CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, August 26, 2006

CrimProf Bernard E. Harcourt has Opinion Piece Published in NY Times

Harcourt_5From University of Chicago Law School CrimProf Bernard E. Harcourt recently wrote the opinion article "Search and Defend," which was published Friday in the New York Times.

The article discusses the profiling of behavioral cues to identify terrorists as the latest trend in American airport security. He claims that the Transportation Security Administration began experimenting with the technique last December at a dozen airports, and after this month's reported bomb plot in Britain, agency officials said they wanted to train and redeploy hundreds of routine screeners at airports across the nation by the end of next year. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 26, 2006 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 25, 2006

CrimProf Spotlight: Ruqaiijah A. Yearby

YearbyThis week, the CrimProf Blog spotlights CrimProf Ruqaiijah A. Yearby of Loyola University School of Law

While earning her Bachelor of Science in Honors Biology, Professor Yearby wrote a thesis on plant biotechnology and served as a research assistant at the University of Natal in South Africa. As a research assistant, she researched the effect of lead pollution from the use of leaded gasoline on school age children, drafted a questionnaire that tested the cognitive ability of children exposed to lead pollution, and presented her findings to a research committee at the University of Michigan.

She then studied Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins and wrote a thesis on "Barriers to Access: Low Income African- American HIV/AIDS Medicaid Patients." Professor Yearby earned her Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins and her law degree from Georgetown, where she was on the Dean's List, in the same year. After graduating from law school, she worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Chicago as an Assistant Regional Counsel, prosecuting nursing homes.

She later practiced health law in the Chicago office of the law firm Duane Morris LLC. She interrupted private practice to serve as a law clerk for the Honorable Ann Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, where she worked on issues involving criminal law and intellectual property, returning to the law firm at the end of her clerkship. Professor Yearby joined Loyola in July 2003 and has a joint appointment with Loyola's Stritch School of Medicine, Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy. [Mark Godsey]

August 25, 2006 in Weekly CrimProf Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Feds Investigate Indiana Juvenile Detention Center

From The U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the troubled Marion County Juvenile Detention Center, focusing on how the staff can prevent or investigate abuse and how detainees can air grievances.

The investigation comes after a series of high-profile incidents surfaced at the center in the past four months, including reports of sexual abuse of females in custody and shoddy bookkeeping.
According to a letter sent to local officials July 18, the civil rights investigation will seek to determine whether there are "systematic violations" of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of civil rights. The letter cited three key areas for review:
  • Protecting juveniles from harm, including sexual abuse of female residents by staff members.
  • The child abuse reporting and investigation systems.
  • The ways residents can report and resolve grievances.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 24, 2006 in Law Enforcement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dallas Ex-Felon Job Fair Lacked Employers

From Dallas Morning  Recently, Dallas held an ex-felon job fair at the Martin Luther King Jr. Convention Center. Attendance, estimated in the thousands, overwhelmed the fair's 10 employers and its roster of faith-based groups and firms that help former felons clean up their records. Many of those who attended expressed gratitude for the job fair but lamented the small number of would-be employers and the types of jobs being offered.

Less than 10 percent of employers invited to the fair took part. The number of employers was so small that as people sweated outside and inside the recreation center, an occasional voice would come over the public address system asking people to leave the building so others could get access to the businesses.

"Look, I don't need a job at a Tom Thumb or Waffle House," said Leroy Johnson, one of the attendees. "Most of these businesses are just taking applications." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 24, 2006 in News | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Shelby County, Tenn. Continues Operation Safe Community

From It may be the most ambitious anti-crime initiative in Shelby County history, located in Memphis, Tenn.-- Operation Safe Community -- and its creators say it's going to take a well-tooled game plan and everybody's commitment to make it work.

Wednesday afternoon, at least 50 law enforcement, juvenile court, parole and probation, city, suburban and county officials convened for a report on where the initiative stands. Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton joked the meeting was "historic" because there were more participants than in May, when the initiative was announced.

