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Full-Text Articles in Law

Resurrecting Arbitrariness, Kathryn E. Miller Oct 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 ...


The Imagined Juror: How Hypothetical Juries Influence Federal Prosecutors (Book Review), Jeffrey Bellin Sep 2022

The Imagined Juror: How Hypothetical Juries Influence Federal Prosecutors (Book Review), Jeffrey Bellin

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Artificial Justice: The Quandary Of Ai In The Courtroom, Paul W. Grimm, Maura R. Grossman, Sabine Gless, Mireille Hildebrandt Sep 2022

Artificial Justice: The Quandary Of Ai In The Courtroom, Paul W. Grimm, Maura R. Grossman, Sabine Gless, Mireille Hildebrandt

Judicature International

No abstract provided.


Qualifying Prosecutorial Immunity Through Brady Claims, Paul Heaton, Brian M. Murray, Jon B. Gould Sep 2022

Qualifying Prosecutorial Immunity Through Brady Claims, Paul Heaton, Brian M. Murray, Jon B. Gould

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

This Article considers the soundness of the doctrine of absolute immunity as it relates to Brady violations. While absolute immunity serves to protect prosecutors from civil liability for good-faith efforts to act appropriately in their official capacity, current immunity doctrine also creates a potentially large class of injury victims—those who are subjected to wrongful imprisonment due to Brady violations—with no access to justice. Moreover, by removing prosecutors from the incentive-shaping forces of the tort system that are thought in other contexts to promote safety, absolute immunity doctrine may under-incentivize prosecutorial compliance with constitutional and statutory requirements and increase ...


The Effects Of True Crime Media Consumption On Jurors’ Criminal Justice Orientations, Kendall Miller Aug 2022

The Effects Of True Crime Media Consumption On Jurors’ Criminal Justice Orientations, Kendall Miller

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This study sought to determine the relationship between True Crime Media (TCM) or pretrial publicity (PTP) consumption and jurors' criminal justice orientations. This study also looked at dispositional empathy, right-wing authoritarianism, the need for affect, and the need for cognition as potential moderators. It was hypothesized that the more TCM and PTP consumed, the more participants will lean toward crime control ideologies. It was also hypothesized that the more TCM and PTP consumed, the higher participants would score on right-wing authoritarian viewpoints, on dispositional empathy, and on need for cognition. Participants were presented with a screening question of, "Do you ...


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 ...


Guidry V. State, 138 Nev. Adv. Op. 39 (June 2, 2022), Candace Mays Jul 2022

Guidry V. State, 138 Nev. Adv. Op. 39 (June 2, 2022), Candace Mays

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

The Supreme Court of Nevada, reviewing the case de novo, considered whether the errors committed by the prosecution at trial entitled the appellant to relief from her convictions. The Court held that the ambiguous jury instruction on the count of second-degree murder was a prejudicial error, warranting a reversal of the conviction. As to the charges of robbery, grand larceny, and leaving the scene, for which the appellant was also convicted, claims of prosecutorial misconduct and challenges to the sufficiency of evidence were not sufficient to warrant a reversal. Given the reversal on the second-degree murder charge, however, the Court ...


Bennett V. State, 138 Nev. Adv. Op. 29 (Apr. 28, 2022), Anne-Greyson Long Jul 2022

Bennett V. State, 138 Nev. Adv. Op. 29 (Apr. 28, 2022), Anne-Greyson Long

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

Years after a jury sentenced Bennett to death, newly discovered evidence was presented. This case thoroughly explains whether a new evidentiary hearing must be granted. The statutory scheme providing for a petition to establish factual innocence is a relatively new addition to Nevada law.[1] Bennett v. State provided an opportunity to address the statutory provisions that guided the district court’s decision whether to order a hearing on this type of petition. The Court clarified two considerations relevant to the pleading requirements a petition must satisfy under NRS 34.960(2)(b): (1) a petition may rely on a ...


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.


