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Monday, October 17, 2005

Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

A note from Ohio State CrimProf Joshua Dressler:

As many of you hopefully know, the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law includes a Commentary section---a section in which we publish shorter, less formal, and often nontraditional, essays.

In that spirit, we are planning a Commentary Symposium, "Criminal Law Nuggets," which we would expect to publish in either the Fall 2006 issue (Volume 4, No. 1), or the Spring 2007 issue (4:2).  (This Commentary Symposium is separate from our regular Commentary articles, which we will also publish in those issues; and, of course, each issue will include a regular symposium.  Our Fall 2006 symposium is "Blakely and the States," with Professors Doug Berman and Steve Chanenson serving as Guest Editors.)

What we are looking for here are substantive criminal law nuggets: essays describing cases with which most of us are unfamiliar (they don't show up in the casebooks) that you believe we ought to know about, as well as "the real story" behind cases we do know about.  Thus, we are looking for nuggets --- cases and background information --- that you think constitute a little bit of criminal law gold that you would like to share with your criminal law colleagues.

How will we distinguish the nuggets from fool's gold?  (We are getting as tired of the metaphor as you are.  Sorry.)  Well, frankly, we are not sure.  But, the key here is that there is something unique, special, funny, or just plain interesting about the case (or background information).   Maybe the case involves fascinating facts (just the type for a criminal law essay exam question?), or perhaps the court took dry and ordinary facts and did something remarkable---or funny, or literary---with them.  Or, maybe you are aware of "hidden" facts about a famous case---what led to the prosecution, or what happened to the parties after the case was resolved or ???---that would interest your colleagues.  (We can imagine that there could be a "war story" out there of interest---an unpublished case---but we would want the story to be a nugget in the telling [compelling, as a story being told], but there also should be a "moral to the story".)

Now, nuggets are, after all, just tidbits.  Therefore, we not only are not looking for traditional-length articles, or even ordinary "Commentary-sized" essays (5000-7000 words).  The tidbits should be 750-2500 words in length, and 2500 is the absolute---stress, absolute--- maximum.  And, that word count includes any footnotes.  (Obviously, we would expect zero or very, very few footnotes.)

If you are inspired to offer us a nugget, please send it electronically (Word preferred; WordPerfect acceptable) to the OSJCL at <[email protected]>.  (You may also want to look at our new-and-improved website at < http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/osjcl/>.  We have links to all of our previously published articles, as well as other information, including subscription [hint! hint!] details.) 

We have no idea if we will receive an avalanche, or just a trickle, of publish-worthy submissions.   So, the timing of this special Commentary Symposium remains uncertain.  But, whatever happens, we expect you will find it fun writing up your nugget, and we will have fun reading about it.

By the way, our Fall 2005 issue of the OSJCL will be out very soon.  Our symposium (The Warren Court Criminal Justice Revolution: Reflections a Generation Later) includes articles written by Morgan Cloud, Donald Dripps, Richard Frase, Yale Kamisar, Tracey Meares, and Guest Editor George Thomas). 

We have five  Commentaries  essays (David Givelber on a Certiorari Clinic; Ken Graham on the Confrontation Clause; Judge Morris Hoffman, et al, reporting on an empricial study of public defender effectiveness; New Zealand law professor Scott Optican on "lessons from down under" comparing NZ and US search-and-seizure law; and Austin Sarat on mercy, clemency, and capital punishment.)

And, we have two review essays, by Douglas Husak on a recent Jeremy Horder book ("Excusing Crime"), and Cynthia Lee responding to Victoria Nourse's recent OSJCL review of Lee's book, "Murder and the Reasonable Man."

(We also have a Letter to the Journal from Gary Stuart, whose book on Miranda was critically reviewed in an earlier OSJCL issue.)

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