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The Case Of Weak Will And Wayward Desire., Vera Bergelson Sep 2008

The Case Of Weak Will And Wayward Desire., Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

In this article, I confront Garvey¡¯s argument that a weak-willed individual deserves partial excuse for trying to resist a strong desire that pushes him toward commission of a criminal act even though in the end he unreasonably abandons his resistance and commits the crime.

I attempt to refute Garvey¡¯s argument on two counts: one, I question whether the law should indeed provide mitigation to such an offender; and two, I argue that, even if it should, this mitigation may not come in the form of a partial defense. Defenses, even partial, are desert based, and there is nothing ...


Consent To Harm, Vera Bergelson Jul 2008

Consent To Harm, Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This article continues conversation about consent to physical harm started in Vera Bergelson, The Right to Be Hurt: Testing the Boundaries of Consent, 75 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 165 (2007).

Intentionally injuring or killing another person is presumptively wrong. To overcome this presumption, the perpetrator must establish a defense of justification. Consent of the victim may serve as one of the grounds for such a defense. This article puts forward criteria for the defense of consent.

One element of the proposed defense is essential to both its complete and partial forms ¨C that consent of the victim be rational and ...


Rights, Wrongs, And Comparative Justifications, Vera Bergelson Apr 2007

Rights, Wrongs, And Comparative Justifications, Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

The goal of this article is to rethink the relationship between the concepts of justification and wrongdoing, which play vital roles in the theory of criminal law. Reading George P. Fletcher’s new book, The Grammar of Criminal Law, in the context of his earlier scholarship has led me to one major disagreement with Fletcher as well as with the traditional criminal law doctrine: for Fletcher and many others, wrongdoing and justification mutually exclude each other; for me, they do not.

Consider a hypothetical: a group of people are captured by criminals. The criminals are about to kill everyone but ...


Solving The Lawyer Problem In Criminal Cases, George C. Thomas Iii Feb 2007

Solving The Lawyer Problem In Criminal Cases, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

We are learning that the vaunted American adversarial system too often fails to protect innocent defendants. Part of the problem is that indigent criminal defenders, in many parts of the country, are overburdened to the point that they cannot always provide an adequate adversarial testing of the State’s case. Part of the problem is the emotional burn out that many defenders experience. A less well known part of the problem is that the very nature of the adversarial mentality too often causes prosecutors to cut corners and thus threaten innocent defendants. “Solving the Lawyer Problem in Criminal Cases,” a ...


Making Crime (Almost) Disappear, George C. Thomas Iii Feb 2007

Making Crime (Almost) Disappear, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This essay sketches the outlines of a future world in which crime has been drastically reduced. The author proposes two radical approaches to achieve this crime reduction. Some crimes, like drunk driving, can be almost completely eliminated by using technology to prevent the operation of a vehicle by a driver with a blood alcohol greater than the permissible level. Other crimes, like larceny or burglary of expensive items, can be made extremely easy to solve by requiring the installation of micro chips that will, when activated, broadcast their location to police.

To the objection that it will be expensive to ...


The Right To Be Hurt. Testing The Boundaries Of Consent., Vera Bergelson May 2006

The Right To Be Hurt. Testing The Boundaries Of Consent., Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

People's right to consent to pain, injury or death has always been one of the most controversial issues in criminal law and moral philosophy. In recent years, that issue has moved to the forefront of public, legislative, and academic debates in the United States and abroad due to a series of high-profile criminal trials, which involved consenting victims in various contexts--from sadomasochism and cannibalism to experimental medical treatment and mercy killing.

Currently, American criminal law does not recognize consent of the victim as a defense to bodily harm, except in a few historically defined circumstances. That rule has been ...


Standing Room Only: Why Fourth Amendment Exclusion And Standing No Longer Logically Coexist, Sherry F. Colb Mar 2006

Standing Room Only: Why Fourth Amendment Exclusion And Standing No Longer Logically Coexist, Sherry F. Colb

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

The Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule provides that a criminal defendant may suppress the fruits of unreasonable searches and seizures at his prosecution. The Fourth Amendment standing requirement limits the class of criminal defendants who may invoke the exclusionary rule to those who have personally suffered a violation of their rights. This Article argues that the two doctrines are logically inconsistent with each other. The exclusionary rule rests on a foundation of deterrence that takes as its point of departure the police officer's subjective perspective of events and asks: did the information known to him justify his conduct? The standing ...


