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Full-Text Articles in Law

Getting Out: Bruce Bryant’S Climb To Redemption Inside Prison, Rachel M. Rippetoe, Sean Sanders-Mills Dec 2019

Getting Out: Bruce Bryant’S Climb To Redemption Inside Prison, Rachel M. Rippetoe, Sean Sanders-Mills

Capstones

Bruce Bryant, 50, was convicted of the murder of 11-year-old Travis Lilley in June 1996. Bryant maintains he never fired a weapon that day in 1993. But he recognizes that his lifestyle as a young person — he started dealing drugs when he was 14 — contributed to an environment in which a stray bullet could take a young life. And for that reason, he’s spent most of his 25 years in prison working to help young people.

With at least 12 more years on his sentence, Bryant is now asking the governor for early release, with the hope that …


Finding Justice, Hannah Miller Dec 2019

Finding Justice, Hannah Miller

Capstones

Finding Justice tackles the devastation caused by wrongful conviction through the journey of Jeffrey Deskovic. After serving 16 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, Deskovic has strived to rebuild his life. The film follows him as he finishes law school and runs a foundation that frees the wrongfully convicted, all while dealing with lingering trauma.


Criminal Arrests In Clark County, Nevada, By Jurisdiction 2006-2016, Elia Del Carmen Solano-Patricio, Caitlin Saladino, William E. Brown Jr. Aug 2019

Criminal Arrests In Clark County, Nevada, By Jurisdiction 2006-2016, Elia Del Carmen Solano-Patricio, Caitlin Saladino, William E. Brown Jr.

Criminal Justice

Criminal arrests in Southern Nevada are on a downward trend. Despite a record-setting influx in population across the Las Vegas Valley and the surrounding metro area, officers in each of Clark County’s police jurisdictions arrest fewer people every year. The present study utilizes the Arrest Trends Tool created by the Vera Institute of Justice and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program to measure the number of arrests made over ten years for a variety of illegal activities, including drug abuse, violence and murder, property crimes, sex crimes, alcohol-related crimes, theft, white collar crimes, and other offenses. This data set …


Supermajoritarian Criminal Justice, Aliza Plener Cover Jul 2019

Supermajoritarian Criminal Justice, Aliza Plener Cover

Articles

Democracy is often equated with majority rule. But closer analysis reveals that, in theory and by constitutional design, our criminal justice system should be supermajoritarian, not majoritarian. The Constitution guarantees that criminal punishment may be imposed only when backed by the supermajoritarian-historically, unanimous-approval of a jury drawn from the community. And criminal law theorists' expressive and retributive justifications for criminal punishment implicitly rely on the existence of broad community consensus in favor of imposing it. Despite these constitutional and theoretical ideals, the criminal justice system today is majoritarian at best. Both harsh and contested, it has lost the structural mechanisms …


Reforming Recidivism: Making Prison Practical Through Help, Katelyn Copperud Jun 2019

Reforming Recidivism: Making Prison Practical Through Help, Katelyn Copperud

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

While Texas has long been recognized as “Tough Texas” when it comes to crime, recent efforts have been made to combat that reputation. Efforts such as offering “good time” credit and more liberal parole standards are used to reduce the Texas prison populations. Although effective in reducing prison populations, do these incentives truly reduce a larger issue of prison overpopulation: recidivism?

In both state and federal prison systems, inmate education is proven to reduce recidivism. Texas’s own, Windham School District, provides a broad spectrum of education to Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates; from General Education Development (GED) classes to …


Lessons From Batson In A Comparative Criminal Context: How Implicit Racial Biases Remain Unaddressed In Canadian Jury Section, Brittney Adams May 2019

Lessons From Batson In A Comparative Criminal Context: How Implicit Racial Biases Remain Unaddressed In Canadian Jury Section, Brittney Adams

American Indian Law Journal

This Article highlights how Batson challenges may be instructive for addressing racial biases in jury selection in Canada and draws on the murder of Colten Boushie as an illustration of how the current system has failed to hold white defendants accountable in criminal cases involving Aboriginal victims. While far from perfect, peremptory Batson challenges in the United States serve as a nod to the ongoing issue of racial bias in jury selection in the United States. Canadian jury selection contains no similar challenges, which has too often resulted in all-white or mostly-white juries failing to hold white defendants accountable for …


Empiricism And The Misdemeanor Courts: Promoting Wider, Deeper, And Interdisciplinary Study, Alisa Smith Apr 2019

