CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Adultery as a Crime and the Viagra Defense

In Taiwan, almost 80% of the population supports adultery remaining a crime.

Meanwhile, in New York, a state that requires aspiring divorcees to prove grounds and establish that they haven't constructively abandoned their partners by denying them sex for over a year, one man used the Viagra Defense to contest claims of abandonment...the proof of his lovemaking was in the pillbox he said. Read on. . .

May 13, 2006 in International, Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Pig-on-Hog Action Hits the Hoosier State

Police officers on Harleys, that is... [Mark Godsey]

May 13, 2006 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Looking Deathworthy: Perceived Stereotypicality of Black Defendants Predicts Capital-Sentencing Outcomes

A group of authors have posted the above-titled paper on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

Researchers previously have investigated the role of race in capital sentencing, and in particular, whether the race of the defendant or victim influences the likelihood of a death sentence. In the present study, we examined whether the likelihood of being sentenced to death is influenced by the degree to which a Black defendant is perceived to have a stereotypically Black appearance. Controlling for a wide array of factors, we found that in cases involving a White victim, the more stereotypically Black a defendant is perceived to be, the more likely that person is to be sentenced to death.

Obtain paper here.  [Mark Godsey]

May 11, 2006 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Houston Crime Lab

93 DNA cases potentially tainted by problems at Houston Crime Lab. 

May 11, 2006 in Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Study: 9 Million in Prisons Worldwide...

..U.S. leads in per capita imprisonment; world prison population growing.  Report...

May 11, 2006 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

US News & World Reports Notes Declining Death Penalty in US

PA Debates Compassionate Release for Elderly Inmates

Story from Philly Inquirer here.  [Mark Godsey]

May 10, 2006 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

New Article Spotlight: Loyalty to One's Convictions: The Prosecutor and Tunnel Vision

CrimProf Susan Bandes of Depaul has posted the above-titled article on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

This essay, written as part of a symposium on loyalty, examines the dynamics leading to the disturbing phenomenon of prosecutorial tunnel vision. Specifically, it asks why prosecutors become loyal to a particular version of events - the guilt of a particular suspect - even when that version of events has been discredited. The essay begins with an examination of the concept of loyalty and the ambiguities inherent in that concept. It next discusses the relevance of these ambiguities to the divided loyalties of the prosecutor within the complex group dynamics of the prosecutor’s office. It then considers the prosecutor’s divided loyalties as one aspect of the larger issue of divided loyalties within the adversary system. Finally, it draws on psychological insights, particularly from the field of cognitive neuroscience, to place these conflicts in the broader context of loyalty to one’s beliefs. It concludes by suggesting that reforms are more likely to succeed when they recognize and attempt to ameliorate our ingrained and tenacious loyalty to pre-existing beliefs.

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

May 9, 2006 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Your Kid Going to Prom?....

he or she will have to pass a criminal background check at some high schools.  [Mark Godsey]

May 9, 2006 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Norman Lefstein named 2005 "Champion of Indigent Defense" by National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has named Norman Lefstein as the 2005 "Champion of Indigent Defense." As Chair of the Indigent Defense Advisory Group of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) for the past six years, Professor Lefstein has been responsible for overseeing the ABA's efforts to improve indigent defense systems around the country. He is also a four-term Chair of the Indiana Public Defender Commission, a position to which two Indiana governors have appointed him.

The 1961 University of Illinois College of Law graduate is a professor of law and dean emeritus at Indiana University-Indianapolis College of Law. He recently oversaw the research and writing of a comprehensive SCLAID report on the nationwide crisis in indigent defense, Gideon's Broken Promise: America's Continuing Quest for Equal Justice (February 2005).

May 9, 2006 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Study Shows Pro Se Defense Works

From the Baltimore Sun:  "Erica Hashimoto, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently set out to determine whether empirical data supported the assumption most lawyers make: that pro se defendants, as they are technically called, are "either mentally ill or stupid."  In the study, which is scheduled to be published in the North Carolina Law Review, Hashimoto found that pro se felony defendants in state courts were as likely as defendants with counsel to win complete acquittal. In addition, they were more likely to be convicted of lesser offenses - misdemeanors rather than felonies, according to Hashimoto's review of data, a sample from the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data that covers the country's 75 largest counties in the even years between 1990 and 1998.  Those findings were not replicated when she examined data of felony defendants who appeared in federal court between 1998 and 2003, though in both pools, pro se defendants went to trial - that is, they pleaded not guilty - at higher rates than their counterparts."  Story... [Mark Godsey]

May 9, 2006 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 8, 2006

This Week's Top 5 Crim Papers

This week's top 5 crime papers, based on number of recent SSRN downloads, are:

1 123 The Poverty of the Moral Stimulus
John Mikhail,
Georgetown University - Law Center,
Date posted to database: April 19, 2006
Last Revised: April 27, 2006
2 91 Regulation by Generalization
Frederick Schauer, Richard J. Zeckhauser,
Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government,
Date posted to database: November 15, 2005
Last Revised: April 17, 2006
3 82 Loyalty to One's Convictions: The Prosecutor and Tunnel Vision
Susan Bandes,
DePaul University - College of Law,
Date posted to database: March 16, 2006
Last Revised: March 17, 2006
4 66 Muslim Profiles Post-9/11: Is Racial Profiling an Effective Counterterrorist Measure and Does it Violate the Right to be Free from Discrimination?
Bernard E. Harcourt,
University of Chicago - Law School,
Date posted to database: March 30, 2006
Last Revised: April 19, 2006
5 60 Crawford's Triangle: Domestic Violence and the Right of Confrontation
Deborah Tuerkheimer,
University of Maine School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 10, 2006
Last Revised: April 18, 2006 

May 8, 2006 in Weekly Top 5 SSRN Crim Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

WI Considers Restoring Death Penalty

Madison - The Assembly voted late Thursday to put a question on the fall ballot asking voters if the death penalty should be reinstated in certain cases.  The death penalty was abolished in Wisconsin in 1853. But some in the state Legislature who favor capital punishment want to know what voters think about making it an option in cases where the conviction is supported by DNA evidence.  The Assembly approved the referendum with a 47 to 45 vote.  Story... [Mark Godsey]

May 8, 2006 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 7, 2006


This week, Franklin Pierce Law Center students Bonnie Howard of Concord, NH and Brian Heyesey of Allentown, NJ, both third year students, won a not guilty verdict for defendant Stephen Carter of Concord, a father accused of endangering his children when he locked them in their rooms without food of access to a bathroom.  Rest of story.....[Mark Godsey]

May 7, 2006 in Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)