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Evidence

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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


Aequitas: Seeking Equilibrium In Title Ix, Raymond Trent Cromartie Dec 2023

Aequitas: Seeking Equilibrium In Title Ix, Raymond Trent Cromartie

Sturm College of Law: Faculty Scholarship

Over the past two decades, the scope of Title IX has expanded drastically and now includes the investigation and adjudication of sexual misconduct cases through campus tribunals. Beginning in 2011, the Obama Administration, through a “Dear Colleague Letter” and subsequent guidance, initiated this process by establishing guidelines that required schools to develop and implement policies and procedures for the handling of sexual misconduct cases. Following the publication of the Obama-era guidance, schools scrambled to ensure compliance with the federal guidance, which led to a myriad of applications by universities. Unfortunately, the fallout from the 2011 guidance was widespread litigation initiated …


Law Library Blog (November 2023): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law Nov 2023

Law Library Blog (November 2023): Legal Beagle's Blog Archive, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Law Library Newsletters/Blog

No abstract provided.


The Superfluous Rules Of Evidence, Jeffrey Bellin Nov 2023

The Superfluous Rules Of Evidence, Jeffrey Bellin

Faculty Publications

There are few American legal codifications as successful as the Federal Rules of Evidence. But this success masks the project’s uncertain beginnings. The drafters of the Federal Rules worried that lawmakers would not adopt the new rules and that judges would not follow them. As a result, they included at least thirty rules of evidence that do not, in fact, alter the admissibility of evidence. Instead, these rules: (1) market the rules project, and (2) guide judges away from anticipated errors in applying the (other) nonsuperfluous rules.

Given the superfluous rules’ covert mission, it should not be surprising that the …


Bending The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng, G. Alexander Nunn, Julia Simon-Kerr Oct 2023

Bending The Rules Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng, G. Alexander Nunn, Julia Simon-Kerr

Faculty Scholarship

The evidence rules have well-established, standard textual meanings—meanings that evidence professors teach their law students every year. Yet, despite the rules’ clarity, courts misapply them across a wide array of cases: Judges allow past acts to bypass the propensity prohibition, squeeze hearsay into facially inapplicable exceptions, and poke holes in supposedly ironclad privileges. And that’s just the beginning.

The evidence literature sees these misapplications as mistakes by inept trial judges. This Article takes a very different view. These “mistakes” are often not mistakes at all, but rather instances in which courts are intentionally bending the rules of evidence. Codified evidentiary …


Future-Proofing U.S. Laws For War Crimes Investigations In The Digital Era, Rebecca Hamilton Jul 2023

Future-Proofing U.S. Laws For War Crimes Investigations In The Digital Era, Rebecca Hamilton

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Advances in information technology have irrevocably changed the nature of war crimes investigations. The pursuit of accountability for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community now invariably requires access to digital evidence. The global reach of platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter means that much of that digital evidence is held by U.S. social media companies, and access to it is subject to the U.S. Stored Communications Act.

This is the first Article to look at the legal landscape facing international investigators seeking access to digital evidence regarding genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression. It …


Remarks On Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights, Amber Baylor, Valena Beety, Susan Sturm Jun 2023

Remarks On Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights, Amber Baylor, Valena Beety, Susan Sturm

Articles by Maurer Faculty

The following are remarks from a panel discussion co-hosted by the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law and the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law on the book Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights.


Prior Racist Acts And The Character Evidence Ban In Hate Crime Prosecutions, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Feb 2023

Prior Racist Acts And The Character Evidence Ban In Hate Crime Prosecutions, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The killing of unarmed African-American Ahmaud Arbery and others ignited a wave of public outrage and re-focused attention on race and the criminal justice system. During the recent federal hate crimes proceedings for Arbery’s death, the prosecution introduced evidence relating to the alleged past racist acts of the defendants. This type of evidence may be seen as highly probative and desperately needed to do justice in hate crimes cases. On its face, however, such type of evidence appears to be inadmissible owing to the well-known—but little understood— evidentiary ban on character evidence prescribed in Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) and …


The Intersections Among Science, Technology, Policy And Law: In Between Truth And Justice, Paolo Davide Farah, Justo Corti Varela Jan 2023

The Intersections Among Science, Technology, Policy And Law: In Between Truth And Justice, Paolo Davide Farah, Justo Corti Varela

