December 24, 2005
DHS Visit Based on Book Request Hoax
A student who claimed to have been visited by DHS agents after he ordered the famed islamic terrorist handbook "Quotations from Chairman Mao" admitted that he made the whole thing up. Story here. [Jack Chin]
TX: Pretrial Detainee Lost in System; Held for 15 Months Without Seeing Lawyer
This man was assaulted by his grandson, who was taken to juvie jail. When he failed to pay room and board, he was charged with civil contempt. But the case was never pursued, and he stayed in jail for 15 months, until a sympathetic cellie mentioned it to his public defender. Story here. [Jack Chin]
Muslim Sites Monitored for Radiation
Story here. [Jack Chin]
December 22, 2005
Euthanasia Investigation of Louisiana Hospitals
The Louisiana Attorney General is investigating allegations that doctors euthanized patients in New Orleans hospitals during Katrina. In other Louisiana criminal justice news, some officers involved in a videotaped beating were fired.
Canada: Group Sex Legal
December 21, 2005
4th Circuit Refuses to Transfer Padilla to Civilian Custody
"In a sharp rebuke, a federal appeals court denied Wednesday a Bush administration request to transfer terrorism suspect Jose Padilla from military to civilian law enforcement custody...The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (in Richmond, VA) also refused the administration's request to vacate a September ruling that gave President Bush wide authority to detain "enemy combatants" indefinitely without charges on U.S. soil. The decision, written by Judge J. Michael Luttig, questioned why the administration used one set of facts before the court for 3 1/2 years to justify holding Padilla without charges but used another set to convince a grand jury in Florida to indict him last month. Luttig said the administration has risked its "credibility before the courts" by appearing to try to keep the Supreme Court from reviewing the extent of the president's power to hold enemy combatants without charges." More from Law.com. . . [Mark Godsey]
A New Mexico judge has granted a TRO against David Letterman who, according to the applicant, has been sendeing her coded messages during his show for years. Oprah, for example, actually refers to her. Apparently, Letterman and the applicant have never met in person, or communicated other than through the telepathic/TV methods described. There's something terribly wrong with the system when orders of this nature can be obtained on based on deranged allegations.
NY Court of Appeals Grants New Trial for Lack of Cross-Examination Opportunity
From New York Law Journal: "New York's Court of Appeals Tuesday overturned the conviction of Andrew Goldstein in the notorious subway station murder of Kendra Webdale, holding that the mentally ill defendant's right to a fair trial was abridged when a psychiatric expert for the prosecution told the jury of hearsay conversations she had had with witnesses who were not subjected to cross examination. Tuesday's 6-1 ruling was grounded in Crawford v. Washington, 541 US 36, the U.S. Supreme Court's 2004 confrontation clause landmark opinion that generally barred the use of so-called "testimonial" hearsay in criminal cases unless the defendant has an opportunity to question the witness." Read more from Law.com. . . [Mark Godsey]
Nativity Scene Theft Investigated as Hate Crime
"The theft of one of the three kings from a New York nativity scene appears to be a hate crime. The missing king is Balthasar, an African. The statue was replaced by a white sheet hanging from a pole, possibly a symbol of the Ku Klux Klan, police said. The nativity scene was outside a Lutheran church in Holbrook on the east end of Long Island." Story. . . [Mark Godsey]
Abramoff in Plea Negotiations
Sex Appeal to Steal
The crimes: attempted robbery and car theft...so far. The M.O.: sexual advances. And they're on the loose from Texas. [Mark Godsey]
Searchspace Technology's Anti Money Laundering Solution
From ComputerBusiness Review online: Following an extensive due diligence process, the American Bankers Association has endorsed Searchspace's Anti Money Laundering solution, software designed to tackle financial crime across markets. UK-based Searchspace currently monitors nearly 500 million accounts a day working with regional, national and global banks. The software monitors every transaction for unusual activity, immediately notifying compliance staff about those that may require further investigation and providing them with automated administration of cases found. [Mark Godsey]
Canada a Haven for White Collar Criminals, eh?
According to Bank of Canada's Governor David Dodge, "Economic crime erodes the faith of Canadians and foreign investors in the integrity of our financial systems, our currency, our governments, our businesses, and our products." Why? The lack of a united law enforcement effort and public perception of unsafe markets. [Mark Godsey]
December 20, 2005
Michigan-Illinois Comparative Law Workshop
Michigan-Illinois Workshop: Comparative Law Work in Progress
Announcement and Call for Papers
Jacqueline Ross (University of Illinois College of Law) and Mathias Reimann (University of Michigan Law School) are organizing a comparative law workshop to discuss work in progress. This workshop will be established jointly by the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Michigan Law School and will be co-sponsored by the American Society of Comparative Law.
