CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, April 23, 2005

New Lie Detection Technologies Explored

Story here. [Jack Chin]

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

Friday, April 22, 2005

30 Year Arrest Delay: Murder Warrant Not In Database

A Toledo man wanted for murder lived openly, was ticketed by police under his own name and even spent a night in jail without being arrested. Evidently, sometimes warrants even for serious crimes never make it into the FBI database, allowing wanted criminals to encounter the police and yet not be arrested. [Jack Chin]

April 22, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

FL Private Juvenile Prison under Scrutiny

Story here. [Jack Chin]

April 22, 2005 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

German Court: Manslaughter Insufficient for Cannibalism

A German appeals court has set aside the manslaughter conviction of a cannibal who killed and ate a victim as part of a sexual fetish.  He was sentenced to 8 1/2 years.  He argued that the victim was a willing participant. [Jack Chin]

April 22, 2005 in International, News | Permalink | TrackBack (2)

Wendy's Finger Claimant Arrested

Authorities believe the woman who found a severed finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili fabricated the incident. Story here. [Jack Chin]  Update: It was a CSI type of investigation.

April 22, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Watch Live Webcast on Clemency and Capital Punishment Today at Noon

Webcast set for Noon EDT tomorrow.

Clemency and the Executive's Power to Spare Life or Let Someone Die Is Lecture Topic (Webcast Live)

"When Illinois Governor George Ryan emptied Illinois' death row in January 2003, his actions put a new face on when and to whom clemency should be accorded. It's a topic that Amherst College Professor Austin Sarat will examine when he presents the Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law on Friday, April 22."

"In his lecture, “Mercy, Clemency, and Capital Punishment: Two Accounts,” Professor Sarat will discuss two examples of the speech and writing that surround clemency, one by Governor Ryan, the other by former Ohio Governor Michael DiSalle. He will focus on how governors use rhetoric and narrative in coping with the decision to spare a life or let someone die, and how they explain or justify their use of this extraordinary power."

Follow this page for link to webcast.

Source: Press Release dated April 4, 2005  [Mark Godsey, thanks to Joe Hodnicki]

April 22, 2005 in Conferences | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Article Spotlight

Spotlight_11CrimProf Michael S. Pardo of Chicago-Kent has posted Disentangling the Fourth Amendment and the Self-Incrimination Clause on SSRN.  The article is forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review.  Here's the abstract:

The relationship between the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fifth Amendment's prohibition of compelled self-incrimination has engendered a history wrought with doctrinal confusion and theoretical disarray, which current doctrine has only exacerbated. The lack of a proper theoretical understanding of this relationship has allowed a particular type of "entanglement" to occur, whereby the concerns, concepts, or rationales from one amendment become transposed into the doctrine of the other, and, consequently, problems proper to one amendment are mistakenly analyzed under the other. In this Article I offer a general theory of the relationship between the amendments that attempts to disentangle the doctrine and straighten out the analytic disarray.

Part I discusses methodology. My approach is a middle way between the two dominant methods for constitutional theorizing in this area: top-down, normative and bottom-up, descriptive. Section II describes the core features of the doctrine for each amendment. Section III, after first discussing the shortcomings of alternative views, presents my view of the relationship between the two amendments. Incorporating the core features described in Section II, I argue for a view of the amendments as overlapping in the sense that potential Fifth Amendment events may arise within potential Fourth Amendment events. Accordingly, courts should subject government attempts at evidence gathering to a two-part inquiry: first, does the Fourth Amendment render the attempt unreasonable; second, if not unreasonable under the first inquiry, would the attempt compel incriminating propositional content from the mind of a suspect in order to use it against that suspect at a criminal trial? If the answer to the second inquiry is "yes," then the privilege applies. Part IV then employs this two-step inquiry to solve doctrinal problems regarding the government's subpoena power, stop-and-identify statutes, and the use of pre-arrest silence as evidence of guilt.

To obtain a copy of the paper, click here.  [Mark Godsey]

April 22, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

CrimProfs on the Ohio Sniper

The insanity defense to be offered by a paranoid schizophrenic accused of shooting at cars and houses on or near Ohio highways has generated comments from lots of CrimProfs here: Ohio State's Joshua Dressler, Capital's Max Kravitz, New England's David Siegel, and Virginia's Thomas Hafmeister. [Jack Chin]

April 21, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Magic Mushroom-Laced S'Mores

In Arkansas, authorities are investigating batches of s'mores allegedly laced with hallucinogenic mushrooms. At least one taker has been hospitalized. Story here. [Jack Chin]

April 21, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

You Didn't Hear it from Me

But here's MSNBC's complete coverage of the MJ trial. [Jack Chin]

April 21, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Judge Carnes Responds to Critics

Judge Carnes of the 11th Circuit responds (in an opinion) to Judges Tjoflat, Barkett and Posner, who have strenuously disagreed with him about the meaning of Booker.  Story here. [Jack Chin; thanks to Eric Miller]

April 21, 2005 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

TX Legislator, Critic of Drug Task Force Targeted by Cops?

