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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Incongruence Principle Of Evidence, Hillel Bavli Jan 2023

The Incongruence Principle Of Evidence, Hillel Bavli

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Evidence law assumes that the meaning and value of information at trial is equal to the meaning and value of the same information in the real world. This premise underlies evidence policy, judicial applications of evidence law, and instructions to jurors for evaluating evidence. However, it is incorrect, and the law’s failure to recognize this hinders its aims of accuracy and equality.

In this article, I draw on fields outside of law - including Bayesian inference and cognitive psychology - to develop a model of evidence that describes how jurors combine new evidence with prior beliefs (or “priors”) to make …


Army Commander’S Role—The Judge, Jury, & Prosecutor For The Article 15, Anthony Godwin Jan 2023

Army Commander’S Role—The Judge, Jury, & Prosecutor For The Article 15, Anthony Godwin

Seattle University Law Review

Service members in the armed forces are bound by a different set of rules when compared to other U.S. citizens. Some of the normal safeguards and protections that civilians enjoy are much more restrictive for military service members, and this is generally for a good reason. Such restrictions are partly due to the complex demands and needs of the United States military. Congress and the President have entrusted military commanders with special powers that enable them to handle minor violations of law without needing to go through a full judicial proceeding. Non-judicial punishments (NJP), also known as Article 15s, are …


Jury Nullification As A Spectrum, Richard Lorren Jolly Mar 2022

Jury Nullification As A Spectrum, Richard Lorren Jolly

Pepperdine Law Review

Jury nullification traditionally refers to the jury’s power to deliver a verdict that is deliberately contrary to the law’s clearly dictated outcome. A spirited scholarship is built around this conception, with some painting nullification as democratic and others as anarchic. But this debate is largely unmoored from experience. In practice, courts have formally eliminated the jury’s authority to review the law and have established procedures that make it easier to prevent and overturn seemingly nullificatory verdicts. Thus, outside of a jury’s verdict acquitting a criminal defendant, jury nullification as traditionally understood does not exist. In no other context is a …


Juries, Democracy, And Petty Crime, John D. King Jan 2022

Juries, Democracy, And Petty Crime, John D. King

Scholarly Articles

The right to trial by jury in criminal cases is basic to the design of American criminal justice and to the structure of American government. Guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution, the Sixth Amendment, and every one of the original state constitutions, the criminal jury was seen as critically important not only to the protection of individual rights but also to the architecture of American democracy. The vast majority of criminal prosecutions today, however, are resolved without even the prospect of community review by a jury. Despite the textual clarity of the guarantee, the Supreme Court has long recognized …


The Jury Trial Reinvented, Christopher Robertson, Michael Shammas Oct 2021

The Jury Trial Reinvented, Christopher Robertson, Michael Shammas

Faculty Scholarship

The Framers of the Sixth and Seventh Amendments to the United States Constitution recognized that jury trials were essential for maintaining democratic legitimacy and avoiding epistemic crises. As an institution, the jury trial is purpose-built to engage citizens in the process of deliberative, participatory democracy with ground rules. The jury trial provides a carefully constructed setting aimed at sorting truth from falsehood.

Despite its value, the jury trial has been under assault for decades. Concededly, jury trials can sometimes be inefficient, unreliable, unpredictable, and impractical. The COVID–19 pandemic rendered most physical jury trials unworkable but spurred some courts to begin …


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 …


From The Frontlines Of The Modern Movement To End Forced Arbitration And Restore Jury Rights, F. Paul Bland, Myriam Gilles, Tanuja Gupta Apr 2021

From The Frontlines Of The Modern Movement To End Forced Arbitration And Restore Jury Rights, F. Paul Bland, Myriam Gilles, Tanuja Gupta

Chicago-Kent Law Review

No abstract provided.


Introduction To Reviving The American Jury, Nancy S. Marder Apr 2021

Introduction To Reviving The American Jury, Nancy S. Marder

Chicago-Kent Law Review

No abstract provided.


