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Full-Text Articles in Law

Paying For Prison: Equal Protection Remedies For The United States' Wealth Discrimination Problem, Alexandra Smolyar Apr 2024

Paying For Prison: Equal Protection Remedies For The United States' Wealth Discrimination Problem, Alexandra Smolyar

Georgia Criminal Law Review

The American dream promises wealth, mobility, and security, yet daily millions of Americans live in abject poverty. What’s more, state and local policies render low-income people uniquely vulnerable to criminalization, further lessening their ability to attain this purported American dream. These effects are not incidental. Rather, they reflect a complexly interwoven system of wealth-based discrimination oftentimes promulgated and perpetuated by government actors. Yet, most constitutional anti-discrimination measures do not reach wealth-based discrimination despite the horrific everyday effects felt by low-income communities nationwide. The criminalization of poverty compounds these problems to create a never-ending cycle of discrimination and collateral consequences whose …


Prison Transfers And The Mootness Doctrine: Disappearing The Rule Of Law In Prisons, Spearit Jan 2022

Prison Transfers And The Mootness Doctrine: Disappearing The Rule Of Law In Prisons, Spearit

Book Chapters

Access to the legal system does not come easily for people in prison. There are administrative procedures that must be exhausted; federal legislation like the Prison Litigation Reform Act disadvantages prisoner-petitioners in multiple ways, including by imposing significant limits on damages and creating financial disincentives for lawyers to take on cases. Such onerous legislation and lack of legal aid ensure genuine issues evade redress. Sometimes, however, the law itself is the cause of evasion. Sometimes doctrine prevents the Rule of Law from functioning in prison, particularly when a prison-transfer moots a legal claim. In the most egregious situations, a transfer …


An Absolute Deprivation Of Liberty: Why Indigents’ Wealth-Based Discrimination Claims Brought Under The Equal Protection Clause Should Be Subject To Intermediate Scrutiny, Athena Hernandez Jun 2021

An Absolute Deprivation Of Liberty: Why Indigents’ Wealth-Based Discrimination Claims Brought Under The Equal Protection Clause Should Be Subject To Intermediate Scrutiny, Athena Hernandez

Golden Gate University Law Review

This Comment argues that wealth-based discrimination claims concerning pretrial detention of indigents should be analyzed under an Equal Protection framework and subjected to intermediate scrutiny. In order to provide an overview of the Supreme Court precedent established for these types of claims, Part I of this Comment will discuss the relevant and historic Supreme Court cases which have analyzed wealth-based incarceration claims in the United States. To further establish how Federal Courts have treated wealth-based incarceration Equal Protection claims, Part II will discuss the Fifth Circuit’s relevant opinions. Part III outlines the court’s decision in Walker, discussing how the …


Redefining Sex Offenders: The Fight To Break The Bias Of Female Sex Offenders, Norma Hamilton Jan 2021

Redefining Sex Offenders: The Fight To Break The Bias Of Female Sex Offenders, Norma Hamilton

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


The Unconstitutional Police, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2021

The Unconstitutional Police, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

Most Fourth Amendment cases arise under a basic fact pattern. Police decide to do something--say, stop and frisk a suspect. They find some crime--say, a gun or drugs--they arrest the suspect, and the suspect is subsequently charged with a crime. The suspect--who is all too often Black--becomes a defendant and challenges the police officers' initial decision as unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. The defendant seeks to suppress the evidence against them or perhaps to recover damages for serious injuries under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The courts subsequently constitutionalize the police officers' initial decision with little or no scrutiny. Effectively, the …


Revenge Of The Sixth: The Constitutional Reckoning Of Pandemic Justice, Brandon Marc Draper Jan 2021

Revenge Of The Sixth: The Constitutional Reckoning Of Pandemic Justice, Brandon Marc Draper

Marquette Law Review

The Sixth Amendment’s criminal jury right is integral to the United States

criminal justice system. While this right is also implicated by the Due Process

Clause, Equal Protection Clause, and several federal and state statutes,

criminal jury trial rates have been declining for decades, down from

approximately 20% to 2% between 1988 to 2018. This dramatic drop in the

rate of criminal jury trials is an effective measure of the decreased access to

fair and constitutional criminal jury trials.