Justice Story Cuts The Gordian Knot Of Hung Jury Instructions, George C. Thomas Iii, Mark Greenbaum Jan 2006

Justice Story Cuts The Gordian Knot Of Hung Jury Instructions, George C. Thomas Iii, Mark Greenbaum

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

Constitutional law grows more complex over time. The complexity is due, in large part, to the rule of stare decisis. When faced with precedents that it does not wish to follow, the Court usually distinguishes the case before it. Thus, the constitutional landscape is littered with cases that do not fit well together. Navigating past these shoals is often difficult for courts following the Supreme Court’s lead. One example is the law governing instructions that a trial judge can give a deadlocked jury in a criminal case. The right to a jury trial entails the right to have the ...


A Law And Economics Perspective On Terrorism, Nuno M. Garoupa , Jonathan Klick, Francesco Parisi Sep 2005

A Law And Economics Perspective On Terrorism, Nuno M. Garoupa , Jonathan Klick, Francesco Parisi

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This paper reviews the existing law and economics literature on crime, noting where various models might apply to the terror context. Specifically, it focuses on two strands of the literature, deterrence and incapacitation. Challenging the conventional application of the basic rational agent model of crime in the context of terrorism, it considers anti-terror measures enacted by different countries, highlighting how the details of the laws correspond to the insights from economic models of crime. In conclusion, the paper proposes an efficient sorting mechanism in which individuals will be provided with adequate incentives to reveal their type to law enforcement authorities.


Calling A Truce In The Culture Wars: From Enron To The Cia, Craig S. Lerner Aug 2005

Calling A Truce In The Culture Wars: From Enron To The Cia, Craig S. Lerner

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This Article compares and evaluates recent Congressional efforts to improve institutional “cultures” in the private and public sectors. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was designed to upgrade corporate culture by patching up the “walls” that separate corporate management from boards of directors, accountants, lawyers, and financial analysts. The Intelligence Reform Act of 2005 took a different tack, hammering away at walls that supposedly segmented the intelligence community. The logic was that the market failed because people did not observe sufficient formalities in their dealings with one another, while the intelligence community failed precisely because people kept their distance from one ...


Life V. Death: Or Why The Death Penalty Should Marginally Deter, Charles N. W. Keckler Aug 2005

Life V. Death: Or Why The Death Penalty Should Marginally Deter, Charles N. W. Keckler

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Econometric measures of the effect of capital punishment have increasingly provided evidence that it deters homicides. However, most researchers on both sides of the death penalty debate continue to rely on rather simple assumptions about criminal behavior. I attempt to provide a more nuanced and predictive rational choice model of the incentives and disincentives to kill, with the aim of assessing to what extent the statistical findings of deterrence are in line with theoretical expectations. In particular, I examine whether it is plausible to suppose there is a marginal increase in deterrence created by increasing the penalty from life imprisonment ...


Reasonable Suspicion And Mere Hunches, Craig S. Lerner Aug 2005

Reasonable Suspicion And Mere Hunches, Craig S. Lerner

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

In Terry v. Ohio, Earl Warren held that police officers could temporarily detain a suspect, provided that they could articulate the “reasonable inferences” for their suspicion, and not merely allude to a “hunch.” Since Terry, the American legal system has discounted the “mere” hunches of police officers, requiring them to articulate “specific” and “objective” observations of fact to support their decision to conduct a stop and frisk. The officer’s intuitions, gut feelings and sixth sense about a situation are all disallowed.

This dichotomy between facts and intuitions is built on sand. Emotions and intuitions can be reasonable, and reasons ...


The Reasonableness Of Probable Cause, Craig S. Lerner Aug 2005

The Reasonableness Of Probable Cause, Craig S. Lerner

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

Probable cause is generally cast in judicial opinions and the scholarly literature as a fixed probability of criminal activity. In the weeks before the September 11 attacks, FBI headquarters, applying such an unbending standard, rejected a warrant application to search Zacarias Moussaoui’s laptop computer. This article, which begins with an analysis of the Moussaoui episode, argues that the probable cause standard should be calibrated to the gravity of the investigated offense and the intrusiveness of a proposed search. Tracing the evolution of probable cause from the common law through its American development, the article argues that the Supreme Court ...


