CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Innocent Inmates Website

Here's a website created by an organization called the Innocent Inmates Association of Ohio. [Jack Chin]

September 10, 2005 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

WI: Firefighters Challenge Hate Crime Statute

Story here. [Jack Chin]

September 10, 2005 in Civil Rights | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 9, 2005

CrimProf Blog Spotlight: New York Law School's Sadiq Reza

Sadiqreza_2This week the CrimProf Blog spotlights New York Law School's Sadiq Reza.

Professor Reza has taught at NYLS since 1999.  He "teaches courses in American criminal law and procedure and a seminar in comparative criminal procedure that examines how other countries and legal systems investigate and prosecute suspected criminals. His current research is in Islamic law, beginning with a comparative study of search-and-seizure protections in Islamic doctrine and practice and those of the Fourth Amendment. Professor Reza has also written and spoken extensively about issues of criminal procedure in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Before coming to New York Law School, Professor Reza clerked for a federal trial judge in San Francisco and spent four years as a trial and appellate attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. He has also worked with the American Muslim Council, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the law firm of Arnold & Porter.

In law school, Professor Reza was an articles editor of the Harvard International Law Journal, a member of the Criminal Justice Institute defense clinic, president of the Middle Eastern Law Students Association, and a teaching fellow for Harvard undergraduate courses on the religion of Islam and the modern Middle East, for which he was awarded a University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching in 1990. Before law school, Professor Reza spent two years in Cairo, Egypt, where in 1986–87 he taught English and in 1987–88 studied Arabic as a fellow at the U.S.-government-funded Center for Arabic Study Abroad."  For a list of Professor Reza's publications, click here.

September 9, 2005 in Weekly CrimProf Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

An Update on the Status of the Louisiana Legal System after Hurricane Katrina

Here. And here are some lawprofs commenting on some specific legal issues in Louisiana, incluidng Pitt's Bernard Hibbitts, and Duke's Scott Silliman. [Jack Chin]

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

Marian Wright Edelman and Juvenile Justice

Editorial opposing criminal punishment of so many juveniles here. Here's a story from the UK where a 13 year old caused 500K in damage due to arson, and received a "police reprimand" which is apparently some kind of formal warning. [Jack Chin]

September 9, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Article Spotlight: Judge John Roberts and the Fourth Amendment

Mississippi CrimProf Tom Clancy has written a very interesting review of the handful of Fourth Amendment cases John Roberts has decided as a Judge of the D.C. Circuit. Hints of the Future?: John Roberts Jr.'s Fourth Amendment Cases as an Appellate Judge is available on SSRN. [Jack Chin]

September 9, 2005 in Search and Seizure | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Utah Authorities Check Katerina Refugees; Find Criminal Records

In one more example of the fact that police hunches, no matter how arbitrary they may appear to the unitiated, are at least better than random chance, Utah police for some reason decided to run criminal background checks on Katerina evacuees brought to Salt Lake.  In records leaked to the press, they found a host of criminal convictions. [Jack Chin]

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

OHIO: Governor Grants Reprieve to Allow Second Clemency Hearing

A man on death row for 20 years who has thus far failed in his challenges to his conviction has had his sentence date delayed so a second clemency hearing can be held.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer published allegations that the state's lawyers made false claims during the first clemency hearing.  Story here. Here's the original story, where a reporter charges an Assistant Attorney General with misstatements before the clemency board rather more directly than is typical in a news article--either the reporter has lost perspective, or is quite sure of his facts. [Jack Chin]

September 9, 2005 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Hurricane Katrina Donation Opportunity With A Crim Angle

The New Orleans Innocence Project needs financial help for all the obvious reasons.  In addition to office damage, etc., they've been helping exonerees get their lives back together after serving years in prison for crimes they didn't commit.  Now these unfortunate individuals have had their lives turned upside down again, and the NOIP is trying to help them.  Those interested in donating can do so here.  [Mark Godsey]

September 9, 2005 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Richard Hatch, Survivor Winner, Indicted

... for failing to report his $1 million in Survivor winnings.  I doubt if there's ever been a case where someone has failed to report such visible income that millions around the world witnessed him earn.  [Mark Godsey]

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

Law Enforcement Salaries: Fed v. State/Local

Here's a new report from the Congressional Budget Office comparing salaries of federal law enforcement officials to salaries of nonfederal law enforcement officials.  It finds that federal officers enjoy bigger paychecks than their state and local counterparts, except in major cities like New York and LA where the feds do not fare as well in comparison.

