CrimProf Blog

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

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Criminal Defense Ethics Site

Here's a site with many useful links on criminal defense ethics.  The author of the site is John Wesley Hall Jr., the author of a forthcoming West book Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice.  [Jack Chin]

June 11, 2005 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Spotlight: Mike Simons of St. Johns

Simons_2This week CrimProf Blog spotlights Associate Professor Mike Simons of St. Johns.  Simons graduated magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in 1986 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1989, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Louis F. Oberdorfer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He later served as a staff attorney for The Washington Post, as an associate at Stillman, Friedman & Shaw, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.  As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Professor Simons conducted fraud, narcotics, and murder trials, and argued numerous appeals. His notable cases at the U.S. Attorney's Office included the prosecution of Daiwa Bank for its cover-up of a $1.1 billion unauthorized trading loss (the largest in U.S. history), and the prosecution of Jeffrey Nichols, one of the country's most notorious "deadbeat dads." In 1996, he was awarded the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service.  Professor Simons joined the St. John's faculty in 1998, and was selected by the students as "Professor of the Year" in 2000. His courses include Criminal Law, Evidence, Sentencing, and the Prosecutor's Clinic, and his scholarship focuses on sentencing, federal criminal law, and prosecutorial decision-making. Since 2001, he has been a Fellow with the Vincentian Center for Church and Society.  Publication list here.  [Mark Godsey]

June 11, 2005 in Weekly CrimProf Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Bush Pardons Are Predominantly White-Collar

White Collar Prof Blog has the story here.  [Mark Godsey]

June 11, 2005 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Mom Charged After 11-Year Old Son Wrecks Car on Way to School

A Chicago mother has been charged with property damage after her 11-year old son wrecked the family's minivan as he was driving it to school.  Mom was in the backseat with her daughter when the crash took place.  The boy has been charged as well.  [Mark Godsey]

June 11, 2005 in Criminal Law | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Survey: Britons More Afraid of Crime than Terror

Story here. [Jack Chin]

June 10, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Summation in Nazi War Crime Trial in Italy

I am stunned that such trials continue sixty years later.  Story of in absentia trial of SS members for a 1944 massacre here. [Jack Chin]

June 10, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Jackson Trial A Financial Boon, Peterson A Bust

The town of Santa Maria has hit a homerun financially with the Michael Jackson trial.  With all the extra tax money brought in by the crowds, the town will be able to finally do things such as fix pot holes and buy new library books.  One small business owner near the courthouse plans to buy a new BMW with the windfall that has come her way in recent weeks.  The situation of Santa Maria stands in contrast to the locales that were involved in the Scott Peterson trial.  Stanislaus County, where the crime occurred, and San Mateo County, where the trial was held, initially competed over the right to host the trial perhaps because they thought they would enjoy a similar financial windfall.  As the costs of the 5-month trial began soaring into the millions, however, San Mateo, which ultimately hosted the trial, came back and sued Stanislaus for a share of the costs.  Stanislaus County recently ponied up, settling the lawsuit and ending the dispute.  Perhaps going forward counties in California should have "celebrity trial consulstants" on staff so that when a murder occurs they can determine whether they should host the trial or allow it to be passed off to some neighboring locale.  [Mark Godsey]

June 10, 2005 in Cost of Crime, News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Penn Prof Publishes Novel

IntheshadoKermit Roosevelt, assistant professor at Penn Law, has published In the Shadow of the Law.  A prominent story line is how a pro bono death penalty case affects attorneys in a large corporate firm.  The book has earned rave reviews.  Publishers Weekly said, "Most of all it's the vividness and complexity of the characters—drawn with the precision and authority of a winning legal argument—that heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice."  See reviews and buy book here.  [Mark Godsey]

June 10, 2005 in Book Club | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Trinidad and Tobago's AG Threatens to Hang Every Convict on Death Row If Courts Interfere With His Capital Punishment Plan

The Express reports that John Jeremie, the AG of Trindad and Tobago, told Parliament this week that he will resume hanging convicts on death row as soon as they exhaust their appeals.  Jeremie said the hangings are necessary to fight the recent upswing in crime. "The Government recognises that our people have grown tired of plans, talk and discussions of the problems...today the Government states in forthright and unambiguous terms that we are at war with each and every criminal in Trinidad and Tobago," said Jeremie.  Jeremie also stated that if the courts intervene, the AG's office will do everything in its power to hang every person on death row.  [Mark Godsey]

June 10, 2005 in Capital Punishment, International | Permalink | TrackBack (3)

Prominent Lawyer Walks Into Police Station And Admits Life of Crime

A top German lawyer walked into a local police station this week and confessed to living a secret life of crime over the past 20 years.  His crimes include multiple armed bank robberies and swindles involving his clients' money.  His wife, with whom he has 2 young daughters, knew nothing of the crimes and was shocked.  Police later found a backpack with masks and guns used in the bank robberies in his cellar.  Story . . . [Mark Godsey]

