CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Real Soprano?

A leitmotiv in the Sopranos is interest in the media and film industry; from The Godfather quotes to Christopher's movie scripts, fascination with the business is apparent.  Here's a story about a real life racketeer who made a movie released in 2002 called "This Thing of Ours" who is now in prison for extortion. Felon/filmmaker Danny Provenzano is related to some convicted mafia members.  Frankly, I would have thought one of the rules of OC would be: No movies called "This Thing of Ours."  I mean, there are things that happen at faculty meetings that we are not supposed to talk about.  Story here. [Jack Chin]

December 26, 2005 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Blogger on Larry King Live, Dec. 26--TODAY

Cincinnati CrimProf Mark Godsey will be on Larry King Live the day after Christmas with his client Clarence Elkins talking about the remarkable DNA exoneration Mark achieved last week through the Ohio Innocence Project.  The show airs 9 Eastern, 6 Pacific on Monday, December 26.  Transcript of show here.

December 26, 2005 in About This Blog | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Christmas Visits to Women in Prison

Story here. Another Christmas story: Thieves steal $8,000 in Christmas donations from a  New Jersey church.  [Jack Chin]

December 26, 2005 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Indiana CrimProf Named Champion of Indigent Defense

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has named Indiana CrimProf Norman Lefstein, professor of law and dean emeritus, as the 2005 “Champion of Indigent Defense.” As Chair of the Indigent Defense Advisory Group of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) for the past six years, Lefstein has been responsible for overseeing the ABA’s efforts to improve indigent defense systems around the country. He is also a four-term Chair of the Indiana Public Defender Commission, a position to which two Indiana governors have appointed him.

Most recently, Professor Lefstein oversaw the research and writing of a comprehensive SCLAID report on the nationwide crisis in indigent defense, Gideon’s Broken Promise: America’s Continuing Quest for Equal Justice (February 2005).

"For four decades, Professor Lefstein has championed the cause of poor persons accused of crimes, using every opportunity to fight for reform of the nation’s broken indigent defense systems," said Bill Whitehurst, SCLAID Chair, who nominated Lefstein for the award.

December 26, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Bush Issues Pardons

Six of the 11 were convicted more than 40 years ago.  Story here; WhiteCollarCrimeProf has Margy Love's Comments here. [Jack Chin]

December 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

This Week's Top 5 Crim Papers

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

Rank Downloads Paper Title 
(1) 269 Economic Analysis of Law
A. Mitchell Polinsky, Steven Shavell,
Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School,
Date posted to database: November 29, 2005
Last Revised: December 16, 2005
(2) 208 No, Capital Punishment is Not Morally Required: Deterrence, Deontology, and the Death Penalty
Carol S. Steiker,
Harvard Law School,
Date posted to database: November 28, 2005
Last Revised: December 5, 2005
(3) 194 Foreword: Limiting Raich
Randy E. Barnett,
Boston University School of Law,
Date posted to database: November 11, 2005
Last Revised: November 21, 2005
(4) 134 The Theory of Public Enforcement of Law
A. Mitchell Polinsky, Steven Shavell,
Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School,
Date posted to database: November 17, 2005
Last Revised: December 7, 2005
(5) 115 Punishment, Deterrence, and Avoidance
Jacob Nussim, Avraham D. Tabbach,
Bar Ilan University - Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University,
Date posted to database: November 11, 2005
Last Revised: December 2, 2005

December 25, 2005 in Weekly Top 5 SSRN Crim Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

DHS Visit Based on Book Request Hoax

A student who claimed to have been visited by DHS agents after he ordered the famed islamic terrorist handbook "Quotations from Chairman Mao" admitted that he made the whole thing up. Story here. [Jack Chin]

December 24, 2005 in Homeland Security | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

TX: Pretrial Detainee Lost in System; Held for 15 Months Without Seeing Lawyer

This man was assaulted by his grandson, who was taken to juvie jail.  When he failed to pay room and board, he was charged with civil contempt.  But the case was never pursued, and he stayed in jail for 15 months, until a sympathetic cellie mentioned it to his public defender.  Story here. [Jack Chin]

December 24, 2005 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Muslim Sites Monitored for Radiation

Story here. [Jack Chin]

December 24, 2005 in Search and Seizure | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Euthanasia Investigation of Louisiana Hospitals

The Louisiana Attorney General is investigating allegations that doctors euthanized patients in New Orleans hospitals during Katrina.  In other Louisiana criminal justice news, some officers involved in a videotaped beating were fired.

December 22, 2005 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Canada: Group Sex Legal

Story here; opinion here.

December 22, 2005 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

4th Circuit Refuses to Transfer Padilla to Civilian Custody

"In a sharp rebuke, a federal appeals court denied Wednesday a Bush administration request to transfer terrorism suspect Jose Padilla from military to civilian law enforcement custody...The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (in Richmond, VA) also refused the administration's request to vacate a September ruling that gave President Bush wide authority to detain "enemy combatants" indefinitely without charges on U.S. soil. The decision, written by Judge J. Michael Luttig, questioned why the administration used one set of facts before the court for 3 1/2 years to justify holding Padilla without charges but used another set to convince a grand jury in Florida to indict him last month. Luttig said the administration has risked its "credibility before the courts" by appearing to try to keep the Supreme Court from reviewing the extent of the president's power to hold enemy combatants without charges." More from . . [Mark Godsey]

December 21, 2005 in Homeland Security | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Letterman Enjoined

A New Mexico judge has granted a TRO against David Letterman who, according to the applicant, has been sendeing her coded messages during his show for years.  Oprah, for example, actually refers to her.  Apparently, Letterman and the applicant have never met in person, or communicated other than through the telepathic/TV methods described.  There's something terribly wrong with the system when orders of this nature can be obtained on based on deranged allegations.