September 9, 2005 in Law Enforcement | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 8, 2005

HIV Positive Spitter Gets 13 Years

Five counts of attempted murder.  Story here. [Jack Chin].

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

Did Saddam Confess?

His lawyer denies it.  I hope they Mirandized him. [Jack Chin]

September 8, 2005 in International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf and Prominent Litigator Barry Scheck to Speak at Drake Legal Clinic

Cardoza CrimProf Barry Scheck, the cofounder and executive director of the Innocence Project at Cardozo School of Law, will be the keynote speaker at a program sponsored by the American Judicature Society (AJS) and Drake University School of Law. “Barry Scheck on Wrongful Convictions” will be held on October 3, 2005 at 3 p.m. at the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center at 24th Street and University Avenue. Scheck’s lecture is free of charge and open to the public and an application for CLE credit is pending.

“Barry Scheck's work has awakened many Americans to the reality that their criminal justice system is not flawless,” said Allan D. Sobel, president of AJS. “His efforts have helped identify and highlight the defects that require attention.”

This program is the first of a four-part series on the justice system sponsored by AJS and Drake University School of Law. A program discussing current issues of the pro se litigation reform movement is scheduled for November 15, 2005. Programs on the jury system and judicial independence and accountability will be held in February and March 2006. All programs in this series are free and open to the public, and it is anticipated that each program will offer 1-2 hours of CLE credit.

Scheck is arguably the most prominent expert on the use of DNA evidence in the courtroom. He co-founded the Innocence Project with Peter Neufeld in 1992.To date, the Innocence Project has successfully secured the exoneration of 162 persons. He and Neufeld also coauthored, with Jim Dwyer, Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted, a book drawn from cases taken by the Innocence Project. He is past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and served on the board of the National Institute of Justice's Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. In addition to his work at the Innocence Project, he is a professor of law at Cardozo School of Law, and has represented notable clients including O.J. Simpson and Louise Woodward, the British au pair found guilty of involuntary manslaughter of a baby in 1997.  [Mark Godsey]

September 8, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Article Spotlight: Illinois' David Hyman and the Duty to Rescue

LawProf David Hyman of Illinios has posted Rescue Without Law: An Empirical Perspective on the Duty to Rescueon SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

For more than a century, legal scholarship on the duty to rescue has proceeded on a sophisticated theoretical plane. Proponents of a duty to rescue have argued that it will decrease the frequency of non-rescue without creating undue distortions or other difficulties. Opponents of a duty to rescue have argued that such statutes are ineffective, infringe on individual liberties, may actually discourage rescue, and are likely to be misused by politically ambitious prosecutors. No effort has been made to test any of these claims empirically, even though from a policy perspective, the critical threshold question - how often do Americans fail to rescue one another in circumstances where only a generalized duty to rescue would require them to do so - is entirely factual. This article provides the first empirical study of the no-duty rule in action. Using more than twenty independent data sources, the article provides a "law and reality" perspective on rescue and non-rescue that complicates - and sometimes is flatly inconsistent with the positions of both proponents and opponents of a duty to rescue. The results paint a rich and largely reassuring picture of the behavior of ordinary Americans faced with circumstances requiring rescue, and indicate that both more and less is at stake in the debate over the no-duty rule than has been commonly appreciated. Law professors and judges have been fascinated with the no-duty rule for theoretical reasons, but the ongoing debate should not obscure the reality that in the real world, rescue is the rule - even if it is not the law.

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

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

Iowa CrimProf Helps Examine Rehnquist's Judicial Legacy In Forthcoming Book

JamestomkoviczUniversity of Iowa CrimProf Jim Tomkovicz is contributing a chapter to a book that examines the legal legacy of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who died Saturday.

