April 1, 2006
Cincinnati CrimProf Blogger Mark Godsey is quoted in this article from the Cincinnati Enquirer about a woman who falsely confessed to a murder she didn't commit in order to protect her younger brother from being charged with murder. A police officer, in this case, testified on behalf of the innocent woman, and came forward with evidence pointing to a different suspect.
Godsey and Case Western CrimProf Paul Giannelli are quoted in this article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the CSI Effect and jurors' reliance on forensic evidence.
Rutgers CrimProf George Thomas is quoted this article from NewJersey.com about a sudden courtroom confession by a man who could face murder charges. The 74-year-old man accused of repeatedly stabbing his wife was brought before a judge in pretrial proceedings to determine if he hired an attorney or had been appointed counsel. And in an abrupt outburst, the man began confessing to the crime.
March 31, 2006
Conference in the Caribbean: Legal Services to the Poor and Marginalized
The Northeast People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference and the American and Caribbean Law Initiatve are proud to present TRADE & LEGAL AID: Tools for Economic Development and Independence. Our joint conference will be held in beautiful Nassau, Bahamas at the British Colonial Hilton from July 6 to July 8, 2006. We will be exploring two themes important to the Caribbean: the recurrent tensions between sovereignty and trade and economic development and the challenge of delivering legal services to the poor and marginalized.
REGISTER EARLY! The conference registration fee covers three days of programming and a full buffet lunch on each day. The registration fee is $225 if you register before May 19th, $300 if you register from May 20th to June 19th and $375 if you register from June 20th to on-site registration at the conference.
BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM EARLY! The conference has set aside a limited block of guestrooms at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, Bahamas. This hotel will also be the site of all conference programs. You can check out their website at: http://hiltoncaribbean.com/nassau/
Please note that the block of rooms is only being held until May 22nd, 2006.
The guestroom rate for the conference is $145 (single occupancy) / $155 (double occupancy) per night plus taxes and fees for a deluxe floor city view guestroom or $185 (single occupancy) / $195 (double occupancy) per night for a deluxe floor ocean view guestroom. There is an additional fee of $20 per night for a third adult staying in the same room. Children under the age of 18 can stay free in the same room with their parent (max: 2 children).
All attendees interested in reserving a guestroom at the British Colonial Hilton must download and complete the Hitlon Guest Reservation Request form and must return the form to the conference travel agent. You cannot get the conference rate via the Internet or calling yourself.
VISIT THE CONFERENCE WEBSITE For all the relevant forms and for more information on registering for the conference, booking a hotel room, booking flights, arranging transportation to/from the airport, and for more programming details, please visit the conference website at http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/caribbean
[Mark Godsey, thanks to Elaine Chiu]
March 30, 2006
Georgetown CrimProf Neal Katyal is quoted in this article from the Seattle Times. In 2004, he successfully urged Seattle's largest law firm, Perkins Coie, to represent Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's former chauffeur and bodyguard, who is accused of being an al Qaida terrorist and charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes. His case against the U.S. Government, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld was heard by the Supreme Court this past Tuesday. Hamdan, captured in Afghanistan in 2001, is slated to be tried for his conspiracy charge before a military panel in which the Defense Department will pick the judge and jury and forestall any chance for appeal to an independent body. In Hamdan's case before the Supreme Court this week, Hamdan's defense argued that even if it turns out Hamdan is guilty, he should not be subjected to the laws of war unless he's afforded the protections of the laws of war.
Northwestern CrimProf David Scheffer's column is feartured in this edition of JURIST. In his column, Scheffer says that the government's attempt to charge Salim Ahmed Hamdan with conspiracy to commit war crimes - a crime that does not exist under US or international law - falls short of a violation allowing him to be prosecuted before the President's military commissions and "demonstrates the folly of the effort to push the square peg of terrorism into the round hole of the law of war."
Northwestern CrimProf Ron Allen is quoted in this article from the Chicago Tribune about the government's corruption case against former Illinois governor George Ryan. With speculation about a mistrial in the air, Allen comments on the considerable cost of a second trial.
W&L CrimProf Testifies Today Before House Committee on Capital Punishment
Washington and Lee School of Law Professor David Bruck will testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee on Thursday, March 30. The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security will hold a hearing on the “Death Penalty Reform Act of 2006”.
Sponsors of this legislation hope that changes to the existing Act will expedite the federal death penalty process and make it more efficient. However, opponents fear that changes proposed in the Act will compound problems with a process that is already confusing and enormously costly.
To view Professor Bruck’s prepared statement or a live streaming video of the testimony, visit the links below:
- Prepared Statement and Hearing Details (also available: Statement in PDF format)
- Streaming Video (Select March 30 on the calendar and then select the View live webcast link beneath the hearing on the Death Penalty Reform act)
Professor Bruck is director of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse at the School of Law. He has practiced criminal law since 1976, and since 1980 has specialized in the defense of capital cases at the trial, appellate and post-conviction stages.
The Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse is a trial-level legal aid clinic providing free services to defense attorneys who represent capital murder defendants in cases throughout Virginia. Ten Washington and Lee law students are accepted into the Clinic each year and remain in the Clinic for the entire third year of law school. Each case is assigned to a team of two students who maintain primary responsibility for handling matters relating to the case.
To learn more about David Bruck and VCCC, visit the VCCC web site at http://www.vc3.org.
March 29, 2006
Harvard Conference on Barriers to Convict Reentry
SCOTUS: To Re-review Kansas Death Penalty Law
Last Friday, SCOTUS announced that it will rehear Kansas v. Marsh. This case involves the constitutionality of Kansas' death penalty law, which was struck down by the state Supreme Court in 2004. Kansas law required a death sentence if the jury found that there was an equal balance between the aggravating and mitigating factors presented at the sentencing hearing. The Court heard arguments about this case in December of 2005, when Justice O'Connor was still on the Court. But now that Justice O'Connor has been replaced by Justice Alito, and probably because the Court is split in such a way that his vote would be decisive, the Court will hold a re-argument on (1) the constitutionality of the statute; and (2) on whether the High Court has jurisdiction to resolve this issue involving a state law. The argument will likely be held in April. [Mark Godsey]
March 28, 2006
USSCT Declines Pit Bull Ad Appeal
GA: Pro se Litigant Wins Murder Reversal
A defendant who pleaded guilty to murder 21 years ago in exchange for a life sentence won a new trial, while reprsenting himself. The guilty plea was bad in that it did not identify the rights waived as a result of the plea. Story here; opinion here.
NYC: Special Narcitics Prosecutor Defends Rockefeller Drug Laws
March 27, 2006
Canada: Youth Sentencing Unconstitutional
The Ontario Court of Appeals invalidated a provision of law requiring sentencing of some juvenile offenders as adults unless they could prove the sentence is unwarranted.
Medical Marijuana: The Ultimate Necessity Defense
What if medical marijuana is the only thing keeping you alive? The 9th Circuit is being asked to evaluate the necessity defense in that context.
UK: Private Guards With Criminal Records Rip Off Client
Story here. I'm not surprised by this tale of two young guards with long criminal records committing crimes. When I was a teenager I was a minimum wage contract guard, and they tended not to be stellar employees. [Jack Chin]
AZ: Cross-Dressing, Kidnapping Mom
An Arizona mother who fled the state two years ago was reportedly found with her children in North Carolina, dressed as a man. She denied that the clothing or moustache was related to an effort to avoid authorities.
Connecticut: A feature on the Skakel Appeal to the USSCT
Moussaui Testimony: Not Too Helpful for Defense
He testified at his death penalty hearing that he planned to fly a hijacked plane into the White House on September 11, 2001, that he rejoiced at a tape of a flight attendant begging for her life, and that he was happy that the WTC was destroyed. Any bets on the outcome?
US News Rankings
This site often has the earliest legitimate US News postings. However, it also has posters who post a link to something claiming that it is a scan of US News but it is really something gross.
South Dakota Prepares for First Execution in 59 Years
Story here. [Mark Godsey]
This Week's Top 5 Crim Papers
|206||Law, Science, and Morality: A Review of Richard Posner's 'The Problematics of Moral and Legal Theory' |
Georgetown University - Law Center,
Date posted to database: January 24, 2006
Last Revised: March 15, 2006
|(2)||170||Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate |
John J. Donohue, Justin Wolfers,
Yale Law School, University of Pennsylvania - Business & Public Policy Department,
Date posted to database: December 19, 2005
Last Revised: February 10, 2006
|(3)||155||Report on Guantanamo Detainees: A Profile of 517 Detainees through Analysis of Department of Defense Data |
Mark Denbeaux, Joshua W. Denbeaux,
Seton Hall University - School of Law, Denbeaux & Denbeaux,
Date posted to database: February 21, 2006
Last Revised: March 6, 2006
|(4)||110||The Japanese American Cases - A Bigger Disaster than We Realized |
Eric L. Muller,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - School of Law,
Date posted to database: February 6, 2006
Last Revised: February 15, 2006
|(5)||100||The Second Death of Capital Punishment |
J. Richard Broughton,
United States Department of Justice - Capital Case Unit,
Date posted to database: January 26, 2006
Last Revised: February 12, 2006
March 26, 2006
From NPR.com: Treatment of detainees at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been the subject of news reports and international political debates. Now it's the subject of a provocative British docudrama. The Road to Guantanamo concentrates on the stories of three young British men who were held in the camp for two years. They were never charged, and were eventually released. The film, by noted director Michael Winterbottom, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, where it won one of the top prizes. It's just opened in Britain and now it's bound for the United States. Listen to story about the film here. [Mark Godsey]