Griffin V. Illinois: Justice Independent Of Wealth, Neil Sobol May 2020

Griffin V. Illinois: Justice Independent Of Wealth, Neil Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

More than sixty years ago in Griffin v. Illinois, Justice Hugo Black opined that equal justice cannot exist as long as “the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has.” While Griffin dealt with the limited issue of the inability of a defendant to pay for an appellate transcript, the Supreme Court and legislatures would subsequently extend Black’s equal justice analysis to cases involving other forms of criminal justice debt assessed at trial, appeal, incarceration, and probation. Despite the promise of these judicial and legislative pronouncements, indigent defendants, relative to defendants with financial …


As Pertains To The Criminal Justice System, Is Hindsight 20/20?, Syndie G. E. Molina, Cristina Negrillo Jan 2020

As Pertains To The Criminal Justice System, Is Hindsight 20/20?, Syndie G. E. Molina, Cristina Negrillo

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Police Brutality And State-Sanctioned Violence In 21st Century America, Itohen Ihaza Jan 2020

Police Brutality And State-Sanctioned Violence In 21st Century America, Itohen Ihaza

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Texas Indian Holocaust And Survival: Mcallen Grace Brethren Church V. Salazar, Milo Colton Jun 2019

Texas Indian Holocaust And Survival: Mcallen Grace Brethren Church V. Salazar, Milo Colton

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

When the first Europeans entered the land that would one day be called Texas, they found a place that contained more Indian tribes than any other would-be American state at the time. At the turn of the twentieth century, the federal government documented that American Indians in Texas were nearly extinct, decreasing in number from 708 people in 1890 to 470 in 1900. A century later, the U.S. census recorded an explosion in the American Indian population living in Texas at 215,599 people. By 2010, that population jumped to 315,264 people.

Part One of this Article chronicles the forces contributing …


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 …


The Present Crisis In American Bail, Kellen R. Funk Jan 2019

The Present Crisis In American Bail, Kellen R. Funk

Faculty Scholarship

More than fifty years after a predicted coming federal courts crisis in bail, district courts have begun granting major systemic injunctions against money bail systems. This Essay surveys the constitutional theories and circuit splits that are forming through these litigations. The major point of controversy is the level of federal court scrutiny triggered by allegedly unconstitutional bail regimes, an inquiry complicated by ambiguous Supreme Court precedents on (1) post-conviction fines, (2) preventive detention at the federal level, and (3) the adequacy of probable cause hearings. The Essay argues that the application of strict scrutiny makes the best sense of these …


Fighting Fines & Fees: Borrowing From Consumer Law To Combat Criminal Justice Debt Abuses, Neil L. Sobol Jul 2018

Fighting Fines & Fees: Borrowing From Consumer Law To Combat Criminal Justice Debt Abuses, Neil L. Sobol

Neil L Sobol

Although media and academic sources often describe mass incarceration as the primary challenge facing the American criminal justice system, the imposition of criminal justice debt may be a more pervasive problem. On March 14, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested that state chief justices forward a letter to all judges in their jurisdictions describing the constitutional violations associated with the illegal assessment and enforcement of fines and fees. The DOJ’s concerns include the incarceration of indigent individuals without determining whether the failure to pay is willful and the use of bail practices that result in impoverished defendants remaining in …


Lessons Learned From Ferguson: Ending Abusive Collection Of Criminal Justice Debt, Neil L. Sobol Jul 2018

Lessons Learned From Ferguson: Ending Abusive Collection Of Criminal Justice Debt, Neil L. Sobol

Neil L Sobol

On March 4, 2015, the Department of Justice released its scathing report of the Ferguson Police Department calling for “an entire reorientation of law enforcement in Ferguson” and demanding that Ferguson “replace revenue-driven policing with a system grounded in the principles of community policing and police legitimacy, in which people are equally protected and treated with compassion, regardless of race.” Unfortunately, abusive collection of criminal justice debt is not limited to Ferguson. This Article, prepared for a discussion group at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference in July 2015, identifies the key findings in the Department of Justice’s report …


Charging The Poor: Criminal Justice Debt & Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons, Neil L. Sobol Jul 2018

Charging The Poor: Criminal Justice Debt & Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons, Neil L. Sobol

Neil L Sobol

Debtors’ prisons should no longer exist. While imprisonment for debt was common in colonial times in the United States, subsequent constitutional provisions, legislation, and court rulings all called for the abolition of incarcerating individuals to collect debt. Despite these prohibitions, individuals who are unable to pay debts are now regularly incarcerated, and the vast majority of them are indigent. In 2015, at least ten lawsuits were filed against municipalities for incarcerating individuals in modern-day debtors’ prisons. Criminal justice debt is the primary source for this imprisonment.

