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Women’S Votes, Women’S Voices, And The Limits Of Criminal Justice Reform, 1911–1950, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2021

Women’S Votes, Women’S Voices, And The Limits Of Criminal Justice Reform, 1911–1950, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

Deriving its vigor from the work of grassroots organizations at the state and local levels, the League of Women Voters (LWV) sought, in the first half of the twentieth century, to provide newly enfranchised women with a political education to strengthen their voice in public affairs. Local branches like the San Francisco Center learned from experience—through practical involvement in a variety of social welfare and criminal justice initiatives. This Article, written for a symposium commemorating the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, assesses the role of LWV leaders in California and especially San Francisco in reforming three aspects of the ...


Imagining The Progressive Prosecutor, Benjamin Levin Jan 2021

Imagining The Progressive Prosecutor, Benjamin Levin

Articles

As criminal justice reform has attracted greater public support, a new brand of district attorney candidate has arrived: the “progressive prosecutors.” Commentators increasingly have keyed on “progressive prosecutors” as offering a promising avenue for structural change, deserving of significant political capital and academic attention. This Essay asks an unanswered threshold question: what exactly is a “progressive prosecutor”? Is that a meaningful category at all, and if so, who is entitled to claim the mantle? In this Essay, I argue that “progressive prosecutor” means many different things to many different people. These differences in turn reveal important fault lines in academic ...


Policing And "Bluelining", Aya Gruber Jan 2021

Policing And "Bluelining", Aya Gruber

Articles

In this Commentary written for the Frankel Lecture symposium on police killings of Black Americans, I explore the increasingly popular claim that racialized brutality is not a malfunction of policing but its function. Or, as Paul Butler counsels, “Don’t get it twisted—the criminal justice system ain’t broke. It’s working just the way it’s supposed to.” This claim contradicts the conventional narrative, which remains largely accepted, that the police exist to vindicate the community’s interest in solving, reducing, and preventing crime. A perusal of the history of organized policing in the United States, however, reveals ...


Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan Dec 2020

Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan

Articles

Few medico-legal matters have generated as much controversy--both in the medical literature and in the courtroom--as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), now known more broadly as Abusive Head Trauma (AHT). The controversies are of enormous significance in the law because child abuse pediatricians claim, on the basis of a few non-specific medical findings supported by a weak and methodologically flawed research base, to be able to “diagnose” child abuse, and thereby to provide all of the evidence necessary to satisfy all of the legal elements for criminal prosecution (or removal of children from their parents). It is a matter, therefore, in ...


Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms Of Constitutional Ineffectiveness, Eve Brensike Primus Jun 2020

Disaggregating Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel Doctrine: Four Forms Of Constitutional Ineffectiveness, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

For years, experts have blamed Strickland v. Washington’s lax standard for assessing trial attorney effectiveness for many of the criminal justice system’s problems. But the conventional understanding of Strickland as a problem for ineffectiveness claims gives the decision too much prominence because it treats Strickland as the test for all such claims. That is a mistake. Properly understood, the Supreme Court has recognized four different constitutional forms of trial attorney ineffectiveness, and Strickland’s two pronged test applies to only one of the four. If litigants and courts would notice this complexity and relegate Strickland to its proper ...


Response: Race-Of-Victim Disparities And The "Level Up" Problem, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

Response: Race-Of-Victim Disparities And The "Level Up" Problem, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


What's Wrong With Police Unions?, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

What's Wrong With Police Unions?, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In an era of declining labor power, police unions stand as a rare success story for worker organizing—they exert political clout and negotiate favorable terms for their members. Yet, despite broad support for unionization on the political left, police unions have become public enemy number one for academics and activists concerned about race and police violence. Much criticism of police unions focuses on their obstructionist nature and how they prioritize the interests of their members over the interests of the communities they police. These critiques are compelling—police unions shield officers and block oversight. But, taken seriously, they often ...


Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin Jan 2020

Criminal Law In Crisis, Benjamin Levin

Articles

In this Essay, I offer a brief account of how the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the realities and structural flaws of the carceral state. I provide two primary examples or illustrations, but they are not meant to serve as an exhaustive list. Rather, by highlighting these issues, problems, or (perhaps) features, I mean to suggest that this moment of crisis should serve not just as an opportunity to marshal resources to address the pandemic, but also as a chance to address the harsh realities of the U.S. criminal system. Further, my claim isn’t that criminal law is in ...


