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Criminal Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Automated Fourth Amendment, Maneka Sinha Jan 2024

The Automated Fourth Amendment, Maneka Sinha

Faculty Scholarship

Courts routinely defer to police officer judgments in reasonable suspicion and probable cause determinations. Increasingly, though, police officers outsource these threshold judgments to new forms of technology that purport to predict and detect crime and identify those responsible. These policing technologies automate core police determinations about whether crime is occurring and who is responsible. Criminal procedure doctrine has failed to insist on some level of scrutiny of—or skepticism about—the reliability of this technology. Through an original study analyzing numerous state and federal court opinions, this Article exposes the implications of law enforcement’s reliance on these practices given the weighty interests …


Counseling Oppression, Angelo Petrigh Jan 2024

Counseling Oppression, Angelo Petrigh

Faculty Scholarship

Critical scholars and public defenders alike have grappled with the contradictions at the heart of counseling clients in a carceral system. Systems of oppression operate within the public defender - client relationship because the defender’s role in translating the law also enforces its inequities. Counseling can obscure the workings of the system, providing an illusion of choice despite privileging certain forms of knowledge and tactics.

But the counseling site is also where defenders become exposed to client’s lived experiences, encounter collectivist tactics, and critically examine the tension of their role in the system. Likewise, through counseling defenders can pull back …


Negligent Hiring: Recidivism And Employment With A Criminal Record, Benjamin David Pyle Jul 2023

Negligent Hiring: Recidivism And Employment With A Criminal Record, Benjamin David Pyle

Faculty Scholarship

This paper tackles a difficult legal and policy challenge—reducing the impact of criminal justice records on job applicants’ chances in a manner that does not spur more discrimination—by looking at how another area of law, tort liability, impacts employers’ decision-making. It uses theoretical and empirical methods to study the most common reason employers report being reluctant to hire workers with a criminal record: legal liability generated by the tort of negligent hiring. While the purpose of the tort is ostensibly to protect and make whole those harmed when an employee misbehaves in a foreseeable manner, I show that, in practice, …


Estimating The Impact Of The Age Of Criminal Majority: Decomposing Multiple Treatments In A Regression Discontinuity Framework, Michael Mueller-Smith, Benjamin David Pyle, Caroline Walker Jul 2023

Estimating The Impact Of The Age Of Criminal Majority: Decomposing Multiple Treatments In A Regression Discontinuity Framework, Michael Mueller-Smith, Benjamin David Pyle, Caroline Walker

Faculty Scholarship

This paper studies the impact of adult prosecution on recidivism and employment trajectories for adolescent, first-time felony defendants. We use extensive linked Criminal Justice Administrative Record System and socio-economic data from Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit). Using the discrete age of majority rule and a regression discontinuity design, we find that adult prosecution reduces future criminal charges over 5 years by 0.48 felony cases (↓ 20%) while also worsening labor market outcomes: 0.76 fewer employers (↓ 19%) and $674 fewer earnings (↓ 21%) per year. We develop a novel econometric framework that combines standard regression discontinuity methods with predictive machine learning …


Black And Blue Police Arbitration Reforms, Michael Z. Green Jun 2023

Black And Blue Police Arbitration Reforms, Michael Z. Green

Faculty Scholarship

The racial justice protests that engulfed the country after seeing a video of the appalling killing of a Black male, George Floyd, by a Minnesota police officer in 2020 has led to a tremendous number of questions about dealing with racial issues in policing. Similar concerns arose a little more than fifty years ago when police unions gained power to respond to the civil rights protests occurring during those times by establishing strong protections for their officers in light of brutality claims. This rhythmic progression of protests and union responses is destined to continue without any lasting reforms focused on …


Mass E-Carceration: Electronic Monitoring As A Bail Condition, Sara Zampierin May 2023

Mass E-Carceration: Electronic Monitoring As A Bail Condition, Sara Zampierin

Faculty Scholarship

Over the past decade, the immigration and criminal legal systems have increasingly relied on electronic monitoring as a bail condition; hundreds of thousands of people live under this monitoring on any given day. Decisionmakers purport to impose these conditions to release more individuals from detention and to maintain control over individuals they perceive to pose some risk of flight or to public safety. But the data do not show that electronic monitoring successfully mitigates these risks or that it leads to fewer individuals in detention. Electronic monitoring also comes with severe restrictions on individual liberty and leads to harmful effects …


