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Full-Text Articles in Law

Whom Do Prosecutors Protect?, Vida Johnson Apr 2024

Whom Do Prosecutors Protect?, Vida Johnson

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Prosecutors regard themselves as public servants who fight crime and increase community safety on behalf of their constituents. But prosecutors do not only seek to protect those they are supposed to serve. Instead, prosecutors often trade community safety, privacy, and even the constitutional rights of the general public to enlarge police power. Prosecutors routinely advocate for weaker public rights, shield police from public accountability, and fail to prosecute police when they break the law.

This Article will show how prosecutors often protect police at the expense of the public. This Article suggests a novel theory of evaluating the conduct of …


The Ideology Of Press Freedom, Hannah Bloch-Wehba Mar 2024

The Ideology Of Press Freedom, Hannah Bloch-Wehba

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a critical account of the law of press freedom. American law and political culture laud the press as an institution that plays a vital role in democracy: guarding against corruption, facilitating self-governance, and advocating for free expression. These democratic functions provide justification for the law of press freedom, which defends the media’s autonomy and shields the press from outside interference.

But the dominant accounts of the press’s democratic role are only partly accurate. The law of press freedom is grounded in large part in journalism’s professional commitments to objectivity, public service, and autonomy. These idealized characterizations, flawed …


Consent Searches And Underestimation Of Compliance: Robustness To Type Of Search, Consequences Of Search, And Demographic Sample, Roseanna Sommers, Vanessa K. Bohns Jan 2024

Consent Searches And Underestimation Of Compliance: Robustness To Type Of Search, Consequences Of Search, And Demographic Sample, Roseanna Sommers, Vanessa K. Bohns

Law & Economics Working Papers

Most police searches today are authorized by citizens’ consent, rather than probable cause or reasonable suspicion. The main constitutional limitation on so-called “consent searches” is the voluntariness test: whether a reasonable person would have felt free to refuse the officer’s request to conduct the search. We investigate whether this legal inquiry is subject to a systematic bias whereby uninvolved decision-makers overstate the voluntariness of consent and underestimate the psychological pressure individuals feel to comply. We find evidence for a robust bias extending to requests, tasks, and populations that have not been examined previously. Across three pre-registered experiments, we approached participants …


Unshielded: How The Police Can Become Touchable, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2024

Unshielded: How The Police Can Become Touchable, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

This Review proceeds in three Parts. First, Part I examines Shielded’s text, highlighting Schwartz’s analysis of the problem of unaccountable police, the many barriers to holding police accountable, and her proposed solutions. Part II then critically examines Schwartz’s work, examining pieces of the problem she left undiscussed and the relative shortcomings of her discussion of possible solutions. Finally, Part III takes an abolitionist approach, delving into potential nonreformist reforms and the solution of full abolition, as well as examining the most significant objection to abolitionist approaches: the problem of violence.


1983, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2024

1983, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

This Piece embraces a fictional narrative to illustrate deep flaws in our legal system. It borrows its basic structure and a few choice lines from George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Like Orwell’s novel, it is set in the not-too-distant future to comment on problems already emerging in the present. The footnotes largely provide examples of some of those problems and how courts have treated them in a constitutional law context. The title (itself quite close to Orwell’s own title) is a reference to our chief civil rights statute, while the story deals with a critical threat to that …


The Unconstitutional Conditions Vacuum In Criminal Procedure, Kay L. Levine, Jonathan R. Nash, Robert A. Schapiro Jan 2024

The Unconstitutional Conditions Vacuum In Criminal Procedure, Kay L. Levine, Jonathan R. Nash, Robert A. Schapiro

Faculty Articles

For more than a century, the Supreme Court has applied the unconstitutional conditions doctrine in many contexts, scrutinizing government efforts to condition the tradeoff of rights for benefits with regard to speech, funding, and takings, among others. The Court has declined, however, to invoke the doctrine in the area of criminal procedure, where people accused of crime are often asked to—and often do—surrender their constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments in return for some benefit. Despite its insistence that the unconstitutional conditions doctrine applies broadly across the Bill of Rights, the Court’s jurisprudence demonstrates that the doctrine …