The Failure Of The Criminal Procedure Revolution, William T. Pizzi Jan 2020

The Failure Of The Criminal Procedure Revolution, William T. Pizzi

Articles

No abstract provided.


Race, Space, And Surveillance: A Response To #Livingwhileblack: Blackness As Nuisance, Lolita Buckner Inniss Jan 2020

Race, Space, And Surveillance: A Response To #Livingwhileblack: Blackness As Nuisance, Lolita Buckner Inniss

Articles

This article is an invited response to an American University Law Review article titled “#LivingWhileBlack: Blackness as Nuisance” that has been widely discussed in the news media and in academic circles.


The Left's Law-And-Order Agenda, Aya Gruber Jan 2019

The Left's Law-And-Order Agenda, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin Jan 2019

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article examines the debates over recent proposals for “mens rea reform.” The substantive criminal law has expanded dramatically, and legislators have criminalized a great deal of common conduct. Often, new criminal laws do not require that defendants know they are acting unlawfully. Mens rea reform proposals seek to address the problems of overcriminalization and unintentional offending by increasing the burden on prosecutors to prove a defendant’s culpable mental state. These proposals have been a staple of conservative-backed bills on criminal justice reform. Many on the left remain skeptical of mens rea reform and view it as a deregulatory ...


Fourth Amendment Constraints On The Technological Monitoring Of Convicted Sex Offenders, Ben A. Mcjunkin, J. J. Prescott Jul 2018

Fourth Amendment Constraints On The Technological Monitoring Of Convicted Sex Offenders, Ben A. Mcjunkin, J. J. Prescott

Articles

More than forty U.S. states currently track at least some of their convicted sex offenders using GPS devices. Many offenders will be monitored for life. The burdens and expense of living indefinitely under constant technological monitoring have been well documented, but most commentators have assumed that these burdens were of no constitutional moment because states have characterized such surveillance as ‘‘civil’’ in character—and courts have seemed to agree. In 2015, however, the Supreme Court decided in Grady v. North Carolina that attaching a GPS monitoring device to a person was a Fourth Amendment search, notwithstanding the ostensibly civil ...


Character Flaws, Frederic Bloom Jan 2018

Character Flaws, Frederic Bloom

Articles

Character evidence doctrine is infected by error. It is riddled with a set of pervasive mistakes and misconceptions—a group of gaffes and glitches involving Rule 404(b)’s “other purposes” (like intent, absence of accident, and plan) that might be called “character flaws.” This Essay identifies and investigates those flaws through the lens of a single, sensational case: United States v. Henthorn. By itself, Henthorn is a tale worth telling—an astonishing story of danger and deceit, malice and murder. But Henthorn is more than just a stunning story. It is also an example and an opportunity, a chance ...


Assessing The Real Risk Of Sexually Violent Predators: Doctor Padilla's Dangerous Data, Tamara Rice Lave, Franklin E. Zimring Jan 2018

Assessing The Real Risk Of Sexually Violent Predators: Doctor Padilla's Dangerous Data, Tamara Rice Lave, Franklin E. Zimring

Articles

This Article uses internal memoranda and emails to describe the efforts of the California Department of Mental Health to suppress a serious and well-designed study that showed just 6.5% of untreated sexually violent predators were arrested for a new sex crime within 4.8 years of release from a locked mental facility. The Article begins by historically situating sexually violent predator laws and then explains the constitutionally critical role that prospective sexual dangerousness plays in justifying these laws. The Article next explains how the U.S. Supreme Court and the highest state courts have allowed these laws to exist ...


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Articles

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety ...


Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Rethinking The Boundaries Of "Criminal Justice", Benjamin Levin

Articles

This review of The New Criminal Justice Thinking (Sharon Dolovich & Alexandra Natapoff, eds.) tracks the shifting and uncertain contours of “criminal justice” as an object of study and critique.

