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Full-Text Articles in Law

Due Process In Prison Disciplinary Hearings: How The “Some Evidence” Standard Of Proof Violates The Constitution, Emily Parker Dec 2021

Due Process In Prison Disciplinary Hearings: How The “Some Evidence” Standard Of Proof Violates The Constitution, Emily Parker

Washington Law Review

Prison disciplinary hearings have wide-reaching impacts on an incarcerated individual’s liberty. A sanction following a guilty finding is a consequence that stems from hearings and goes beyond mere punishment. Guilty findings for serious infractions, like a positive result on a drug test, can often result in a substantial increase in prison time. Before the government deprives an incarcerated individual of their liberty interest in a shorter sentence, it must provide minimum due process. However, an individual can be found guilty of serious infractions in Washington State prison disciplinary hearings under the “some evidence” standard of proof—a standard that allows for …


"Send Freedom House!": A Study In Police Abolition, Tiffany Yang Oct 2021

"Send Freedom House!": A Study In Police Abolition, Tiffany Yang

Washington Law Review

Sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the 2020 uprisings accelerated a momentum of abolitionist organizing that demands the defunding and dismantling of policing infrastructures. Although a growing body of legal scholarship recognizes abolitionist frameworks when examining conventional proposals for reform, critics mistakenly continue to disregard police abolition as an unrealistic solution. This Essay helps dispel this myth of “impracticality” and illustrates the pragmatism of abolition by identifying a community-driven effort that achieved a meaningful reduction in policing we now take for granted. I detail the history of the Freedom House Ambulance Service, a Black civilian …


Police Or Pirates? Reforming Washington's Civil Asset Forfeiture System, Jasmin Chigbrow Oct 2021

Police Or Pirates? Reforming Washington's Civil Asset Forfeiture System, Jasmin Chigbrow

Washington Law Review

Civil asset forfeiture laws permit police officers to seize property they suspect is connected to criminal activity and sell or retain the property for the police department’s use. In many states, including Washington, civil forfeiture occurs independent of any criminal case—many property owners are never charged with the offense police allege occurred. Because the government is not required to file criminal charges, property owners facing civil forfeiture lack the constitutional safeguards normally guaranteed to defendants in the criminal justice system: the right to an attorney, the presumption of innocence, the government’s burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, …


How The Gun Control Act Disarms Black Firearm Owners, Maya Itah Oct 2021

How The Gun Control Act Disarms Black Firearm Owners, Maya Itah

Washington Law Review

Through 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), the Gun Control Act (GCA) outlaws the possession of a firearm “in furtherance of” a drug trafficking crime. The statute’s language is broad, and federal courts have interpreted it expansively. By giving prosecutors wide discretion in charging individuals with § 924(c) violations, the language enables the disproportionate incarceration of Black firearm owners.

This Comment addresses this issue in three parts. Part I discusses the ways early gun control laws overtly disarmed Black firearm owners. Additionally, Part I provides context for the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which coincided with the backlash to …


Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman Oct 2021

Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman

Washington Law Review

Revocation of community supervision is a defining feature of American criminal law. Nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are on parole, probation, or supervised release, and 1/3 eventually have their supervision revoked, sending 350,000 to prison each year. Academics, activists, and attorneys warn that “mass supervision” has become a powerful engine of mass incarceration.

This is the first Article to study theories of punishment in revocation of community supervision, focusing on the federal system of supervised release. Federal courts apply a primarily retributive theory of revocation, aiming to sanction defendants for their “breach of trust.” However, the structure, …


"Benevolent Paternalism" Revisited, Daniel H. Foote Jun 2021

"Benevolent Paternalism" Revisited, Daniel H. Foote

Articles

Nearly thirty years ago, in an article entitled “The Benevolent Paternalism of Japanese Criminal Justice” (Benevolent Paternalism), I sought to set out a model for the Japanese criminal justice system, the “benevolent paternalism” model. As the label reflects, I viewed the Japanese criminal justice system as consisting of two sides, a “paternalistic” side and a “benevolent” side. This essay begins with a short summary of the model; it then turns to an examination of major developments in the intervening three decades and considers whether the model remains relevant today.


Benevolent Exclusion, Anna Offit Jun 2021

Benevolent Exclusion, Anna Offit

Washington Law Review

The American jury system holds the promise of bringing common sense ideas about justice to the enforcement of the law. But its democratizing effect cannot be realized if a segment of the population faces systematic exclusion based on income or wealth. The problem of unequal access to jury service based on socio-economic disparities is a longstanding yet under-studied problem—and one which the uneven fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated. Like race- and sex-based jury discrimination during the peremptory challenge phase of jury selection, the routine dismissal of citizens who face economic hardship excludes not only people but also the …


Talking Back In Court, M. Eve Hanan Jun 2021

Talking Back In Court, M. Eve Hanan

Washington Law Review

People charged with crimes often speak directly to the judge presiding over their case. Yet, what can be seen in courtrooms across the U.S. is that defendants rarely “talk back” in court, meaning that they rarely challenge authority’s view of the law, the crime, the defendant, the court’s procedure, or the fairness of the proposed sentence.

With few exceptions, legal scholars have treated the occasions when defendants speak directly to the court as a problem to be solved by appointing more lawyers and better lawyers. While effective representation is crucial, this Article starts from the premise that defendants have important …


Inheritance Crimes, David Horton, Reid Kress Weisbord Jun 2021

Inheritance Crimes, David Horton, Reid Kress Weisbord

Washington Law Review

The civil justice system has long struggled to resolve disputes over end-of-life transfers. The two most common grounds for challenging the validity of a gift, will, or trust— mental incapacity and undue influence—are vague, hinge on the state of mind of a dead person, and allow factfinders to substitute their own norms and preferences for the donor’s intent. In addition, the slayer doctrine—which prohibits killers from inheriting from their victims—has generated decades of constitutional challenges.

But recently, these controversial rules have migrated into an area where the stakes are significantly higher: the criminal justice system. For example, states have criminalized …


My Cash Is My Bond: Recognizing Rights To Cash Bail Forfeiture Exoneration In Washington, Olivia Hagel Mar 2021

My Cash Is My Bond: Recognizing Rights To Cash Bail Forfeiture Exoneration In Washington, Olivia Hagel

Washington Law Review

When criminal defendants fail to appear for a court date after they are released on a bail bond or cash bail, Washington courts will likely forfeit their bail. And when the defendant reappears—whether a day, a month, or a year later—that same court might return, or “exonerate,” the bail bond or cash bail.

But Washington does not treat cash bail and bail bonds similarly in the context of forfeiture exoneration. Commercial bail bond agents enjoy robust statutory and judicial avenues for the return of their forfeited bail bonds. A little over one-hundred years ago, the Supreme Court of Washington treated …


Awakening The American Jury: Did The Killing Of George Floyd Alter Juror Deliberations Forever?, Tamara F. Lawson Jan 2021

Awakening The American Jury: Did The Killing Of George Floyd Alter Juror Deliberations Forever?, Tamara F. Lawson

Articles

In the summer of 2020, the witnessing of George Floyd's death triggered an outpouring of public expression far beyond other cases in modern times. While the experience led some to advocate for reform and participate in antiracism rallies, marches, and campaigns, it also forced many others into internal reflection, awareness, and awakening to the knowledge of a lived experience with police different from their own. The gruesome realities of the video were irreconcilable with those prior beliefs and did not comport with any moral or legal standards of dignity. Prior to witnessing George Floyd's death on video at the hands …