Book Chapters

Different visions on the interaction between science, technology, policy and law have been presented. As common axe, we can detect the continuous search for truth and justice. Science and Law as social constructs, the distinction between truths and opinions through procedural method based on evidence and rationality, or how natural science “things” became facts, and consequently “truth”, are examples of this search. The evidence-gathering process that integrates scientific evidence into trial (sometimes by procedure and other times by a more substantive approach) is another possible approach. Of course, that the game of mutual influence among the four elements creates contradictions …


Digital Habit Evidence, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson Jan 2023

Digital Habit Evidence, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

This Article explores how “habit evidence” will become a catalyst for a new form of digital proof based on the explosive growth of smart homes, smart cars, smart devices, and the Internet of Things. Habit evidence is the rule that certain sorts of semiautomatic, regularized responses to particular stimuli are trustworthy and thus admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence (“FRE”) 406 “Habit; Routine Practice” and state equivalents.

While well established since the common law, “habit” has made only an inconsistent appearance in reported cases and has been underutilized in trial practice. But intriguingly, once applied to the world of …


Theorizing Corroboration, Maggie Wittlin Jan 2023

Theorizing Corroboration, Maggie Wittlin

Faculty Scholarship

A child makes an out-of-court statement accusing an adult of abuse. That statement is important proof, but it also presents serious reliability concerns. When deciding whether it is sufficiently reliable to be admitted, should a court consider whether the child’s statement is corroborated—whether, for example, there is medical evidence of abuse? More broadly, should courts consider corroboration when deciding whether evidence is reliable enough to be admitted at trial? Judges, rule-makers, and scholars have taken significantly divergent approaches to this question and come to different conclusions.

This Article argues that there is a key problem with using corroboration to evaluate …


Confrontation, The Legacy Of Crawford, And Important Unanswered Questions, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Jan 2023

Confrontation, The Legacy Of Crawford, And Important Unanswered Questions, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This is a short piece for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform as part of its 2024 Symposium on “Crawford at 20: Reforming the Confrontation Clause.” The piece's purpose is to highlight certain important questions left unanswered by Crawford v. Washington and subsequent confrontation cases.


The Future Scope Of The Character Evidence Prohibition: The Contextual Statutory Construction Argument That Could Finally Force The Policy Discussion, Paul F. Rothstein, Edward J. Imwinkelried Jan 2023

The Future Scope Of The Character Evidence Prohibition: The Contextual Statutory Construction Argument That Could Finally Force The Policy Discussion, Paul F. Rothstein, Edward J. Imwinkelried

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The general prohibition of character evidence is one of the most important doctrines in American Evidence law. Since the Supreme Court has held that the Eighth Amendment forbids status offenses in adult prosecutions, the doctrine has constitutional overtones. Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) applies the prohibition to evidence of an accused’s other crimes and wrongs. Since such evidence can be inflammatory and the Rule’s limits sometimes confusing, Rule 404(b) generates more published opinions than any other provision of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Although the prohibition extends beyond other crimes, most of the controversy swirls around the Rule’s application to …


Tragedies Of The Cultural Commons, Etienne C. Toussaint Dec 2022

Tragedies Of The Cultural Commons, Etienne C. Toussaint

Faculty Publications

In the United States, Black cultural expressions of democratic life that operate within specific historical-local contexts, yet reflect a shared set of sociocultural mores, have been historically crowded out of the law and policymaking process. Instead of democratic cultural discourse occurring within an open and neutral marketplace of ideas, the discursive production and consumption of democratic culture in American politics has been rivalrous. Such rivalry too often enables dominant White supremacist cultural beliefs, values, and practices to exercise their hegemony upon law’s production and meaning. The result has been tragedy for politically disempowered and socioeconomically excluded communities.

This Article uses …


#Wetoo, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Apr 2022

#Wetoo, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

All Faculty Scholarship

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


F.B.I. V. Fazaga: The Secret Of The State-Secrets Privilege, Rebecca Reeves Mar 2022

F.B.I. V. Fazaga: The Secret Of The State-Secrets Privilege, Rebecca Reeves

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

When the government successfully invokes the state-secrets privilege, it allows for evidence to be excluded from trial if making that evidence public would threaten national security. It is unclear, however, under what circumstances this privilege can be invoked, what happens when it is successfully invoked, and what occurs after the evidence is excluded. In Federal Bureau of Investigation v. Fazaga, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to clarify the state-secrets privilege. Additionally, the Court will be asked to determine whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) displaces this privilege when the government invokes it regarding evidence …


The Living Rules Of Evidence, G. Alexander Nunn Mar 2022

The Living Rules Of Evidence, G. Alexander Nunn

Faculty Scholarship

The jurisprudential evolution of evidence law is dead. At least, that’s what we’re expected to believe. Ushered in on the wings of a growing positivist movement, the enactment of the Federal Rules of Evidence purported to quell judicial authority over evidence law. Instead, committees, conferences, and members of Congress would regulate any change to our evidentiary regime, thereby capturing the evolution of evidence law in a single, transparent code.

