CrimProf Blog

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

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Professor Hoffman Criminal Law Professor

Hoffman Professor Hoffmann is an award-winning scholar and law teacher. He holds the Harry Pratter Professorship, and is a past recipient of the Law School Gavel Award and the university-wide Outstanding Young Faculty Award. In addition to courses in criminal law and procedure and seminars on death penalty law and the psychology of criminal law, Hoffmann teaches seminars on the law and society of Japan and Asia.

Before joining the Indiana Law faculty in 1986, Hoffmann clerked for the Hon. Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and for the Hon. William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court.

A nationally recognized authority on the death penalty, he has also written extensively about criminal procedure and habeas corpus law. Hoffmann is a co-author of one of the leading casebooks in criminal procedure law, Comprehensive Criminal Procedure (Aspen 2nd ed. 2005) (with Allen, Livingston, and Stuntz). He served as Co-Chair and Reporter for the Massachusetts Governor's Council on Capital Punishment, and has spearheaded successful death penalty reform efforts in Illinois and Indiana. Professor Hoffmann is also on the faculty of the National Judicial College, where he teaches about death penalty law.

Hoffmann has been a Fulbright Professor in 1996 at the University of Tokyo, and in 1997-98 was a Visiting Professor at its International Center for Comparative Law and Politics. In 2003-04, he was a Fulbright Professor at the Universities of Erlangen and Jena in Germany.

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We would like to give you brief information about the developments in the court case regarding the Science Research Foundation which started in the year 2000:

The SRF Case was abated due to statute of limitations in 24.11.2005 while it was being tried in Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of 2nd Instance. After this verdict, the court case file had been sent to the court of appeals. The 8th Criminal Chamber of Supreme Court of Appeals which was conducting the appellate review had reversed the verdict of statute of limitations with its verdict dated 17.05.2007. In this decision to reserve the statute of limitations, the 8th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals had taken the invalid statements of the defendants, which the defendants were made to sign under coercion and pressure at the police custody, as basis. These statements are legally invalid in accordance with the 148th article of the Turkish Code of Criminal Procedure. Furthermore Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of 2nd Instance had stated the fact, that these statements taken in the police custody were not lawfully acceptable, in the protocol of its hearing dated February 29th 2008 with the following sentence; “THE STATEMENTS TAKEN THROUGH FORBIDDEN METHODS CAN NOT BE CONSIDERED AS EVIDENCE ACCORDING TO THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ARTICLE 148.” The Public Prosecutor of the 2nd Criminal Court of 2nd Instance had asked twice for the ACQUITTAL of all the defendants. The court case file regarding the 5 defendants, which were separated from the main court case due to statute of limitations, were tried according to TCC (Turkish Criminal Code) Article 313 and Bulent Tatlican who was being tried with the claim of being a leader of the alleged criminal organization had been ACQUITTED. This verdict was a final judgment of law.
In the reversal decree of the statute of limitations, the 8th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals had NOT GIVEN A FINAL VERDICT but stated that Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of 2nd Instance should “REEVALUATE” the mentioned court case file to see if the court case file falls in the scope of TCC (Turkish Criminal Code) Art.313 or TCC (Turkish Criminal Code) Art. 220.

The local court MISAPPREHENDING THE VERDICT OF REVERSAL, had taken an incorrect and unlawful decision such as “If that is what the Supreme Court of Appeals states, I should continue to see this file in respect of Art. 220” and passed a judgment, which is erroneous and not in concordance with law, in panic on the court case file in respect of TCC 220 with the misconception that the Criminal Chamber is expecting a verdict in this line without making any evaluation.

However Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of 2nd Instance had been very hesitant all through the proceedings after the reversal decree, in respect of determining which of articles TCC 313 and TCC 220 was to be applied. The local court was justifiable about this hesitation. Because the court case file was tried within the scope of the Art.313 for years following the verdict of Istanbul SSC (State Security Court) regarding the lack of jurisdiction, and Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of 2nd Instance had given the verdicts of acquittal and statute of limitations regarding this case in compliance with the Art. 313.

In the end of all these hesitations, Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of 2nd Instance;
- In contravention of 9 SEPARATE VERDICTS regarding the fact that the Court Case file of Science Research Foundation should be tried in respect of TCC Art.313 (These verdicts can be submitted to your attention if requested),
- Even though this court, itself had previously tried the Science Research Foundation Court Case File within the scope of Art.313,
- Even though this court itself had numerously acknowledged this conception in various preceding judgments,
- Even though this court itself had given a verdict of statute of limitations for the SRF Court Case within the scope of TCC Art.313,
- In spite of the statements of opinions for acquittal in respect of TCC Art. 313 given by the Public Prosecutor regarding all the defendants,
- In spite of the legal opinions stated by renown criminal law academicians from all over the world and from our country, all pointing out the fact that TCC Art. 313 should be applied in this court case,

without grounding on any legal base, had given judgment about the defendants of the SRF Case in respect of the TCC Art. 220.

This court case, in which some of the defendants were given 3 years of jail sentence, stands solely on the statements which were taken in the police custody without a lawyer’s presence, and were forcefully made to sign under torture and which were declared null and void according to our laws. The court case file, which was appealed, came before the Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on 14.11.2008 Friday. The Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had put the file in record with an amazing haste on 17.11.2008. The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had assigned Mr.Ertan Yüzer to the case on 19.11.2008. And Mr.Ertan Yüzer had presented his certificate of service on 20.11.2008, only one day after the court case file came before him. Moreover it is a clear fact that it is absolutely impossible to evaluate the court case file we were tried with, which had reached a volume of 90 binders in a single day. It is apparent that the certificate of service presented by the esteemed prosecutor Mr.Ertan Yüzer, was presented without analyzing the court case file.

At this stage, the court case file is sent before the 8th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals with the request to ratify the verdict of penalty.

Our request from you is to present us a letter stating that you have been observing the milestones of this court case file in full details or that this court case file should actually have been subjected to statute of limitations in the year 2005.

Should you require more detailed information about our court case file, we will be pleased to provide you all kinds of documents on every issue. Moreover you can also visit our website

Posted by: Ceyhun Gökdoğan | Jan 6, 2009 5:17:36 AM

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