Empiricism And The Misdemeanor Courts: Promoting Wider, Deeper, And Interdisciplinary Study, Alisa Smith

Pace Law Review

Since 1956, there have been three waves of scholarly attention on the misdemeanor courts. Despite this attention, misdemeanor courts remain understudied and overlooked. The object of this paper is to summarize the empirical research conducted over the last sixty years and identify the scholarly work that should be undertaken on the processing of misdemeanor offenders in our courts. Buoyed by the current interest in studying the misdemeanor courts, scholars should widen and deepen their study by replicating the work of others in a variety of jurisdictions, observing court proceedings, interviewing defendants and the courtroom workgroup, and assessing whether constitutional ideals …


Unfamiliar Justice: Indigent Criminal Defendants' Experiences With Civil Legal Needs, Lauren Sudeall, Ruth Richardson Apr 2019

Unfamiliar Justice: Indigent Criminal Defendants' Experiences With Civil Legal Needs, Lauren Sudeall, Ruth Richardson

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Our legal system - and much of the research conducted on that system - often separates people and issues into civil and criminal silos. However, those two worlds intersect and influence one another in important ways. The qualitative empirical study that forms the basis of this Article bridges the civil-criminal divide by exploring the life circumstances and events of public defender clients to determine how they experience and respond to civil legal problems.

To date, studies addressing civil legal needs more generally have not focused on those individuals enmeshed with the criminal justice system, even though that group offers a …


Algorithmic Risk Assessments And The Double-Edged Sword Of Youth, Megan T. Stevenson, Christopher Slobogin Mar 2019

Algorithmic Risk Assessments And The Double-Edged Sword Of Youth, Megan T. Stevenson, Christopher Slobogin

Christopher Slobogin

Risk assessment algorithms—statistical formulas that predict the likelihood a person will commit crime in the future—are used across the country to help make life-altering decisions in the criminal process, including setting bail, determining sentences, selecting probation conditions, and deciding parole. Yet many of these instruments are “black-box” tools. The algorithms they use are secret, both to the sentencing authorities who rely on them and to the offender whose life is affected. The opaque nature of these tools raises numerous legal and ethical concerns. In this paper we argue that risk assessment algorithms obfuscate how certain factors, usually considered mitigating by …


Mandatory Minimum Penalties: An Analysis Of Four State’S Penal Codes And Federal Court Policies, Cassie Geiken Mar 2019

Mandatory Minimum Penalties: An Analysis Of Four State’S Penal Codes And Federal Court Policies, Cassie Geiken

Honors Theses

In Nebraska, variations of bills attempting to amend mandatory minimum laws in the state have been introduced. The harshness of the mandatory sentences, as well as the looming state of emergency caused by prison overcrowding, have sustained the debate over sentencing laws. This essay identifies the core issues of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and analyzes the states of Nebraska, Texas, Alabama, California, and the federal system’s use of mandatory minimums for felony charges to identify potential solutions. Statute review found that Nebraska’s current sentencing codes are misaligned with the rest of the nation; not even Alabama with one of the …


The Persistence Of Fatal Police Taserings In 2018, Donald E. Wilkes Jr. Feb 2019

The Persistence Of Fatal Police Taserings In 2018, Donald E. Wilkes Jr.

Popular Media

Fatal police taserings have been a persistent phenomenon in the United States for nearly two decades. Steadily, relentlessly, year after year, month after month, our police kill citizens with tasers. This article reviews the history of fatal police taserings and those that occurred in 2018.


Honoring Innocent Until Proven Guilty: Switching The Default Rule From Pretrial Detention To Pretrial Release In Texas's Bail System, Stephen Rispoli Feb 2019

Honoring Innocent Until Proven Guilty: Switching The Default Rule From Pretrial Detention To Pretrial Release In Texas's Bail System, Stephen Rispoli

Texas A&M Law Review

Texas’s current prison population consists of far more pretrial detainees than convicted criminals. Despite United States and Texas constitutional protections, the default rule in many jurisdictions, including Texas, detains misdemeanor and non-violent felony defendants unless they can post a monetary bond or get a surety to post the bond for them (“bail bond”) to obtain their release. Most pretrial detainees remain detained due not to their alleged dangerousness, but rather because they simply cannot afford to post bail (or get someone to post it for them). As a result, many pretrial detainees find themselves choosing between hamstringing their financial future …


Prioritizing The Welfare Of Youth: Design Failure In Juvenile Justice And Building The Restorative Alternative, Michael Friedman Jan 2019