The codification of evidence law, though, has proven problematic. The arrival of the Federal Rules of Evidence has given rise to a historically anomalous era of relative stagnation in the doctrinal …


The Broken Fourth Amendment Oath, Laurent Sacharoff Mar 2022

The Broken Fourth Amendment Oath, Laurent Sacharoff

Sturm College of Law: Faculty Scholarship

The Fourth Amendment requires that warrants be supported by “Oath or affirmation.” Under current doctrine, a police officer may swear the oath to obtain a warrant merely by repeating the account of an informant. This Article shows, however, that the Fourth Amendment, as originally understood, required that the real accuser with personal knowledge swear the oath.

That real-accuser requirement persisted for nearly two centuries. Almost all federal courts and most state courts from 1850 to 1960 held that the oath, by its very nature, required a witness with personal knowledge. Only in 1960 did the Supreme Court hold in Jones …


Liberty And Justice For All?: A Pathfinder On The Use Of Lyrics As Evidence In Civil And Criminal Trial, Stephanie Washington Jan 2022

Liberty And Justice For All?: A Pathfinder On The Use Of Lyrics As Evidence In Civil And Criminal Trial, Stephanie Washington

Upper Level Writing Requirement Research Papers

No abstract provided.


Changemakers: Master Of Studies In Law: 'Radical Imagination, Radical Listening', Roger Williams University School Of Law Jan 2022

Changemakers: Master Of Studies In Law: 'Radical Imagination, Radical Listening', Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


[Marked Confidential]: Negative Externalities Of Discovery Secrecy, Gustavo Ribeiro Jan 2022

[Marked Confidential]: Negative Externalities Of Discovery Secrecy, Gustavo Ribeiro

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Current unprecedented levels of secrecy in civil discovery create significant negative externalities by preventing our adversary system from measuring up to the broad public goals that justify it. First, excessive discovery secrecy undermines the courts and the public’s ability to correct distortions of the truth-seeking function of the adversary system caused by excessive partisanship and confirmation bias. Second, it weakens the adversary system’s promotion of liberal democratic values, such as transparency and self-government. Third, it threatens the adversary system’s role in upholding human dignity, understood either as respect or status. To correct the negative externalities caused by excessive discovery secrecy, …


The Prosecutor In The Mirror: Conviction Integrity Units And Brady Claims, Lissa Griffin, Daisy Mason Jan 2022

The Prosecutor In The Mirror: Conviction Integrity Units And Brady Claims, Lissa Griffin, Daisy Mason

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

In Brady v. Maryland, the Supreme Court held that a prosecutor has a due process obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence that is material to guilt or punishment. The failure to fulfill this duty is particularly insidious because it bears directly on both whether an innocent defendant may have been convicted as well as on whether the adjudicatory process was fair. The failure to disclose exculpatory evidence has been characterized as “epidemic” and has been documented to have made a major, outsized contribution in cases that resulted in exonerations. It is not surprising, then, that conviction integrity units in prosecutor’s offices …


Criminal Justice Secrets, Meghan J. Ryan Jan 2022

Criminal Justice Secrets, Meghan J. Ryan

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

The American criminal justice system is cloaked in secrecy. The government employs covert surveillance operations. Grand-jury proceedings are hidden from public view. Prosecutors engage in closed-door plea-bargaining and bury exculpatory evidence. Juries convict defendants on secret evidence. Jury deliberations are a black box. And jails and prisons implement clandestine punishment practices. Although there are some justifications for this secrecy, the ubiquitous nature of it is contrary to this nation’s Founders’ steadfast belief in the transparency of criminal justice proceedings. Further, the pervasiveness of secrecy within today’s criminal justice system raises serious constitutional concerns. The accumulation of secrecy and the aggregation …


The Entity Attorney-Client Privilege Meets The Twenty-First Century: Rethinking Functional Equivalent Analysis In The Time Of A Nonemployee Workforce., Grace M. Giesel Jan 2022

The Entity Attorney-Client Privilege Meets The Twenty-First Century: Rethinking Functional Equivalent Analysis In The Time Of A Nonemployee Workforce., Grace M. Giesel

Faculty Scholarship

Courts have struggled with whether an entity’s attorney-client privilege can protect communications between the entity’s lawyer and a nonemployee who has information the entity’s lawyer needs to best advise the entity. The nonemployee might be a former employee. But increasingly in recent times, the nonemployee is an individual who was never an entity employee. Corporations and other entities have incorporated nonemployees in their economic enterprises in all sorts of roles—roles employees may have held in the past. Many courts have accepted that the privilege can apply to communications involving former employees.

