November 20, 2004
CrimProf Blog Professor Spotlight: Stuart Green
Stuart Green of the Louisiana State University Paul M. Herbert Law Center is the first professor featured in the Crim Prof Blog Professor Spotlight.
Professor Green is the Director of the Pugh Institute for Justice and the Louis B. Porterie Professor of Law at Louisiana State University, where he teaches courses in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, White Collar Crime, Punishment and Sentencing, and Legal Ethics.
Professor Green also serves as a legal advisor to the ACLU of Louisiana, and a member of Louisiana’s Indigent Defense Assistance Board, and has previously served as Chair of the Association of American Law School’s Sections on Criminal Justice and Comparative Law.
During the 2002-03 academic year, he served as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar to the United Kingdom, in residence at the University of Glasgow School of Law. He has also taught at the University of Arizona and American University law schools.
Professor Green is a 1988 graduate of the Yale Law School, where he was a Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following graduation from law school, he clerked for Judge Pamela Ann Rymer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and U.S. District Court, in Los Angeles. From 1990-95, he practiced law with the firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, in Washington, D.C.
His work on topics such as regulatory crime, criminal enterprise liability, criminal law codification, white collar crime, comparative criminal law, victims’ rights, strict liability, justified homicide, theft, fraud, perjury, obstruction of justice, bribery, extortion, plagiarism, deception, cheating, and the criminal law’s Special Part has appeared (or is forthcoming) in a wide range of peer- and student-edited publications, including Michigan Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, University of Illinois Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Emory Law Journal, American Criminal Law Review, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Law and Philosophy, Criminal Law Forum, Criminal Justice Ethics, Revue Internationale de Droit Pénal, Buffalo Criminal Law Review, and the book, Appraising Strict Liability (OUP). He frequently offers commentary on criminal justice issues in the national and local media, including in op-ed pieces in the Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, and Detroit Free Press, and he has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe.
He is currently completing two books that are under contract with Oxford University Press. The first, entitled A Moral Theory of White Collar Crime, will be published as part of OUP’s series of Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice. The second, co-edited with philosopher R.A. Duff, is entitled Defining Crimes: Essays on the Criminal Law’s Special Part. For a more complete list of his scholarly works and links to abstracts click here.
Professor Green and his wife Jennifer Moses live with their three children (Sam, Rose, and John), their dog (Marion) and their bird (Skipper) in Baton Rouge.
Each Saturday, CrimProf Blog will spotlight on one of the 1500+ criminal justice professors in America's law schools. We hope to help bring the many individual stories of scholarly achievements, teaching innovations, public service, and career moves within the criminal justice professorate to the attention of the broader criminal justice community. Please email us suggestions for future CrimProf profiles, particularly new professors in the field.
University of Arizona psychology professor Robert Bechtel recently revealed to his colleagues and students that 50 years ago he shot and killed a fellow student at Swarthmore. He had been bullied by a group of students over time, and finally decided to kill one of them. Professor Bechtel was hospitalized, tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity. Never asked about his criminal record when he was hired decades ago, he went public, he said, to highlight the dangers of bullying.
Professor Bechtel is not the only faculty member recently revealed to be a killer; in 2003, a Penn State education professor, Paul Krueger, was found to be on parole for a 1965 triple murder. Meanwhile, Kansas State English professor Thomas Murray is facing murder charges in connection with the death of his wife; Villanova history professor Mine Ener, in jail on charges of killing her young daughter, committed suicide in August.
In October, a Macon State professor was fired based on prior convictions for resisting arrest and possession of a firearm; it seems unfair as he disclosed them when he was applying for the job. [Jack Chin]
Prosecutor's Bloody Re-enactment of Murder Scene Scrutinized on Appeal
The alleged prejudicial nature of a prosecutor's 20-minute trial re-enactment of a grisly stabbing scene, complete with blood-soaked props, is at issue on appeal in a Texas homicide case. The defense attorney argues that the prosecutor, who portrayed the victim in the skit, sacrificed the defendant's right to a fair trial "on the altar of high drama." More ... [Mark Godsey]
Guess How Many Federal Corporate Criminal Offenses There Are?--UPDATED
Vikramditya S. Khanna of Boston University School of Law writes in the Spring issue of Regulation that "The recent spate of alleged corporate fraud has led to calls for new corporate crime legislation. Interestingly, there are already many such laws; before the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, some 300,000 federal corporate criminal offenses were already on the books. How did so much corporate crime legislation get enacted, given the lobbying strength of corporate interests?" The article, Politics and Corporate Crime Legislation, is available here. 300,000 corporate criminal offenses--simply amazing.