Grits for Breakfast reports that a Texas Senator who has criticized drug task forces for their excesses has become the target of a police campaign of retaliation.  Post here. [Jack Chin]

April 21, 2005 in Drugs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NY Death Penalty No More

From the  "A legislative committee tossed out a bill Tuesday aimed at reinstating the state's death penalty, which a court had suspended last year. It was an extraordinary bit of drama, not least because a top Democrat who once strongly supported capital punishment led the fight to end it.  "The first time I voted for the death penalty, I thought of the law as majestic and that there was very little chance of a mistake," said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D), who represents a working-class swath of Brooklyn and leads the committee that rejected the bill. "Then you grow up. Look at the DNA evidence -- you realize that people can make terrible mistakes."  It is a sentiment heard with increasing vehemence across the nation. As crime rates have plummeted, and DNA evidence has revealed that innocent men have been sentenced to die, capital punishment seems to resonate less with voters. Judges and juries handed out 50 percent fewer death sentences last year than 10 years ago.

National attention now fixes less on horrific crimes than on wrongful convictions. Several dozen death row inmates have been freed nationwide after evidence -- usually DNA -- proved their innocence.  Thirty-seven states still use capital punishment. But two successive governors of Illinois have imposed a moratorium on executions in that state. In Kansas, the state Supreme Court struck down the death penalty earlier this year, ruling that the law forced jurors -- when all evidence was equal -- to choose capital punishment over life in prison. In New Jersey, the top state court has also imposed a moratorium.  In the past year, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot execute juveniles and the mentally retarded.

"The trend line on the death penalty is headed down," said Richard C. Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. "DNA has given people pause -- there's less certainty and less polarization. No one wants to execute an innocent person.""  [Mark Godsey]

April 21, 2005 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monkey SWAT Team Member

The Mesa, AZ SWAT Team is seeking a 100K federal grant to hire purchase a monkey to perform law enforcement duties such as building searches, finding bodies, and doing ballistic analysis.  (OK, the ballistics analysis is made up, but the rest is presented on Slate as a true story.) [Jack Chin]

April 21, 2005 in Law Enforcement | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Legislative Witness: "TX May Have Executed Innocent Man"

A Texas legislative committee heard from a witness about the Willingham case; the evidence there suggests that the arson/murder for which Willingham was executed may well have been accidental.  Story here.  [Jack Chin; thanks to Anjali Abraham]

April 21, 2005 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Police Chief Robbed after Denying Crime Wave

An Austrailian Assistant Police Commissioner in Port Moresby was robbed at gunpoint while in uniform within sight of a major police station.  Days earlier, he had issued a press statement denying that there had been a recent upsurge in robberies. [Jack Chin]

April 20, 2005 in International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

AZ DNA Exoneration

An Arizona death row inmate won a new trial last week based on a DNA test.  Story here. [Jack Chin; thanks to Laura Conover]

April 20, 2005 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Multimillion Settlement in Florida Strip Search Case

The plaintiffs were mostly women arrested on minor charges.  Story here. [Jack Chin; thanks to Eric Miller]

April 20, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Student Gets 8 Years For Vandalizing SUVs

From  "An aspiring physicist was sentenced to more than eight years in prison on Monday and ordered to pay $3.5 million for his role in a spree of arson and vandalism that targeted gas-guzzling Hummers and other sports utility vehicles."  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

April 20, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Top 5 Crim Paper Downloads

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

(1) 2117 The Perfect Crime
Brian C. Kalt,
Michigan State University College of Law,
Date posted to database: March 25, 2005
Last Revised: April 18, 2005
(2) 1043 A Model Regime of Privacy Protection (Version 1.1)
Daniel J. Solove, Chris Jay Hoofnagle,
George Washington University Law School, Electronic Privacy Information Center - West Coast Office,
Date posted to database: March 11, 2005
Last Revised: April 18, 2005
(3) 370 Searches and Seizures in a Digital World
Orin S. Kerr,
The George Washington University Law School,
Date posted to database: April 4, 2005
Last Revised: April 5, 2005
(4) 279 A Model Regime of Privacy Protection (Version 2.0)
Daniel J. Solove, Chris Jay Hoofnagle,
George Washington University Law School, Electronic Privacy Information Center - West Coast Office,
Date posted to database: April 6, 2005
Last Revised: April 11, 2005
(5) 278 Search Warrants in an Era of Digital Evidence
Orin S. Kerr,
The George Washington University Law School,
Date posted to database: February 11, 2005
Last Revised: February 22, 2005

April 20, 2005 in Weekly Top 5 SSRN Crim Downloads | Permalink | TrackBack (0)