CrimProf Blog

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

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Quoted CrimProfs: John Strait and Peter Henning Comment on KPMG's Resistance to Investigation by the Senate

Wayne State's Peter J. Henning and Seattle University's John Strait are quoted in this story about the accouting firm KPMG's resistance to a Senate subcommittee's investigation into "four questionable tax shelters created and sold by KPMG that earned the firm $124 million in fees, but cost the Treasury, according to Senate investigators, at least $1.4 billion in unpaid taxes." 

According to emails and documents KPMG tax executives pushed the tax shelters off to clients.  But when questioned about this allegation by the Senate subcommittee, KPMG execs "were evasive."  Since the hearings, KPMG has settled with "the Justice Department over the creation and sale of the arcane tax shelters, which the Internal Revenue Service contends helped wealthy investors illegally hide billions of dollars in taxable income. The agreement, which is expected to be announced tomorrow, calls for the firm to pay $456 million and accept an outside monitor of its operations. Former partners separately may face criminal charges."

CrimProf Peter J. Henning commented, "KPMG viewed its conduct as above reproach, in a sense viewing itself as smarter than the I.R.S. and Department of Justice by developing these creative tax shelters."...

"It's a very high-risk strategy to start out stonewalling," said CrimProf John A. Strait..."when KPMG came under scrutiny, it chose to fight. And it did so after the collapses of Enron and WorldCom, at a time when the tide of corporate history was turning decisively in favor of corporate accountability and government regulators." Story here... [Mark Godsey]

August 29, 2005 in CrimProfs, White Collar | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Presentation: Combatting Bias During the War on Terror

Erlinder1smallwebCrimProf C. Peter Erlinder, William Mitchell College of Law, will headline a presentation on the historic decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning the conviction of the Cuban Five. “In the Eye of the Beholder: Combating Bias/Upholding Due Process During the ‘War on Terror’,” will be held Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, at 7 p.m. at William Mitchell College of Law in the Auditorium, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. Also speaking at the event is Professor Gary Prevost, St. John’s University.

The “Cuban Five” are admitted agents of the Cuban government who were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage and murder by a federal court in Miami in 2001. The “Five” were in Miami gathering information on private, anti-Cuban groups in Florida that had carried out acts of violence in Cuba that were planned and launched from U.S. soil. High ranking U.S. military officers testified that they had not engaged in espionage directed at the U.S. military or other U.S. agencies. [Their convictions became a rallying point throughout the world and have been condemned by U.N. agencies and Human Rights Watch, as well as other human rights organizations.]  [Mark Godsey]

August 29, 2005 in Conferences | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Victim Saves Evidence for Use in Prosecution

This story about a jail inmate allegedly assaulted by a guard is interesting because the inmate deliberately saved evidence so that could be used in a DNA test.  Someone from the Southern Arizona Coalition Against Sexual Assault spoke at the U of Arizona College of Law recently and said that many of the survivors she counsels these days make a point of getting an assailant's skin under their fingernails or otherwise make sure they obtain some evidence which can be used in a prosecution.  It is the other side of the CSI Effect. [Jack Chin]

August 29, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

PA: 1983 Win for Person Arrested for Videotaping Police

Pennsylvania State Police don't like to be videotaped while they do truck inspections, evidently, but wheth they repeatedly arrested a gentleman for doing so, he sued and won.  Thanks to BoingBoing. [Jack Chin]

August 29, 2005 in Civil Rights | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

This Week's Top 5 Crim Papers

Ssrnlogo100_4 This week's top 5 crim papers, with number of recent downloads on SSRN, are as follows:

(1) 418 Search and Seizure: Past, Present, and Future
Orin S. Kerr,
The George Washington University Law School,
Date posted to database: July 14, 2005
Last Revised: July 14, 2005
(2) 388 Cultural Cognition and Public Policy
Dan M. Kahan, Donald Braman,
Yale Law School, Yale University - Law School,
Date posted to database: August 2, 2005
Last Revised: August 2, 2005
(3) 325 The Political Constitution of Criminal Justice
William J. Stuntz,
Harvard Law School,
Date posted to database: August 14, 2005
Last Revised: August 25, 2005
(4) 237 Exonerations in the United States, 1989 through 2003
Samuel R. Gross, Kristen Jacoby, Daniel J. Matheson, Nicholas Montgomery, Sujata Patil,
University of Michigan Law School, University of Michigan Law School, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Law School, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia,
Date posted to database: July 6, 2005
Last Revised: July 26, 2005
(5) 127 Aspects of the Theory of Moral Cognition: Investigating Intuitive Knowledge of the Prohibition of Intentional Battery and the Principle of Double Effect
John Mikhail,
Georgetown University - Law Center,
Date posted to database: July 27, 2005
Last Revised: August 17, 2005 

August 29, 2005 in Weekly Top 5 SSRN Crim Downloads | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Vanderbilt CrimProf King Honored

King_2Vanderbilt CrimProf Nancy King, the Lee S. and Charles A. Speir Professor of Law, was one of six Vanderbilt professors honored with Chancellor's Awards for Research during the 2005 Faculty assembly on August 25.  In presenting King's award, Chancellor Gee specifically noted a Vanderbilt Law Review article King authored on a study showing that in states that use juries for criminal sentencing, sentences imposed by juries are more severe than those imposed by judges (Jury Sentencing in Practice--a Three-State Study, 57 Vand. L. Rev. 885 (2004)).  [Mark Godsey]

August 28, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Problem with Military DNA Lab

An examiner at the U.S. military's only forensic DNA facility has evidently been been found to have falsified results.  All of the cases he has worked on since 1995 are being reexamined. [Jack Chin]

August 28, 2005 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NZ Crime

Crime levels in New Zealand are at their lowests points in 25 years, and politicians are pointing to jobs programs, early intervention programs and progressive treatment for drug addicts and alcohlics.  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

August 28, 2005 in International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)