twentieth Century, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

The purpose of this Note is relatively modest-to explore whether the traditional uncritical confidence placed in the sworn nature of testimony is justified in light of twentieth-century practice. As such, its intention is not to propose legal reforms, but rather to invite its readers to pause and reconsider a ritual too often taken for granted by the legal profession. To this end, this Note will examine the following factors influencing the character of the oath in modern times: the common-law and religious roots of the oath, the rise of nonreligious affirmation within the last century, the relationship between the oath …


Employing Inconsistent Statements For Impeachment And As Substantive Evidence: A Critical Review And Proposed Amendments Of Federal Rules Of Evidence 801 ( D ) ( 1 ) ( A ), 613, And 607, Michael H. Graham Aug 1977

Employing Inconsistent Statements For Impeachment And As Substantive Evidence: A Critical Review And Proposed Amendments Of Federal Rules Of Evidence 801 ( D ) ( 1 ) ( A ), 613, And 607, Michael H. Graham

Michigan Law Review

The Federal Rules of Evidence have already been employed as a model for the new Uniform Rules of Evidence and for several state codifications, and yet apparently none of the drafters of these schemes gave serious consideration either to expanding admissibility under 801(d)(1)(A) selectively or to controlling potential abuse regarding the use of prior inconsistent statements not substantively admissible. This Article, after exploring the history, development, and rationale of rules 801(d)(1)(A), 613, and 607, proposes that rules 613 and 607 be amended to bring their provisions into conformity with rule 801 (d) (1) (A). In the same vein, the Article …


Prohibiting Nonaccess Testimony By Spouses: Does Lord Mansfield's Rule Protect Illegitimates?, Michigan Law Review Jun 1977

Prohibiting Nonaccess Testimony By Spouses: Does Lord Mansfield's Rule Protect Illegitimates?, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

Not surprisingly, there has been widespread disagreement concerning the validity of the policies advanced in support of Lord Mansfield's Rule and the efficacy of the rule to promote those policies. This Note assesses the validity of this rule of evidence in order to determine whether it is the most appropriate method of safeguarding the interests affected by the litigation of legitimacy. First, the historical development and justifications for Lord Mansfield's Rule are identified, and, in section II, the extent of the current acceptance of the rule in the United States is delineated. Section III analyzes traditional arguments advanced in support …


Compulsory Process Ii, Peter Westen Dec 1975

Compulsory Process Ii, Peter Westen

Michigan Law Review

This Article examines the validity of the conventional wisdom. It draws support for its analysis from the constitutional principles of compulsory process, and, in their absence, from related doctrine in the areas of a defendant's right to confront witnesses against him and his right to a fair trial. Part I of the article defines the constitutional standard that governs the simple case of a nonindigent defendant who makes a timely application to produce a witness from within the territory of the jurisdiction. Parts II through IV, in turn, examine that standard in the light of complicating factors such as the …


The Compulsory Process Clause, Peter Westen Nov 1974

The Compulsory Process Clause, Peter Westen

Michigan Law Review

Part I of this article traces the history of compulsory process, from its origin in the English transition from an inquisitional to an adversary system of procedure to its eventual adoption in the American Bill of Rights. Part II examines the Supreme Court's seminal decision in Washington v. Texas, which recognized after a century and a half of silence that the compulsory process clause was designed to enable the defendant not only to produce witnesses, but to put them on the stand and have them heard. Part III studies the implications of compulsory process for the defendant's case, from the …


Evidence--Medical Treatises To Be Admitted As Direct Evidence In Wisconsin--Lewandowski V. Preferred Risk Mutual Ins. Co., Michigan Law Review Nov 1967

Evidence--Medical Treatises To Be Admitted As Direct Evidence In Wisconsin--Lewandowski V. Preferred Risk Mutual Ins. Co., Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

Defendant's attorney in a personal injury action sought on cross-examination to impeach plaintiff's physician regarding his determination of the degree of plaintiff's disability by referring to the medical standards set forth in the American Medical Association's Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment--The Extremities and Back. Pointing to the physician's testimony that he had not relied on the Guide in making his evaluation, the trial court sustained plaintiff's objection that such cross-examination was not permissible. On appeal, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the trial court was correct in sustaining the objection in accordance with the established rule that it …


The Psychiatrist As An Expert Witness: Some Ruminations And Speculations, Bernard L. Diamond, David W. Louisell Jun 1965

The Psychiatrist As An Expert Witness: Some Ruminations And Speculations, Bernard L. Diamond, David W. Louisell