The Myth Of The All-Powerful Federal Prosecutor At Sentencing, Adam M. Gershowitz Jul 2022

The Myth Of The All-Powerful Federal Prosecutor At Sentencing, Adam M. Gershowitz

Faculty Publications

Relying on a dataset I assembled of 130 doctors prosecuted for illegal opioid distribution between 2015 and 2019, this Article shows that judges rejected federal prosecutors’ sentencing recommendations over two-thirds of the time. Put differently, prosecutors lost much more often than they prevailed at sentencing. And judges often rejected the prosecutors’ sentencing positions by dramatic margins. In 23% of cases, judges imposed a sentence that was half or even less than half of what prosecutors recommended. In 45% of cases, judges imposed a sentence that was at least one-third lower than what prosecutors requested. In short, prosecutors lost most of ...


Brief Of Professor Brandon Hasbrouck As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Appellant: Bell V. Streeval, Brandon Hasbrouck Jun 2022

Brief Of Professor Brandon Hasbrouck As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Appellant: Bell V. Streeval, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

The core question raised by this case is whether a federal prisoner serving an unconstitutional sentence can be foreclosed from post-conviction habeas relief by the gatekeeping provisions of § 2255. The Constitution answers that question in the negative through the Suspension Clause. “[F]reedom from unlawful restraint [i]s a fundamental precept of liberty,” and the writ of habeas corpus “a vital instrument to secure that freedom.” Boumediene, 553 U.S. at 739. The importance of the common law writ was such that the Framers specified that it could be suspended only in the most exigent circumstances. U.S. Const. art ...


24th Annual Open Government Summit 2022, Roger Williams University School Of Law, Rhode Island Office Of The Attorney General Jun 2022

24th Annual Open Government Summit 2022, Roger Williams University School Of Law, Rhode Island Office Of The Attorney General

School of Law Conferences, Lectures & Events

No abstract provided.


An Argument Against Unbounded Arrest Power: The Expressive Fourth Amendment And Protesting While Black, Karen J. Pita Loor Jun 2022

An Argument Against Unbounded Arrest Power: The Expressive Fourth Amendment And Protesting While Black, Karen J. Pita Loor

Faculty Scholarship

Protesting is supposed to be revered in our democracy, considered “as American as apple pie” in our nation’s mythology. But the actual experiences of the 2020 racial justice protesters showed that this supposed reverence for political dissent and protest is more akin to American folklore than reality on the streets. The images from those streets depicted police officers clad in riot gear and armed with shields, batons, and “less than” lethal weapons aggressively arresting protesters, often en masse. In the first week of the George Floyd protests, police arrested roughly 10,000 people, and approximately 78 percent of those ...


Problematic Ai — When Should We Use It?, Fredric Lederer May 2022

Problematic Ai — When Should We Use It?, Fredric Lederer

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Locating And Situating Justice Pal: Twail, International Criminal Tribunals, And Judicial Powers, Sujith Xavier May 2022

Locating And Situating Justice Pal: Twail, International Criminal Tribunals, And Judicial Powers, Sujith Xavier

Law Publications

This paper brings forward Justice Pal's dissenting opinion at the Tokyo Tribunal to add to Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) literature on international criminal law and the rules of evidence and procedure. It is part of a TWAIL effort to scrutinize the everyday practices of international prosecutions through procedural and evidentiary rules. By locating and situating Justice Pal's reasoning within the broader academic literature on dissents in international criminal law, it is possible to illustrate how and why Justice Pal's views were obscured as a relevant dissent. From this vantage point, this paper pursues Justice ...


Combating Recidivism, Shaylin Daley May 2022

Combating Recidivism, Shaylin Daley

Senior Honors Projects

SHAYLIN DALEY (Psychology) Combating Recidivism Sponsor: Lisa Holley (Political Science) Many people believe that criminals cannot be helped. It is evident that at least some of society shuns people who break laws and have negative views about the amount of money spent on detaining inmates. Thousands of individuals are released from United States prisons a day. Many of these individuals have no plan in place for their return home and are sent into the streets with nothing except for a jail ID. Most of these people will end up returning to prison. A good sum of these people face problems ...