Less Is More?: Accountability For White-Collar Offenses Through An Abolitionist Framework, Pedro Gerson Apr 2023

Less Is More?: Accountability For White-Collar Offenses Through An Abolitionist Framework, Pedro Gerson

Faculty Scholarship

White-collar crime is underenforced: not enough cases are brought, not many convictions are secured, and when they are, those who were convicted usually benefit from leniency not seen in other kinds of criminal wrongdoing. Calls for accountability center on strengthening the traditional tools of criminal law enforcement to reach actors that have so far eluded criminal liability. These responses, however, risk further entrenching the systems that have led the United States to mass incarceration and its many real and tangible harms. In this Article, I question whether an abolitionist framework is possible for white-collar crime. First, I argue that given …


Reforming Prior Conviction Impeachment, Anna Roberts, Julia Simon-Kerr Mar 2023

Reforming Prior Conviction Impeachment, Anna Roberts, Julia Simon-Kerr

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Defeating De Facto Disenfranchisement Of Criminal Defendants, Neil Sobol Mar 2023

Defeating De Facto Disenfranchisement Of Criminal Defendants, Neil Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

In a democracy, voting is not only an important civic duty but also a right that governments owe to their citizens. However, by operation of law, forty-eight states deny voting rights to individuals based on criminal convictions. Activists and scholars attack de jure disenfranchisement as an improper collateral consequence that disproportionately impacts people of color. Although recent years show substantial reforms to reenfranchise defendants, an estimated 5.17 million defendants remained ineligible to vote in 2020.

While efforts to address de jure disenfranchisement remain necessary, a problem that has received considerably less attention is the de facto disenfranchisement of criminal defendants …


Policing & The Problem Of Physical Restraint, Steven Arrigg Koh Feb 2023

Policing & The Problem Of Physical Restraint, Steven Arrigg Koh

Faculty Scholarship

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable “seizures” and thus renders unlawful police use of excessive force. On one hand, this definition is expansive. In the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2021 Term, in Torres v. Madrid, the Court clarified that a “seizure” includes any police application of physical force to the body with intent to restrain. Crucially, Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion emphasized that police may seize even when merely laying “the end of a finger” on a layperson’s body. And yet, the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment totality-of-the-circumstances reasonableness balancing test is notoriously imprecise—a “factbound morass,” in the famous …


Criminal Terms, Anna Roberts Jan 2023

Criminal Terms, Anna Roberts

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The (Immediate) Future Of Prosecution, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2023

The (Immediate) Future Of Prosecution, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Even as others make cogent arguments for diminishing the work of prosecutors, work remains – cases that must be brought against a backdrop of existing economic inequality and structural racism and of an array of impoverished institutional alternatives. The (immediate) future of prosecution requires thoughtful engagement with these tragic circumstances, but it also will inevitably involve the co-production of sentences that deter and incapacitate. Across-the-board sentencing discounts based on such circumstances are no substitute for the thoughtful intermediation that only the courtroom working group – judges, prosecutors and defense counsel- can provide. The (immediate) future also requires prosecutors to do …


Remarks On Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights, Amber Baylor, Valena Beety, Susan P. Sturm Jan 2023

Remarks On Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights, Amber Baylor, Valena Beety, Susan P. Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

The following are remarks from a panel discussion co-hosted by the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law and the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law on the book Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights.


Navigating Between "Politics As Usual" And Sacks Of Cash, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2023

Navigating Between "Politics As Usual" And Sacks Of Cash, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Like other recent corruption reversals, Percoco was less about statutory text than what the Court deems “normal” politics. As prosecutors take the Court’s suggestions of alternative theories and use a statute it has largely ignored, the Court will have to reconcile its fears of partisan targeting and its textualist commitments


Prosecution And Polarization, Steven Arrigg Koh Jan 2023

Prosecution And Polarization, Steven Arrigg Koh

Faculty Scholarship

Domestically and internationally, two prominent contemporary discourses arise in law and society. First, we live in a time of tremendous uncertainty about the nature and function of criminal justice. In the United States, we chronicle mass incarceration, while the international community weighs war crimes prosecutions in Ukraine. Second, we live in a time of polarization, both at home and abroad. Cultural and political division is elevated domestically, while the international community debates fragmentation in a multipolar world.