The engineers of Operation Safe Community are using as successful models the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort, a joint local and federal crackdown on felons with guns, and the Memphis Police Department's Blue Crush initiative, which targets hot spots based on crime data. Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin offered other successful models -- his undercover unit's infiltration of the Memphis gang structure and the Felony Response Unit, which has raised the rate of solved aggravated assaults from 16 percent to nearly 50 percent in one year.  Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 24, 2006 in Law Enforcement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

CrimProf Ed Imwinkelried Visits Moritz College of Law

Imwinkelried_edwardLeading authority in expert testimony and forensic science, CrimProf Ed Imwinkelried is teaching classes this year at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. He is joining the faculty as a visiting professor.

Imwinkelried, the Edward L. Barrett, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California, is the author of Evidentiary Foundations (6th ed. 2005), The New Wigmore: Evidentiary Privileges (2002), and Uncharged Misconduct Evidence (rev.ed. 1999). He is also the coauthor of McCormick, Evidence (6th ed. 2006), Courtroom Criminal Evidence (4th ed. 2005), and Scientific Evidence (3d ed. 1999).

He is the expert testimony columnist for National Law Journal and a forensic science contributing editor for Criminal Law Bulletin. He has both B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of San Francisco. [Mark Godsey]

August 23, 2006 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Article Spotlight: The First Amendment as Criminal Procedure

Solove_05From George Washington University Law School CrimProf Daniel J. Solove recently published The First Amendment as Criminal Procedure.  Here is the abstract: 

This article explores the relationship between the First Amendment and criminal procedure. These two domains of constitutional law have long existed as separate worlds, rarely interacting with each other. But many instances of government information gathering can implicate First Amendment interests such as freedom of speech, association, and religion.

The Fourth and Fifth Amendments used to provide considerable protection for First Amendment interests, as in the famous 1886 case, Boyd v. United States, where the Supreme Court held that the government was prohibited from seizing a person's private papers. Over time, however, Fourth and Fifth Amendment protection shifted, and now countless searches and seizures involving people's private papers, the books they read, the websites they surf, the pen names they use when writing anonymously, and so on fall completely outside of the protection of constitutional criminal procedure.

Professor Solove argues that the First Amendment provides protection against government information gathering implicating First Amendment interests. He contends that there are doctrinal, historical, and normative justifications to develop what he calls “First Amendment criminal procedure.” Solove sets forth an approach to determine when certain instances of government information gathering fall within the regulatory domain of the First Amendment and what level of protection the First Amendment should provide.  [Mark Godsey]

August 23, 2006 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Sam Kamin Comments On Karr's Expensive Flight From Freedom

Kamin_1From University of Denver CrimProf Sam Kamin comments to the Denver Post about the suspected killer John Mark Karr's supposed $2,462 one-way business-class flight from Bangkok, Thailand, to Los Angeles, paid for with tax dollars, this week. 

"They probably didn't want a lot of people around him," said University of Denver criminal law professor Sam Kamin. "We're reading too much into this."

Prosecutors "want to keep him happy," said Denver defense attorney Dan Recht. "He's not lawyered up yet. They want to get him to Boulder and talk to him without a lawyer." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 23, 2006 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Study: Illi. Incarcerates More People for Drugs With Growing Racial Disparity

From After two decades of steadily toughening laws, Illinois now puts more people in prison for drug crimes than any state except California, according to a study released Tuesday by Roosevelt University.

The report also found that more people are being incarcerated for possessing narcotics than for selling them and that the state's prisons hold about five black inmates convicted of drug offenses for every white inmate--one of the largest racial disparities in the country.

The raw numbers, experts say, underscore the scope of the issue. In 1983, 456 people convicted of possessing or selling drugs were behind bars in Illinois, making up 5 percent of the total prison population. By 2002--the latest year for which detailed federal statistics on imprisonment are available--the number had soared to 12,985, or 38 percent of all inmates.