UPDATE: Professor Stuart Green in a comment to this post calls the 300,000 figure a likely "urban myth." This claim is supported by the site overcriminalized.com, which cites a 1998 ABA report identifying a mere 3,000 federal crimes in Appendix C. Jack Chin
November 19, 2004
Mistaken Release of Prisoners
A Florida prosecutor resigned after failing to meet a deadline to keep an aresstee in custody; the criminal was released and allegedly raped and kidnapped an additional victim; there was another erroneous release in Florida last month. In Scotland, a private security agency contracted to escort prisoners erroneously released a number of inmates. (There are also reports of prisoners in Scotland being kept in custody for longer than their sentences, so apparently it averages out). The Cumberland, County, North Carolina lockup has reportedly released the wrong person five times in the past year; Idaho also let someone out early. This occurs even in places where one might imagine the most stringent steps are being taken; Last year, CENTCOM accidentally released a suspected murder from a Baghdad facility; a suspect in the Madrid train bombing had been mistakenly released in 2002. Jack Chin
High-Profile Peterson Case Carries Steep $2.5 Pricetag Causing County Dispute Over the Bill
San Mateo County, where Peterson was tried and convicted, is taking Stanislaus County, the locale where the crime occurred and where the case was originally based, to court in an attempt to get Stanilslaus County to pick up its full share of the $2.5 million bill. Costs escalated due to the intense investigation the high-profile nature of the case generated, the 5-month length of the trial, and the need to control traffic, media and crowds outside the courtroom. It is estimated that costs might top $5 million with appeals. If Stanislaus County is unable to pony up, San Mateo County says it will be forced to cut county services, and as a result, may seek state legislation requiring the taxpayers across the state to foot the bill. More... [Mark Godsey]
Ex-Miami Cops Receive Probation for Planting Guns on Suspects
The Associated Press reports: "Two retired Miami police officers whose testimony helped convict seven other officers were placed on probation Wednesday for their parts in cover-ups after guns were planted at the scenes of four police shootings." Jack Chin
Nazi War Criminal Identified in Austria
The Simon Wiesenthal Center reported that a 91 year old Croatian man suspected of participating in genocide was located in Austria. The former police chief is believed to have participated in the deportation of Jews, Gypsies and Serbs to concentration camps. Even though the Third Reich collapsed almost 60 years ago, under the Center's "Last Chance" program, international efforts are still underway to identify participants in the Nazi regime's crimes. More here. Jack Chin
Extreme Makeover for "The Snaggletooth Killer"
Bad enough to be twice be convicted of a murder he didn't commit; imagine how Ray Krone felt, on top of that, to get not a cool criminal nickname like "Zodiac" or "the Nightstalker" but a belittling one: "The Snaggletooth Killer," based on his crooked teeth. Bitemark evidence had been the central basis of conviction. Fortunately, at Mr. Krone's second trial in 1996, the Phoenix, Arizona judge expressed doubts about his guilt and sentenced him to life instead of death. In 2002, he was exonerated based on DNA evidence. And in a final, astonishing chapter in Krone's reversal of fortune, he's been selected to appear on the ABC reality series "Extreme Makeover," where he will receive, among other things, extensive dental work. Let's hope it turns out great; he certainly deserves a break after 10 years in prison, including two on death row. UPDATE: Here's an update based on the show. As for the comment about the possibility that Krone is in fact the real killer, the DNA matched a convicted rapist who lived in the neighborhood, who committed vicious rapes while Krone was in prison. This is the double tragedy of wrongful conviction; Ray Krone suffers, and other innocent victims of the real criminal. Jack Chin
The Scholarly Case for a Broad "Wrongful Victim Behavior" Defense
Aya Gruber of Florida International has posted an interesting new paper on SSNR that was recently published in the Temple Law Review. The following is an excerpt from the abstract to the article, titled, "Victim Wrongs: The Case for a General Criminal Defense Based on Wrongful Victim Behavior in an Era of Victim's Rights":
"[T]he criminal law currently contains doctrines that absolve defendants of liability based on the conduct of the victim. Most obviously, self-defense exculpates a defendant for killing when the victim has engaged in imminently life-threatening conduct. Other victim liability defenses in the criminal law include provocation, defense of others, and defense of property. The problem is that there is no true doctrinal coherence in the existing victim liability defenses. They arbitrarily provide defenses to some defendants who respond to victim conduct and not others. Consequently, defendants who commit crimes, not because the victim is wrongful, but rather because the victim possesses certain minority traits disfavored by the defendant, are eligible for defenses under the current system. Current victim liability law often provides a pass to "reasonable racists," "provoked" wife-killers, and those who kill because of homosexual advances.
