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Taking Psychological Torture Seriously: The Torturous Nature Of Credible Death Threats And The Collateral Consequences For Capital Punishment, John Bessler Jan 2019

Taking Psychological Torture Seriously: The Torturous Nature Of Credible Death Threats And The Collateral Consequences For Capital Punishment, John Bessler

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This article explores how the death penalty and the indefinite nature of death row in the United States creates a constant threat of death, which can violate the United Nations Convention Against Torture’s prohibitions on death threats.


The Marquis Beccaria: An Italian Penal Reformer’S Meteoric Rise In The British Isles In The Transatlantic Republic Of Letters, John Bessler Jan 2019

The Marquis Beccaria: An Italian Penal Reformer’S Meteoric Rise In The British Isles In The Transatlantic Republic Of Letters, John Bessler

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This article traces the reception of Cesare Beccaria’s book, Dei delitti e delle pene (1764), in Britain and in colonial and early America. That book, first translated into English as An Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1767), catalyzed penal reform and the anti-gallows movement on both sides of the Atlantic. As the first Enlightenment text to make a comprehensive case against capital punishment, On Crimes and Punishments became a bestseller, appearing in multiple English-language editions and attracting much public attention. Widely read by an array of British and American lawmakers and other civic-minded penal reformers, On Crimes and Punishments ...


Innovating Criminal Justice, Natalie Ram Jan 2018

Innovating Criminal Justice, Natalie Ram

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From secret stingray devices that can pinpoint a suspect’s location, to advanced forensic DNA-analysis tools, to recidivism risk statistic software—the use of privately developed criminal justice technologies is growing. So too is a concomitant pattern of trade secret assertion surrounding these technologies. This Article charts the role of private law secrecy in shielding criminal justice activities, demonstrating that such secrecy is pervasive, problematic, and ultimately unnecessary for the production of well-designed criminal justice tools. This Article makes three contributions to the existing literature. First, the Article establishes that trade secrecy now permeates American criminal justice, shielding privately developed ...


Left Behind: How The Absence Of A Federal Vacatur Law Disadvantages Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Jessica Emerson, Alison Aminzadeh Oct 2017

Left Behind: How The Absence Of A Federal Vacatur Law Disadvantages Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Jessica Emerson, Alison Aminzadeh

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After a hamstring injury in October of 2004 forced her to surrender her athletic scholarship at St. John's University, Shamere McKenzie chose to spend her winter break working in order to save the money she needed to pay the remainder of her tuition. In January of 2005, Shamere met a man named Corey Davis, who expressed an interest in dating her. After getting to know him for several weeks, she eventually shared with him the challenges she was having earning the money she needed to continue her enrollment in college. Davis encouraged her to consider exotic dancing as a ...


The Inequality Of America's Death Penalty: A Crossroads For Capital Punishment At The Intersection Of The Eighth And Fourteenth Amendments, John Bessler Jan 2016

The Inequality Of America's Death Penalty: A Crossroads For Capital Punishment At The Intersection Of The Eighth And Fourteenth Amendments, John Bessler

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We live in a divided society, from gated communities to cell blocks congested with disproportionate numbers of young African-American men. There are rich and poor, privileged and homeless, Democrats and Republicans, wealthy zip codes and stubbornly impoverished ones. There are committed "Black Lives Matter" protesters, and there are those who—invoking "Blue Lives Matter" demonstrate in support of America‘s hardworking police officers. In her new article, "Matters of Strata: Race, Gender, and Class Structures in Capital Cases," George Washington University law professor Phyllis Goldfarb highlights the stratification of our society and offers a compelling critique of America‘s death ...