When faced with nonemployees who are not former employees, …


Improperly Obtained Evidence In Criminal Proceedings: An Updated Framework, Siyuan Chen, Zhi Jia Koh, Jian Wei Joel Soon Jan 2022

Improperly Obtained Evidence In Criminal Proceedings: An Updated Framework, Siyuan Chen, Zhi Jia Koh, Jian Wei Joel Soon

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

The 2012 amendments to the Evidence Act “significantly broadened the admissibility criteria for expert evidence”; at the same time, the judicial discretion to deny admissibility of relevant expert opinion evidence was also introduced. This article considers the key developments pre- and post-amendments, and in doing so provides an updated framework for prosecutors and defence counsel alike to admit and challenge expert opinion evidence in criminal proceedings. Since it complements earlier articles in this series on similar fact and hearsay evidence, readers are assumed to be broadly familiar with the features of the Evidence Act, such as its admissibility paradigm, the …


Law, Fact, And Procedural Justice, G. Alexander Nunn Aug 2021

Law, Fact, And Procedural Justice, G. Alexander Nunn

Faculty Scholarship

The distinction between questions of law and questions of fact is deceptively complex. Although any first-year law student could properly classify those issues that fall at the polar ends of the law-fact continuum, the Supreme Court has itself acknowledged that the exact dividing line between law and fact—the point where legal inquiries end and factual ones begin—is “slippery,” “elusive,” and “vexing.” But identifying that line is crucially important. Whether an issue is deemed a question of law or a question of fact often influences the appointment of a courtroom decision maker, the scope of appellate review, the administration of certain …


Servotronics, Inc. V. Rolls-Royce Plc And The Boeing Company: Brief Of Professor Yanbai Andrea Wang As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Neither Party, Yanbai Andrea Wang, Michael H. Mcginley May 2021

Servotronics, Inc. V. Rolls-Royce Plc And The Boeing Company: Brief Of Professor Yanbai Andrea Wang As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Neither Party, Yanbai Andrea Wang, Michael H. Mcginley

All Faculty Scholarship

Rather than expressing a view on the issues raised and ably briefed by the parties, amicus submits this brief to inform the Court of the scholarly research she has conducted regarding Section 1782 proceedings since this Court’s seminal decision in Intel. As Section 1782 applications have proliferated, the lower courts have struggled to apply the Intel factors as this Court had envisioned. Especially in the context of Section 1782 applications submitted by parties to an international proceeding (as opposed to those made by the international tribunal itself), lower courts have frequently found themselves unable to analyze and apply the …


Confrontation's Multi-Analyst Problem, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman Apr 2021

Confrontation's Multi-Analyst Problem, Paul F. Rothstein, Ronald J. Coleman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment affords the “accused” in “criminal prosecutions” the right “to be confronted with the witnesses against” them. A particular challenge for courts over at least the last decade-plus has been the degree to which the Confrontation Clause applies to forensic reports, such as those presenting the results of a DNA, toxicology, or other CSI-type analysis. Should use of forensic reports entitle criminal defendants to confront purportedly “objective” analysts from the lab producing the report? If so, which analyst or analysts? For forensic processes that require multiple analysts, should the prosecution be required to produce …


Rwu Law News: The Newsletter Of Roger Williams University School Of Law 04-2021, Michael M. Bowden, Barry Bridges, Political Roundtable Apr 2021

Rwu Law News: The Newsletter Of Roger Williams University School Of Law 04-2021, Michael M. Bowden, Barry Bridges, Political Roundtable

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Incitement, Insurrection, Impeachment: Inside The Second Trump Impeachment, Roger Williams University School Of Law, Michael M. Bowden Feb 2021

Incitement, Insurrection, Impeachment: Inside The Second Trump Impeachment, Roger Williams University School Of Law, Michael M. Bowden

School of Law Conferences, Lectures & Events

No abstract provided.