[T]his article proposes that the criminal law take a fuller view of victims and provides a coherent mechanism through which victim wrongdoing may be assessed at the liability level. The "non-specific victim liability defense" is a defense that applies to any crime. It requires that: (1) the victim engaged in sufficiently wrongful conduct; (2) the wrongful conduct caused the defendant to commit the charged offense; (3) the defendant was not predisposed to commit the charged offense; and (4) the defendant's response balances against the victim's wrongful conduct dictates that the defendant should be exculpated or punishment should be mitigated. This defense represents both a philosophical response to the privatization trend and a logical reformation of existing law. It solves some of the difficult race and gender problems of current victim liability law because it is more prescriptive than descriptive: It requires that the defendant respond to wrongful victim conduct. The defendant is subsequently prevented from asserting the defense if his criminal conduct was based, not on wrongful conduct, but on his own patriarchal, homophobic, or racist belief system." [Mark Godsey]
November 18, 2004
Cops take 5th in Chicago Torture/Confessions Suit
A team of detectives who allegedly tortured 108 suspects to obtain confessions have taken the 5th in the subsequent civil suit. A number of those who confessed under torture have subsequently been pardoned or otherwise exonerated. More . . .
(A number of CrimProfs including me signed an amicus brief filed in connection with a post-conviction relief petition of Aaron Patterson, one of the people who claimed to be tortured into confessing. Patterson was granted clemency and released in 2003. Jack Chin)
Fraud at Orchid-Cellmark
Cellmark has fired an analyst for faking the results of 20 profiles done for the LAPD and FBI--when the control samples in the test came up bad, the analyst would report that they were consistent. None of the cases has gone to trial. Another article here. Cellmark did the DNA analysis for the OJ Simpson case, the Unabomber, Jon Benet Ramsey, and the Green River Killer.
Meanwhile, in Australia, DNA profiles have been put in a computer database under the wrong names; there were errors in almost 1 in 7 entries audited. Jack Chin
Record Number of Illegal Aliens Deported This Year
The renewed U.S. effort to increase the deportation of illegal aliens amidst security cocerns raised by 9/11 has resulted in more than 157,000 deportations this year, which is a record. Approximately half of these deportees had no criminal record. More . . .
Consent to Search Given By One Resident of Home Cannot Trump Refused Consent by Other Resident, Georgia Supreme Court Holds
The Supreme Court of Georgia recently held in State v. Randolph that when two residents of a home are
both on the scene when police ask for permission to search the
premises, consent given by cannot trump the other's refusal
to consent. This holding diverges from the approach taken by several other courts that have considered the matter. For more on this case and the split of authority, click here.
Police Seize 700 Kilos of Coke Hidden in a Giant Squid
Police in Peru announced this week that they seized 700 kilos of cocaine from inside a giant, frozen squid being shipped to the U.S. To avoid canine detection, the perps had covered the drugs with pepper, and then wrapped them in several layers of plastic. Seven individuals were arrested in the case. Police reported that the squid was worth about $17.5 million before it was de-coked. More...
In an unrelated story, Red Lobster Peru announced today that its new "CalamariFest" promotion will be extended through the end of November.
