CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Stanford: Capital Punishment Symposium Issue On Line

The Stanford Law Review's special issue on capital punishment is now posted on the SLR website (, as well as in print.  An article by Professors Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule leads off the issue, followed by responses by Professor Carol Steiker and then Professors John Donohue and Justin Wolfers.  Sunstein and Vermeule reply to these two responses.  There’s also an editors’ note that provides a little more information on this series on capital punishment, including an announcement that the American Law and Economics Review will be running a follow-up symposium that focuses on the empirical studies relied on by Professors Sunstein and Vermeule and critiqued by Professors Donohue and Wolfers.

February 11, 2006 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Criminal Forensic Seminar, Friday March 3 at DePaul

Information here

February 11, 2006 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Death Penalty Conference, Philly, March 4-7

"The National Legal Aid and Defender Association Life in the Balance Conference will take place March 4-7 in Philadelphia. This conference provides an opportunity for capital defense attorneys, mitigation specialists, and defense investigators to learn, revisit, and teach skills and techniques in all phases of capital representation. The conference also provides an opportunity for policy advocates to learn more about specific topical areas related to capital defense representation." Brochure Here

February 10, 2006 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Article on California Law Prof Salaries


February 10, 2006 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Article Spotlight: Remember the Ladies and the Children Too: Crawford's Impact on Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Cases

From Southwestern PrimProf Myrna Raeder: Remember the Ladies and the Children Too: Crawford's Impact on Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Cases.  The abstract: "Prior to Crawford, Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U.S. 56 (1980), and its progeny permitted the statements of absent declarants to be introduced under firmly rooted hearsay exceptions, or under ad hoc exceptions when the statements were trustworthy. As a result, in child abuse cases, statements of children were frequently introduced which had been obtained through multidisciplinary forensic interviews. Prosecutors relied heavily on excited utterances, statements to medical personnel, and child hearsay exceptions as well as on medical expert testimony and introduction of prior molestations by defendants. In domestic violence cases, prosecutors developed "victimless" prosecutions, based primarily on the complainant's excited utterances, medical statements, or other trustworthy hearsay, which were introduced through the testimony of police and medical personnel who photographed the injuries. In some jurisdictions expansive use of prior acts of domestic violence were offered under Rule 404(b) or domestic violence exceptions.

The effort to hold batterers accountable for their actions did not create uniformly good results for battered women. Some complainants were virtually forced to testify or face jail when they ignored subpoenas in "no drop" jurisdictions. In addition, more women were arrested for domestic violence, judges often granted mutual protective orders, women were charged criminally for endangering their children who witnessed their abuse; and even when they were not charged, their children might be removed from the home and placed in foster care. The effect and effectiveness of such policies began to be questioned even before Crawford.

This article critiques the testimonial approach, discusses how testimonial statements should be defined focusing particularly on excited utterances and 911 calls, and identifies current trends affecting domestic violence and child abuse litigation. It also explores forfeiture, waiver, and opening the door to testimonial statements. Rather than fighting Crawford, consideration should be given to adopting new hearsay exceptions for declarants who testify, determining whether Rule 404(b) is being adequately used, and expanding expert testimony to permit background about battering and child abuse. More globally, the article proposes restructuring domestic violence prosecutions into three separate tracks in order to devote scarce criminal justice resources to the most dangerous offenders. Finally, best practices are suggested that are most likely to permit child testimony."  The paper is available here.

February 10, 2006 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Eric Muller: Japanese Internment Worse than We Knew

Here's North Carolina CrimProf Eric Muller's description of his latest paper: "I dig way deeper than Korematsu and Hirabayashi to show that just about every case the Justice Department brought against Japanese Americans in WWII--beyond those designed to enforce the curfew and the exclusion--ended in disaster:  acquittals (by all-white juries, no less), dismissals, and stern judicial rebukes.  Most of the paper is based on archival research, digging out lots and lots of "forgotten" cases that ended in the district or circuit courts rather than going up to the Supremes. The paper gives a whole new meaning to the 'disaster' of the 'Japanese American cases'--and shows how difficult it was for the Justice Department to get any traction at all with the judiciary outside the most core area of extreme (or, at least allegedly extreme) military necessity." [Jack Chin]

February 9, 2006 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New ABA Criminal Justice book - Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Immigration Law, 2nd

""The Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Immigration Law: Questions and Answers, 2nd Edition" (product code 5090100) has just been published by the ABA Criminal Justice Section. To purchase this book or for more information, go to or call toll-free 1-800-285-2221.