How To Talk So Juries Will Listen, Janet Randall Apr 2021

How To Talk So Juries Will Listen, Janet Randall

Chicago-Kent Law Review

No abstract provided.


Bye, Bye, Bilinguals: The Removal Of English- Spanish Bilinguals From The Criminal Jury And Latino Discrimination, Ashley Rich Apr 2021

Bye, Bye, Bilinguals: The Removal Of English- Spanish Bilinguals From The Criminal Jury And Latino Discrimination, Ashley Rich

Chicago-Kent Law Review

No abstract provided.


Beyond A Reasonable Doubt: Juries Don’T Get It, Hon. James A. Shapiro, Karl T. Muth Jan 2021

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt: Juries Don’T Get It, Hon. James A. Shapiro, Karl T. Muth

Loyola University Chicago Law Journal

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt has been de rigueur in criminal cases almost since the dawn of the republic. It is based on the premise that it is better to let several guilty people go free in order to save one innocent person from wrongful conviction. The jury in a criminal case is not merely an audience. It is the central mechanism without which the wheels of American criminal justice cannot turn-- and operates as the final safeguard against a grave error. However, while the Constitution describes the importance, composition, and role of the jury, it does not explicitly …


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 …


Pandemic, Protest, And Agency: Jury Service And Equal Protection In A Future Defined By Covid-19, Patrick C. Brayer Jan 2021

Pandemic, Protest, And Agency: Jury Service And Equal Protection In A Future Defined By Covid-19, Patrick C. Brayer

Faculty Works

This essay calls for an expansive view of Fourteenth Amendment equal protection against the discriminatory empanelment of juries grounded upon a culture of systemic racism. For an individual juror fundamental elements of survival during a pandemic are access to health care, safe transportation, and connective technology. Yet, structural and systemic racism precludes many potential jurors of color from securing these necessary supports, thus denying them the ability to be recognized on juror source list or accommodated for jury service. Jury service is a direct and impactful act of citizen agency over the justice system, and the systemic exclusion of individuals …


Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall—Biased Impartiality, Appearances, And The Need For Recusal Reform, Zygmont A. Pines Oct 2020

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall—Biased Impartiality, Appearances, And The Need For Recusal Reform, Zygmont A. Pines

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

The article focuses on a troubling aspect of contemporary judicial morality.

Impartiality—and the appearance of impartiality—are the foundation of judicial decision-making, judicial morality, and the public’s trust in the rule of law. Recusal, in which a jurist voluntarily removes himself or herself from participating in a case, is a process that attempts to preserve and promote the substance and the appearance of judicial impartiality. Nevertheless, the traditional common law recusal process, prevalent in many of our state court systems, manifestly subverts basic legal and ethical norms.

Today’s recusal practice—whether rooted in unintentional hypocrisy, wishful thinking, or a pathological cognitive dissonance— …


The Pandemic Juror, Melanie D. Wilson Sep 2020

The Pandemic Juror, Melanie D. Wilson

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

While the deadly and highly contagious COVID-19 virus lingers and spreads across the country, courts are resuming criminal jury trials. In moving forward, judges reference case backlogs, speedy trial rights, and other concerns for the rights of the accused. Overlooked in this calculus is the importance of jurors and their safety. The Sixth Amendment guarantees “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” Without jurors, there is no justice.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the justice system sometimes took advantage of juror vulnerability, treating jurors callously, if not rudely, during voir dire by asking them intensely …


The Need For A Historical Exception To Grand Jury Secrecy In The Federal Rules Of Criminal Procedure, Daniel Aronsohn Aug 2020

The Need For A Historical Exception To Grand Jury Secrecy In The Federal Rules Of Criminal Procedure, Daniel Aronsohn

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

No abstract provided.


Reasonable Doubt And Relativity, Michael D. Cicchini Jan 2020

Reasonable Doubt And Relativity, Michael D. Cicchini

Washington and Lee Law Review

In theory, the Constitution protects us against criminal conviction unless the state can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In reality, this lofty standard is only as strong as the words used to explain it to the jury.

