CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Steve Bright: Give Capital Inmates Schiavo Review

Editorial here. [Jack Chin]

May 28, 2005 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Hate Crime Bill Introduced in House

A new hate-crime bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday with explicit protections against crimes based on sexual orientation.  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

May 28, 2005 in Civil Rights | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Spotlight: Suffolk's Frank Cooper

FcooperThis week CrimProf Blog spotlights Frank Cooper, Associate Professor at Suffolk.  Frank joined Suffolk this year after serving as an Assistant Professor at Villanova  for four years.  Frank writes and teaches in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Critical Race Theory. He received his B.A. from Amherst College and his J.D. from Duke. While in law school, he was a staff editor of the Journal of Gender Law & Policy and a research assistant to Professor Jerome Culp.  He also was the recipient of the Neil James Blue Merit Scholarship and was Best Oralist Runner-up in the National First Amendment Competition. Following law school, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr.  Frank then worked at Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer and later at the law office of Charles Trevillion. He also served as a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses in African American Studies and Feminism at Harvard University.

Frank's writings include Cultural Context Matters:  Terry’s Seesaw Effect, 56 OKLA L. REV. 833  (2003); Understanding “Depolicing”:  Symbiosis Theory and Critical Cultural Theory, 71 UMKC L. REV. 355  (2002); and The Un-Balanced Fourth Amendment:  A Cultural Study of the Drug War, Racial Profiling and Arvizu, 47 VILL. L. REV. 851 (2002).  He also has a book chapter coming out called “The Seesaw Effect” From Racial Profiling to Depolicing:  Toward a Critical Cultural Theory, in NEW CIVIL RIGHTS RESEARCH:  A CONSTITUTIVE APPROACH  (forthcoming 2005) (Benjamin Fleury-Steiner, Laura Beth Nielsen and Idit Kostiner eds.).

May 28, 2005 in Weekly CrimProf Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Does a Juror's Use of the N Word Require a New Trial?

A former Third Circuit judge urges a new trial for a Texan sentenced to death by a jury that included a man who freely used the N word.  5th Circuit Opinion here, editorial here. [Jack Chin]

May 28, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

iPODs to Blame For High Crime Stats in London

From  "London - Britain's most senior police office has linked Apple's trendy iPod personal music player with a sharp rise in street robbery in London.  Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair made the claim on Thursday after new figures showed a 26.4% rise in robberies — including street crime and theft of personal items — in April, compared to the same month last year.  "In street robbery our concern has been around the smaller portable pieces of kit — the new generation of mobile phones and iPods," he told the Metropolitan police authority.  "They have different coloured leads. It is very obvious when someone is wearing an iPod. That is what is fuelling this."  [Mark Godsey]

May 28, 2005 in International, News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 27, 2005

NC: Cross-Burnings

Is That Legal has a link. [Jack Chin]

May 27, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

BU CrimProf Named Dean at GW

LawrenceStephen Joel Trachtenberg, president of The George Washington University, has announced the appointment of Frederick M. Lawrence, Boston University CrimProf, as the new dean of The George Washington University Law School. Lawrence was selected after an extensive search and will assume his post August 1.  "Frederick Lawrence comes to the position of Law School dean from a terrific field of candidates," said Trachtenberg. "He brings to the school a perfect blend of scholarship and experience, and we look forward to welcoming him as the leader of the next generation of GW-educated legal professionals."  A graduate of Yale Law School, Lawrence is one of the nation's leading civil rights experts. He is the author of five books, including Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law, which examines bias-motivated violence and how the United States deals with such crimes. Lawrence has lectured nationally and internationally about bias crime law, and testified before Congress in support of federal hate crimes legislation and concerning Justice Department misconduct in Boston. In 2004, he was a member of the American delegation to the meeting of the Organization and Cooperation in Europe on Enactment and Enforcement of Legislation to Combat Hate-Motivated Crimes. Since 2003, Lawrence has served as chair of the National Legal Affairs Committee of the Anti-Defamation League.  Press release here.  [Mark Godsey]

May 27, 2005 in CrimProf Moves | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Defense Lawyer-Porn Star

Where else but in California?  Story here. [Jack Chin--from JD2B]

May 27, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Businesses in Jamaica Shut Down to Protest High Crime Rates

From Reuters:  "Businesses across Jamaica shuttered their doors early on Wednesday to protest the rapid rise in crime and violence in the Caribbean nation. The protest, organized by the powerful Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, drew support from all 14 parishes, although there were notable opponents to the move."  The shutdown included banks, supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants.  The government was supportive of the collective action, stating that it was doing the best if could to fight crime, but that the shutdown might help send a strong message to would-be criminals that the citizens of Jamaica are fed up.  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

May 27, 2005 in International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Judicial Conflict in Death Case?