Reproductive Rights And Medico-Legal Education Post-Dobbs: A Fireside Chat, Michael S. Sinha, Anna Krotinger, Maya A. Phan, Louise P. King Jan 2024

Reproductive Rights And Medico-Legal Education Post-Dobbs: A Fireside Chat, Michael S. Sinha, Anna Krotinger, Maya A. Phan, Louise P. King

All Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was a pivotal moment that reshaped the landscape of abortion policy and delivery of abortion care in the United States. To create a space for critical reflection on the implications of Dobbs for the teaching and learning of abortion care in both medical and legal education, the authors engage in a dialogue highlighting the varied perspectives of professionals and professionals-in-training in both the medical and legal professions. As new attacks on reproductive autonomy continue at both state and federal levels, we foreshadow a tumultuous landscape for abortion policy …


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 …


Consent Searches And Underestimation Of Compliance: Robustness To Type Of Search, Consequences Of Search, And Demographic Sample, Roseanna Sommers, Vanessa K. Bohns Dec 2023

Consent Searches And Underestimation Of Compliance: Robustness To Type Of Search, Consequences Of Search, And Demographic Sample, Roseanna Sommers, Vanessa K. Bohns

Articles

Most police searches today are authorized by citizens' consent, rather than probable cause or reasonable suspicion. The main constitutional limitation on so-called “consent searches” is the voluntariness test: whether a reasonable person would have felt free to refuse the officer's request to conduct the search. We investigate whether this legal inquiry is subject to a systematic bias whereby uninvolved decision-makers overstate the voluntariness of consent and underestimate the psychological pressure individuals feel to comply. We find evidence for a robust bias extending to requests, tasks, and populations that have not been examined previously. Across three pre-registered experiments, we approached participants …


The Federal Government's Role In Local Policing, Farhang Heydari, Barry Friedman, Rachel Harmon Dec 2023

The Federal Government's Role In Local Policing, Farhang Heydari, Barry Friedman, Rachel Harmon

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

For far too long, the federal government has failed to exercise its constitutional authority to mitigate the harms imposed by local policing. Absent federal intervention, though, some harmful aspects of policing will not be addressed effectively, or at all. States and localities often lack the necessary capacity and expertise to change policing, and many states and localities lack the will. This Article argues for federal intervention and describes what that intervention should look like.

The Article begins by describing three paradigmatic areas of local policing that require federal intervention to create real change: excessive use offorce, racial discrimination, and the …


Trauma-Informed Policing: The Impact Of Adult And Childhood Trauma On Law Enforcement Officers, André Douglas Pond Cummings, Todd J. Clark, Caleb Gregory Conrad, Honorable Amy Dunn Johnson Oct 2023

Trauma-Informed Policing: The Impact Of Adult And Childhood Trauma On Law Enforcement Officers, André Douglas Pond Cummings, Todd J. Clark, Caleb Gregory Conrad, Honorable Amy Dunn Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

For every six months that a police officer serves in the line of duty, he or she is likely to experience an average of three traumatic events. Such events may include fatal accidents, murders, suicides, and active threats to the life of the officer or someone else. Given the wealth of available data on how trauma reorganizes the nervous system to respond to everyday stimuli as threatening, this is an area that cries for critical exploration, especially in light of the frequency with which unarmed Black civilians are killed at the hands of officers who often make split-second decisions to …


Prosecutorial Data In Maine: Themes And Trends From 2017-2021, Tara Wheeler Mppm, Julia Bergeron-Smith Mppm, Msw, George Shaler Mph Sep 2023

Prosecutorial Data In Maine: Themes And Trends From 2017-2021, Tara Wheeler Mppm, Julia Bergeron-Smith Mppm, Msw, George Shaler Mph

Maine Statistical Analysis Center

The Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), partnered with the Maine Prosecutors Association (MPA) to establish statewide and by-district prosecutorial data for a five-year period (2017-2021). These baseline data are for a variety of criminal cases, charges, and outcomes and this report is the first of its kind for Maine. The MPA sought to detail these baseline figures and trends in an annual report to both support the ongoing work of Maine’s District Attorneys to address serious crime through data-informed decision-making and to enable key stakeholders and the public to better understand how limited public resources are being used by their …