Whither Reasonable Suspicion: The Supreme Court's Functional Abandonment Of The Reasonableness Requirement For Fourth Amendment Seizures, Steven P. Grossman Jan 2016

Whither Reasonable Suspicion: The Supreme Court's Functional Abandonment Of The Reasonableness Requirement For Fourth Amendment Seizures, Steven P. Grossman

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Although the United States Supreme Court’s approach to issues governing application of the probable cause requirement of the Fourth Amendment has mutated over the years, at least one aspect of its approach has remained constant. Before information leading to probable cause or its lesser iteration of reasonable suspicion is found to exist, the government must demonstrate in some meaningful way the reliability of the person providing the information or of the information itself. Lacking such reliability, no search or seizure based on probable cause or reasonable suspicion is permitted. In its recent decision in Navarette v. California, the Court ...


Decriminalizing Violence: A Critique Of Restorative Justice And Proposal For Diversionary Mediation, M. Eve Hanan Jan 2016

Decriminalizing Violence: A Critique Of Restorative Justice And Proposal For Diversionary Mediation, M. Eve Hanan

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The movement to reduce over-prosecution and mass incarceration has focused almost exclusively on non-violent offenders despite data showing that over half of all prisoners incarcerated within the United States are sentenced for crimes of violence. As a consequence of the focus on nonviolent offenses, the majority of current and future defendants will not benefit from initiatives offering alternatives to criminal prosecution and incarceration.

A discussion of alternatives to the criminal justice system in cases of violent crime must begin by acknowledging that violent crime is not monolithic. Many incidents meet the statutory elements of a violent crime, that is, the ...


A Justice System Overwhelmed, Colin Starger Feb 2015

A Justice System Overwhelmed, Colin Starger

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No abstract provided.


Using The Dna Testing Of Arrestees To Reevaluate Fourth Amendment Doctrine, Steven P. Grossman Jan 2015

Using The Dna Testing Of Arrestees To Reevaluate Fourth Amendment Doctrine, Steven P. Grossman

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With the advent of DNA testing, numerous issues have arisen with regard to obtaining and using evidence developed from such testing. As courts have come to regard DNA testing as a reliable method for linking some people to crimes and for exonerating others, these issues are especially significant. The federal government and most states have enacted statutes that permit or direct the testing of those convicted of at least certain crimes. Courts have almost universally approved such testing, rejecting arguments that obtaining and using such evidence violates the Fourth Amendment.

More recently governments have enacted laws permitting or directing the ...


Changing Course In The Anti-Domestic Violence Legal Movement: From Safety To Security, Margaret E. Johnson Jan 2015

Changing Course In The Anti-Domestic Violence Legal Movement: From Safety To Security, Margaret E. Johnson

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No abstract provided.


Dna Helps Clear Man's Name From Rape Charge After 24 Years, Colin Starger Jul 2014

Dna Helps Clear Man's Name From Rape Charge After 24 Years, Colin Starger

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No abstract provided.


Flawed Coalitions And The Politics Of Crime, David Jaros May 2014

Flawed Coalitions And The Politics Of Crime, David Jaros

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Bipartisanship can be dangerous. In the late 1970s, liberal and conservative forces united to discard two centuries of federal sentencing practice and usher in an era of fixed guidelines that would reshape the criminal justice landscape. In the decades that followed, liberals would come to bitterly regret their alliance with conservative sentencing reformers. The guideline regime established by the Sentencing Reform Act ultimately advanced hardline conservative criminal justice goals that were antithetical to the objectives of many of the Act’s former liberal supporters.

Researchers have shown that a particular cognitive bias — cultural cognition — can explain why intense partisan conflicts ...


Foreword: The Death Penalty In Decline: From Colonial America To The Present, John Bessler Jan 2014

Foreword: The Death Penalty In Decline: From Colonial America To The Present, John Bessler

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This Article traces the history of capital punishment in America. It describes the death penalty's curtailment in colonial Pennsylvania by William Penn, and the substantial influence of the Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria -- the first Enlightenment thinker to advocate the abolition of executions -- on the Founding Fathers' views. The Article also describes the transition away from "sanguinary" laws and punishments toward the "penitentiary system" and highlights the U.S. penal system's abandonment of non-lethal corporal punishments.