Specifically, I trace two themes in the book:

(1) the uncertain boundaries of the “criminal justice system” as a web of laws, actors, and institutions; and

(2) the uncertain boundaries of “criminal justice thinking” as a universe of interdisciplinary scholarship, policy discourse, and public engagement.

I argue that these two themes speak to critically important questions about the nature of criminal justice scholarship and reform efforts. Without a firm understanding of what constitutes the “criminal justice system,” it is difficult to agree on the proper targets of critique or to determine what legal, social, and political problems are properly the province of “criminal justice thinking.” And, deciding which voices to accept and privilege in these ...


Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

Criminal Employment Law, Benjamin Levin

Articles

This Article diagnoses a phenomenon, “criminal employment law,” which exists at the nexus of employment law and the criminal justice system. Courts and legislatures discourage employers from hiring workers with criminal records and encourage employers to discipline workers for non-work-related criminal misconduct. In analyzing this phenomenon, my goals are threefold: (1) to examine how criminal employment law works; (2) to hypothesize why criminal employment law has proliferated; and (3) to assess what is wrong with criminal employment law. This Article examines the ways in which the laws that govern the workplace create incentives for employers not to hire individuals with ...


The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Jan 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Articles

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David A. Harris, David Rudovsky Jan 2018

Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David A. Harris, David Rudovsky

Articles

The investigative detention doctrine first announced in Terry v. Ohio and amplified over the past fifty years has been much analyzed, praised, and criticized from a number of perspectives. Significantly, however, over this time period commentators have only occasionally questioned the Supreme Court’s “common sense” judgments regarding the factors sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion for stops and frisks. For years, the Court has provided no empirical basis for its judgments, due in large part to the lack of reliable data. Now, with the emergence of comprehensive data on these police practices, much can be learned about the predictive power ...


The Miranda Case Fifty Years Later, Yale Kamisar May 2017

The Miranda Case Fifty Years Later, Yale Kamisar

Articles

A decade after the Supreme Court decided Miranda v. Arizona, Geoffrey Stone took a close look at the eleven decisions the Court had handed down “concerning the scope and application of Miranda.” As Stone observed, “[i]n ten of these cases, the Court interpreted Miranda so as not to exclude the challenged evidence.” In the eleventh case, the Court excluded the evidence on other grounds. Thus, Stone noted, ten years after the Court decided the case, “the Court ha[d] not held a single item of evidence inadmissible on the authority of Miranda.” Not a single item. To use baseball ...


Disentangling Miranda And Massiah: How To Revive The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel As A Tool For Regulating Confession Law, Eve Brensike Primus May 2017

Disentangling Miranda And Massiah: How To Revive The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel As A Tool For Regulating Confession Law, Eve Brensike Primus

Articles

Fifty years after Miranda v. Arizona, many have lamented the ways in which the Burger, Rehnquist, and Roberts Courts have cut back on Miranda's protections. One underappreciated a spect of Miranda's demise is the way it has affected the development of the pretrial Sixth Amendment right to counsel guaranteed by Massiah v. United States. Much of the case law diluting suspects' Fifth Amendment Miranda rights has bled over into the Sixth Amendment right to counsel cases without consideration of whether the animating purposes of the Massiah pretrial right to counsel would support such an importation. This development is ...


Justice Visualized: Courts And The Body Camera Revolution, Mary D. Fan Jan 2017

Justice Visualized: Courts And The Body Camera Revolution, Mary D. Fan

Articles

What really happened? For centuries, courts have been magisterially blind, cloistered far away from the contested events that they adjudicate, relying primarily on testimony to get the story—or competing stories. Whether oral or written, this testimony is profoundly human, with all the passions, partisanship and imperfections of human perception.

Now a revolution is coming. Across the nation, police departments are deploying body cameras. Analyzing body camera policies from police departments across the nation, the article reveals an unfolding future where much of the main staple events of criminal procedure law will be recorded. Much of the current focus is ...


An Expressive Theory Of Privacy Intrusions, Craig Konnoth Jan 2017

An Expressive Theory Of Privacy Intrusions, Craig Konnoth

Articles

The harms of privacy intrusions are numerous. They include discrimination, reputational harm, and chilling effects on speech, thought, and behavior. However, scholarship has yet to fully recognize a kind of privacy harm that this article terms "expressive."

