April 16, 2005
Police Turn Away CyberCrime Cases
A lack of resources means that even reports of e-crimes made by business go uninvestigated. Story here. [Jack Chin]
April 15, 2005
EU Considers Harmonizing Rights in Criminal Cases
"Under the proposal, suspects and defendants would be guaranteed their rights “without undue delay.”
That would include access to legal advice in a maximum of four hours and the free use of interpreters for foreign suspects unable to follow proceedings. Authorities would also be required to notify suspects of their rights in writing.
Those remanded in custody would also have the right to have their place of employment informed of the detention. The new guidelines would apply to both EU and non-EU citizens." Story here. [Jack Chin]
Jurors' Job Made Easy By Accidental Discovery
A man convicted of rape in South Carolina is appealing his conviction because the jurors, during deliberations, found a written confession in the pocket of a pair of pants that the jurors were examining as an exhibit. The confession had not been admitted into evidence because the prosecutors had misplaced it. Story . . . (thanks to Neil Wehneman at fallinggrace for the tip) [Mark Godsey]
Texas Businessman Indicted in Iraqi Oil-for-Food ProgramFrom CNN.com: "Federal authorities indicted a Texas oil executive, a South Korean businessman and two others Thursday as part of a U.S. probe of the United Nations' Iraq oil-for-food program. David Chalmers, owner of the Houston-based company Bayoil Inc., which participated in the U.N. program, was arrested in the Texas city Thursday and made an initial appearance in federal court. Chalmers and two associates are accused of paying millions to the regime of Saddam Hussein to secure oil deals, thereby diverting money from the U.N. humanitarian aid program. Kelley also announced an indictment against Korean businessman Tongsun Park, who allegedly worked as a lobbyist who tried to influence U.N. officials and disguised his relationship with the Iraqi regime. Park is believed to be at large in South Korea.
Chalmers faces three felony charges in an indictment unveiled by Kelley, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office is overseeing the federal criminal probe. Charged with the businessman were two of his oil traders -- John Irving of Britain, who lives in London, and Ludmil Dionissiev of Bulgaria, who lives in Houston as a permanent legal alien. Irving and Dionissiev dealt with Baghdad and the foreign oil companies in pursuing deals with surcharges, according to the indictment." Story . . . [Mark Godsey]
April 14, 2005
Ding Dong Ditch Game Brings Charges
Kids in Milwaukee who rang a doorbell and ran away were charged with trespassing. Story here. Milwaukee has about 43,000 index crimes a year, and a clearance rate of under 10%--but that's what all the ding-dong-ditchers say. [Jack Chin]
Counterfeit Prescription Drugs on Rise
WaPo story here. [Jack Chin]
DOJ/USMS Dragnet Captures 10,000
Story here. [Jack Chin]
New Report Says Inmates Conscious After Being Administered Execution Cocktail
From Talkleft.com: "A new report by the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, published in The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, raises serious concerns that prisoners being executed likely are conscious after being administered the lethal drug cocktail that kills them." More . . . [Mark Godsey]
New Article Spotlight
Corey Rayburn, a 2002 Virginia grad who now works for an Eighth Circuit judge after working for Shearman and Sterling in NY, has posted To Catch a Sex Thief: The Burden of Performance in Rape and Sexual Assault Trials on SSRN. He plans to enter the teaching market in the fall. Here's the abstract:
Despite decades of efforts to reform
American rape law, prosecution and conviction rates remain astoundingly
low. While activists led legislatures to adopt important statutory
changes for rape and sexual assault, only modest effects in the levels
of sexual violence have been observed. Nonetheless, reform-minded
scholars continue to focus on statutory and rule tinkering as a means
to quell rape.
This article argues against the commonly held belief that the crucial factors in determining the outcome of rape trials are substantive and procedural in nature. Rather, the issues of performance, representation, and language often pre-determine the outcomes of rape trials. When a complainant testifies on the stand, she is forced into one of several roles by jury attitudes and defense narratives. These roles fit defense scripts and create a heavy burden of performance on the accusers.
