CrimProf Blog

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

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Don't Make these Common Mistakes

The New York Times reports that the person who stole a valuable painting erred in these subtle ways:

1. Being caught on videotape

2. Leaving copy of driver's license at the scene.

[Jack Chin]

May 17, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Terrorism Expert to Speak At Northwestern

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, one of the world's foremost prosecutors of terrorism, will deliver the keynote speech at Northwestern Law's annual Short Courses program with a presentation entitled “The Rule of Law, and the Prosecution and Defense of Terrorism Cases."  Held concurrently, the 60th Annual Short Course for Prosecuting Attorneys and 48th Annual Short Course for Defense Lawyers in Criminal Cases will take place July 25 through July 28 at Northwestern University School of Law, 357 E. Chicago Ave. 

Touted for his unrelenting work ethic, Fitzgerald has been prosecuting terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden and Omar Abdel Rahman since the early ‘90s. He has received various Attorney General Awards and has served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois since September 1, 2001.         

Today's criminal lawyers must understand the possibilities and limitations of forensic evidence and technology in criminal investigations. The Short Courses will feature a comprehensive look at recent forensic developments. Experts will present sessions on DNA analysis, forensic pathology, crime scene investigation, gunshot residue and fingerprint analysis, and computer forensics. A roundtable session will address today's emerging issues in the admissibility and reliability of forensic evidence allowing participants and experts a forum for discussion.

Established in 1936, the Short Course for Prosecuting Attorneys is the oldest continuing legal education program in the country. The course was founded to enable members of the prosecution bar to learn about scientific crime detection and trial techniques, and to permit an exchange of information and viewpoints. The Short Course for Defense Lawyers was created in 1958 to provide the defense bar with the same opportunities for advanced education and professional interaction.

Tuition for the course is $750. For full program details or to request a program brochure, call (312) 503-8932 or visit www.law.northwestern.edu/professionaled.  [Mark Godsey]

May 17, 2005 in Conferences | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Operator of Amusement Park Ride Convicted of Reckless Homicide

From MSNBC.com:  "SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. - An amusement park manager was found guilty Monday of reckless homicide in the death of a woman who was thrown from a ride last year, but he avoided a murder conviction.  Charles Stan Martin was originally charged with second-degree murder in the death of June Carol Alexander, 51, who died in March 2004 after her safety harness broke on the ride, sending her tumbling 60 feet to the ground.  Before beginning deliberations, the judge asked the jury to consider three charges — second-degree murder, reckless homicide or criminally negligent homicide. The jury took only two hours to reach its verdict.  Martin faces up to four years in prison when he’s sentenced in July. He could have received up to 25 years in prison if convicted on the murder charge.

In closing arguments, District Attorney Al Schmutzer said Martin short-circuited safety systems on the swinging gondola ride at the amusement park in Pigeon Forge because he cared more about selling tickets than protecting the lives of his customers.  “He played Russian roulette with everybody who rode that ride,” Schmutzer said."  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

May 17, 2005 in Criminal Law | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Expungement in Kentucky

This article proposes that many qualified people are unable to find work because of felony records.  A bill pending in Kentucky would allow them to have thier records expunged after a period of good behavior. [Jack Chin]

May 17, 2005 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Terror Prosecutor Resigns

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino of Detroit resigned after a 15-year career with Justice.  He was reponsible for the fiasco of four terrorism convictions unravelling because of undisclosed evidence.  He stated that he is resigning to work on the case of a wrongfully accused defendant.  [Jack Chin]

May 17, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Terrorism Trial Begins For Ex-Professor

From CNN.com:  "Sami Al-Arian, a former University of South Florida computer scientist, and three co-defendants are charged with raising money for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is on a State Department list of terrorist organizations."  Trial is underway.  Story . . .  Talkleft's coverage here.  [Mark Godsey]

May 17, 2005 in Homeland Security | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Article Spotlight: Patrick Keenan of Illinois

KeenanCrimProf Patrick Keenan of Illinois has posted The New Deterrence: Crime and Policy in the Age of Globalization on SSRN.  The article is forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review.  Here's the abstract:

Crime has historically been a local phenomenon. Most murder victims know their killers; most victims of child abuse know their abusers; victims of theft often need not look beyond their own neighborhoods for the thieves. Crime is regulated locally. In the United States, it is the states, not the federal government, that prosecute the vast majority of criminal cases. Globalization is changing this in ways that have yet to be fully explored. Although crime as an event will always have a substantial local component because it is typically responded to by officials and victims in the place it occurs, it is becoming much more of a transnational phenomenon. It is increasingly common for activity that is regulated in one country because it is dangerous or unwanted to become more common in other countries where the activity is equally (or almost equally) unwanted but much less effectively regulated. What happens when activity that is unwanted in two places is more effectively regulated in one place than in the other? Does the unwanted activity migrate from the first state to the second? How much of it migrates, and what factors influence the amount of displacement? How should we conceive of regulation in these circumstances -- as a local response to a local problem or as part of a broader effort to reduce the overall incidence of the unwanted activity? These questions are fundamental to determining what globalization will mean in the new century, but so far have not been fully explored. The existing scholarship on deterrence will be of limited use in a globalized context.