Discretion And Criminal Law: The Good, The Bad, And The Mundane, George C. Thomas Iii Jul 2005

Discretion And Criminal Law: The Good, The Bad, And The Mundane, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

Most academic papers condemn discretion in the enforcement and prosecution of crime. This essay argues that discretion should be understood to come in three varieties: good discretion, which is beneficial; bad discretion, which is typified by acts motivated by race, sex, or class considerations; and mundane discretion, which is value-neutral. The decision to pursue a drunken driver rather than a speeder, for example, is a good use of discretion while the decision to pursue one speeder rather than another based on race is bad discretion. Most motives that prompt acts of discretion, however, are value-neutral or what I call “mundane ...


Time Travel, Hovercrafts, And The Framers: James Madison Sees The Future And Rewrites The Fourth Amendment, George C. Thomas Iii Jul 2005

Time Travel, Hovercrafts, And The Framers: James Madison Sees The Future And Rewrites The Fourth Amendment, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

The Framers could not have contemplated the interpretational problems that cloud the Fourth Amendment because police, in the modern sense, were unknown to the Framers. Also unknown to the Framers, of course, were wiretaps, drug interdiction searches, thermal imagining, helicopters, and blood tests. We can infer from the history surrounding the Fourth Amendment what the Framers hoped it would accomplish in their time. What if the Framers could have seen the future and known the kind of police techniques that are being used today? What kind of Fourth Amendment would they have written with that knowledge? This article seeks to ...


Missing Miranda's Story, A Review Of Gary L. Stuart's, Miranda: The Story Of America's Right To Remain Silent, George C. Thomas Iii Jun 2005

Missing Miranda's Story, A Review Of Gary L. Stuart's, Miranda: The Story Of America's Right To Remain Silent, George C. Thomas Iii

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

Miranda v. Arizona is the best known criminal procedure decision in the history of the Supreme Court. It has spawned dozens of books and hundreds of articles. The world does not need another Miranda book unless it has something new and interesting to tell readers. Unfortunately, to borrow an old cliche, the parts of Gary Stuart’s book that are new are, for the most part, not interesting and the parts that are interesting are, for the most part, not new. Stuart adds material to the Miranda storehouse about the involvement of local Arizona lawyers and judges in the original ...


Foreword: Beyond Blakely And Booker: Pondering Modern Sentencing Process, Douglas A. Berman May 2005

Foreword: Beyond Blakely And Booker: Pondering Modern Sentencing Process, Douglas A. Berman

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Working Paper Series

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Blakely v. Washington and its federal follow-up United States v. Booker are formally about the meaning and reach of the Sixth Amendment’s right to a jury trial. But these decisions implicate and reflect, both expressly and implicitly, a much broader array of constitutional provisions and principles, in particular, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and the notice provision of the Sixth Amendment. And the future structure and operation of modern sentencing systems may greatly depend on how courts and others approach the due process provisions and principles which ...


An Economic Analysis Of The Private And Social Costs Of The Provision Of Cybersecurity And Other Public Security Goods, Bruce H. Kobayashi Apr 2005

An Economic Analysis Of The Private And Social Costs Of The Provision Of Cybersecurity And Other Public Security Goods, Bruce H. Kobayashi

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

This paper examines the incentives of private actors to invest in cybersecurity. Prior analyses have examined investments in security goods, such as locks or safes that have the characteristics of private goods. The analysis in this paper extends this analysis to examine expenditures on security goods, such as information, that have the characteristics of public goods. In contrast to the private goods case, where individual uncoordinated security expenditures can lead to an overproduction of security, the public goods case can result in the underproduction of security expenditures, and incentives to free ride. Thus, the formation of collective organizations may be ...


Conditional Rights And Comparative Wrongs: More On The Theory And Application Of Comparative Criminal Liability, Vera Bergelson Apr 2005

Conditional Rights And Comparative Wrongs: More On The Theory And Application Of Comparative Criminal Liability, Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This article continues to develop an argument in favor of comparative criminal liability started in "Victims and Perpetrators: An Argument for Comparative Liability in Criminal Law," (http://law.bepress.com/rutgersnewarklwps/fp/art19/) Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 385 (2005). The essence of my argument is that people’s rights are not static but depend on their actions, and victims may reduce their right not to be harmed either voluntarily, by consent, waiver or assumption of risk, or involuntarily, by an attack on some legally recognized rights of the perpetrator. If that happens, perpetrators should be entitled to a defense of ...