Contextual Determinants Of Re-Reporting For Families Receiving Alternative Response: A Survival Analysis In A Midwestern State, Jianchao Lai, Michelle Graef, Todd Franke, Toby Burnham Sep 2023

Contextual Determinants Of Re-Reporting For Families Receiving Alternative Response: A Survival Analysis In A Midwestern State, Jianchao Lai, Michelle Graef, Todd Franke, Toby Burnham

Center on Children, Families, and the Law: Faculty Publications

Differential response (DR) has been widely adopted in over 30 states to address shortcomings of the traditional approach to child maltreatment reports in complex family and case circumstances. However, despite continued evaluation efforts, evidence of the effectiveness of DR remains inconclusive. The current study aims to assess the impact of a DR program and potential predictors, including service match and number of family case workers, on maltreatment re-reports in a Midwestern state. The study utilized a randomized control trial and assigned eligible families to either the Alternative Response (AR) track or Traditional Response (TR) track. The enrollment was implemented in …


Evaluation Of Field Sobriety Tests For Identifying Drivers Under The Influence Of Cannabis: A Randomized Clinical Trial, Thomas D Marcotte, Anya Umlauf, David J Grelotti, Emily G Sones, Kyle F Mastropietro, Raymond T Suhandynata, Marilyn A. Huestis, Igor Grant, Robert L Fitzgerald Sep 2023

Evaluation Of Field Sobriety Tests For Identifying Drivers Under The Influence Of Cannabis: A Randomized Clinical Trial, Thomas D Marcotte, Anya Umlauf, David J Grelotti, Emily G Sones, Kyle F Mastropietro, Raymond T Suhandynata, Marilyn A. Huestis, Igor Grant, Robert L Fitzgerald

Institute of Emerging Health Professions Faculty Papers

IMPORTANCE: With increasing medicinal and recreational cannabis legalization, there is a public health need for effective and unbiased evaluations for determining whether a driver is impaired due to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure. Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are a key component of the gold standard law enforcement officer-based evaluations, yet controlled studies are inconclusive regarding their efficacy in detecting whether a person is under the influence of THC.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the classification accuracy of FSTs with respect to cannabis exposure and driving impairment (as determined via a driving simulation).

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel randomized clinical trial was …


When Machines Can Be Judge, Jury, And Executioner: Justice In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence (Book Review), Stacy Fowler Sep 2023

When Machines Can Be Judge, Jury, And Executioner: Justice In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence (Book Review), Stacy Fowler

Faculty Articles

In When Machines Can Be Judge, Jury, and Executioner, former federal judge Katherine Forrest raises concerns over the pervasive use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the American justice system to produce risks and need assessments (RNA) regarding the probability of recidivism for citizens charged with a crime. Forrest’s argument centers on AI’s primary focus on utilitarian outcomes when assessing liberty for individual citizens. This approach leads Forrest to the conclusion that in its current form, AI is “ill-suited to the criminal justice context.” Forrest contends that AI should instead be programmed to focus on John Rawl’ 'concept of justice as …


Abolition And Environmental Justice, Allegra M. Mcleod Sep 2023

Abolition And Environmental Justice, Allegra M. Mcleod

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

During the coronavirus pandemic, movements for penal abolition and racial justice achieved dramatic growth and increased visibility. While much public discussion of abolition has centered on the call to divest from criminal law enforcement, contemporary abolitionists also understand public safety in terms of building new life-sustaining institutions and collective structures that improve human well-being, linking penal divestment to environmental justice. In urging a reimagination of public safety, abolitionists envision much more than decriminalization or a reallocation of police functions to social service agencies or other alternatives to imprisonment and policing. Instead, for abolitionists, meaningful public safety requires, among other things, …


