CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, June 27, 2005

This Week's Top 5 Crim Papers

This week's top 5 crim papers on SSRN, with number of recent downloads, are:

(1) 165 Victims, Survivors and the Decisions to Seek and Impose Death
Wayne A. Logan,
William Mitchell College of Law,
Date posted to database: May 2, 2005
Last Revised: May 6, 2005
(2) 152 Financial Scandals and the Role of Private Enforcement: The Parmalat Case
Guido Alessandro Ferrarini, Paolo Giudici,
Università degli Studi di Genova - Law School, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano - School of Economics,
Date posted to database: May 27, 2005
Last Revised: June 9, 2005
(3) 145 Improving Prosecutorial Decision Making: Some Lessons of Cognitive Science
Alafair S. Burke,
Hofstra University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 26, 2005
Last Revised: May 1, 2005
(4) 124 Law and Emotion: A Proposed Taxonomy of an Emerging Field
Terry A. Maroney,
New York University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 20, 2005
Last Revised: June 15, 2005
(5) 107 Of God's Mercy and the Four Biblical Methods of Capital Punishment: Stoning, Burning, Beheading, and Strangulation
Irene Merker Rosenberg, Yale L. Rosenberg,
University of Houston - Law Center, University of Houston - Law Center,
Date posted to database: January 5, 2005
Last Revised: April 27, 2005

June 27, 2005 in Weekly Top 5 SSRN Crim Downloads | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Utah CrimProf Luna Awarded Chair

Luna Congratulations to Utah CrimProf Erik Luna, who was recently named the Hugh B. Brown Presidential Endowed Chair in Law.

June 27, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

International Crime News

In India, a crime reporter was chagred with dozens of burglaries and thefts; he used his professional contacts to move the goods.  In Brazil, speed limits will be ending in high crime areas to give motorists a chance to get through without being attacked.  In Italy, an outbreak of unlawful private food parties has caught police attention. [Jack Chin]

June 27, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Right to Silence Abolished in Australia?

Story here. [Jack Chin]

June 26, 2005 in International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

California Taxpayers Paid For Viagra for Sex Offenders

Story here.  [Mark Godsey]

June 26, 2005 in News, Sex | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Case Law Launches New Global Security Blog

From a press release:  "Case School of Law is proud to announce the launch of the Institute for Global Security, Law and Policy's website,  It features a blog providing analysis of critical global security issues as well as links to legal and policy commentary, other blogs, and news summaries across the Internet. By using the collaborative nature of blogging, the site encourages individuals within and outside the Institute to comment on legal and policy issues.  The site reflects Case School of Law's commitment that the recently created Institute become the leading resource and research center for issues of global security.  Developing the site were Case School of Law Webmaster Mr. Carl Roloff and Mr. Greg McNeal a third year law student and developer of one of the web's most visited terrorism blogs. Mr. McNeal and Ms. Erin Page, also a third year law student, will serve as Research Fellows in Terrorism and Homeland Security, updating the site and facilitating discussions.  Professor Amos Guiora is Director of the Institute and Assistant Professor Jessie Hill is the Assistant Director."  [Mark Godsey]

June 26, 2005 in Homeland Security | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

CrimProf Spotlight: Wisconsin's Victoria Nourse

Nourse This week CrimProf Blog spotlights Wisconsin's Victoria Nourse.  She teaches criminal law and constitutional law.  In the past five years, Victoria has published on these topics in a variety of journals, including the Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Duke, and NYU law reviews.  She is known for her work on issues of gender and the criminal law and, in particular, criminal law defenses.  Victoria came to teaching after a prestigious career in New York and Washington. She began her legal career clerking for Judge Edward Weinfeld on the Southern District of New York. In 1986, she joined the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. At the invitation of Arthur Liman, then chief counsel to the Senate committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair, Nourse left New York to serve as Assistant Counsel to that committee. In 1988, she moved to the United States Department of Justice, where she argued appellate cases on behalf of the government. In 1990, she returned to the Senate as Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1991-1993, Nourse was the chief attorney advising the Committee's chairman on criminal law matters. While serving in that capacity, Professor Nourse assisted the committee in drafting the Violence Against Women Act and in managing two omnibus crime bills.  Professor Nourse received her B.A. in History from Stanford University, where she was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1984, she received her J.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as Senior Articles Editor of the California Law Review.  In the Fall of 2002, Nourse was a visiting professor at Yale Law School, where she taught an advanced course on constitutional structure and a seminar on political theory and the criminal law. In the Spring of 2003, she was a visiting professor at New York University School of Law, where she taught substantive criminal law.