Set up in a unique question-and-answer format, this concise guide focuses on the criminal lawyer's most common questions about immigration law and representing noncitizens, from "Who exactly is an alien?" to "Are removal hearings conducted like criminal proceedings?" The answers are clear and carefully focused and in most instances direct you to specific cases or more in-depth resources.

From an overview of immigration law to guidance for specific situations, this convenient reference addresses immigration court and procedures, immigration consequences of criminal convictions, extradition, and prisoner issues -- a variety of real-life situations you face as a criminal lawyer with noncitizen clients or witnesses.

The "Guide" is an invaluable resource for both federal and state criminal law practitioners. Federal lawyers will find the chapters covering alien smuggling and hostage taking, immigration document fraud and false statements, and illegal entry and reentry (pretrial through sentencing) to be the most up-to-date source of information on handling these cases. All criminal practitioners will find essential the chapters on immigration consequences of criminal convictions, as well as border stops, getting witnesses and evidence from abroad, international extradition, treaty transfers, and how the PATRIOT Act affects aliens."

February 9, 2006 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Conference Announcement: Castle Rock v. Gonzales at Denver

Castle Rock v. Gonzales Conference: Some are Guilty–All are Accountable Accountability in the Age of Denial March 16 - 17, 2006

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

To register: 

February 9, 2006 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New NIJ Rape Study

"More than 300,000 women and almost 93,000 men are raped annually, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS). Researchers found differences in rape prevalence relating to age, gender, and race/ethnicity, as well as other factors such as whether victims were first raped as minors. Despite widespread public education, rape remains a largely underreported crime; and despite increased levels of research over the past few decades, significant gaps remain in understanding rape victimization. This National Institute of Justice Special Report takes a detailed look at the NVAWS findings and the researchers' recommendations for future research.  The report is available online at the NIJ Web site at:"

I for one am surprised that the female-male rape ratio is only  about 3-1. [Jack Chin]

February 9, 2006 in Sex | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Online Federal Criminal Trial Manual

Here's something useful and free on line: Donald S. Voorhees; Genevra Kay Loveland, Manual on Recurring Problems in Criminal Trials (Fifth Edition 2001)  [Jack Chin, thanks to Tom Mauet]

February 9, 2006 in Criminal Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"NSA Kabuki Theatre": Commentary on the NSA Wiretap Hearings

Commentary from Findlaw: "In 1993, during President Clinton's first term, the Democrat-controlled House held a hearing on the Waco Branch Davidian tragedy, which had resulted in the death of several dozen men, women and children. The hearing, was a farce: a virtual lovefest, during which members of the Clinton Administration responded to softball questions from their colleagues in the House with superficial answers, and Republican queries were ignored or glossed over with disdain, if not outright contempt.

More than a dozen years later, with the White House and Congress once again in the grip of a single Party, and another matter of great seriousness facing the Congress - NSA spying on American citizens -- where are we?  Thus far, if it's not "déjà vu, all over again," it's pretty darn close. [But some important facts did come through]." Full column from Findlaw. . . [Mark Godsey]

February 9, 2006 in Homeland Security | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Violence Against Children Act

Cardozo LawProf Marci Hamilton, has proposed and drafted the Violence Against Children Act, to address the ongoing conflict between the Catholic church and the law on childhood sexual abuse.  She writes: "It is time for Congress to hold hearings and become involved in an issue of such national magnitude. Neither this Church nor any other organization can solve its internal problems with pedophiles on its own. And the states are moving glacially...[This] national law...calls for a national registry of convicted and accused child abusers, culled from criminal prosecution and civil litigation; the reduction of federal spending on health care for any state that fails to abolish the statute of limitations relating to childhood sexual abuse or to enact a window whereby past victims may seek justice; the denial of tax-exempt status for any charitable organization that fosters or covers up child abuse; and amendment of the federal RICO laws to cover an organization's reckless endangerment of children resulting in childhood sexual abuse." Hamilton's full column from . . [Mark Godsey]