There is no regular opportunity for comparative law scholars in the United States to meet and discuss their work in any depth. The scholarly programs of the meetings of the American Society of Comparative Law are chosen and organized by the respective host schools and aim at the presentation of finished papers on a given topic. While there is some opportunity to present work in progress, there is little opportunity for sustained discussion. The meetings of the Comparative Law Section at the AALS Conference each January are also dedicated to a specific topic and usually exhaust themselves in the presentation of papers with little substantive discussion. There is a thus a need for a forum in which comparative law work in progress can be explored among colleagues in a serious and thorough manner that will be truly helpful to the respective authors.
The Workshop: Comparative Law in Progress will fill that need. It will involve up to six papers during a two-day period. If more than six papers are submitted for discussion, the organizers will jointly decide which ones to accept, giving preference to younger scholars.
The participants will consist of the respective authors, one commentator on each paper, faculty members of the host institution, particularly those with expertise in comparative law and research, and others interested in attending. The overall group will be kept small enough to sit around a large table and to allow serious discussion (20 people maximum). The papers will not be presented at the workshop. They will be distributed two weeks in advance and every participant must have read them before attending the meeting. The commentator will present a 10 to 15 minute introduction and critique, leaving at least one hour for discussion. There are no plans to publish the papers. Instead, it is up to the authors to seek publication if, and wherever, they wish.
The first Workshop will take place on April 21-23, 2006 at the University of Michigan Law School. It will be an experiment. If it works as intended, it will then take place on a regular basis, once or twice a year, depending on the amount of interest. For the time being, its venue will alternate between the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor and the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign.
The Workshop will be funded by the host school and by the American Society of Comparative Law. Authors of papers and commentators will be reimbursed for their travel expenses and accommodation up to $ 600.00.
Interested authors should submit papers either to Jacqueline Ross (email@example.com) or Mathias Reimann (firstname.lastname@example.org) by February 15, 2006. "Work in progress" means scholarship that has reached a stage at which it is substantial enough to merit serious discussion and critique but that has not yet appeared in print (although it may have been accepted for publication). It includes law review articles, book chapters or outlines, substantial book reviews, and other appropriate genres.
Our objective is not only to provide an opportunity for the discussion of scholarly work but also to create an opportunity for comparative lawyers to get together for two days devoted to nothing but talking shop, both in the sessions and outside. We hope that this will create synergy that fosters more dialogue, cooperation, and an increased sense of coherence in a discipline badly in need of it.
Jacqueline Ross Mathias Reimann
New Capital Punishment Website
The Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse at the Washington and Lee University School of Law has launched a new web site offering materials and resources for capital case defense attorneys. The web site, www.vc3.org, was developed by the Clinic students under the supervision of Professor David I. Bruck, current director of the Clinic.
Designed as a successor to the Capital Defense Journal, which was published from 1989 through 2005, the web site is exclusively tailored to the needs of defense counsel engaged in the defense of Virginia capital cases. Access to the site is free, but most of the site is restricted to persons engaged in criminal defense.
The web site contains sample motions, jury instructions and sentencing forms, historical data on all reported capital murder cases in Virginia since 1978, recent articles from the Capital Defense Journal, links to other capital defense resources, Virginia capital statutory links, and more. The site also includes "15 Steps to Life," a plain-language guide to capital pretrial and trial strategy.
December 19, 2005
New Texas Innocence Project
Six universities will work together and enjoy state funding. Story ... [Mark Godsey]
Gerald Reamey of St. Mary's tells the St. Antonio Express that charging a witness with murder for lying at trial to send a defendant to death row is a long shot.
Texas CrimProf Mike Sharot is talks to the Daily Texan about UT's new law dean.
South Carolina CrimProf Ken Gaines discusses the difficulties with proving recklessness in a homidice prosecution.
Georgia State CrimProf Anne Emanuel, in the Altanta Journal Constitution, discusses a Georgia Supreme Court decision overturning the conviction of a gang member on technical grounds.
Florida CrimProf Chistopher Slobogin tells The Herald that suppressed confessions are few and far between.
ex-Gov on Race and Death in Maryland
Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening commissioned a study (available here) of his state's death penalty which showed a racial disparity. In this oped, he complains that since he left office in 2003 (the year the study was released) nothing has been done about it. [Jack Chin; thanks to Margy Love]
Garnett on Obscenity
Prawfsblawg's Rick Garnett blogs this decision on whether obscentity prosecutions are still viable given Lawrence v. Texas. The Conglomerateblog has a link to a story on internet child porn; here's an MSNBC story about a crackdown on child prostitution. [Jack Chin]