June 25, 2005 in Weekly CrimProf Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Charges Brought for Abuse of Polygamist's Daughter

A 20 year old man was charged with sexually abusing the 14 year old daughter of John Daniel Kingston.  The daughter was one of 10 children that the alleged polygamist lost custody of last year. [Jack Chin]

June 25, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sex Sites Cut Deal With DOJ

From  "Most Internet sex sites won't immediately have to follow expanded federal record-keeping standards, thanks to an 11th-hour deal with the U.S. government.  The Free Speech Coalition, an adult-entertainment trade group, and the U.S. Department of Justice reached an agreement Thursday afternoon that the government will not begin enforcing the regulations, which expand existing rules to cover online material, until Sept. 7. The expanded regulations had been scheduled to take effect June 23.  The deal applies only to those registered with the coalition by 2 p.m. PST on June 25. Current members have until Monday to confirm the names of their businesses with the coalition, which will submit a confidential list to a court-appointed special master on Wednesday.

The rules appeared in late May in the Federal Register, announcing that Internet sites would be tacked on to the list of adult media, including magazines and videos, already subject to record-keeping laws under the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988.  The expanded rules require both producers and "secondary producers"--in this case webmasters--of adult content to keep and provide extensive documentation about their performers, including legal name, date of birth and copies of documents bearing a photo ID. Secondary producers do not, however, include film or video processors, Web hosts and ISPs, or those who engage in "mere distribution," according to the Federal Register notice.

The government's rationale is that "the identity of every performer is critical to determining and assuring that no performer is a minor." [Mark Godsey]

June 25, 2005 in Criminal Law | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

DEA Starts Cracking Down on On-line Narcotics Sales

Listen to NPR story here.  [Mark Godsey]

June 25, 2005 in Drugs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Homer Simpson and the Law

We previously blogged here about how the TV show The Simpsons is full of legal gems.  Now Homer Simpson will help law students in the UK learn the law.

From Yahoo News:  "London, Jun 10 (ANI): Homer J. Simpson, a popular character from hit TV show 'The Simpsons', will now help students prepare for A-level law courses.  According to the Mirror, clips from the show would be shown to the students and they would be asked to analyse Homer's illegal tricks - how they would be viewed in court.  "Nobody breaks the law quite as much as Homer in The Simpsons - and he always seems to get away with it. In real life, someone who commits as many crimes would be in prison. So it's a bit of fun with a serious side to it," the paper quoted course director Gary Durrant as saying."  Story . . . [Mark Godsey]

June 24, 2005 in News, Teaching | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Florida Supreme Court: Male Strippers Are Free To Keep Dressing Up As Cops

After watching a television show last night where a male stripper, dressed up as a cop, was shot at when he knocked on a hotel room door that he thought belonged to a paying client, but actually belonged to drug dealers, I was wondering if states can outlaw civilians wearing police insignia.  Little did I know that the Florida Supreme Court had just decided the issue.

From the Associated Press:  "Without an intent to deceive, it is not a crime to wear an "NYPD" hat or other law enforcement insignia, uniforms or T-shirts printed with such words as "police," "sheriff" and "trooper," the Florida Supreme Court said Thursday.  The high court, in a 5-2 opinion, struck down Florida's law against wearing or clothing, badges or other criminal justice markings because it is "unconstitutionally overbroad, vague and violates substantive due process." The maximum punishment was a year in jail.  "The word `police' on a shirt could mean support for the police, as has been widely seen on clothing in support of the New York Police Department following September 11, 2001," Justice Charles Wells wrote.  It also could be used to express a constitutionally protected negative opinion about police conduct, while the word "sheriff" could have a political meaning when worn to promote candidates for that office, he added.  Wells noted the law lacks any provision on intent. Therefore, it bans "innocent wearing and displaying of specified words" and "is not tailored toward the legitimate public purpose of prohibiting conduct intended to deceive," he wrote.  Chief Justice Barbara Parmiente and Justices Harry Lee Anstead, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince concurred. Justice Raoul Cantero and Kenneth Bell dissented.  "I fear that today the Court has stripped law enforcement agencies of one important weapon in their battle against crime," Cantero wrote. "I only hope that the Legislature acts quickly to fill the void."  The opinion, not final pending a possible request for reconsideration, resolves conflicting lower court decisions.  Kimberly Sult was arrested at a convenience store in 2001 for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with "Pinellas County Sheriff's Office." She was convicted by a jury and ordered to pay $300 in fines and court costs. The 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld her conviction and the law.  The 3rd District Court of Appeal, however, in 2003 ruled the law unconstitutional and reversed the conviction in South Florida of motorcyclist Alberto Rodriguez for wearing a shirt with "Police" on it.  The law specifically banned the wearing of clothing with the words "police," "patrolman," "agent," "sheriff," "deputy," "trooper," "highway patrol," "wildlife officer," "marine patrol officer," "state attorney, "public defender," "marshal," "constable" and "bailiff."  [Mark Godsey]

June 24, 2005 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Vanderbilt CrimProf Allison Marston Danner Delivers Lecture on Prosecutorial Discretion at the International Criminal Court

DannerVanderbilt CrimProf Allison Marston Danner, an authority on international criminal law, delivered a guest lecture at the International Criminal Court in the Hague on June 14, at the invitation of Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Her lecture, which addressed the topic of prosecutorial discretion and legitimacy, was one of a series of guest lectures sponsored by the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor.  [Mark Godsey]

June 24, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Nevada, Haven for Sex Offenders, Tightens the Requirements