This symposium contribution to the Fordham Urban Law Journal’s “Future of Prosecution” symposium asks: what does it mean to prosecute in a time …


How Do Prosecutors "Send A Message"?, Steven Arrigg Koh Jan 2023

How Do Prosecutors "Send A Message"?, Steven Arrigg Koh

Faculty Scholarship

The recent indictments of former President Trump are stirring national debate about their effects on American society. Commentators speculate on the cases’ impact outside of the courtroom — on the 2024 election, on political polarization, and on the future of American democracy. Such cases originated in the prosecutor’s office, begging the question of if, when, and how prosecutors should consider the societal effects of the cases they bring.

Indeed, prosecutors often publicly claim that they “send a message” when they indict a defendant. What, exactly, does this mean? Often, their assumption is that such messaging goes in one direction: indictment …


The New Pornography Wars, Julie A. Dahlstrom Jan 2023

The New Pornography Wars, Julie A. Dahlstrom

Faculty Scholarship

The world’s largest online pornography conglomerate, MindGeek, has come under fire for the publishing of “rape videos,” child pornography, and nonconsensual pornography on its website, Pornhub. As in the “pornography wars” of the 1970s and 1980s, lawyers and activists have now turned to civil remedies and filed creative anti-trafficking lawsuits against MindGeek and third parties, like payment processing company, Visa. These lawsuits seek not only to achieve legal accountability for online sex trafficking but also to reframe a broader array of online harms as sex trafficking.

This Article explores what these new trafficking lawsuits mean for the future regulation of …


Error Aversions And Due Process, Brandon L. Garrett, Gregory Mitchell Jan 2023

Error Aversions And Due Process, Brandon L. Garrett, Gregory Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

William Blackstone famously expressed the view that convicting the innocent constitutes a much more serious error than acquitting the guilty. This view is the cornerstone of due process protections for those accused of crimes, giving rise to the presumption of innocence and the high burden of proof required for criminal convictions. While most legal elites share Blackstone’s view, the citizen-jurors tasked with making due process protections a reality do not share the law’s preference for false acquittals over false convictions.

Across multiple national surveys, sampling more than 10,000 people, we find that a majority of Americans views false acquittals and …


When “Riot” Is In The Eye Of The Beholder: The Critical Need For Constitutional Clarity In Riot Laws, Nancy C. Marcus Jan 2023

When “Riot” Is In The Eye Of The Beholder: The Critical Need For Constitutional Clarity In Riot Laws, Nancy C. Marcus

Faculty Scholarship

In the twenty-first century, American streets are frequently filled with passionate protest and political dissent. Protesters of diverse backgrounds range from those waving flags or lying on the ground to re-enact police killings to those carrying lit torches or hand-made weapons. This Article addresses how, as between such groups, it may initially seem clear which has a propensity to engage in violent riots, but too often, “rioter” is in the eye of the beholder, with those both regulating and reporting on riots defining the term inconsistently. And ironically, while police brutality is often the subject of protests, non-violent protesters who …


Are Police Officers Bayesians? Police Updating In Investigative Stops, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Lila J.E. Nojima Jan 2023

Are Police Officers Bayesians? Police Updating In Investigative Stops, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Lila J.E. Nojima

Faculty Scholarship

Theories of rational behavior assume that actors make decisions where the benefits of their acts exceed their costs or losses. If those expected costs and benefits change over time, behavior will change accordingly as actors learn and internalize the parameters of success and failure. In the context of proactive policing, police stops that achieve any of several goals — constitutional compliance, stops that lead to “good” arrests or summonses, stops that lead to seizures of weapons, drugs, or other contraband, or stops that produce good will and citizen cooperation — should signal to officers the features of a stop that …


Unexceptional Protest, Amber Baylor Jan 2023

Unexceptional Protest, Amber Baylor

Faculty Scholarship

Anti-protest legislation is billed as applying only in the extreme circumstances of mass-movements and large scale civil disobedience. Mass protest exceptionalism provides justification for passage of anti-protest laws in states otherwise hesitant to expand public order criminal regulation. Examples include a Virginia bill that heightens penalties for a “failure to disperse following a law officer’s order”; a Tennessee law directing criminal penalties for “blocking traffic”; a bill in New York criminalizing “incitement to riot by nonresidents.” These laws might be better described as antiprotest expansions of public order legislation.