December 21, 2005 in News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

NY Court of Appeals Grants New Trial for Lack of Cross-Examination Opportunity

From New York Law Journal: "New York's Court of Appeals Tuesday overturned the conviction of Andrew Goldstein in the notorious subway station murder of Kendra Webdale, holding that the mentally ill defendant's right to a fair trial was abridged when a psychiatric expert for the prosecution told the jury of hearsay conversations she had had with witnesses who were not subjected to cross examination. Tuesday's 6-1 ruling was grounded in Crawford v. Washington, 541 US 36, the U.S. Supreme Court's 2004 confrontation clause landmark opinion that generally barred the use of so-called "testimonial" hearsay in criminal cases unless the defendant has an opportunity to question the witness." Read more from . . [Mark Godsey]

December 21, 2005 in Evidence | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Nativity Scene Theft Investigated as Hate Crime

"The theft of one of the three kings from a New York nativity scene appears to be a hate crime. The missing king is Balthasar, an African.  The statue was replaced by a white sheet hanging from a pole, possibly a symbol of the Ku Klux Klan, police said. The nativity scene was outside a Lutheran church in Holbrook on the east end of Long Island." Story. . . [Mark Godsey]

December 21, 2005 in Race | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Abramoff in Plea Negotiations

Story here.

December 21, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sex Appeal to Steal

The crimes: attempted robbery and car far. The M.O.: sexual advances.  And they're on the loose from Texas. [Mark Godsey] 

December 21, 2005 in Sex | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Searchspace Technology's Anti Money Laundering Solution

From ComputerBusiness Review online: Following an extensive due diligence process, the American Bankers Association has endorsed Searchspace's Anti Money Laundering solution, software designed to tackle financial crime across markets. UK-based Searchspace currently monitors nearly 500 million accounts a day working with regional, national and global banks. The software monitors every transaction for unusual activity, immediately notifying compliance staff about those that may require further investigation and providing them with automated administration of cases found. [Mark Godsey]

December 21, 2005 in White Collar | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Canada a Haven for White Collar Criminals, eh?

According to Bank of Canada's Governor David Dodge, "Economic crime erodes the faith of Canadians and foreign investors in the integrity of our financial systems, our currency, our governments, our businesses, and our products." Why? The lack of a united law enforcement effort and public perception of unsafe markets. [Mark Godsey]

December 21, 2005 in White Collar | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Michigan-Illinois Comparative Law Workshop

Michigan-Illinois Workshop: Comparative Law Work in Progress

Announcement and Call for Papers

Jacqueline Ross (University of Illinois College of Law) and Mathias Reimann (University of Michigan Law School) are organizing a comparative law workshop to discuss work in progress.  This workshop will be established jointly by the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Michigan Law School and will be co-sponsored by the American Society of Comparative Law.

There is no regular opportunity for comparative law scholars in the United States to meet and discuss their work in any depth. The scholarly programs of the meetings of the American Society of Comparative Law are chosen and organized by the respective host schools and aim at the presentation of finished papers on a given topic. While there is some opportunity to present work in progress, there is little opportunity for sustained discussion. The meetings of the Comparative Law Section at the AALS Conference each January are also dedicated to a specific topic and usually exhaust themselves in the presentation of papers with little substantive discussion. There is a thus a need for a forum in which comparative law work in progress can be explored among colleagues in a serious and thorough manner that will be truly helpful to the respective authors.

The Workshop: Comparative Law in Progress will fill that need. It will involve up to six papers during a two-day period. If more than six papers are submitted for discussion, the organizers will jointly decide which ones to accept, giving preference to younger scholars.

The participants will consist of the respective authors, one commentator on each paper, faculty members of the host institution, particularly those with expertise in comparative law and research, and others interested in attending. The overall group will be kept small enough to sit around a large table and to allow serious discussion (20 people maximum). The papers will not be presented at the workshop. They will be distributed two weeks in advance and every participant must have read them before attending the meeting. The commentator will present a 10 to 15 minute introduction and critique, leaving at least one hour for discussion. There are no plans to publish the papers. Instead, it is up to the authors to seek publication if, and wherever, they wish.

The first Workshop will take place on April 21-23, 2006 at the University of Michigan Law School. It will be an experiment. If it works as intended, it will then take place on a regular basis, once or twice a year, depending on the amount of interest. For the time being, its venue will alternate between the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor and the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign.

The Workshop will be funded by the host school and by the American Society of Comparative Law. Authors of papers and commentators will be reimbursed for their travel expenses and accommodation up to $ 600.00.

Interested authors should submit papers either to Jacqueline Ross ( or Mathias Reimann ( by February 15, 2006. "Work in progress" means scholarship that has reached a stage at which it is substantial enough to merit serious discussion and critique but that has not yet appeared in print (although it may have been accepted for publication). It includes law review articles, book chapters or outlines, substantial book reviews, and other appropriate genres.

Our objective is not only to provide an opportunity for the discussion of scholarly work but also to create an opportunity for comparative lawyers to get together for two days devoted to nothing but talking shop, both in the sessions and outside. We hope that this will create synergy that fosters more dialogue, cooperation, and an increased sense of coherence in a discipline badly in need of it.

Jacqueline Ross                                             Mathias Reimann

December 20, 2005 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)