Because of its loose reporting rules, some residents of Nevada believe the state has become a haven for sex offenders, and that the state is bearing the burden in the form of recidivism.  The Nevada legislature is acting to toughen reporting an other laws on convicted sex offenders.  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

June 23, 2005 in Sex | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

In the Wake of Michael Jackson: An Editorial on Anonymity for Sex Crime Accusers Even After Acquittal

Here. [Jack Chin]

June 23, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Impact Program Reduces Crime in Troubled NYC Schools by 40%

From  "Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said crime is down in some of the city's most troubled schools while touting the success of their Impact Schools program Wednesday at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx.  Overall, crime is down nearly 40 percent in the 16 so-called Impact Schools compared to this time last year, according to the Department of Education. Violent crime is also down nearly 50 percent this year in those same troubled schools.  “The Impact Program was always meant to be dynamic and responsive to changing safety conditions. Today's announcement reflects that," said Bloomberg.  "The work we're doing in terms of student interventions and the sophistication, the peer mediation, the anti-bullying, the professional development – all of this has begun to take hold," said Klein. “Our school system is getting serious about the fact that we live by rules, and there are consequences for children who are not prepared to live by the rules.”  The administration began its crack down back in January 2004, flooding those schools with more police officers and school safety agents, as well as instituting a zero tolerance policy for minor infractions and removing disruptive students all together.  The drop was significant enough that the city removed six schools from the list, including Evander Childs, Adlai Stevenson, and Theodore Roosevelt High Schools in the Bronx; Erasmus Hall and Thomas Jefferson High Schools in Brooklyn; and Springfield Gardens High School in Queens."  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

June 23, 2005 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New SCOTUS Crim Decisions Today

The Supreme Court released 3 new crim decisions today.   The following is from, and I have provided links to obtain these decisions:

Halbert v. Michigan, No. 03-10198 -- Defendants who plead guilty or nolo contendere are entitled, under the equal protection and due process clauses, to appointment of counsel for an appeal.  Decision here.

Mayle v. Felix, No. 04-563 -- An amended habeas corpus petition that asserts a new ground for relief supported by facts that differ in both time and type from those set forth in the original pleading does not relate back to the filing date of the original pleading for purposes of avoiding the
one-year limitations period in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.  Decision here.

Gonzalez v. Crosby, No. 04-6432 -- A state prisoner's Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) motion challenging the denial of habeas corpus relief that does not present a new claim is not subject to the restrictions placed on "second or successive" habeas petitions by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act.  Decision here.

[Mark Godsey]

June 23, 2005 in Criminal Law, Supreme Court | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Iowa to Use Microsoft Settlement to Fight Crime

Iowa will use its $2 million share of the settlement in the Microsoft antitrust suit to upgrade DNA labs and buy more patrol cars.  [Mark Godsey]

June 23, 2005 in Cost of Crime | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

GA Supreme Court Negates "Certainty" Instruction in Eyewitness ID Cases

The Supreme Court of Georgia, relying on scientific studies on the lack of reliability of eyewitness identifications, recently held in Brodes v. State:  "Appellate courts have a responsibility to look forward, and a legal concept's longevity should not be extended when it is established that it is no longer appropriate. When identification is an essential issue at trial, appropriate guidelines focusing the jury's attention on how to analyze and consider the factual issues with regard to the reliability of a witness's identification of a defendant as the perpetrator are critical. In light of the scientifically-documented lack of correlation between a witness's certainty in his or her identification of someone as the perpetrator of a crime and the accuracy of that identification, and the critical importance of accurate jury instructions as "the lamp to guide the jury's feet in journeying through the testimony in search of a legal verdict," we can no longer endorse an instruction authorizing jurors to consider the witness's certainty in his/her identification as a factor to be used in deciding the reliability of that identification. Accordingly, we advise trial courts to refrain from informing jurors they may consider a witness's level of certainty when instructing them on the factors that may be considered in deciding the reliability of that identification."  [Mark Godsey, hat tip to Tulane CrimProf Pam Metzger]

June 22, 2005 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy, Eyewitness Identification | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Nancy King on the Sleeping Juror Problem

King_1 From a press release:  "The judge presiding over the Enron Internet trail started a coffee habit just to keep from drifting off. Jurors, lawyers and journalists regularly close their eyes, and a court officer once actually had to jostle awake a guy in the front row. Experts acknowledge that as much as 90 percent of courtroom proceedings can be overwhelmingly dull. "The average person doesn't realize how tedious evidence can be," [Vanderbilt CrimProf] Nancy King told reporter Mary Flood of the Houston Chronicle.  King, who surveyed hundreds of judges about 10 years ago, found that 69 percent of the jurists she surveyed said they'd had a juror nod off in the previous three years.  According to King, judges usually left it up to the lawyers to deal with the dozer. "After all, it was (the lawyers) that put the juror to sleep," King wrote of the judicial attitude.  However, King said there are many steps judges can take to try to keep courtroom denizens alert: take frequent breaks, limit witness testimony, let jurors take notes and keep the room cold.""  [Mark Godsey]

June 22, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)