Prioritizing The Welfare Of Youth: Design Failure In Juvenile Justice And Building The Restorative Alternative, Michael Friedman

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


‘It’S Kinda Punishment’: Tandem Logics And Penultimate Power In The Penal Voluntary Sector For Canadian Youth, Abigail Salole Jan 2019

‘It’S Kinda Punishment’: Tandem Logics And Penultimate Power In The Penal Voluntary Sector For Canadian Youth, Abigail Salole

Publications and Scholarship

This paper draws on original empirical research in Ontario, Canada which analyses penal voluntary sector practice with youth in conflict with the law. I illustrate how youth penal voluntary sector practice (YPVS) operates alongside, or in tandem with the statutory criminal justice system. I argue that examining the PVS and the statutory criminal justice system simultaneously, or in tandem, provides fuller understandings of PVS inclusionary (and exclusionary) control practices (Tomczak and Thompson 2017). I introduce the concept of penultimate power, which demonstrates the ability of PVS workers to trigger criminal justice system response toward a young person in conflict …


Lead Us Not Into Temptation: A Response To Barbara Fedders’S “Opioid Policing”, Anna Roberts Jan 2019

Lead Us Not Into Temptation: A Response To Barbara Fedders’S “Opioid Policing”, Anna Roberts

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In “Opioid Policing,” Barbara Fedders contributes to the law review literature the first joint scholarly analysis of two drug policing innovations: Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program and the Angel Initiative, which originated in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Even while welcoming the innovation and inspiration of these programs, she remains clear-eyed about the need to scrutinize their potential downsides. Her work is crucially timed. While still just a few years old, LEAD has been replicated many times and appears likely to be replicated still further—and to be written about much more. Inspired by Fedders’s call for a balanced take, this …


Disclosing Prosecutorial Misconduct, Jason Kreag Jan 2019

Disclosing Prosecutorial Misconduct, Jason Kreag

Vanderbilt Law Review

Prosecutorial misconduct in the form of Brady violations continues to plague the criminal justice system. Brady misconduct represents a fundamental breakdown in the adversarial process, denying defendants a fair trial and undermining the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. Commentators have responded by proposing a range of reforms to increase Brady compliance. Yet these reforms largely ignore the need to remedy the harms from past Brady violations. Furthermore, these proposals focus almost entirely on the harms defendants face from prosecutors'Brady misconduct, ignoring the harms victims, jurors, witnesses, and others endure because of Brady misconduct. This Article proposes a new remedy …


Reconceptualizing Criminal Justice Reform For Offenders With Serious Mental Illness, E. Lea Johnston Jan 2019

Reconceptualizing Criminal Justice Reform For Offenders With Serious Mental Illness, E. Lea Johnston

UF Law Faculty Publications

Roughly 14% of male inmates and 31% of female inmates suffer from one or more serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. Policymakers and the public widely ascribe the overrepresentation of offenders with serious mental illness in the justice system to the “criminalization” of the symptoms of this afflicted population. The criminalization theory posits that the criminal justice system has served as the primary agent of social control over symptomatic individuals since the closure of state psychiatric hospitals in the 1950s and the tightening of civil commitment laws. The theory identifies untreated mental illness as …


Opioids And Converging Interests, Mary Crossley Jan 2019

Opioids And Converging Interests, Mary Crossley

Articles

Written as part of Seton Hall Law Review’s Symposium on “Race and the Opioid Crisis: History and Lessons,” this Essay considers whether applying the lens of Professor Derrick Bell’s interest convergence theory to the opioid crisis offers some hope of advancing racial justice. After describing Bell’s interest convergence thesis and identifying racial justice interests that African Americans have related to the opioid crisis, I consider whether these interests might converge with white interests to produce real racial progress. Taken at face value, white politicians’ statements of compassion toward opioid users might signal a public health-oriented approach to addiction, representing …


Dangerousness, Disability, And Dna, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2019

Dangerousness, Disability, And Dna, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article honors three of Professor Arnold Loewy's articles. The first, published over thirty years ago, is entitled Culpability, Dangerousness, and Harm: Balancing the Factors on Which Our Criminal Law is Predicated,' and the second is his 2009 article, The Two Faces of Insanity. In addition to commenting on these two articles about substantive criminal law, I can't resist also saying something about one of Professor Loewy's procedural pieces, A Proposal for the Universal Collection of DNA, published in 2015.

A theme that unites all three of these articles is that they appear to be quite radical, at least on …


Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin Jan 2019

Mens Rea Reform And Its Discontents, Benjamin Levin

Publications

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 vehicle …