Unfortunately, attempts to explain reasonable doubt often create confusion, and sometimes even diminish the burden of proof. Many courts therefore believe that the better practice is not to attempt a definition. However, empirical studies demonstrate that reasonable doubt is not self-defining, i.e., when it is not explained to the jury, it offers defendants no greater protection against conviction than the two lower, …


The Central Park Five As “Discrete And Insular” Minorities Under The Equal Protection Clause: The Evolution Of The Right To Counsel For Wrongfully Convicted Minors, Todd K. Beharry Jan 2020

The Central Park Five As “Discrete And Insular” Minorities Under The Equal Protection Clause: The Evolution Of The Right To Counsel For Wrongfully Convicted Minors, Todd K. Beharry

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Our Criminal Justice System Is A Bear Trap, Frederick K. Brewington Jan 2020

Our Criminal Justice System Is A Bear Trap, Frederick K. Brewington

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Just How Reliable Is The Human Memory? The Admissibility Of Recovered Repressed Memories In Criminal Proceedings, Shannon L. Malone Jan 2020

Just How Reliable Is The Human Memory? The Admissibility Of Recovered Repressed Memories In Criminal Proceedings, Shannon L. Malone

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


State Constitutional Provisions Allowing Juries To Interpret The Law Are Not As Crazy As They Sound, Marcus Alexander Gadson Oct 2019

State Constitutional Provisions Allowing Juries To Interpret The Law Are Not As Crazy As They Sound, Marcus Alexander Gadson

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

This Article questions that consensus. Joining a larger debate about the jury’s proper role, it argues that, even today, these provisions are a defensible component of a criminal justice system. First, this Article argues that the jury is the entity in the justice system most incentivized to approach legal questions with an eye to what the best interpretation is and not the most politically palatable result. Second, this Article argues that the jury’s ability to deliberate and consider opinions from individuals hailing from a wider variety of backgrounds than those who typically become judges may provide advantages over a …


Addressing Racial Bias In The Jury System: Another Failed Attempt?, Alisa Micu Apr 2019

Addressing Racial Bias In The Jury System: Another Failed Attempt?, Alisa Micu

Georgia State University Law Review

This Note explores the majority opinion and the dissents in Pena- Rodriguez regarding whether the Supreme Court has adequately provided guidance for lower courts to follow the ruling, which now allows exceptions for evidence of racial bias to Rule 606(b). Part I discusses the history of the no-impeachment rule, its foundation in the Sixth Amendment, and its constitutional requirements. Further, Part I discusses the different approaches that courts have taken in adopting Rule 606(b) and what problems courts have identified in its application. Part II analyzes whether the Supreme Court, as a practical matter, has provided a workable procedural scheme …


The Inability To Self-Diagnose Bias, Christopher Robertson Jan 2019

The Inability To Self-Diagnose Bias, Christopher Robertson

Faculty Scholarship

The Constitution guarantees litigants an 'impartial' jury, one that bases its judgment on the evidence presented in the courtroom, untainted by affiliations with the parties, racial animus, or media coverage that may include inadmissible facts, a one-sided portrayal, and naked opinion. Problems of juror bias arise in almost every trial – state and federal, civil and criminal - and the problem is most severe in the highest profile cases, where the need for accuracy and legitimacy in outcomes is most salient.

The Supreme Court has instructed courts to use a simple method to determine whether jurors are biased: ask them. …


Judges Do It Better: Why Judges Can (And Should) Decide Life Or Death, Andrew R. Ford Jan 2019

Judges Do It Better: Why Judges Can (And Should) Decide Life Or Death, Andrew R. Ford

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

Following its decision in Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court of the United States has attempted to standardize procedures that states use to subject offenders to the ultimate penalty. In practice, this attempt at standardization has divided capital sentencing into two distinct parts: the death eligibility decision and the death selection decision. The eligibility decision addresses whether the sentencer may impose the death penalty, while the selection decision determines who among that limited subset of eligible offenders is sentenced to death. In Ring v. Arizona, the Court held for the first time that the Sixth Amendment right to …