While existing critiques of these laws emphasize the chilling effects on …


Judicial Resistance To New York's 2020 Criminal Legal Reforms, Angelo Petrigh Jan 2023

Judicial Resistance To New York's 2020 Criminal Legal Reforms, Angelo Petrigh

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars have examined judiciaries as organizations with their own culture and considered how this organizational culture can form a significant impediment to the implementation of reforms.22 There is a strong connection between judicial culture and a reform’s ability to accomplish its stated goals. Some go so far as to state that most reforms will fail because of the difficulty in altering judicial culture.23 These studies sometimes focus on legislators misunderstanding the actual effects of legislation when it was drafted, or on the failure to account for particularities in a law’s implementation by undervaluing the fragmentation, adversarial nature, and …


Designing For Justice: Pandemic Lessons For Criminal Courts, Cynthia Alkon Dec 2022

Designing For Justice: Pandemic Lessons For Criminal Courts, Cynthia Alkon

Faculty Scholarship

March 2020 brought an unprecedented crisis to the United States: COVID-19. In a two-week period, criminal courts across the country closed. But, that is where the uniformity ended. Criminal courts did not have a clear process to decide how to conduct necessary business. As a result, criminal courts across the country took different approaches to deciding how to continue necessary operations and in doing so many did not consider the impact on justice of the operational changes that were made to manage the COVID-19 crisis. One key problem was that many courts did not use inclusive processes and include all …


Letting Offenders Choose Their Punishment?, Gilles Grolleau, Murat C. Mungan, Naoufel Mzoughi Nov 2022

Letting Offenders Choose Their Punishment?, Gilles Grolleau, Murat C. Mungan, Naoufel Mzoughi

Faculty Scholarship

Punishment menus allow offenders to choose the punishment to which they will be subjected from a set of options. We present several behaviorally informed rationales for why punishment menus may serve as effective deterrents, notably by causing people to refrain from entering a calculative mindset; reducing their psychological reactance; causing them to reconsider the reputational impacts of punishment; and reducing suspicions about whether the act is enforced for rent-seeking purposes. We argue that punishment menus can outperform the traditional single punishment if these effects can be harnessed properly. Our observations thus constitute a challenge, based on behavioral arguments, to the …


January 6, Ambiguously Inciting Speech, And The Overt-Acts Rule, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Jed Handelsman Shugerman Oct 2022

January 6, Ambiguously Inciting Speech, And The Overt-Acts Rule, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Jed Handelsman Shugerman

Faculty Scholarship

A prosecution of Donald Trump for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol would have to address whether the First Amendment protects the inflammatory remarks he made at the “Stop the Steal” rally. A prosecution based solely on the content of Trump’s speech—whether for incitement, insurrection, or obstruction—would face serious constitutional difficulties under Brandenburg v. Ohio’s dual requirements of intent and likely imminence. But a prosecution need not rely solely on the content of Trump’s speech. It can also look to Trump’s actions: his order to the remove the magnetometers from the entrances to the rally and …


Criminal Court System Failures During Covid-19: An Empirical Study, Cynthia Alkon Aug 2022

Criminal Court System Failures During Covid-19: An Empirical Study, Cynthia Alkon

Faculty Scholarship

How did the criminal legal system respond to the early months of pandemic in 2020? This article reports the results of a unique national survey of judges, defense lawyers, and prosecutors that gives a snapshot of how the criminal legal system responded to the COVID-19 in the first five chaotic months. Criminal courts in the United States rely on in-person proceedings and formal and informal in-person communications to manage caseloads. The survey results detail, in ways not previously fully understood, how crucial these in-person communications are and how ill-prepared the criminal courts and legal professionals were to deal with the …


The Victim/Offender Overlap And Criminal System Reform, Cynthia Godsoe Jul 2022

The Victim/Offender Overlap And Criminal System Reform, Cynthia Godsoe

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Defense Counsel's Cross Purposes: Prior Conviction Impeachment Of Prosecution Witnesses, Anna Roberts Jul 2022

Defense Counsel's Cross Purposes: Prior Conviction Impeachment Of Prosecution Witnesses, Anna Roberts

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


No-One Receives Psychiatric Treatment In A Squad Car, Judy A. Clausen, Joanmarie Davoli Jul 2022

No-One Receives Psychiatric Treatment In A Squad Car, Judy A. Clausen, Joanmarie Davoli

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Role Of The "Victim" In The Criminal Legal System, Kate Mogulescu Jul 2022

The Role Of The "Victim" In The Criminal Legal System, Kate Mogulescu

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.