The book, "The Rehnquist Legacy," is the first legal biography of the chief justice and will be published by Cambridge Press early next year. Tomkovicz and 16 other legal scholars examine Rehnquist's impact on a variety of constitutional issues, including abortion, affirmative action, free speech, search and seizure, Miranda rights and the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Tomkovicz said the book's publication had been in the works for several years, long before Rehnquist's recent death.

Tomkovicz, an expert in criminal procedure and the right of the accused to the assistance of counsel, is writing a chapter examining Rehnquist's impact on that right, entitled "Against the Tide: Rehnquist's Efforts to Curtail Expansion of the Right to Counsel." Since Rehnquist served 33 years as an Associate and, later, Chief Justice, his jurisprudence is significant, Tomkovicz said.

"Chief Justice Rehnquist was enormously successful in imposing his restrictive views regarding the scope of the rights of indigent defendants to have appointed, government-funded defense counsel for trial and for appealing convictions," Tomkovicz said. He pointed to opinions that Rehnquist wrote that declared that indigents accused of misdemeanors have no entitlement to appointed counsel unless they are sentenced to prison; that uncounseled convictions that do not result in imprisonment initially may be used later to enhance prison sentences for other offenses; and that the right to appointed counsel may be restricted during the appeal process.   

Tomkovicz added that Rehnquist was not successful in persuading his colleagues to adopt his narrow position concerning the right of all defendants to have counsel aid them when the government seeks to obtain confessions before trial. 

"Rehnquist's views regarding counsel reflect a genuinely conservative approach, one that was hostile to expansion of a vital constitutional guarantee that had a centuries-long history of expansion," Tomkovicz said. "His interpretations typically are concerned with the legitimate financial and other interests of states and strike a balance favoring those interests. During his time on the Court, no Justice demonstrated a more restrictive understanding of the right to the assistance of counsel than Chief Justice Rehnquist. His impact in this area is likely to be felt for many, many years to come."

Tomkovicz will also participate at a conference examining Rehnquists's legacy in April at the Indiana University School of Law.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,

September 8, 2005 in CrimProfs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Panel at TX: International Law and Capital Punishment

Contact: Eden Harrington, Director of the Justice Center for Public Interest Law, (512) 232-7068

International Law in U.S. Death Penalty Cases:
Discussion of Pending Medellin Litigation in the Texas Courts

Presenters: Sandra Babcock, Director, Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program,
Professor Ernest Young, Amicus brief co-author and Deputy Attorney General for Alabama in Ex parte Ernesto Medellin
Moderator: Professor Jordan Steiker
Date: Wed., Sept.14th
Time: 3:30 – 6:00 (with reception)
Location: Eidman Courtroom. Overflow seating and closed circuit television viewing available.

The International Court of Justice has insisted that a remedy be provided in U.S. courts for the failure to provide non-citizen defendants their consular notification rights under international treaty. The Medellin case is back in the Texas courts to determine whether noncompliance with the treaty requires the reversal of capital cases for non-citizens. Medellin will be argued in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on September 14, 2005, and Ms. Babcock and Professor Young will discuss the litigation and the broader legal issues. MCLAP is a program funded by


to assist Mexican nationals facing capital punishment in the United States.

This event is sponsored by the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, the Capital Punishment Center, the McCormick Society, the Sheffield Society, and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.

September 8, 2005 in Capital Punishment, Conferences, International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

9th Circuit: Batson Violation By Waiving Peremptories

The Ninth Circuit held yesterday that a prosecutor violated Batson by refusing to strike jurors with peremptory challenges.   Under the complicated jury selection process in place, the refusal to strike resulted in an identifiable juror being automatically stricken, in this case a Latino juror, the same race as the defendant.   Decision.  [Mark Godsey, hat tip to Robert Gifford]

September 7, 2005 in Race | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

In UK, Pastors Take to Streets to Curb Crime

Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

September 7, 2005 in Criminal Justice Policy, International | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Bob "Gilligan" Denver Dead at 70

Convicted Marijuana possessor Bob Denver is dead.  Interesting tidbit:  Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island was apparently Gilligan's supplier.  Story here. [Jack Chin]

September 6, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)