November 17, 2004
White Collar Crime Prof blogs about guilty pleas in upper management at Boeing, and about indictments of local officials in Atlanta. Crime and Federalism blogs a new Illinois statute creating a defense to illegal weapons possession in violation of a local ordinance if the weapon was used in lawful self defense (Maybe they should call this Bernie's Law?) Crime and Federalism also provides a useful link to the Heritage Foundation's site overcriminalized.com, and a chart showing the explosive growth of federal crimes. Talkleft recounts the tale of a Kansas man who shot and killed an intruder, but had guns and pot laying around when the police arrived to haul away the burglar. Convicted of marijuana charges, the judge offered the miscreant the option of jail or joining the military. (Unfortunately, 10 U.S.C. 504 prohibits enlistment of felons, unless the SecDef makes an exception based on merit). Jack Chin
Florida Supreme Court Creates New Rule On When Criminal Defendant is Entitled to New Trial After He is Forced to Exhaust Preemptory Challenges on Juror Who Should Have Been Removed for Cause
The latest issue of the BNA Criminal Law Reporter summarizes the important new Florida Supreme Court decision, Busby v. Florida, as follows:
"A defendant forced to spend one of his peremptory challenges on a juror who should have been removed for cause is entitled to a new trial without showing actual prejudice from the expenditure of the peremptory challenge so long as he exhausted all of his peremptories and a juror to whom he objected was seated, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Nov. 4. The court explained that Florida law diverges from federal law as expressed in United States v. Martinez-Salazar, 528 U.S. 304, 66 CrL 325 (2000), which held that when a federal trial court erroneously refuses to remove a potential juror for cause, the defendant must choose between using one of his allotted peremptory challenges to remove the juror, or waiting to challenge the for-cause ruling on appeal of a conviction. (Busby v. State, Fla., SC02-1364, 11/4/04)
The defendant was charged with first-degree murder in the death of a fellow inmate. One of the prospective jurors was a former correctional officer who had worked on death row. In voir dire, he gave what the court described as "very equivocal responses" to "several critical questions" seeking to gauge his ability to be impartial.
The trial court denied the defendant's for-cause challenge to the venireperson, and further denied his request for additional peremptory challenges. The defendant was obliged to use up one of his peremptory challenges in order to remove the venireperson, and he ultimately exhausted all of his peremptory challenges. He identified an empaneled juror, whose son worked as a correctional officer, as an objectionable juror whom he would have removed with a peremptory challenge if he had had any remaining.
The defendant was convicted and sentenced to death. He argued on appeal that the trial court committed reversible error in denying the for-cause challenge with respect to the venireperson whose acknowledged biases created reasonable doubt as to his fitness to serve.
In a per curiam opinion, the state's highest court agreed with the defendant and ordered a new trial." For the full article, click here.
Crimprof/Judge Cassell Blasts Sentencing Guidelines
Judge Paul Cassell, part-time CrimProf at Utah, sentenced a 25 year old first-time drug offender to 55 years and a day on Tuesday, but only after harshly criticizing the sentencing guidelines that required him to do it. The Judge said he would call upon President Bush to commute the sentence and on Congress to change the drug laws. Articles here and here; opinion: Download angelos.pdf. Jack Chin
Botched FBI Fingerprint Analysis Incorrectly Tied Portland Attorney to Madrid Train Bombing
Brandon Mayfield, a Portland attorney, was arrested in May for detonating the train bomb in Madrid last March that killed 191 people. His arrest was based on an alleged "match" of his fingerprint to a fingerprint on a bag of detonators used in the attack. Now, after Mayfield has been cleared and more than 30 North Africans have been charged with participating in the attack as part of a holy war against the West, a panel of forensic experts has concluded that the FBI fingerprint team erred in connecting Mayfield to the case. The panel concluded that there were insufficient points of similarity between Mayfield's fingerprint and the fingerprint found at the scene to reach a firm conclusion, but that the FBI connected him anyway because of the "inherent pressure of working an extremely high-profile case."
For more on this story, click here.
Million Dollar Blocks
The Village Voice has an article about "million dollar blocks" neighborhoods in New York City where so many residents are in prison that the cost of their incarceration exceeds $1 million per year. Jack Chin