Examining Legal Financial Obligations In Washington State, Bryan Lewis Apr 2022

Examining Legal Financial Obligations In Washington State, Bryan Lewis

PPPA Paper Prize

After criminal offenders are convicted of a crime, they must return to the court where a judge will determine their sentence. Sentencing often includes jail time, but it always includes monetary penalties, or Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs). There are many reasons these penalties are given, from restitution for the victims of criminal offenses, to providing government revenue and funding the court, to punishment for the offender. However, these fines, and the interest rates that come with them, often leave offenders with an enormous amount of debt. There are a lot of interests at stake when it comes to LFO sentencing ...


The Dignitary Confrontation Clause, Erin L. Sheley Apr 2022

The Dignitary Confrontation Clause, Erin L. Sheley

Faculty Scholarship

For seventeen years, the Supreme Court’s Confrontation Clause jurisprudence has been confused and confusing. In Crawford v. Washington (2004), the Court overruled prior precedent and held that “testimonial” out-of-court statements could not be admitted at trial unless the defendant had an opportunity to cross-examine the declarant, even when the statement would be otherwise admissible as particularly reliable under an exception to the rule against hearsay. In a series of contradictory opinions over the next several years, the Court proceeded to expand and then seemingly roll back this holding, leading to widespread chaos in common types of cases, particularly those ...


#Wetoo, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Apr 2022

#Wetoo, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

The #MeToo movement has caused a widespread cultural reckoning over sexual violence, abuse, and harassment. “Me too” was meant to express and symbolize that each individual victim was not alone in their experiences of sexual harm; they added their voice to others who had faced similar injustices. But viewing the #MeToo movement as a collection of singular voices fails to appreciate that the cases that filled our popular discourse were not cases of individual victims coming forward. Rather, case after case involved multiple victims, typically women, accusing single perpetrators. Victims were believed because there was both safety and strength in ...


Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan Wright, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher Robertson Apr 2022

Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan Wright, Shima Baradaran Baughman, Christopher Robertson

Faculty Scholarship

In their charging and bargaining decisions, prosecutors have unparalleled and nearly-unchecked discretion that leads to incarceration or freedom for millions of Americans each year. More than courts, legislators, or any other justice system player, in the aggregate prosecutors’ choices are the key drivers of outcomes, whether the rates of mass incarceration or the degree of racial disparities in justice. To date, there is precious little empirical research on how prosecutors exercise their breathtaking discretion. We do not know whether they consistently charge like cases alike or whether crime is in the eye of the beholder. We do not know what ...


The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan Mar 2022

The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

Every jurisdiction in the United States gives criminal defendants “credit” against their sentence for the time they spend detained pretrial. In a world of mass incarceration and overcriminalization that disproportionately impacts people of color, this practice appears to be a welcome mechanism for mercy and justice. In fact, however, crediting detainees for time served is perverse. It harms the innocent. A defendant who is found not guilty, or whose case is dismissed, gets nothing. Crediting time served also allows the state to avoid internalizing the full costs of pretrial detention, thereby making overinclusive detention standards less expensive. Finally, crediting time ...


Immigration E-Carceration: A Faustian Bargain, Mary Holper Mar 2022

Immigration E-Carceration: A Faustian Bargain, Mary Holper

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Immigration detainees and their advocates have a Faustian Bargain: they may trade the physical walls of jail for the virtual walls of electronic monitoring. But they are merely begging for a different form of punishment and control, since electronic monitoring imposes pain, shame, arbitrary rules, and limitation of freedom on persons, causing many to experience it as punitive. Its use also facilitates replacing a regime of over-detention with one of over-supervision, and becomes the means by which immigration enforcement authorities surveil immigrant communities. The Supreme Court’s immigration detention doctrine has set up this bargain by succumbing to the plenary ...


The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe Mar 2022

The Democratizing Potential Of Algorithms?, Ngozi Okidegbe

Faculty Scholarship

Jurisdictions are increasingly embracing the use of pretrial risk assessment algorithms as a solution to the problem of mass pretrial incarceration. Conversations about the use of pretrial algorithms in legal scholarship have tended to focus on their opacity, determinativeness, reliability, validity, or their (in)ability to reduce high rates of incarceration as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities within the pretrial system. This Article breaks from this tendency, examining these algorithms from a democratization of criminal law perspective. Using this framework, it points out that currently employed algorithms are exclusionary of the viewpoints and values of the racially marginalized communities ...