United States Of America V. Donald J. Trump, Defendant, Jack Smith Aug 2023

United States Of America V. Donald J. Trump, Defendant, Jack Smith

United States Department of Justice: Publications and Materials

Violations: Count 1: 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Conspiracy to Defraud the United States) Count 2: 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k) (Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) Count 3: 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(2), 2 (Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) Count 4: 18 U.S.C. § 241 (Conspiracy Against Rights)

The Grand Jury charges that, at all times material to this Indictment, on or about the dates and at the approximate times stated below:

1. The Defendant, DONALD J. TRUMP, was the forty-fifth President of the United States and a candidate for re-election in 2020. The Defendant lost the 2020 …


The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan Jul 2023

The Trouble With Time Served, Kimberly Ferzan

All Faculty Scholarship

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 …


The Racialized History Of Vice Policing, India Thusi Jul 2023

The Racialized History Of Vice Policing, India Thusi

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Vice policing targets the consumption and commercialization of certain pleasures that have been criminalized in the United States—such as the purchase of narcotics and sexual services. One might assume that vice policing is concerned with eliminating these vices. However, in reality, this form of policing has not been centered on protecting and preserving the moral integrity of the policed communities by eradicating vice. Instead, the history of vice policing provides an example of the racialized nature of policing in the United States. Vice policing has been focused on (1) maintaining racial segregation, (2) containing vice in marginalized communities, and (3) …


Law Enforcement Recruitment, Why It Matters, And Key Management Decisions, Part Two, Patrick Oliver Jul 2023

Law Enforcement Recruitment, Why It Matters, And Key Management Decisions, Part Two, Patrick Oliver

History and Government Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


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 …


Disaster Risk In The Carceral State, Saptarishi Bandopadhyay, Joshua R. Coene May 2023

Disaster Risk In The Carceral State, Saptarishi Bandopadhyay, Joshua R. Coene

Articles & Book Chapters

The overlap between prisoner vulnerability and disasters in the United States is undeniable. During 2020 and 2021, the United States endured a series of natural hazards such as wildfires, floods, and hurricanes, many of which exposed the country’s 2.1 million inmates to additional risks and compounded the danger posed by COVID-19. Yet policymakers and scholars are only beginning to appreciate the centrality and magnitude of disaster risk management for the millions of people currently held in penal institutions around the country. Unsurprisingly, the production of “lessons learned” documents that follow in the aftermath of disasters overlook how prisoner vulnerability is …


Centrality And Compliance: Unitary Vs. Federalist Political Systems In The Implementation Of The Kyoto Protocol In Argentina And Uruguay, Aidan Homan May 2023

Centrality And Compliance: Unitary Vs. Federalist Political Systems In The Implementation Of The Kyoto Protocol In Argentina And Uruguay, Aidan Homan

Baker Scholar Projects

When Uruguay and Argentina first gained their respective independence in the early 1800s, they appeared to be following the same path of development As countries that came from the same Spanish colonization, share almost identical agricultural economies, and retain a close relationship, it is logical that they would follow similar trajectories. This assumption proves to be inaccurate in more ways than one, but most prominently within the environmental sphere. One way to analyze this difference in policy implementation lies in compliance with international environmental treaties which contain specific goals and limits for all parties involved. The Kyoto Protocol presents a …


Allowing The Courts To Step In Where Needed: Applying The Plra's 90-Day Limit On Preliminary Relief, Catherine T. Struve Apr 2023

Allowing The Courts To Step In Where Needed: Applying The Plra's 90-Day Limit On Preliminary Relief, Catherine T. Struve

All Faculty Scholarship

The Prison Litigation Reform Act responded to two major assertions—that prison and jail inmates were swamping the courts with frivolous lawsuits and that federal-court injunctions were imposing unwarranted requirements on prison and jail systems. The first assertion led to the PLRA provisions restricting prisoner lawsuits. The second assertion gave rise to the PLRA’s limits on injunctions “in any civil action with respect to prison conditions.” These limits (1) set requirements for the entry of any injunction, (2) provide for the termination of existing permanent injunctions, and (3) constrain the entry of preliminary injunctions. As to the first of these limits, …


Police Funding In The Mountain West, 2020-2022, Lana Kojoian, Miguel Soriano Ralston, Annie Vong, Caitlin J. Saladino, William E. Brown Jr. Apr 2023

Police Funding In The Mountain West, 2020-2022, Lana Kojoian, Miguel Soriano Ralston, Annie Vong, Caitlin J. Saladino, William E. Brown Jr.