Depending on where the search is taking place and who the actors involved are--a teacher in a school, the police on the street, a food inspector in a restaurant--victims and observers might infer different messages from the search. The search marks the importance of certain societal values such as law enforcement or food safety. It can also send messages about certain groups by ...


Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2017

Firearms In The Family, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

This Article considers firearms prohibitions for domestic violence offenders, in light of recent Supreme Court decisions and the larger, national debate about gun control. Unlike other scholarship in the area, it confronts the costs of ratcheting up the scope and enforcement of such firearms bans and argues that the politicization of safety has come at the expense of a sound approach to gun control in the context of intimate-partner abuse. In doing so, it expands scholarly arguments against mandatory, one-size-fits-all criminal justice responses to domestic violence in a direction that other critics have been reluctant to go, perhaps because of ...


"Make Him An Offer He Can't Refuse"-- Mezzanatto Waivers As Lynchpin Of Prosecutorial Overreach, Christopher B. Mueller Jan 2017

"Make Him An Offer He Can't Refuse"-- Mezzanatto Waivers As Lynchpin Of Prosecutorial Overreach, Christopher B. Mueller

Articles

Plea bargaining is the dominant means of disposing of criminal charges in the United States, in both state and federal courts. This administrative mechanism has become a system that is grossly abusive of individual rights, leading to many well-known maladies of the criminal justice system, which include overcharging, overincarceration, convictions on charges that would likely fail at trial, and even conviction of “factually innocent” persons. Instrumental in the abuses of plea bargaining is the so-called Mezzanatto waiver, which takes its name from a 1995 Supreme Court decision that approved the practice of getting defendants to agree that anything they say ...


Rescued From The Grave And Then Covered With Mud: Justice Scalia And The Unfinished Restoration Of The Confrontation Right, Richard D. Friedman Jun 2016

Rescued From The Grave And Then Covered With Mud: Justice Scalia And The Unfinished Restoration Of The Confrontation Right, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

Some years before his death, when asked which was his favorite among his opinions, Antonin Scalia named Crawford v. Washington. It was a good choice. Justice Scalia's opinion in Crawford reclaimed the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution and restored it to its rightful place as one of the central protections of our criminal justice system. He must have found it particularly satisfying that the opinion achieved this result by focusing on the historical meaning of the text, and that it gained the concurrence of all but two members of the Court, from all ideological positions.


Creating (And Teaching) The "Bail-To-Jail" Course, Jerold H. Israel Apr 2016

Creating (And Teaching) The "Bail-To-Jail" Course, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

Yale Kamisar has explained how events that occurred about fifty years ago led to the creation of a stand-alone criminal procedure course and, a few years later, led to the division of that stand-alone course into two courses. The second of those courses came to be called, almost from the outset, the "Jail-to-Bail" course. My focus today is on why that course was created and how it was shaped. Modern Criminal Procedure, as Yale has noted, was the first coursebook designed for a stand-alone course in criminal procedure. Modern was published in 1966. A year earlier, the first version of ...


The Risks Of Clouded Property Title For Cannabis Business Owners, Investors, And Creditors, Sean M. O'Connor, Jason Liu Jan 2016

The Risks Of Clouded Property Title For Cannabis Business Owners, Investors, And Creditors, Sean M. O'Connor, Jason Liu

Articles

This Article provides a brief primer on the surprising range of assets that the Controlled Substances Act forfeiture provisions govern for the state-legal cannabis businesses. It outlines these provisions for tangible as well as intangible property, with an emphasis on risks to state-legal cannabis businesses’ intellectual property and issued securities.

We argue that these forfeiture risks create clouded title for all subject tangible and intangible property—not only for the state-legal businesses and their proprietors, but also for those businesses’ outside investors, creditors, and suppliers/contractors.


The Value Of Confrontation As A Felony Sentencing Right, Shaakirrah R. Sanders Jan 2016

The Value Of Confrontation As A Felony Sentencing Right, Shaakirrah R. Sanders

Articles

No abstract provided.