The Jury Sunshine Project: Jury Selection Data As A Political Issue, Ronald F. Wright, Kami Chavis, Gregory S. Parks Jan 2018

The Jury Sunshine Project: Jury Selection Data As A Political Issue, Ronald F. Wright, Kami Chavis, Gregory S. Parks

Faculty Publications

In this Article, the authors look at jury selection from the viewpoint of citizens and voters, standing outside the limited boundaries of constitutional challenges. They argue that the composition of juries in criminal cases deserves political debate outside the courtroom. Voters should use the jury selection habits of judges and prosecutors to assess the overall health of local criminal justice: local conditions are unhealthy when the full-time courtroom professionals build juries that exclude parts of the local community, particularly when they exclude members of traditionally marginalized groups such as racial minorities. Every sector of society should participate in the administration …


Removing Race From The Jury Deliberation Room: The Shortcomings Of Pena-Rodriguez V. Colorado And How To Address Them, Lauren Crump Jan 2018

Removing Race From The Jury Deliberation Room: The Shortcomings Of Pena-Rodriguez V. Colorado And How To Address Them, Lauren Crump

University of Richmond Law Review

This comment explores ways in which racial bias undermines

the American jury system and argues that simply having a racial

bias exception to the no-impeachment rule does not go far enough

to guard against racially motivated jury verdicts. In order to

guarantee the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury, defendants

must always be able to question potential jurors about

racial bias, and universal court policies need to be adopted across

the country that allow for a consistent approach for investigating

claims of racial bias in jury deliberations. Part I of this comment

examines the history of American juries and …


Artificial Intelligence And Role-Reversible Judgment, Stephen E. Henderson, Kiel Brennan-Marquez Dec 2017

Artificial Intelligence And Role-Reversible Judgment, Stephen E. Henderson, Kiel Brennan-Marquez

Stephen E Henderson

As intelligent machines begin more generally outperforming human experts, why should humans remain ‘in the loop’ of decision-making?  One common answer focuses on outcomes: relying on intuition and experience, humans are capable of identifying interpretive errors—sometimes disastrous errors—that elude machines.  Though plausible today, this argument will wear thin as technology evolves.

Here, we seek out sturdier ground: a defense of human judgment that focuses on the normative integrity of decision-making.  Specifically, we propose an account of democratic equality as ‘role-reversibility.’  In a democracy, those tasked with making decisions should be susceptible, reciprocally, to the impact of decisions; there ought to …


Criminal Law And Procedure, Aaron J. Campbell Nov 2017

Criminal Law And Procedure, Aaron J. Campbell

University of Richmond Law Review

This article aims to give a succinct review of notable criminal

law and procedure cases decided by the Supreme Court of Virginia

and the Court of Appeals of Virginia during the past year. Instead

of covering every ruling or rationale in these cases, the article

focuses on the "take-away" of the holdings with the most

precedential value. The article also summarizes noteworthy

changes to criminal law and procedure enacted by the 2017 Virginia

General Assembly.


State V. Thurston: An Examination Of Assualt, Self-Defense, And Trespass In Relation To Domestic Violence, Megan E. Magoon Oct 2017

State V. Thurston: An Examination Of Assualt, Self-Defense, And Trespass In Relation To Domestic Violence, Megan E. Magoon

Maine Law Review

Darrell Thurston and Suzanne Harmon were romantically involved on an intermittent basis for five years and had one child together. As a result of an altercation that took place at Harmon’s home in Sullivan, Maine, on September 27, 2007, between Thurston and Harmon, Thurston was charged with assault, criminal mischief, and obstructing report of crime or injury. The testimony during the trial illuminated the major factual differences between Thurston’s and Harmon’s accounts of the night the incident took place. Thurston requested a self defense jury instruction based on his version of what had happened, which the trial court ultimately denied. …


Law Enforcement And Criminal Law Decisions, Erwin Chemerinsky Jun 2017

Law Enforcement And Criminal Law Decisions, Erwin Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky

No abstract provided.