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Full-Text Articles in Law

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

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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 …


Gender Nonconforming Expression And Binary Thinking: Understanding How Implicit Bias Becomes Explicit In The Legal System, Considering The Shooting Death Of Philando Castile, Patrick C. Brayer Apr 2018

Gender Nonconforming Expression And Binary Thinking: Understanding How Implicit Bias Becomes Explicit In The Legal System, Considering The Shooting Death Of Philando Castile, Patrick C. Brayer

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Theorists, poets, and artists are taking the lead in advancing the conversation about gender fluidity and the plight of people with non-binary gender identities. This essay is about what practitioners who combat implicit bias in the legal profession can learn from artists and thinkers on the cutting edge of gender non-conforming expression. Understanding how individuals stigmatize, and at times discriminate against, gender fluid people by limited and binary thinking is an important progression in comprehending how implicit bias (specifically against people of color) becomes explicit and influences legal actors including law enforcement and jurors. The tragic shooting of Philando Castile …


Foster V. Chatman And The Failings Of Batson, Patrick C. Brayer Jan 2016

Foster V. Chatman And The Failings Of Batson, Patrick C. Brayer

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When the Supreme Court delivered its ruling in Foster v Chatman, the court described the actions of the prosecutors as being “motivated in substantial part by race” when they struck two potential jurors from hearing the capital murder case against Timothy Foster. This phenomenon of open and explicit racial intolerance is unfortunately still in existence thirty years after Foster first went to trial. What the Court failed to acknowledge was how new attitudes of exclusion are less intentional today and more nuanced, implicit, and rationalized. Black defendant’s in 2016 face prosecutors who are less engaged in open discrimination but more …


The Disconnected Juror: Smart Devices And Juries In The Digital Age Of Litigation, Patrick C. Brayer Jan 2016

The Disconnected Juror: Smart Devices And Juries In The Digital Age Of Litigation, Patrick C. Brayer

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As we progress toward a post-digital age of individuals becoming one with technology, the legal profession will encounter an increasing number of jurors who have never known life without the Internet, social media or mobile devices. At the same time an increasing number of citizens are becoming dependent on digital technology, state supreme courts, state trial judges, and federal judges from across the nation are banning and confiscating cell phones, tablets, and other devices of connection to prevent jurors from engaging in misconduct. This article illuminates the unintended consequences that arise when courts remove from a sitting juror an individual …


Venue In Missouri After Tort Reform, David J. Achtenberg Apr 2007

Venue In Missouri After Tort Reform, David J. Achtenberg

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Venue matters. Anyone who doubts it need only look to the venue wars waged in the Missouri Supreme Court during the last decades. Understandably, plaintiffs prefer unrestrictive venue rules so that they can file and try their cases in counties with plaintiff-friendly jury pools. Just as understandably, defendants prefer rules that restrict plaintiffs' ability to choose between multiple venues and, to the extent possible, rules that permit the defendant to select the counties in which they can be forced to defend their actions.

The passage of Missouri's 2005 Tort Reform Act represented an important legislative victory for defendants in this …


Putting The Guesswork Back Into Capital Sentencing, Sean O'Brien Jan 2006

Putting The Guesswork Back Into Capital Sentencing, Sean O'Brien

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In 1972, in Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court deemed it "incontestable" that a death sentence is cruel and unusual if inflicted "by reason of [the defendant's] race, religion, wealth, social position, or class, or if it is imposed under a procedure that gives room for the play of such prejudices." Arbitrary and discriminatory patterns in capital sentencing moved the Court to strike down death penalty statutes that required judges or juries to cast thumbs-up or thumbs-down verdicts against offenders found guilty of capital crimes. The issue of innocence was barely a footnote in Furman; the Court's concerns focused on …