Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Roger D. Groot, Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been appointed by Gov. Mark Warner to the newly formed Forensic Science Board. Created by legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Warner in 2005, the Forensic Science Board will establish policies, procedures and standards to guide the operations of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, the state-run lab responsible for testing all evidence for law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
Virginia’s Department of Forensic Science (DFS) is a recognized international leader in this field. However, a recent audit by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) did yield several recommendations to improve quality assurance at the DFS. The formation of the Forensic Science Board is one of several steps taken by the Warner administration to ensure that human error in evidence testing does not play a role in determining guilt or innocence.
“This is not about the science,” explained Groot. “Whether the evidence supports conviction or exonerates, the job has to be done right. People are going to make mistakes, but we have to make sure those mistakes don’t make it out of the lab.”
Responsibilities of the Forensic Science Board include establishing program standards and goals governing the operation of the DFS, ensuring that plans for the incorporation of new technologies are developed and reviewing budgets and appropriations requests from the DFS prior to their submission to the Governor.
Groot will begin his four year term Nov. 30, when the board meets for the first time to elect a chairman and vice chairman. Other appointees to the board are F.W. Howard Jr., sheriff of New Kent County, and S. Randolph Sengel, commonwealth’s attorney for the city of Alexandria. The appointees will be joined by other members installed by virtue of the office they currently hold, including the attorney general, the chief medical examiner, and the superintendent of the state police.
Roger Groot is former director of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, a trial-level legal aid clinic at the School of Law providing free services to defense attorneys who represent capital murder defendants in cases throughout Virginia. Groot is currently on leave from the School of Law and has just completed a federal death penalty trial in which the defendant was charged with interstate murder for hire. The defendant was convicted, but the government withdrew the death notice in the middle of the penalty phase. The defendant will be sentenced to life without parole. [Mark Godsey]
This week's top 5 crim papers, with number of recent downloads on SSRN, are as follows:
|(1)||552||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)||405||The Political Constitution of Criminal Justice |
William J. Stuntz,
Harvard Law School,
Date posted to database: August 14, 2005
Last Revised: August 25, 2005
|(3)||239||Aspects of the Theory of Moral Cognition: Investigating Intuitive Knowledge of the Prohibition of Intentional Battery and the Principle of Double Effect |
Georgetown University - Law Center,
Date posted to database: July 27, 2005
Last Revised: September 14, 2005
|(4)||124||Appeal Waivers and the Future of Sentencing Policy |
Nancy J. King, Michael O'Neill,
Vanderbilt University School of Law, George Mason University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: August 3, 2005
Last Revised: September 2, 2005
|(5)||121||Data Matching, Data Mining, and Due Process |
Daniel J. Steinbock,
University of Toledo - College of Law,
Date posted to database: August 1, 2005
Last Revised: August 1, 2005
Case Law Professor Michael Scharf is Featured Expert in a Fox News special, "Saddam Hussein on Trial."
On Saturday October 1, at 9:00 PM, Case Law Professor Michael Scharf appeared as the featured expert in the Fox News Special, "Saddam Hussein on Trial." Professor Scharf, who is Director of the Law School's Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, helped train the Iraqi Judges who will preside over the Saddam Hussein Trial and heads the Iraqi Special Tribunal's Academic Consortium. He was nominated last spring for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for the work he and his students at Case have done to assist in the prosecution of major war criminals, including Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic. To help students, professors, journalists, and the public keep abreast of and understand developments related to the Saddam Hussein Trial, the Cox Center recently launched the Saddam Hussein Trial Blog and Interactive Website. The new website features the key documents related to the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST), answers to frequently asked questions, and expert debate and public commentary on the major issues and developments related to the trials of Saddam and other former Iraqi leaders.
Monday, October 3, 2005
From a press release: On October 3, 1995, an estimated 150 million people stopped what they were doing to witness the televised verdict of the O.J. Simpson trial. For more than a year, the O.J. saga transfixed the nation and dominated the public imagination. Ten years later, veteran FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel (The Plea, Innocence Lost), revisits the “perfect storm” that was the O. J. Simpson trial. Through extensive interviews with the defense, prosecution, and journalists, FRONTLINE explores the dominant role that race played in the most controversial verdict in the history of the American justice system.
As part of the Simpson defense team, Santa Clara University Law School CrimProf and former dean, Jerry Uelmen was interviewed for this program. “The O.J. Verdict” on FRONTLINE is scheduled to air Tuesday, October 4, 2005 at 9:00 p.m. Please check your local listings or visit http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/
Sunday, October 2, 2005
This looks spectacular. Brochure here. Speakers include:
Dennis E. Curtis, Yale
Naomi Murakawa, University of Washington
Eva S. Nilsen, Boston University School of Law
Ian Weinstein, Fordham University School of Law
Ronald F. Wright, Jr., Wake Forest University
Judge Simeon T. LakeIII (U.S. District Court, S.D. Texas)
Judge Mary Lisi (U.S. District Court, D.R.I.)
Judge William E. Smith (U.S. District Court, D.R.I.)
Chief Judge Ernest C. Torres (U.S. District Court, D.R.I.)
Lawyers and Practitioners:
U.S. Attorney Robert C. Corrente (District Of Rhode Island)
Roscoe C. Howard, Jr., Esq., Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP
Raquiba Labrie, Program Director, Community Advocacy Project
Edward C. Roy, Jr., Esq., Federal Public Defender
Julie Stewart, President, Families Against Mandatory Minimums;
Ronald Weich, Senior Counsel Office of U.S. Senate Minority Leader
From ReutersUK: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - A $2,000 an hour prostitute known as New York's No. 1 Escort pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of money laundering and prostitution that stemmed from her bragging in the media about her work. Canadian Natalia McLennan, 25, sobbed uncontrollably in Manhattan Criminal Court after she was unable to post $50,000 bail and was taken away in handcuffs to jail. The charges against McLennan came after she bragged in several interviews about her professional exploits, including posing provocatively for the cover of New York Magazine under the headline "N.Y.'s # 1 Escort Reveals All." In that interview, she told the magazine she generated revenues of $1.5 million annually and kept 45 percent of that sum in return for having sex with high-roller clients of NY Confidential, a swanky Moroccan-themed brothel in Manhattan.
McLennan showed up for her arraignment dressed in a skimpy mini-skirt, a see-through blouse and four-inch spike heels, and told the court she had no idea she would remain in custody after the hearing. She wailed as she was taken from the courtroom. She will remain in jail pending her next hearing on Monday. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Story . . . [Mark Godsey]