Criminal Justice

This fact sheet examines data from Third Way’s report “The Red City Defund Police Problem” which provides information on police funding and other metrics on police forces. The original report offers a review of police funding and operating budgets for the 25 largest Democrat-run cities and 25 largest Republican-run cities in the U.S. This fact sheet includes police force data for 10 Mountain West cities (Aurora, CO; Chandler, AZ; Colorado Springs, CO; Denver, CO; Glendale, AZ; Gilbert, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Mesa, AZ; North Las Vegas, NV; and Phoenix, AZ).


Federal Law Enforcement Reform: Depoliticization Into A Constitutional Framework To Restore Public Confidence, Christopher J. Boosey Apr 2023

Federal Law Enforcement Reform: Depoliticization Into A Constitutional Framework To Restore Public Confidence, Christopher J. Boosey

Senior Honors Theses

This thesis proposes that there is a lack of public confidence in federal law enforcement agencies and that this is because these agencies have become political weapons, investigating individuals rather than crimes, in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Following multiple scandals, from the historical targeting of the Civil Rights movement to present attempts to designate parents critical of school administrators as domestic terrorists, wholesale reform of these agencies is urgent. Therefore, this thesis will address the issue of politicization, political corruption, and the lack of adherence to constitutional principles through the problem, significance, and solution method. This thesis will first …


Historicizing The War(S) On Drugs Across National (And Disciplanary) Borders, Sara Mayeux Apr 2023

Historicizing The War(S) On Drugs Across National (And Disciplanary) Borders, Sara Mayeux

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Notwithstanding the title, The War on Drugs: A History, this illuminating book is not "a" history of "the" War on Drugs but an edited collection with a sampling of new research into the intertwined histories of drug regulation and criminalization, deregulation and decriminalization, both in the United States and around the world. To use the parlance of Jotwell, I like this book a lot.

But I am also writing this Jot because I worry that the title may mislead legal scholars into thinking that this is only a book for historians of criminal law or scholars of the "carceral state." …


Statement Of The District Task Force On Jails & Justice Before The Committee On The Judiciary And Public Safety Of The Council Of The District Of Columbia Performance Oversight Hearing For The D.C. Department Of Corrections March 1, 2023, Katherine S. Broderick Mar 2023

Statement Of The District Task Force On Jails & Justice Before The Committee On The Judiciary And Public Safety Of The Council Of The District Of Columbia Performance Oversight Hearing For The D.C. Department Of Corrections March 1, 2023, Katherine S. Broderick

D.C. Council Testimony

No abstract provided.


Special Issue “Energy Transition And Environmental Sustainability”, Prafula Pearce Mar 2023

Special Issue “Energy Transition And Environmental Sustainability”, Prafula Pearce

Research outputs 2022 to 2026

This Special Issue on “Energy Transition and Environmental Sustainability” includes thirteen papers on policies including: the challenges of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals regarding energy transition and legal reforms in Taiwan and Japan [1] successful energy transition toward solar PV in South Korea [2]; transition from diesel buses to hybrid-driven (HEV) and electricity-driven buses (BEV) for public transport in Central Europe [3]; vehicle transition and the development of electric car production in three regions, the United States, the European Union and Japan [4]; affordable and environmentally friendly cooling solutions for buildings in Pakistan [5]; development of projects to replace …


Statement Of The District Task Force On Jails & Justice Before The Committee On Facilities & Family Services Performance Oversight Hearing For The Department Of General Services February 28, 2023, Katherine S. Broderick Feb 2023

Statement Of The District Task Force On Jails & Justice Before The Committee On Facilities & Family Services Performance Oversight Hearing For The Department Of General Services February 28, 2023, Katherine S. Broderick

D.C. Council Testimony

No abstract provided.