Preempting The Police, David Jaros Jan 2014

Preempting The Police, David Jaros

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Fighting crime requires that we vest police with extensive discretion so that they can protect the public. Unfortunately, the nature of police work makes it difficult to ensure that law enforcement authority is not abused. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that a great deal of questionable police activity exists in the legal shadows — unregulated practices that do not violate defined legal limits because they have generally eluded both judicial and legislative scrutiny. Local law enforcement strategies, like the maintenance of unauthorized police DNA databases and the routine practice of initiating casual street encounters, threaten fundamental notions of a ...


A Home With Dignity: Domestic Violence And Property Rights, Margaret E. Johnson Jan 2014

A Home With Dignity: Domestic Violence And Property Rights, Margaret E. Johnson

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This Article argues that the legal system should do more to address intimate partner violence and each party's need for a home for several reasons. First, domestic violence is a leading cause of individual and family homelessness. Second, the struggle over rights to a shared home can increase the violence to which the woman is subjected. And third, a woman who decides to continue to live with the person who abused her receives little or no legal support, despite the evidence that this decision could most effectively reduce the violence. The legal system's current failings result from its ...


Comments On Maryland V. King In 'U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over Md. Dna Case: Justices' Decision Will Have National Implications On Future Crime-Fighting Procedures', Colin Starger Feb 2013

Comments On Maryland V. King In 'U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over Md. Dna Case: Justices' Decision Will Have National Implications On Future Crime-Fighting Procedures', Colin Starger

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No abstract provided.


The Poverty Defense, Michele E. Gilman Jan 2013

The Poverty Defense, Michele E. Gilman

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Poverty is correlated with crime, but it is widely assumed that it should not be a defense. In the 1970s, Judge David Bazelon challenged this assumption, proposing a rotten social background defense, that is, how growing up under circumstances of severe deprivation can subsequently impact a criminal defendant's mental state and actions. Relatedly, other theorists have posited that poverty should be a defense to crime based on poverty's coercive aspects or because society forfeits its right to condemn when it tolerates significant economic inequality. Critics counter that a poverty defense should not be adopted because it is not ...


Perfecting Criminal Markets, David Jaros Dec 2012

Perfecting Criminal Markets, David Jaros

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From illicit drugs to human smuggling to prostitution, legislators may actually be perfecting the very criminal markets they seek to destroy. Criminal laws often create new dangers and new criminal opportunities. Criminalizing drugs creates the opportunity to sell fake drugs. Raising the penalties for illegal immigration increases the risk that smugglers will rely on dangerous methods that can injure or kill their human cargo. Banning prostitution increases the underground spread of sexually transmitted disease. Lawmakers traditionally respond to these “second order” problems in predictable fashion — with a new wave of criminalization that imposes additional penalties on fake drug dealers, dangerous ...


Separate But Equal: Miranda's Rights To Silence And Counsel, Steven P. Grossman Oct 2012

Separate But Equal: Miranda's Rights To Silence And Counsel, Steven P. Grossman

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Three decades ago, the Supreme Court created a dubious distinction between the rights accorded to suspects in custody who invoke their right to silence and who invoke their right to counsel. This distinction significantly disadvantages those who do not have the good sense or good fortune to specify they want an attorney when they invoke their right to remain silent. This article argues that this distinction was flawed at its genesis and that it has led to judicial decisions that are inconsistent, make little sense, and permit police behavior that substantially diminishes the right to silence as described in Miranda ...