June 10, 2005 in International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Idaho CrimProf Honored

Russell20copy Idaho CrimProf Russell A Miller has been awarded the Outstanding Faculty Service Award by the student body.  [Mark Godsey]

June 10, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 9, 2005

3 Year Old Dies in Van; Driver Charged

A toddler died after being left all day in a hot day care van.  The driver has been charged with manslaughter. [Jack Chin]

June 9, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Irish NGO Urges Expungement for Prostitution Records

An Irish group concerned with helping sex workers issued a report stating that criminal records of former prostitutes hinders their obtaining of legitimate employment.  Accordingly, their records should be expunged after a period of time. [Jack Chin]

June 9, 2005 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Depravity Scale

The Forensic Panel, a peer reviewed forensic practice, is surveying the public, including lawyers and mental health professionals, about how "depraved" they consider certain crimes to be.  They hope to create a "depravity scale" to be used in sentencing.  To complete the survey, click here.  [Mark Godsey]

June 9, 2005 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Montana First to Meet National Standards for Indigent Defense

From NLJ.com:  "Montana has approved legislation that is being hailed for establishing the first statewide indigent criminal defense system that meets national standards for delivering high-quality representation."  Story . . . (free 30-day subscription required).  This move by the Montana legislature follows a suit by the ACLU brought because of the inadequacies of Montana's indigent defense system in the past.  [Mark Godsey]

June 9, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

To Fight Crime, Japan to Require Foreigners to Carry ID Cards with Computer Chip

From Inform.kz:  "TOKYO-ASTANA, June 7 KAZINFORM. - The Japanese government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party plan to require all foreigners staying in Japan for more than 90 days to carry identification cards equipped with integrated circuit chips, with all data to be kept at an ''intelligence center,'' party lawmakers said Tuesday. The LDP and the government claim the new policy is aimed at keeping track of foreigners as part of measures to prevent terrorism and crimes.  But the new system, intended to replace the current Certificate of Alien Registration that foreigners have to carry, is likely to raise concerns over the sharing of information between the immigration and police authorities, as well as protests from foreigners that it unfairly discriminates against them, Kazinform refers to Kyodo.  Under the plan, foreigners will have to carry with them at all times IC cards that contain information such as their name, nationality, address, birth date, passport number, visa status and place of employment or study.  Holders will be required to report any change of address and obtain permission to change jobs.  The data of all card holders will be kept at the intelligence center that the Justice Ministry plans to set up to gather and analyze information on suspicious foreigners.  The information will be shared between immigration and police authorities when foreigners are involved in crimes."  More . . .  [Mark Godsey]

June 9, 2005 in International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Pilots Convicted of DUI

Two former America West pilots were convicted of DUI for being drunk in the cockpit in a fully loaded airliner in Miami; the defendants failed to persuade the jury that they were not flying in the relevant sense as the plane was towed from the gate to the runway.  Airplanes are not the only vehicles beyond automobiles covered by DUI laws; boats are covered, of course; a Kentucky man was arrested for a DUI on  horseback, and in Southern Illinois, a tractor driver who was a little lit was locked up.  However, in Washington a bicyclist beat the rap, and in Florida, if you use a wheelchair, you can take a drink.   [Jack Chin]

June 8, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Hard to Prove Criminal Intent in White Collar Cases

A few newspapers got the same idea: Poughkeepsie Journal story here; Baltimore Sun story here; Arizona Republic story here; related Fortune story here. [Jack Chin]

June 8, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Child Pornography Study: Offenders Often Commit Other Crimes

A University of New Hampshire study investigates those convicted of possession child pornography, as well as looking at the prosecutions themselves.  The study reports that the offenses are taken seriously and vigorously prosecuted, and that offenders often have committed other serious crimes such as molestation of actual children.  News release here; report here. [Jack Chin].

June 8, 2005 in Criminal Law | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

11th Circuit Upholds Florida Sex Offender Law

From CNN.com:  "TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) -- A federal appeals court upheld two Florida laws that require sex offenders to register with the state after getting out of prison and to submit DNA samples.  A group of sex offenders challenged the laws as violations of their federal constitutional rights, but the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed in an opinion issued Monday.  The registration law was enacted after the 1994 kidnap, rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka by a convicted sex offender in New Jersey. Her slaying spurred the creation of similar "Megan's Law" statutes nationwide.  The requirement is "rationally related to a legitimate government interest," Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr. wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel.  The DNA collection law requires samples from people convicted of a variety of sex crimes as well as non-sex crimes including any offenses using firearms, murder, burglary, carjacking and elderly abuse."

The decision, John Doe v. James T. Moore, is here.  [Mark Godsey]

June 8, 2005 in Sex | Permalink | TrackBack (0)