"Just locking folks up is not reducing our drug problems, but it's sure costing us a lot of money," she said. "I think we need to take a different tactic and start funding treatment at higher levels so people don't have to go to prison. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 22, 2006 in Drugs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

NY Has Nation's 1st Multijurisdictional Community Court

From Now six years old, the court in Red Hook, New York is one of a kind, the nation’s first multijurisdictional community court. It combines elements of criminal, family and housing courts not only under the same roof, but also before the same judge, Alex M. Calabrese. It follows similar courts started in Midtown Manhattan, in 1993, and later in Harlem, but those projects did not combine all three courts.

Many of the cases Judge Calabrese hears are of the sort common in any courthouse, involving drugs, prostitution or vandalism. But he and the court have garnered wide attention for what is considered a groundbreaking crossover role: a court linking criminal sentences with social services, like substance abuse counseling and youth programs, all in the same building. The city is exploring a similar project in the Bronx.

“It’s a small-town court in a big city. Just like in a small town, the judge actually knows who’s doing what,” said David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state’s Office of Court Administration. “You have to face that same judge every time you screw up.” Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 22, 2006 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Oakland Police are Telling Bad Guys to Knock it Off

From Stuck in the grips of a violent crime wave, including a soaring murder rate, the authorities in Oakland are taking a page from juvenile hall that has become increasing popular nationwide: They have decided to call in the bad guys and tell them to knock it off. Or else.

The Oakland police have drawn up a kind of criminal hit parade that includes the top 100 “persons of interest” in the city, primarily ex-convicts, who the authorities believe are causing trouble and contributing to a climate of lawlessness.

Under the plan, which will be rolled out over the coming months, the police will call the suspects into court and inform them that they must behave.

“We’re going to tell them that we know they’ve been responsible for a number of things in your neighborhood, and that we’ve been watching you,” said Howard A. Jordan, a deputy police chief. “And we want you to change your life around. And if you don’t, you will suffer the consequences.”

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 22, 2006 in Law Enforcement | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Brothel Raid Illustrates Sex Slavery is a US Problem

From Raids that uncovered more than 70 suspected sex slaves focused on 20 brothels in the East, but they illustrated a long-ignored national problem found in towns large and small, experts say.

"It's a very overwhelming subject for a lot of people to recognize that there is slavery at this time in our country," said Carole Angel, staff attorney with the Immigrant Women Program of the women's rights advocacy group Legal Momentum in Washington. "It's hard for us as humans to contemplate what this means."

On Tuesday, federal and local law enforcement raided brothels disguised as massage parlors, health spas and acupuncture clinics in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, arresting 31 people on trafficking charges. Authorities said they also freed more than 70 sex workers, taking them to undisclosed locations for questioning and to provide basic services such as health care and food. Authorities said it might take weeks to get the Korean immigrants to trust them enough to discuss their ordeal.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 21, 2006 in Sex | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Many on Death Row Volunteer to Die

From Executions in America continue to generally decline, according to state and federal records, but one trend remains constant: One in eight convicted murderers who are executed "volunteer" to die by abandoning their legal appeals.

Death row volunteers account for 123 of the 1,041 executions carried out since capital punishment resumed in 1977, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a group in Washington, D.C., that opposes the death penalty. That rate — about 12% — has held constant for nearly 30 years.

The phenomenon "is something that hasn't gotten much attention, but that is changing," says J.C. Oleson, author of a 2006 law journal article about volunteers. "Why do they do it? And how should the legal system regard someone who just doesn't want to participate? It raises real questions."

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 21, 2006 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Peter Erlinder: No Definition of When Kidnapping Transportation Begins

ErlinderpeterFrom Grand Forks William Mitchell College of Law CrimProf Peter Erlinder in St. Paul, told The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead last week that he did not know of a "well-accepted definition," in the law of when kidnapping transportation begins, and that the judge will have to decide what the phrase means and instruct the jury on it.