Criminal justice debt includes fines, restitution charges, court costs, and fees. Monetary charges exist …


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jun 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Northwestern University Law Review

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety …


Equal Protection And White Supremacy, Paul Butler Jun 2018

Equal Protection And White Supremacy, Paul Butler

Northwestern University Law Review

The project of using social science to help win equal protection claims is doomed to fail if its premise is that the Supreme Court post-McCleskey just needs more or better evidence of racial discrimination. Everyone—including the Justices of the Court—already knows that racial discrimination is endemic in the criminal justice system. Social science does help us to understand the role of white supremacy in U.S. police and punishment practices. Social science also can help us understand how to move people to resist, and can inform our imagination of the transformation needed for equal justice under the law.


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Publications

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety …


Proportionality Skepticism In A Red State, Lauren Sudeall May 2017

Proportionality Skepticism In A Red State, Lauren Sudeall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

As someone who lives in a red state and has practiced capital defense in Georgia and Alabama, my view for some time has been that the death penalty is not going anywhere any time soon. And while the dominant message from legal experts and commentators in recent years has been that the death penalty is on the decline,' the results of this past election might suggest otherwise. The three referenda regarding capital punishment on the 2016 ballot - in California, Nebraska, and Oklahoma - were all resolved in favor of the death penalty. These votes could be taken to signal …


Fighting Fines & Fees: Borrowing From Consumer Law To Combat Criminal Justice Debt Abuses, Neil L. Sobol Apr 2017

Fighting Fines & Fees: Borrowing From Consumer Law To Combat Criminal Justice Debt Abuses, Neil L. Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

Although media and academic sources often describe mass incarceration as the primary challenge facing the American criminal justice system, the imposition of criminal justice debt may be a more pervasive problem. On March 14, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested that state chief justices forward a letter to all judges in their jurisdictions describing the constitutional violations associated with the illegal assessment and enforcement of fines and fees. The DOJ’s concerns include the incarceration of indigent individuals without determining whether the failure to pay is willful and the use of bail practices that result in impoverished defendants remaining in …


Written Testimony For Briefing On Targeted Fines And Fees Against Low-Income Minorities: Civil Rights And Constitutional Implications, Neil L. Sobol Mar 2017

Written Testimony For Briefing On Targeted Fines And Fees Against Low-Income Minorities: Civil Rights And Constitutional Implications, Neil L. Sobol

Neil L Sobol

My testimony today will focus on issues discussed in Fighting Fines & Fees: Borrowing from Consumer Law to Combat Criminal Justice Debt Abuses, forthcoming in the Colorado Law Review. In that article, I examine whether the framework used to address debt-collection abuses in the consumer context should apply to the abusive collection and assessment of criminal justice debt. I argue that the rationale that led to the enactment of the federal FDCPA and the creation of CFPB to combat consumer collection abuses parallels the reasons that a federal statute should be adopted to help the DOJ coordinate the attack against …


Charging The Poor: Criminal Justice Debt & Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons, Neil L. Sobol Feb 2016

Charging The Poor: Criminal Justice Debt & Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons, Neil L. Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

Debtors’ prisons should no longer exist. While imprisonment for debt was common in colonial times in the United States, subsequent constitutional provisions, legislation, and court rulings all called for the abolition of incarcerating individuals to collect debt. Despite these prohibitions, individuals who are unable to pay debts are now regularly incarcerated, and the vast majority of them are indigent. In 2015, at least ten lawsuits were filed against municipalities for incarcerating individuals in modern-day debtors’ prisons. Criminal justice debt is the primary source for this imprisonment.

Criminal justice debt includes fines, restitution charges, court costs, and fees. Monetary charges exist …


Lessons Learned From Ferguson: Ending Abusive Collection Of Criminal Justice Debt, Neil L. Sobol Oct 2015

Lessons Learned From Ferguson: Ending Abusive Collection Of Criminal Justice Debt, Neil L. Sobol

Faculty Scholarship

On March 4, 2015, the Department of Justice released its scathing report of the Ferguson Police Department calling for “an entire reorientation of law enforcement in Ferguson” and demanding that Ferguson “replace revenue-driven policing with a system grounded in the principles of community policing and police legitimacy, in which people are equally protected and treated with compassion, regardless of race.” Unfortunately, abusive collection of criminal justice debt is not limited to Ferguson. This Article, prepared for a discussion group at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference in July 2015, identifies the key findings in the Department of Justice’s report …


