Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 15 of 15

Full-Text Articles in Law

Law School News: Adjunct Professor Of The Year 2021: David Coombs 05/19/2021, Michael M. Bowden May 2021

Law School News: Adjunct Professor Of The Year 2021: David Coombs 05/19/2021, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Law School News: Adjunct Professor Of The Year: David Coombs 05-13-2020, Michael M. Bowden May 2020

Law School News: Adjunct Professor Of The Year: David Coombs 05-13-2020, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Nullification At Work? A Glimpse From The National Center For State Courts Study Of Hung Juries, Paula Hannaford-Agor, Valerie P. Hans Jun 2015

Nullification At Work? A Glimpse From The National Center For State Courts Study Of Hung Juries, Paula Hannaford-Agor, Valerie P. Hans

Valerie P. Hans

In recent years, the criminal justice community has become increasingly concerned about the possibility that jury nullification is the underlying motivation for increasing numbers of acquittals and mistrials due to jury deadlock in felony jury trials. In this Article, the authors discuss the inherent difficulty in defining jury nullification and identifying its occurrence in actual trials. They review the evolution in public and legal opinion about the legitimacy of jury nullification and contemporary judicial responses to perceived instances of jury nullification. Finally, the authors examine the possible presence of jury nullification through empirical analysis of data collected from 372 felony …


Balancing Lenity, Rationality, And Finality: A Case For Special Verdict Forms In Cases Involving Overlapping Federal Criminal Offenses, Meghan A. Ferguson Mar 2010

Balancing Lenity, Rationality, And Finality: A Case For Special Verdict Forms In Cases Involving Overlapping Federal Criminal Offenses, Meghan A. Ferguson

Duke Law Journal

The Framers placed a high premium on jury independence and viewed the jury's ability to dispense lenity as an important check on the legislative and executive branches. Many features of the criminal justice system are designed to interpose the jury between the accused and overzealous legislators and prosecutors. The general verdict and the absolute finality of acquittals, for example, empower the jury to acquit a defendant against the weight of the evidence. Although these features of the criminal justice system were conceived to protect defendants, they may be more harmful than helpful to defendants, given changes in the criminal justice …


Discriminatory Acquittal, Tania Tetlow Oct 2009

Discriminatory Acquittal, Tania Tetlow

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

This article is the first to analyze a pervasive and unexplored constitutional problem: the rights of crime victims against unconstitutional discrimination by juries. From the Emmett Till trial to that of Rodney King, there is a long history of juries acquitting white defendants charged with violence against black victims. Modem empirical evidence continues to show a devaluation of black victims; dramatic disparities exist in death sentence and rape conviction rates according to the race of the victim. Moreover, just as juries have permitted violence against those who allegedly violated the racial order, juries use acquittals to punish female victims of …


Discriminatory Acquittal, Tania Tetlow Feb 2009

Discriminatory Acquittal, Tania Tetlow

Tania Tetlow

This Article is the first to analyze a pervasive and unexplored constitutional problem: the rights of crime victims against unconstitutional discrimination by juries. From the Emmett Till trial to that of Rodney King, there is a long history of juries acquitting white defendants charged with violence against black victims. Modern empirical evidence continues to show a devaluation of black victims; dramatic disparities exist in death sentence and rape conviction rates according to the race of the victim. Moreover, just as juries have permitted violence against those who allegedly violated the racial order, juries use acquittals to punish female victims of …


Sentencing Acquitted Conduct To The Post-Booker Dustbin, James J. Bilsborrow Oct 2007

Sentencing Acquitted Conduct To The Post-Booker Dustbin, James J. Bilsborrow

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Cognitive Psychology Of Circumstantial Evidence, Kevin Jon Heller Nov 2006

The Cognitive Psychology Of Circumstantial Evidence, Kevin Jon Heller

Michigan Law Review

Empirical research indicates that jurors routinely undervalue circumstantial evidence (DNA, fingerprints, and the like) and overvalue direct evidence (eyewitness identifications and confessions) when making verdict choices, even though false-conviction statistics indicate that the former is normally more probative and more reliable than the latter The traditional explanation of this paradox, based on the probability-threshold model of jury decision-making, is that jurors simply do not understand circumstantial evidence and thus routinely underestimate its effect on the objective probability of the defendant's guilt. That may be true in some situations, but it fails to account for what is known in cognitive psychology …


Trial Distortion And The End Of Innocence In Federal Criminal Law, Ronald F. Wright Mar 2005

Trial Distortion And The End Of Innocence In Federal Criminal Law, Ronald F. Wright

Ronald F. Wright

This article starts with a troubling and unnoticed development in federal criminal justice: acquittals have virtually disappeared from the system in the last 15 years, and for all the wrong reasons. It seems likely that prosecutors have increased the "trial penalty" so much that defendants with meaningful defenses feel compelled to plead guilty, undermining the truth-finding function of the criminal process.

