CrimProf Blog

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

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Sunday, July 31, 2005

FBI Can't Translate Terrorism Recordings Fast Enough

The increased number of tapped telephones and recorded conversations stemming from the "War on Terror" has caused a huge backlog in getting them translated.  This apparently means that the FBI could record a call today describing an imminent attack, and we wouldn't know about it until it was too late.  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

July 31, 2005 in Homeland Security | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

New Protocol for Sexual Assault Forensic Exams

Here. [Jack Chin]

July 30, 2005 in Law Enforcement | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Employment Obstacles for Ex-Cons

Here's a piece reprinted from Federal Probation on employment obstancles faced by ex-cons.  Thanks to Margy Love for the tip.

July 30, 2005 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 29, 2005

MSNBC Story on False Confessions

Here. [Jack Chin]

July 29, 2005 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

FBI Seeking Greater Subpoena Power

It wants its agents to be able to issue their own subpoenas on the spot in terrorism cases.  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

July 29, 2005 in Homeland Security | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Quoted CrimProfs

Charles Rose of Stetson and Chistopher Slobogin of Florida are quoted in the Daytona Beach News Journal about the insanity defense and its application to a local case.

Robert Weisberg of Stanford opines in the San Bernardino County Sun that breaching the attorney client privilege is not a criminal act.

Neal Katyal of Georgetown is quoted on ZDnet.com about a recent case where a man was arrested for mooching Wi-Fi from another without permission.

Gerald Reamey of St. Mary's is quoted in the San Antonio Express News about a strange local case.  [Mark Godsey]

July 29, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Creative Sentencing

From MSNBC.com:  "A high school student convicted of battery for vomiting on his Spanish teacher has been ordered to spend the next four months cleaning up after people who throw up in police cars.  Johnson County Magistrate Judge Michael Farley said during the sentencing Tuesday that he considered the boy’s actions “an assault upon the dignity of all teachers.”  The teen, now 17, vomited on teacher David Young as he turned in his textbook on the last day of classes at Olathe Northwest High School. His attorney, Brian Costello, said the student vomited because he was nervous about his final exams."  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

July 28, 2005 in News, Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Backlog Stories

In Illinois, a murder conviction was dismissed on speedy trial grounds, because of unjustified delays in getting a  DNA test done.  Story here, opinion here.  Lots of other backlogs; autopsies in Texas; DNA in Nebraska, everything in New Hampshire and Montana. Missouri looks good. [Jack Chin]

July 28, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Massachusetts: Enhanced Penalties for Grabbing Cops' Gun

The Massachusetts legislature is considering a  law enhancing the penalties for resisting arrest if the malefactor attempts or succeeds in grabbing the officer's gun--five years for a successful effort. [Jack Chin]

July 28, 2005 in Criminal Law | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Quoted CrimProfs

Pittsburgh CrimProf John Burkoff on a woman's attempts to alert neighbors to a sex offender in her neighborhood; San Diego CrimProf Shawn Martin on the conviction of two councilmen in San Diego; Case Western CrimProf Lewis Katz on the leak of sealed court documents to the press in Cleveland.  [Mark Godsey]

July 28, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Homophobic Crime Cases Falter

According to a British study, homophobic-based hate crimes are hard to prosecute because the victims often refuse to testify.  "In the first full set of figures for homophobic crime released by the Crown Prosecution Services, officials admit that it is a “concern” that victims feel uncomfortable taking crime complaints through to prosecution.  They are calling for more action to be taken to reduce the “gap” between prosecution for hate crimes and other crimes." Story . . . [Mark Godsey]

July 28, 2005 in Civil Rights | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arizona Has Highest Crime Rate in Nation

Details here.  [Mark Godsey]

July 28, 2005 in Criminal Law | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wisconsin Confession Case

From BNA.com:  "The Wisconsin Supreme Court July 14 held that "physical evidence obtained as a direct result of an intentional violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), is inadmissible under Article I, Section 8 of the Wisconsin Constitution." Disagreeing with the positions taken by a divided majority of the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Patane, 542 U.S. 630 (2004), the state court said the suppression of the fruits of voluntary statements obtained after police deliberately withhold Miranda warnings is necessary to deter this type of "repugnant" police misconduct and to preserve judicial integrity. (State v. Knapp, Wis., No. 2000AP2590-CR, 7/14/05, further proceedings in 666 N.W.2d 881, 73 CrL 481)."

Decision here.  [Mark Godsey]

July 28, 2005 in Confessions and Interrogation | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Article Spotlight: Politics and State Punitiveness in Black and White

UGA Political Scientist Jeff yates and UKY Political Scientist Richard Fording have published "Politics and State Punitiveness in Black and White", forthcoming in the Journal of Politics, 2005
Tha abstract states: 

Recent findings from the literature on imprisonment policy suggest that in addition to traditional social and economic variables, imprisonment rates are also strongly related to changes in the state political environment. In this study, we extend this literature by testing a theory of state punitiveness which posits that (1) the political environment of states influences the degree to which they incarcerate their citizens, and (2) the political determinants of state punitiveness may be conditional upon the racial sub-population being incarcerated. Our results suggest that increases in state political conservatism in recent decades have contributed to increases in both the growth in black imprisonment rates and black imprisonment disparity (relative to whites), but that these effects are, to a degree, tempered by countervailing political conditions.