Madness Alone Punishes The Madman: The Search For Moral Dignity In The Court's Competency Doctrine As Applied In Capital Cases, J. Amy Dillard Apr 2012

Madness Alone Punishes The Madman: The Search For Moral Dignity In The Court's Competency Doctrine As Applied In Capital Cases, J. Amy Dillard

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The purposes of the competency doctrine are to guarantee reliability in criminal prosecutions, to ensure that only those defendants who can appreciate punishment are subject to it, and to maintain moral dignity, both actual and apparent, in criminal proceedings. No matter his crime, the “madman” should not be forced to stand trial. Historically, courts viewed questions of competency as a binary choice, finding the defendant either competent or incompetent to stand trial. However, in Edwards v. Indiana, the Supreme Court conceded that it views competency on a spectrum and offered a new category of competency — borderline-competent. The Court held that ...


Teaching Social Justice Lawyering: Systematically Including Community Legal Education In Law School Clinics, Margaret Martin Barry, A. Rachel Camp, Margaret E. Johnson, Catherine F. Klein, Lisa V. Martin Apr 2012

Teaching Social Justice Lawyering: Systematically Including Community Legal Education In Law School Clinics, Margaret Martin Barry, A. Rachel Camp, Margaret E. Johnson, Catherine F. Klein, Lisa V. Martin

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There is a body of literature on clinical legal theory that urges a focus in clinics beyond the single client to an explicit teaching of social justice lawyering. This Article adds to this emerging body of work by discussing the valuable role community legal education plays as a vehicle for teaching skills and values essential to single client representation and social justice lawyering. The Article examines the theoretical underpinnings of clinical legal education, community organizing and community education and how they influenced the authors’ design and implementation of community legal education within their clinics. It then discusses two projects designed ...


Professional Identity As Advocacy, Robert Rubinson Jan 2012

Professional Identity As Advocacy, Robert Rubinson

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The legal profession adheres to a story of a unified profession. Nevertheless, the profession has distinct professional sub-groups which repeatedly represent clients with interests adverse to those represented by attorneys who identify with other sub-groups. The idea of "professional identity as advocacy" describes how such professional sub-groups accuse opposing subgroups of greed, self-aggrandizement, or worse. This is most notable in two areas: personal injury litigation and criminal cases. This process has two seemingly contradictory consequences. First, it renders narrow areas extraordinarily visible, thus defining popular discourse and conceptions about lawyers and law. Second, it masks vast areas of litigation and ...


Confine Is Fine: Have The Non-Dangerous Mentally Ill Lost Their Right To Liberty? An Empirical Study To Unravel The Psychiatrist’S Crystal Ball, Donald H. Stone Jan 2012

Confine Is Fine: Have The Non-Dangerous Mentally Ill Lost Their Right To Liberty? An Empirical Study To Unravel The Psychiatrist’S Crystal Ball, Donald H. Stone

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This Article will examine the reverse trend in civil commitment laws in the wake of recent tragedies and discuss the effect of broader civil commitment standards on the care and treatment of the mentally ill. The 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, and the 2012 Aurora movie theatre shooting have spurred fierce debates about the dangerousness of mentally ill and serve as cautionary tale about what happens when warning signs go unnoticed and opportunities for early intervention missed. This piece will explore the misconception about the role medication and inpatient civil commitments should play in prevention ...


Introduction: Benefits Of Private Enforcement: Empirical Background, Robert H. Lande Jan 2012

Introduction: Benefits Of Private Enforcement: Empirical Background, Robert H. Lande

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This short piece takes a first step toward providing the empirical bases for an assessment of the benefits of private enforcement. It presents evidence showing that private enforcement of the antitrust laws is serving its intended purposes and is in the public interest. Private enforcement helps compensate victimized consumers, and it also helps deter anticompetitive conduct. This piece demonstrates this by briefly summarizing a more detailed analysis of forty of the largest recent successful private antitrust cases.

To analyze these cases' compensation effects this presents, inter alia, the amount of money each action recovered, what proportion of the money was ...