Edmonson V. Leesville Concrete Co.: State Action Or Inaction - Does It Matter?, Chad Murdock Jul 2015

Edmonson V. Leesville Concrete Co.: State Action Or Inaction - Does It Matter?, Chad Murdock

Akron Law Review

This note first reviews the facts of Edmonson. Second, this note examines the history of judicial inquiry into the use of peremptory challenges. Third, this note reviews the application of Batson to civil cases. Finally, this note analyzes the extension of the state action doctrine in Edmonson and discusses an alternative to the Edmonson approach to state action


Judge Levine: A Survey Of His Most Influential Court Of Appeals Decisions - 1993-2002, Jean D'Alessandro Apr 2015

Judge Levine: A Survey Of His Most Influential Court Of Appeals Decisions - 1993-2002, Jean D'Alessandro

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Justice-As-Fairness As Judicial Guiding Principle: Remembering John Rawls And The Warren Court, Michael Anthony Lawrence Mar 2015

Justice-As-Fairness As Judicial Guiding Principle: Remembering John Rawls And The Warren Court, Michael Anthony Lawrence

Michael Anthony Lawrence

This Article looks back to the United States Supreme Court’s jurisprudence during the years 1953-1969 when Earl Warren served as Chief Justice, a period marked by numerous landmark rulings in the areas of racial justice, criminal procedure, reproductive autonomy, First Amendment freedom of speech, association and religion, voting rights, and more. The Article further discusses the constitutional bases for the Warren Court’s decisions, principally the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection and due process clauses.

The Article explains that the Warren Court’s equity-based jurisprudence closely resembles, at its root, the “justice-as-fairness” approach promoted in John Rawls’s monumental 1971 work, A Theory of …


A Battle Of The Amendments: Why Ending Discrimination In The Courtroom May Inhibit A Criminal Defendant’S Right To An Impartial Jury, Gina M. Chiappetta Mar 2015

A Battle Of The Amendments: Why Ending Discrimination In The Courtroom May Inhibit A Criminal Defendant’S Right To An Impartial Jury, Gina M. Chiappetta

Fordham Law Review

Since the U.S. Supreme Court began limiting the exercise of peremptory challenges to safeguard potential jurors from discrimination, it has faced a nearly impossible task. The Court has attempted to safeguard a juror’s equal protection rights without eradicating the peremptory challenge’s ability to preserve a criminal defendant’s right to an impartial jury. Under the current legal framework, it is not certain whether either constitutional right is adequately protected. This Note examines the history of the Supreme Court’s limitation on peremptory challenges. It then discusses the current federal circuit split over whether peremptory challenges should be further limited. Finally, this Note …


Holistic Pregnancy: Rejecting The Theory Of The Adversarial Mother, Rona Kaufman Kitchen Dec 2014

Holistic Pregnancy: Rejecting The Theory Of The Adversarial Mother, Rona Kaufman Kitchen

Rona Kaufman Kitchen

In its zealous effort to protect the lives and health of unborn children, the law frequently views the expecting mother with suspicion. In its most extreme form, the law regards the potential mother as a potential murderess. This perspective does not reflect the nature of pregnancy, it undermines the autonomy of loving mothers, and it is detrimental to children. Regardless of whether there is any conflict between mother and fetus, the State presumes the mother to be a threat to her fetus and subjugates her rights as a result. The State interferes with the mother’s autonomy, bodily integrity, parental rights, …


Supreme Court, Bronx County, People V. Butler, Courtney Weinberger Nov 2014

Supreme Court, Bronx County, People V. Butler, Courtney Weinberger

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Pre-Crime Restraints: The Explosion Of Targeted, Non-Custodial Prevention, Jennifer Daskal Jan 2014

Pre-Crime Restraints: The Explosion Of Targeted, Non-Custodial Prevention, Jennifer Daskal

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

This Article exposes the ways in which noncustodial pre-crime restraints have proliferated over the past decade, focusing in particular on three notable examples — terrorism-related financial sanctions, the No Fly List, and the array of residential, employment, and related restrictions imposed on sex offenders. Because such restraints do not involve physical incapacitation, they are rarely deemed to infringe core liberty interests. Because they are preventive, not punitive, criminal law procedural protections do not apply. They have exploded largely unchecked — subject to little more than bare rationality review and negligible procedural protections — and without any coherent theory as to …