The paper is available from Professor Yates at [email protected] [Jack Chin]

July 27, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Some Funny Crimes

Including a woman who reported her marijuana stolen. [Jack Chin]

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

Former Miami Official, Under Indictment, Commits Suicide

Story hereHere's the expose that allegedly drove him to suicide. [Jack Chin]

July 27, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

Save Federal Court Review – Please Write A Senator Today

From Akron CrimProf Margery Koosed:

There is a proposal by Senator Kyl of Arizona to pretty much end habeas in all cases, capital and non-capital, set for markup tomorrow by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

There are several disturbing aspects of this S. 1088 “Streamlined Procedures Act” bill including:

stripping federal courts of habeas jurisdiction if the state courts imposed a procedural default (with no ability to argue the propriety of the default or cause and prejudice and completely eliminating any ineffective assistance of counsel claim to resurrect the claim, unless clear and convincing evidence of innocence is shown),
prohibiting any review of a claim reviewed in a state court under plain error, fundamental error or any other higher standard unless clear and convincing evidence of innocence is shown;
prohibiting any review of a sentencing claim deemed harmless by the state court unless structural in nature;
imposing an absolute bar on any unexhausted claim (mandating dismissal with prejudice rather than a stay for exhaustion or even a discretionary dismissal), unless the state affirmatively waives exhaustion or clear and convincing evidence of innocence is shown;
permitting only one amendment of the petition unless clear and convincing evidence of innocence is shown;
eliminating almost completely ex parte funding hearings/pleadings;
excluding jurisdiction over any clemency or clemency procedural claim;
importing the federal crime victim's rights legislation into habeas cases;
providing that Attorney General Gonzalez will decide if a state is an AEDPA opt in (speeding up the process in such a way that it will hinder real review and discovery of facts and innocence) and that his finding "shall be conclusive unless manifestly contrary to the law and an abuse of discretion.") by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals;
and many more similar provisions,
that would all be applied retroactively to all pending cases.

In case you cannot open the document here is a link to it: http://www.theorator.com/bills109/s1088.html

Senator Spectre has proposed an amendment, but all it does is remove the provision stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction to consider harmless error and tinker a bit with the opt-in provision in a not too-helpful way. Though the ABA and others have been working hard against this bill, it is at serious risk of passing out of Committee tomorrow.
Please fax a letter today to the following critical member(s) of the Senate Judiciary Committee directly, and to the Senate Judiciary Committee itself, and give them your thoughts:

Judiciary Committee:
        United States Senate
        Committee on the Judiciary
        224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
        Washington, DC 20510
        Phone: (202) 224-5225
        Fax: (202) 224-9102

Sen. Brownback:
        303 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
        Washington, D.C. 20510
        Phone: (202) 224-6521
        Fax: (202) 228-1265

Sen. Specter:
        711 Hart Building
        Washington, DC 20510
        Tel: 202-224-4254
            Fax: (202) 228-1229

Sen. Feinstein:
      United States Senate
      331 Hart Senate Office Building
      Washington, DC 20510
        Phone: (202) 224-3841
        Fax: (202) 228-3954
        TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501

Sen. Schumer:
        313 Hart Senate Building
        Washington, DC 20510
        Phone: 202-224-6542
        Fax: 202-228-3027
        TDD: 202-224-0420   

Sen. Graham:
        290 Russell Senate Office Building
        Washington, DC 20510
        (202) 224-5972 phone
            Fax:  (202) 224-3808

Sen. DeWine
        140 Russell Senate Building
        Washington, DC 20510
        Phone: (202) 224-2315
        Fax:  (202) 224-6519
        TDD:  (202) 224-9921

July 27, 2005 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

CrimProf Tom Lininger Authors New Oregon Law to Allow Hearsay in Abuse Cases

LiningerIn response to Crawford v. Washington, University of Oregon's Tom Lininger wrote a new law that allows a party to introduce hearsay statements against opponents who wrongfully caused a witness's unavailability.  "The decision in Crawford v. Washington intended to claify the Sixth Amendment right to confront one's accuser by limiting out-of-court statements by absent witnesses.  But battered women, seniors, and children are often frightened to testify in open court against their abusers--and this fear is justified.  Lininger said Oregon had to fix state law so that it protected a defendant's constitutional rights while allowing victims to stay out of physical reach of their assailants. 'If a witness isn't available because she has been threatened by the defendant, then the defendant shouldn't be protected by hearsay rules.  The Sixth Amendment is a shield, not a sword,' Lininger said.  In a prior legislative session, Lininger authored a successful bill that created new criminal penalties for drug-induced rape." More on Lininger and Oregon's new law... [Mark Godsey]

July 26, 2005 in Evidence | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

Death Penalty Reform Considered in China

Story here. [Jack chin]

July 26, 2005 in Capital Punishment, International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Prostitution Arrest Photos

One of my new colleagues at Arizona, who was not born in this country, sent me a link to some arrest photos of johns posted in the Internet, and asked if this was common.  I think it is; some post just the johns (including Chicago), others men and women arrested. [Jack Chin]

July 26, 2005 in Sex | Permalink | TrackBack (0)