The article examines these federal developments in light of a proposed "trial distortion theory." The theory I develop here evaluates the quality of plea negotiation practices in a jurisdiction by asking whether the system produces outcomes (convictions, acquittals and …


Nullification At Work? A Glimpse From The National Center For State Courts Study Of Hung Juries, Paula Hannaford-Agor, Valerie P. Hans Jan 2003

Nullification At Work? A Glimpse From The National Center For State Courts Study Of Hung Juries, Paula Hannaford-Agor, Valerie P. Hans

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In recent years, the criminal justice community has become increasingly concerned about the possibility that jury nullification is the underlying motivation for increasing numbers of acquittals and mistrials due to jury deadlock in felony jury trials. In this Article, the authors discuss the inherent difficulty in defining jury nullification and identifying its occurrence in actual trials. They review the evolution in public and legal opinion about the legitimacy of jury nullification and contemporary judicial responses to perceived instances of jury nullification. Finally, the authors examine the possible presence of jury nullification through empirical analysis of data collected from 372 felony …


Verdict According To Conscience: Perspectives On The English Criminal Trial Jury 1200-1800, Thomas A. Green Jan 1985

Verdict According To Conscience: Perspectives On The English Criminal Trial Jury 1200-1800, Thomas A. Green

Books

This book treats the history of the English criminal trial jury from its origins to the eve of the Victorian reforms in the criminal law. It consists of eight free-standing essays on important aspects of that history and a conclusion. Each chapter addresses the phenomenon that has come to be known as "jury nullification," the exercise of jury discretion in favor of a defendant whom the jury nonetheless believes to have committed the act with which he is charged. Historically, some instances of nullification reflect the jury's view that the act in question is not unlawful, while in other cases …


Societal Concepts Of Criminal Liability For Homicide In Medieval England, Thomas A. Green Jan 1972

Societal Concepts Of Criminal Liability For Homicide In Medieval England, Thomas A. Green

Articles

THE early history of English criminal law lies hidden behind the laconic formulas of the rolls and law books. The rules of the law, as expounded by the judges, have been the subject of many studies; but their practical application in the courts, where the jury of the community was the final and unbridled arbiter, remains a mystery: in short, we know little of the social mores regarding crime and crimi- nals. This study represents an attempt to delineate one major aspect of these societal attitudes. Its thesis is that from late Anglo-Saxon times to the end of the middle …


Report On Prosecution, Rollin M. Perkins Nov 1931

Report On Prosecution, Rollin M. Perkins

Michigan Law Review

The logical starting point was the discovery and restatement of existing knowledge and information on these subjects, and because of the tremendous mass of material which has appeared in the form of surveys and reports within the last decade and a half, it was deemed wise to enlist the services of an expert in such matters. The analysis which he has produced, let it be added, amply justifies the Commission in his selection.


Crimes--Burden Of Proving Alibi And Self-Defense May 1931

Crimes--Burden Of Proving Alibi And Self-Defense

Michigan Law Review

The defendant, indicted for murder, requested a charge that, if the evidence as to self-defense raised in the minds of the jurors a reasonable doubt of the guilt of the defendant, they should acquit him. Held, the trial court properly refused to· give the instruction. The burden was on the defendant to establish the defense by a preponderance of the evidence. Commonwealth v. Troup (Pa. 1931) 153 Atl. 337.


Constitutional Law-Crimes-Waiver Of Jury Dec 1930

Constitutional Law-Crimes-Waiver Of Jury

Michigan Law Review

The accused, on trial for a felony, was permitted by the trial judge to waive a jury. The trial before the judge alone resulted in an acquittal. The state's attorney petitioned for a writ of mandamus to expunge from the record the orders to dispose of the cause without a jury and for discharge of the accused, on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the cause. Held, writ of mandamus denied. People ex rel. Swanson v. Fisher (Ill., 1930) 172 N.E. 722.