The Criminal Class Action, Adam S. Zimmerman, David Jaros Apr 2011

The Criminal Class Action, Adam S. Zimmerman, David Jaros

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Over the past ten years, in a variety of high-profile corporate scandals, prosecutors have sought billions of dollars in restitution for crimes ranging from environmental dumping and consumer scams to financial fraud. In what we call “criminal class action” settlements, prosecutors distribute that money to groups of victims as in a civil class action while continuing to pursue the traditional criminal justice goals of retribution and deterrence.

Unlike civil class actions, however, the emerging criminal class action lacks critical safeguards for victims entitled to compensation. While prosecutors are encouraged, and even required by statute, to seek victim restitution, they lack ...


And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard Mar 2011

And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard

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This article examines the Court’s categorical exclusion of mentally retarded defendants from execution and explores how trial courts should employ procedures to accomplish heightened reliability in the mental retardation determination; it maintains that if a mentally retarded defendant is subjected to a death sentence then the Atkins directive has been ignored. To satisfy the Atkins Court’s objective of protecting mentally retarded defendants from the “special risk of wrongful execution,” the article explores whether trial courts should engage in a unified, pre-trial competency assessment in all capital cases where the defendant asserts mental retardation as a bar to execution ...


Hot Crimes: A Study In Excess, Steven P. Grossman Jan 2011

Hot Crimes: A Study In Excess, Steven P. Grossman

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Societies appear to be subject, every now and then, to periods of moral panic. . . . [I]ts nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) restored to; . . . sometimes the panic passes over and is forgotten . . . at other times it has more serious and long-lasting repercussions and might produce such as those in legal and social policy or even in the way society conceives itself.

In the ...


Comparative Deterrence From Private Enforcement And Criminal Enforcement Of The U.S. Antitrust Laws, Robert H. Lande, Joshua P. Davis Jan 2011

Comparative Deterrence From Private Enforcement And Criminal Enforcement Of The U.S. Antitrust Laws, Robert H. Lande, Joshua P. Davis

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This article shows that private enforcement of the U. S. antitrust laws-which usually is derided as essentially worthless-serves as a more important deterrent of anticompetitive behavior than the most esteemed antitrust program in the world, criminal enforcement by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The debate over the value of private antitrust enforcement long has been heavy with self-serving assertions by powerful economic interests, but light on factual evidence. To help fill this void we have been conducting research for several years on a variety of empirical topics. This article develops and then explores the implications ...


"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain Jan 2011

"Sweet Childish Days": Using Developmental Psychology Research In Evaluating The Admissibility Of Out-Of-Court Statements By Young Children, Lynn Mclain

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A three-year-old child, while being bathed by her babysitter, innocently mentions that her “pee-pee” hurts. When the babysitter asks the child how she hurt it, she says, “Uncle Ernie (her mother’s boyfriend) told me not to tell.” A subsequent medical examination reveals that the child has gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.

By the time of trial, the child is four and-a-half-years old. When questioned by the trial judge, she cannot explain to the judge’s satisfaction, “the difference between the truth and a lie.” Moreover, she has no long term memory of the incident. The judge rules the child ...


"I'M Going To Dinner With Frank": Admissibility Of Nontestimonial Statements Of Intent To Prove The Actions Of Someone Other Than The Speaker—And The Role Of The Due Process Clause, Lynn Mclain Nov 2010

"I'M Going To Dinner With Frank": Admissibility Of Nontestimonial Statements Of Intent To Prove The Actions Of Someone Other Than The Speaker—And The Role Of The Due Process Clause, Lynn Mclain

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A woman tells her roommate that she is going out to dinner with Frank that evening. The next morning her battered body is found along a country road outside of town. In Frank’s trial for her murder, is her statement to her roommate admissible to place Frank with her that night? Since the Court’s 2004 Crawford decision, the confrontation clause is inapplicable to nontestimonial hearsay such as this.

American jurisdictions are widely divided on the question of admissibility under their rules of evidence, however. Many say absolutely not. A sizeable number unequivocally say yes. A small number say ...