A federal judge who dealt with some issues in the Ross execution in Connecticut had filed a motion in the case as a lawyer. In 1992, U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny filed a motion on behalf of a bar association to file an amicus brief.  My sense is that this does not raise a conflict of interest, although the judge's critics believe it does.  Comments open on this.  [Jack Chin]

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

Some News Stories

In LA, neighbors object to paroled rapist.

In Arizona, arguments on whether a paroled murderer should be admitted to the bar will be heard before the Arizona Supreme Court. 

In Oregon, Catholic Bishops withdrew support for a bill expanding prosecution of killing of fetuses on the ground that it could expand the death penalty.

A Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist argues that the death penalty is not colorblind.

A Californian convicted of a kidnapping and robbery who reformed and got parole.

[Jack Chin]

May 26, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Acquittal in 20-Year-Old Case

In Boston, a minister charged with killing his girlfriend 20 years ago was acquitted by a jury. Meanwhile, in California, charges in a 1980 murder were dismissed; a judge ruled that the death of witnesses and loss of files made it unfair to refile charges in 2004 after declining to prosecute in 1982. [Jack Chin]

May 26, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New 4th Amendment Case


United States v. Laughton, 6th  Cir.,  No. 03-1202, 5/17/05
A court addressing whether the good-faith exception to the Fourth Amendment's exclusionary rule salvages the fruits of a search warrant based on an affidavit that failed to establish probable cause may not take into account the knowledge of the affiant police officer in deciding whether it was reasonable for the officer to rely on the warrant, the Sixth Circuit decides. The question is not whether probable cause actually existed, but whether the police reasonably believed the warrant was properly issued, the court says."  The decision creates a split in authority with the 11th Circuit in United States v. Martin, 297 F.3d 1308, 71 CrL 554 (11th Cir. 2002).  Discussion here (subscription required), decision here.  [Mark Godsey]

May 26, 2005 in Search and Seizure | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Ohio Paid for Viagra for Sex Offenders

Story here. [Jack Chin]

May 26, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Victim of 200 Burglaries Refuses to Pay Taxes

In England, a man whose home has been burglarized 200 times by visitors to a nearby camp site has refused to pay his taxes until the crime problem is resolved. [Jack Chin]

May 26, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Article Spotlight: Yale Kamisar

YkamisarCrimProf Yale Kamisar has posted Dickerson v. United States: The Case That Disappointed Miranda's Critics - And Then Its Supporters on SSRN.  Here's the abstract: 

It is difficult, if not impossible, to discuss Dickerson v. United States intelligently without discussing Miranda, whose constitutional status Dickerson reaffirmed (or, one might say, resuscitated). It is also difficult, if not impossible, to discuss the Dickerson case intelligently without discussing cases the Court has handed down in the five years since Dickerson was decided. The hard truth is that in those five years the reaffirmation of Miranda's constitutional status has become less and less meaningful.

In this paper I want to focus on the Court's characterization of statements elicited in violation of the Miranda warnings as not actually "coerced" or "compelled" but obtained merely in violation of Miranda's "prophylactic rules." This terminology has plagued the Miranda doctrine and puzzled and provoked many commentators since then - Justice Rehnquist utilized this label to describe and to diminish Miranda - and he was the first Justice ever to do so - thirty-one years ago."

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

May 26, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

LA Times on Potential Wrongful Conviction Case UPDATED

The LA Times has a long piece on a 20 year old murder conviction that now looks extremely doubtful. [Jack Chin] UPDATED: Jurors say they would have acquitted.

May 26, 2005 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Series on Sexual Assault of Female Prisoners

In the Detroit News. [Jack Chin; thanks to Margy Love] UPDATED: Pregnant Female Inmates Name Guards as Dads

May 26, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

LA Jail Distributes Condoms to Inmates

From NPR:  "Condoms are not allowed in most U.S. prisons, where inmates are three times more likely to have AIDS. Alex Cohen of member station KQED reports on a pilot program for condom distribution at a Los Angeles jail."  Listen to story here.  [Mark Godsey]

May 26, 2005 in Criminal Justice Policy, Sex | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Capital Punishment in Japan

From the DPIC:  "The May/June issue of Foreign Policy magazine includes an article on the death penalty in Japan by Charles Lane, Supreme Court reporter for The Washington Post. Lane notes that Japan's death penalty is shrouded in secrecy and culminates in executions outside of all public view.  He provides readers with a rare look inside this system and compares that country's policies with U.S. practices and international trends.  The article, "A View to a Kill," notes that although death sentences are slightly on the rise in Japan, it carries out only about two executions a year, far fewer than the 59 people executed in the U.S. in 2004.   Japanese prisoners awaiting execution do not know the date of their execution, and the only witnesses to their hangings are representatives of the prosecutor's office.  Story . . . [Mark Godsey]

May 26, 2005 in Capital Punishment, International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)