This article is the first attempt to fill the gap by developing a richer approach to deterrence for a globalized world. I draw insights from both law-and-economics and criminology literature to enrich our understanding of deterrence. To ground my theoretical discussion in a real-world problem, throughout the article I use sex tourism as an example of the kind of unwanted activity that now crosses borders and has complicated our understanding of deterrence. I focus on two issues central to deterrence in a globalized world that have not gotten sufficient scholarly attention: the phenomenon of displacement and the role of status. I add three important considerations. First, I argue that informal sanctions, as opposed to formal, legal sanctions, are increasingly important and must be part of any effective deterrence policy. Second, I argue that substitution - when activity migrates from one location to another because of changes in enforcement policy in the first place - is a complicated process that can be manipulated to enhance deterrence. Finally, I argue that when unwanted behavior involves people from different countries, we must consider the role of status in deterrence. Differences in status can distort the social processes of judgment and disapproval that allow communities to control unwanted behavior without recourse to law. These are vitally important issues. Because globalized crime is so widely dispersed, it will be almost impossible for the local communities affected to get together and develop a coordinated plan. If we are to prevent law enforcement successes in the West from turning into social disasters for those in the developing world, we must bring theory into step with the ways that globalization has changed the reality of crime.

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

May 17, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Should States Eliminate the Statute of Limitations for Rape?

Here are pro and con arguments.  [Mark Godsey]

May 16, 2005 in Sex | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

South American Drug Cartels Growing Pot in U.S. National Forest

From NPR.com:  "Mexican and South American cartels are growing tons of marijuana inside U.S. borders, much of it within Sequoia National Forest. The huge backwoods plots pose a growing danger to hikers and fishermen and are creating environmental havoc in the park. Adam Burke reports."  Listen here. [Mark Godsey]

May 16, 2005 in Drugs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Interstate Wine Shipments No Crime

The Court held that state laws discriminating against out of state liquor producers violated the commerce clause, notwithstanding the terms of the 21st Amendment, alllowing states to regulate liquor sales.  (Opinion here). As CrimProfs our natural reaction is "who cares"?  But this case, like many other major constitutional decisions, involves application of criminal statutes. [Jack Chin]

May 16, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A's Fan Charged for Throwing Beer at Jason Giambi

Story here. [Jack Chin]

May 16, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Camera Surveillance System Bears Immediate Fruit

We previously blogged here about the growing trend of cities putting suveillance cameras in public places to detect crime.  This week, Baltimore rolled out its new public surveillance system, and while the Mayor was performing a public demonstration of the system during the unveiling ceremony, a man was witnessed stuffing his cigar with pot and was promptly arrested.  I suppose the Mayor couldn't have dreamed of a better PR event to support his $2 million expenditure.  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

May 16, 2005 in Search and Seizure | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

9th Circuit Grants Coram Nobis on Ineffective Assistance Re: Deportation Advice

In United States v. Kwan (9th Cir. May 12, 2005) (Fletcher, Noonan, Paez), the Ninth Circuit vacated a fraud conviction using the rare writ of error coram nobis.  Ordinary collateral remedies were unavailable because Kwan was not in custody, having served his sentence.  The basis of the argument was that Kwan was a lawful permanent resident who was told that that deporation was "not a serious possibility" when in fact the crime was an "aggravated felony" making deportation almost automatic. Opinion here. [Jack Chin; thanks to Margy Love]

May 15, 2005 in Due Process | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

Index of Death Penalty Articles

The DPIC has an index of many print and website articles that appeared in 2004 on the death penalty here.  [Mark Godsey]

May 15, 2005 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Cardozo's New CrimProf Hire

Cardoza_hireRichard Bierschbach Hired At Cardozo
Prof. Richard Bierschbach first came to Cardozo in 2003 as a visiting professor and he teaches Criminal Law and Corporations. Prior to this position, he was an associate with the New York office of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, where his practice focused on administrative law, white-collar crime, and appellate litigation. Professor Bierschbach received his law degree from the University of Michigan, where he was articles editor of the Michigan Law Review and a recipient of the Henry Bates Memorial Scholarship, the school’s highest honor for graduating students. Professor Bierschbach clerked for Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and for US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. In between clerkships, he worked at the US Department of Justice as a Bristow Fellow in the office of the Solicitor General and was also an attorney-advisor in the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

CrimProf Blog previously spotlighted new CrimProf hires at
Alabama, Fordham, and Florida State.  [Mark Godsey]

May 15, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

W&L CrimProf Darryl Brown Awarded Chaired Professorship

BrowndarrylCongrats to Washington & Lee CrimProf Darryl Brown, who was recently named the Class of 1958 Alumni Professor of Law.  The press release states:  "Brown came to Washington and Lee in 1998. He is currently a Dean's Faculty Fellow. His teaching specialties are criminal procedure, evidence and criminal law and he has published extensive groundbreaking scholarship in criminal law."  [Mark Godsey]

May 15, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Beer Label A Hate Crime?

From IndiaWest:  " A San Francisco Bay Area lawyer, offended by a beer label that caricatures the Hindu god, Lord Ganesha, is considering taking legal action against a Northern California brewery, even though the general manager has indicated that the beer in question will be removed from the market.  For approximately five years, the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka has, along with seven other beers, bottled and distributed an "Indica" brand, an Indian Pale Ale with a label that features a cartoon drawing of Ganesha using his trunk to drink the beverage."  The attorney apparently argues that the label constitutes a hate crime.  [Mark Godsey]

May 15, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

Creative Defense Attorney

Gail Heriot at The Right Coast blogs about a death row inmate who wants to hurry up the process and be executed.  His lawyer is trying to stop the execution by arguing that it would constitute assisted suicide in violation of state law.  [Mark Godsey]

May 15, 2005 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | TrackBack (0)