The Two Unanswered Questions Of Illinois V. Caballes: How To Make The World Safe For Binary Searches, Ric Simmons Apr 2005

The Two Unanswered Questions Of Illinois V. Caballes: How To Make The World Safe For Binary Searches, Ric Simmons

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Working Paper Series

This Article discusses the recent Supreme Court decision Illinois v. Caballes, which held that the Fourth Amendment does not bar the use of drug-detection dogs, even in the absence of reasonable suspicion. It argues that the Caballes case paves the way for widespread and indiscriminant use of a new type of surveillance known as a binary search. A binary search is defined as a search which provides the law enforcement official with no information about the subject other than whether or not illegal activity is present. Drug-detection dogs are one example of a binary search, but there are many others ...


Victims And Perpetrators: An Argument For Comparative Liability In Criminal Law, Vera Bergelson Feb 2005

Victims And Perpetrators: An Argument For Comparative Liability In Criminal Law, Vera Bergelson

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This article challenges the legal rule according to which the victim’s conduct is irrelevant to the determination of the perpetrator’s criminal liability. The author attacks this rule from both positive and normative perspectives, and argues that criminal law should incorporate an affirmative defense of comparative liability. This defense would fully or partially exculpate the defendant if the victim by his own acts has lost or reduced his right not to be harmed.

Part I tests the descriptive accuracy of the proposition that the perpetrator’s liability does not depend on the conduct of the victim. Criminological and victimological ...


Conceptualizing Blakely, Douglas A. Berman Dec 2004

Conceptualizing Blakely, Douglas A. Berman

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Working Paper Series

The Supreme Court’s decision in Blakely v. Washington has generated impassioned judicial and academic criticisms, perhaps because the “earthquake” ruling seems to announce a destructive rule in search of a sound principle. Read broadly, the jury trial rule articulated in Blakely might be thought to cast constitutional doubt on any and all judicial fact-finding at sentencing. Yet judicial fact-finding at sentencing has a long history, and such fact-finding has been an integral component of modern sentencing reforms and seems critical to the operation of guideline sentencing. The caustic reaction to Blakely reflects the fact that the decision has sowed ...


Whistle Blowing, Ben Depoorter, Jef De Mot Nov 2004

Whistle Blowing, Ben Depoorter, Jef De Mot

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

For law enforcement purposes corruption and fraud are hard battles. Because of the highly secretive and premeditated nature of these crimes, prime witnesses are themselves often implicated in the fraudulent transaction. Promises of immunity and whistle blowing rewards are often required to resolve these information asymmetries. These insights have set a trend, both in scholarship and law enforcement practice, towards reward-based approaches (carrots), as an alternative or complement to punishment based deterrence (sticks). Applying the U.S. False Claims Act (FCA) as an analytical framework, we provide a critical review of the efficiency limitations of whistle blowing. More specifically, the ...


The Law And Economics Of Cybersecurity: An Introduction, Mark F. Grady, Francesco Parisi Nov 2004

The Law And Economics Of Cybersecurity: An Introduction, Mark F. Grady, Francesco Parisi

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

One of the most controversial theoretical issues of our time is the governance of cybersecurity. Computer security experts, national security experts, and policy analysts have all struggled to bring meaningful analysis to cybersecurity; however, the discipline of law & economics has yet to be fully applied to the issue. This introduction presents work by leading national scholars who examine this complex national security challenge from a law and economics perspective. The focus spans from a discussion of pure market solutions to public-private issue analysis, providing a valuable basis for policy considerations concerning the appropriate governmental role on the issue of cybersecurity.


The Conviction Of Andrea Yates: A Narrative Of Denial, Sherry F. Colb Jul 2003

The Conviction Of Andrea Yates: A Narrative Of Denial, Sherry F. Colb

Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers

This piece discusses the case of Andrea Yates, the woman who confessed to drowning her five children to death and was subsequently convicted of murder (though the conviction has since been overturned). In this piece, Colb contends that Andrea Yates was convicted because of the jurors’ emotional/psychological response to the possibility that post-partum psychosis could cause an otherwise decent person to commit such brutal acts. As a symptom of denial, Colb argues, the jury rejected the insanity defense and thereby reassured itself that only evil people could do what Yates did. If that were the case, then it would ...