February 9, 2006 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Racially Motivated Brawls Erupt in LA County Jail

From Los Angeles (AP)- Four different fights involving more than 450 black and Hispanic inmates erupted yesterday at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, about 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.  Nineteen inmates were injured in the what officials are calling "racially motivated brawls."  Deadly rioting broke out at the county jail just last weekend. Story. . . [Mark Godsey]

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

Guess Who Said This Quote...

“I’ve always had a problem with judgment, particularly when it comes to women.”

Answer:  John Bobbitt, of the severed penis fame of 1993, as he was acquitted of a domestic battery charge this week. [Mark Godsey]

February 9, 2006 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Panel Discussion, "The Reporter as Witness for the Prosecution," Feb. 10

Yale Law School will host a panel discussion on Friday, February 10, at 12:30 p.m., in Room 129, titled "The Reporter as Witness for the Prosecution." The panel will feature Robert G. Kaiser, associate editor of the Washington Post; Robert Post, the David Boies Professor of Law at YLS; and Kate Stith, the Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law and a former federal prosecutor. Marcia Chambers MSL '81, a former reporter for The New York Times, will moderate.

In recent years, reporters for print, television, and a variety of online publications have faced legal sanctions if they refuse to identify their sources to prosecutors, grand juries, and attorneys representing civil litigants. Most recently reporters from the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Time magazine, among others, have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury identifying the leak of the identity of a CIA agent. The CIA leak case led to the indictment of I. Lewis Libby, the vice-president's former chief of staff. Libby's lawyers recently asked a federal judge to compel prosecutors to turn over all information the prosecution has from journalists. In all likelihood the New York Times reporters who broke the National Security Agency's use of warrantless wiretapping of American citizens will soon be called to testify. If reporters refuse, they face contempt charges and jail time.

Judges have issued contempt findings against reporters in a civil case brought by Wen Ho Lee, a nuclear physicist who has sued the government for disclosing his name during an espionage investigation. An appeals court has upheld the judgment, now on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The panel will address such questions as: Do journalists need more protection from prosecution? Should they be required to talk to a grand jury? At what price? Should a federal shield law be enacted?

February 8, 2006 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Hate Crimes Lecture at William Mitchell

Hatecrimes More than 40 years since the United States was aroused by the Civil Rights movement, racially-based hate crimes still occur. In honor of Black History Month, William Mitchell will host the lecture "Hate Crimes: Examining the case of R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul and Current Events" on Wednesday, February 22, at 6 p.m.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Minnesota CLE credits will be applied for.  More . . .  [Mark Godsey]

February 7, 2006 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stanford Fellowships

Stanford's Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity is seeking applications for its Visiting Fellows Program 2006-07.

"The purpose of the Visting Fellows Program is to bring outstanding scholars from other universities to Stanford for the academic year to pursue the interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and
culture. The Fellows Program is intended to further RICSRE's programmatic efforts to establish Stanford as a national center of scholarship in the area of race and ethnicity. The Visiting Fellows
provide expertise on topics not already represented among the Stanford  faculty and help build a national network of scholars who can contribute to research carried out at the Research Institute."
see website for VF Program info and application details; materials for 2006-07 fellowship must be submitted by February 17, 2006

February 7, 2006 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Western Law Teachers of Color Meeting

San Diego, March 31-April 2.  Info here.

February 7, 2006 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Republican, Democrat Judges Differ on Sentences

Federal judges who are Republicans punish street crimes more severely, Democrats punish white collar crimes. Northwestern CrimProfs Emerson Tiller and Max Schanzenbach did the study.

February 7, 2006 in Sentencing Corrections | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 6, 2006

Duke's Innocence Project

Dukelawlogo_1 A story about Duke's wrongful convictions clinic here.

February 6, 2006 in Exoneration Innocence Accuracy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)