The question of defining when kidnapping transpotation begins has arsoe due to the Alfonso Rodriguez case inFargo, Minnesota. Where and when victim Dru Sjodin died, not who killed her, appear to be the questions most at issue after four days of the trial of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. in federal court. Rodriguez, 53, pleaded not guilty to the federal charge of kidnapping resulting in Sjodin's death. If convicted, the Crookston man who has spent half his life behind bars for violent sexual kidnapping offenses against women could be sentenced to death by the same jury hearing the case.

Last Monday, defense attorney Robert Hoy told the jury in his 15-minute opening statement that "you could very well find at the end of this case that Alfonso Rodriguez is responsible for the death of Dru Sjodin and the transportation of her body from Grand Forks to Crookston, just as the prosecution alleges, and at the same time find him not guilty of this federal kidnapping charge ..."

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 21, 2006 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Widener University School of Law Welcomes CrimProf Wesley M. Oliver

OliverWidener University School of Law is pleased to welcome a new member to its Harrisburg faculty: CrimProf Wesley M. Oliver

Associate Law Professor Wesley M. Oliver, who will teach classes in criminal law, criminal procedure and constitutional law. Oliver comes to Widener from Harvard Law School where he was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law. At Harvard, he taught courses on criminal procedure and legal research and writing. He also frequently co-taught criminal law with renowned criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz.

Oliver has also taught at the University of Maine School of Law, Tulane Law School and was a Fulbright scholar and lecturer at the McGill University Faculty of Law in Montreal. He earned his law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law and an LL.M. from Yale Law School.

August 20, 2006 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

This Week's Top Five Crim Papers

The top 5 crim papers for this week, with number of recent downloads, on SSRN are:

(1) 112 Originalists, Politics, and Criminal Law on the Rehnquist Court
Rachel Barkow,
New York University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: June 22, 2006
Last Revised: July 13, 2006
(2) 102 The Multiple Dimensions of Tunnel Vision in Criminal Cases
Keith A. Findley, Michael Scott,
University of Wisconsin Law School, University of Wisconsin Law School,
Date posted to database: June 23, 2006
Last Revised: June 23, 2006
(3) 91 Well Excuse Me! - Remorse, Apology, and Criminal Sentencing
Jeffrie G. Murphy,
Arizona State University College of Law,
Date posted to database: June 23, 2006
Last Revised: July 25, 2006
(4) 73 Neuroscience Evidence, Legal Culture, and Criminal Procedure
Michael S. Pardo,
University of Alabama School of Law,
Date posted to database: June 25, 2006
Last Revised: June 25, 2006
(5) 68 Genetics and Responsibility: To Know the Criminal from the Crime
Nita A. Farahany, James Coleman,
Vanderbilt University - School of Law, Duke University School of Law,
Date posted to database: June 20, 2006
Last Revised: June 21, 2006

August 20, 2006 in Weekly Top 5 SSRN Crim Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Scott Sundby Discusses John Karr's Confession

SundbysFrom Washington and Lee School of Law CrimProf Scott Sundby recently discussed with WSLS Channel 10 News of Roanoke, VA the legitimacy of John Karr's confession to killing 6 year old Jonbenet Ramsey.

"Until we start to get the full picture of what's going on, it's really difficult to know just how strong the case is," Sundby announced. Sundby also stated that there is the tendency put a case together based on bits and pieces we take from the media.

"We just don't know enough about him to know the quality of the evidence against him especially whether his confession is as reliable as we I think we tend to immediately assume it must be, I mean who would confess to doing such a horrible crime and yet people do."

That doubt is just one reason he says this case will not be cut and dry."A criminal trial is a process that involves many dimensions, uncovering many layers of evidence and we have to be really careful not to think that we have all the pieces before we actually do."

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

August 20, 2006 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)