This burden of performance operates to put a complainant's gender identity on trial and results in the incorporation of dangerous societal myths into the fact-finding process. The way by which this process works is analogous to that of disaster pornography. Academics have observed that compassion fatigue has resulted because of overexposure to disaster imagery. Similarly, as society has become saturated with rape narratives, it has become desensitized and dissociated from complainants' stories of rape. Because of this phenomenon, there needs to be a fundamental rethinking concerning rape law reform. Otherwise, success in the fight against rape will be as rare as it has been for the last thirty years.
To obtain the article, click here. [Mark Godsey]
Texas Considers Banning Consent Searches
Grits for Breakfast reports on the progress of Texas legislation that would prohibit law enforcement from requesting consent to search cars during traffic stops. Unlikely bedfellows supporting the legislation include the NRA and ACLU; and GFB reports that "Several other states, including Rhode Island, New Jersey, Minnesota, Hawaii and the California Highway Patrol already disallow such searches." [Jack Chin]
April 13, 2005
Tax Increase for Anti-Crime Package
Some North Carolinians are proposing a tax increase to finance an innovative set of anti-crime proposals: "The Durham [NC] Roundtable has pieced together a package of crime-fighting initiatives it says could both prevent young people from becoming criminals and also keep more hardened criminals behind bars.
The 15-member group wants voters to pressure the City Council, Board of County Commissioners and state lawmakers to pay for the proposals, which include adding 10 new police officers, fingerprinting people who are charged with misdemeanors and hiring more court staff.
But it also goes beyond traditional crime fighting to include a summer jobs program for 600 youths, increasing the number of truant officers, establishing GED programs at Durham Technical Community College for lesser criminals and hiring more code enforcement officers to help improve the appearance and safety of some of Durham's inner-city neighborhoods."
Story here. [Jack Chin]
Football Player Pleads to On-Field Assault
An Austrailian football player pleaded guilty to an assault based on punching another player during a game and breaking his jaw. [Jack Chin]
Law School Teaching Loads
Here's a survey of teaching loads of law professors at various schools. (thanks to instapundit.com for the tip). [Mark Godsey]
New Article Spotlight
In the aftermath of Governor Ryan's
decision to commute the sentences of each offender on Illinois' death
row, various scholars have claimed that Ryan’s action was cruel,
callous, a grave injustice, and, from a retributivist perspective, an
unmitigated moral disaster. This Article contests that position,
showing not only why a commutation of death row is permitted under
principles of retributive justice, but also why it might be required.
When properly understood, retributive justice, in its commitment to
moral accountability and equal liberty, hinges on modesty and dignity
in modes of punishment. In this vein, retributivism opposes the
apparently ineluctable slide towards ever-harsher punishments in the
name of justice. While the thesis I defend is sited in the particular
context of the death penalty, the implications reach more broadly; the
argument offered here signals that a commitment to retributivism in no
way impedes the realization of humane institutions of criminal justice
and a rejection of the benighted, misbegotten, and often brutal status
quo we shamefully permit to endure.
To obtain the paper, click here. [Mark Godsey]
Prostitutes R Us
Hungary is set to allow prostitution at shopping malls for the country's 200,000 prostitutes. Story . . . [Mark Godsey]
New Case Spotlight
In U.S. v. Smith, 03-13639, the Eleventh Circuit held that "the production of child pornography solely within one state--even with materials that have traveled in interstate commerce--does not have a substantial enough effect on interstate commerce to give rise to federal jurisdiction." The decision created a split with the First Circuit's decision in United States v. Morales-De Jesus, 372 F.3d 6 (2004). Case here and here. U.S. Law Week analysis here. [Mark Godsey]
April 12, 2005
CA Ends Parolee Diversion Program
California authorities ended a controversial program under which parole violators were sent to rehab or half-way houses rather than prison. Evaluation studies showed that diversion was ineffective. [Jack Chin]
GA School Pays Snitches
A Georgia high school is offering students with information cash, on a sliding scale ranging from $10 for thefts to $100 for possession of guns. Story here. How much would you get for turning in a classmate who was robbing graves? [Jack Chin]
Important NY Vote on Death Penalty Today
Talkleft.com has the story here. [Mark Godsey]
Falsified Evidence in Protester Cases
The Blogosphere is objecting to evidently doctored videotapes and falsified police testimony rebutted a la Rodney King used in the prosecution of protesters in New York in the Republican National Convention. The New York Times broke the story. Here's Objective Justice (thanks for the tip, Sean), and here's discourse.net. [Jack Chin]