Prescribing Opioids Without Fear Of Prosecution, Adam M. Gershowitz Feb 2022

Prescribing Opioids Without Fear Of Prosecution, Adam M. Gershowitz

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Interrogating The Nonincorporation Of The Grand Jury Clause, Roger Fairfax Feb 2022

Interrogating The Nonincorporation Of The Grand Jury Clause, Roger Fairfax

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

With the Supreme Court's recent incorporation-in Ramos v. Louisiana of the Sixth Amendment's jury unanimity requirement to apply to the states, the project of "total incorporation" is all but complete in the criminal procedure context. Virtually every core criminal procedural protection in the Bill of Rights has been incorporated through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to constrain not only the federal government but also the states with one exception. The Fifth Amendment's grand jury right now stands alone as the only federal criminal procedural right the Supreme Court has permitted states to ignore. In ...


The Visualities And Aesthetics Of Prosecuting Aged Defendants, Mark Drumbl, Caroline Fournet Jan 2022

The Visualities And Aesthetics Of Prosecuting Aged Defendants, Mark Drumbl, Caroline Fournet

Scholarly Articles

The prosecution—whether domestic or international—of international crimes and atrocities may implicate extremely aged defendants. Much has been written about the legalisms that inhere (or not) in trying these barely alive individuals. Very little however has been written about the aesthetics the barely alive encrust into the architecture of courtrooms, the optics these defendants suffuse into the trial process, and the expressive value of punishing them. This is what we seek to do in this project.


When Police Volunteer To Kill, Alexandra L. Klein Jan 2022

When Police Volunteer To Kill, Alexandra L. Klein

Scholarly Articles

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of lethal injection, yet states continue to struggle with drug shortages and botched executions. Some states have authorized alternative methods of execution, including the firing squad. Utah, which has consistently carried out firing squad executions throughout its history, relies on police officers from the jurisdiction where the crime took place to volunteer to carry out these executions. This represents a plausible--and probable--method for other states in conducting firing squad executions.

Public and academic discussion of the firing squad has centered on questions of pain and suffering. It has not engaged with the consequences ...


The Common Prosecutor, Melanie D. Wilson Jan 2022

The Common Prosecutor, Melanie D. Wilson

Scholarly Articles

This symposium piece stems from the Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal’s Criminal Justice Symposium and my engagement with a panel of experts discussing wrongful convictions, pleas, and sentencing. The essay focuses on the role of prosecutors and contends that the system will improve only when more law school graduates of every race, religion, gender identity, background, ideology, ability, sexual orientation, and other characteristics serve as prosecutors. We have witnessed the rise of the “progressive prosecutor.” Now, we need to add more “common prosecutors.”

The homogeneity of prosecutors is well known and well documented. For example, as of October ...


Juries, Democracy, And Petty Crime, John D. King Jan 2022

Juries, Democracy, And Petty Crime, John D. King

Scholarly Articles

The right to trial by jury in criminal cases is basic to the design of American criminal justice and to the structure of American government. Guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution, the Sixth Amendment, and every one of the original state constitutions, the criminal jury was seen as critically important not only to the protection of individual rights but also to the architecture of American democracy. The vast majority of criminal prosecutions today, however, are resolved without even the prospect of community review by a jury. Despite the textual clarity of the guarantee, the Supreme Court has long recognized ...


"Only To Have A Say In The Way He Dies": Bodily Autonomy And Methods Of Execution, Alexandra L. Klein Jan 2022

"Only To Have A Say In The Way He Dies": Bodily Autonomy And Methods Of Execution, Alexandra L. Klein

Scholarly Articles

Capital punishment is one of the most significant intrusions into a person's bodily autonomy; the state takes a person's life. Even though the state has stripped a person on death row of much of their autonomy and intends to kill them, removing all autonomy, a person sentenced to death may, in some circumstances, choose how they will die. While most states rely on a single method of execution, some states permit a condemned person to choose among two or more methods of execution. Constitutional challenges to methods of execution requires the challenger to demonstrate a substantial risk of ...