Michigan Law Review

Consider the difference between the expert testimony of an orthopedic surgeon in a personal injury suit and the testimony of a psychiatrist in a murder trial in which some elements of the mens rea are at issue. In both instances an expert opinion is received in evidence, providing the trier of fact with technical, specialized information which must, or should, be available in order to permit a rational decision-making process. Well-established rules govern the nature of expert evidence and its mode of presentation. In legal theory, the orthopedic surgeon and the psychiatrist are both experts-physicians-who perform comparable functions in the …


Grand Jury Secrecy, Richard M. Calkins Jan 1965

Grand Jury Secrecy, Richard M. Calkins

Michigan Law Review

When a leading state such as Illinois enacts "reform" legislation, an impact on the legislatures of other jurisdictions may be anticipated. Accordingly, a need exists for an examination of this legislation in the light of the common-law background of grand jury secrecy and for a further analysis of it in the face of the growing trend toward more liberalized discovery of grand jury minutes in other jurisdictions. It is the contention of the author that such an empirical study will demonstrate that this legislation adopted by Illinois is contrary to all modern judicial thinking and is, in fact, a retrogressive …


Revitalization Of The International Judicial Assistance Procedures Of The United States: Service Of Documents And Takings Of Testimony, Richard F. Gerber Jun 1964

Revitalization Of The International Judicial Assistance Procedures Of The United States: Service Of Documents And Takings Of Testimony, Richard F. Gerber

Michigan Law Review

This comment will examine two aspects of such judicial assistance-service. of documents and taking of testimony-and it will analyze each from the viewpoint of assistance obtained abroad in aid of American litigation as well as assistance rendered within the United States in aid of foreign litigation. It will attempt to survey some of the problems involved in securing performance of these acts, indicate the changes in current practice which are likely to result from the revisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the proposed amendments to the Judicial Code, and, last, suggest some additional measures which might promote …


Evidence-Admissibility And Weight Of Photographs, James W. Collier May 1964

Evidence-Admissibility And Weight Of Photographs, James W. Collier

Michigan Law Review

In a prosecution for fellatio, the people's only witness was a woman who testified that she had participated in the alleged activity with the defendant. Her testimony also verified for introduction a motion picture purporting to show the alleged violations. Defendant was convicted on the basis of this evidence. On appeal, held, reversed. A conviction cannot be sustained on the basis of an accomplice's uncorroborated testimony; and the film, although properly admitted, could not supply the necessary corroboration, since a determination of its accuracy must rely upon the accomplice's foundation testimony. People v. Bowley, 59 Cal. 2d …


Criminal Law-Reiterated Contempt Of Court, Robert C. Bonges Apr 1964

Criminal Law-Reiterated Contempt Of Court, Robert C. Bonges

Michigan Law Review

The defendant was found guilty of criminal contempt of court in a civil proceeding for giving "don't remember" answers, after having been granted immunity from prosecution, to questions concerning his activities, asked during a grand jury investigation of an attempted homicide. For his refusal to testify, the defendant was given the maximum penalty provided for criminal contempt under the applicable statute. After paying the fine and serving the sentence, the defendant was brought before the same grand jury thirty-five days later and was asked the same questions. The defendant repeated the "don't remember" answers and was again fined and incarcerated. …


Evidence-Hearsay-Exclusion Of Self-Serving Declarations, John M. Price S.Ed. May 1963

Evidence-Hearsay-Exclusion Of Self-Serving Declarations, John M. Price S.Ed.

Michigan Law Review

One of the most venerable of all legal principles is the evidentiary rule excluding hearsay. This rule, which was first espoused by the English courts in the sixteenth century, arose when it became apparent that there was an inherent danger of untrustworthiness in a witness's uncorroborated recital of a prior declaration made outside the courtroom. The courts gave several reasons for regarding hearsay as untrustworthy. First, these statements, offered into evidence for the truth of the matter asserted, were not made under oath. Secondly, objection to such testimony was raised because the trier of fact had no opportunity to pass …


Packer: Ex-Communist Witnesses, Malcolm Sharp Nov 1962

Packer: Ex-Communist Witnesses, Malcolm Sharp

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Ex-Communist Witnesses. By Herbert L. Packer


Federal Agency Investigations: Procedural Rights Of The Subpoenaed Witness, Frank C. Newman Dec 1961

Federal Agency Investigations: Procedural Rights Of The Subpoenaed Witness, Frank C. Newman

Michigan Law Review

This article is designed to help fill a gap in the literature and to warn government attorneys, particularly, about some questionable asides in the Hannah case. We shall not deal with record-keeping requirements or with agency inspections, subpoenas duces tecum, and related search and seizure problems. The focus instead is on the subpoenaed witness; that is, a man who knows that force may be used against him unless pursuant to government command he appears and answers questions. We examine several rights that may protect the witness; and we shall also ask whether the agencies, to discharge their governmental duties, truly …