CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Arnold H. Loewy, professor of criminal law at Texas Tech University College of Law

Loewy He recently stated in an opinion page that the  "Death penalty should not be applied to cases of child sexual assault"

Admitted to practice in Connecticut.As the first professor to hold the Texas Tech School of Law’s new Judge George R. Killam Jr. Chair of Criminal Law, Loewy will initiate a series of annual symposiums in the area of criminal law or criminal procedure. His first two-day symposium will begin April 5 and include participation of 12 panelists with national reputations in criminal law and procedure.

In addition to his work on the annual symposiums, Loewy will teach a Supreme Court seminar and also courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, and the first amendment. In each course he will use a casebook that he has edited.

Loewy recently joined the Texas Tech School of Law faculty after having taught for 38 years at the University of North Carolina School of Law and four years at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

He received both his bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Boston University, where he achieved the top academic average in his graduating class and was a senior editor for the Boston University Law Review. Professor Loewy obtained his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 1964.

Loewy was chair of the criminal justice section of the Association of American Law Schools in 1993 after serving for seven years on the executive board and as an officer. He also chaired the AALS Constitutional Law Section from 1973 to 1975. In addition to being an invited speaker at law schools and conferences throughout the nation, Loewy addressed the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law in 1990 on the topic of criminal speech, in 2002 on the topic of virtual child pornography, and again in 2006 on "Systemic Changes to Reduce the Conviction of the Innocent." He also taught American Constitutional Law to European students at Katholieke University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. [Mark Godsey]


B.S., Boston University, 1961

J.D., Boston University, 1963

LL.M., Harvard University, 1964


Criminal Law, Constitutional Law

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July 12, 2008 in Weekly CrimProf Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Crime Lab: Mississippi's a scary 'CSI' episode

On television, the popular CSI shows give the impression that high-tech tools and amply staffed forensic departments are on the job to solve crime scene investigations.

But, in Mississippi, that's fiction, not fact.

The inadequacy of Mississippi's "CSI" would make a sad, and scary, episode if it were presented on television.

Enough so that Attorney General Jim Hood is forming a task force that will meet Aug. 21 at Hood's office to study the financial needs of the state medical examiner's office and the Mississippi Crime Lab.

To begin with, since 1995, Mississippi has had no state medical examiner, despite being authorized to hire one.

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July 12, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Language barrier can hinder the legal process

7960707_local_interpreters_standalo The recent case of Jos Lopez Meza appears to be an anomaly, but it raises the question of whether non-English speakers who are accused of crimes are being understood.

Meza faced a possible death penalty in connection with his infant son's death. But one of the reasons he may only serve three to 15 years on a manslaughter charge is that court-certified interpreters found that parts of his interview with Nampa police had been misinterpreted.

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July 10, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

HIDDEN COSTS Communities Pay for High Prison Rate

Hcgm306_black_20080709173259 Now 66 years old, Ms. Coleman has three youngsters at home -- ages 5, 3 and 1. She doesn't know the whereabouts of her granddaughter, who is their mother. As for the children's fathers, they have both been in trouble with the law. One is in prison serving a 10-year term for second-degree murder. The other has been in and out of jail on drug charges.

"I didn't intend to raise my great-grandkids," says Ms. Coleman, who relies on supplies of diapers and baby wipes from a local social-services center. "There are so many things I can't do for them because of money, but I have to try."

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July 10, 2008 in Cost of Crime | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Touch DNA" Analysis Clears Ramsey Family In JonBenet's Death

Ramseyx  The family of JonBenet Ramsey has been formally cleared of any role in the 6-year-old's 1996 murder, a Colorado prosecutor announced Wednesday, citing newly discovered DNA evidence.

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July 10, 2008 in DNA | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Parole credit triggers criticism

Nearly 900 state inmates have been released from Kentucky prisons and jails since late May under a policy change on parole credit approved this year as part of the state budget.

And 887 other convicted felons have been released from parole supervision, according to the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, as the state deals with seriously overcrowded prisons.

The change, little noticed by many when it was made, already is causing concern and criticism from people who say it is misguided and potentially dangerous. One prosecutor has challenged the rule, saying it is unconstitutional and setting up what could be a pitched legal battle.

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July 9, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

"Project Zero" Overhauled NYC Teen Offender Rehab

Dr. Clarice Bailey was sent to New York City by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government to find out what it’s like inside the city’s program for juvenile justice reform. The Institute had its eye on the Department of Probation initiative called “Project Zero,” which seeks alternative kinds of rehabilitation to locking up young offenders in juvenile jail. Bailey spoke with probation officers, staff at the family courts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and counselors who work one-on-one with families in the system. Then she met the youths.

She recalled what the kids said about the adult staffers assigned to help them: “They’re like family. I’m close to them. They helped me when I got kicked out of my grandma’s house. They made sure I was all right.”

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July 9, 2008 in Juveniles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FBI kills serial murder profile

WASHINGTON - Hollywood's serial-killer stereotype - an anti-social white guy unable to stop murdering - is nothing but a Tinseltown tall tale, the FBI concludes in a new report.

"There's no one-size-fits-all profile," said Mark Hilts, chief of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. "Don't get caught up looking for Hannibal Lecter."

After analyzing the views of 135 law enforcement, academic and mental health experts, the FBI's behavioral profilers determined "there is no generic profile of a serial murderer."

The only traits most predators have in common is they tend to be control freaks with a total lack of remorse for taking innocent lives, the 71-page FBI report determined. It also said their motive to kill is usually simply "because they want to."

The bureau zinged the media for its infatuation with such murders, beginning with Jack the Ripper, who taunted London cops in the 1880s.

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July 9, 2008 in Criminal Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Using DNA in smaller crimes could clog system

The story is straight out of Nancy Drew: A half-eaten corn dog found at the scene of a suburban office burglary yields DNA that links the crime to a man with 27 previous arrests. It's not fiction, though; it happened in Hennepin County, Minn., earlier this year.

New research shows that using DNA to solve property crimes like burglaries -- and not just violent crimes like homicides and sexual assaults -- is particularly effective. Last month, the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center released a study that found that DNA evidence from property crime scenes identifies suspects in twice as many cases and leads to twice as many arrests as more typical tools like witnesses and fingerprints.

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July 8, 2008 in DNA | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Registry law called 'unfair to homeless'

Georgia's sex offender registry law should be struck down because it makes homelessness a crime, a lawyer told the state's highest court on Monday.

"The law is fundamentally unfair to homeless sex offenders," public defender Adam Levin argued to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Levin represents William James Santos, charged in Hall County for failing to register a new address in the sex offender registry. Because this would be his second failure-to-register offense, Santos faces a mandatory life sentence.

The registry law, with the harshest penalties in the nation, requires sex offenders to provide a route or street address within 72 hours after being released from custody or moving to a new address. The law states that an offender cannot use "homeless" as an address.

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July 8, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Murder's no mystery

The beat goes on with local violent crime: A 66-year-old Belleville woman was stabbed to death Friday. A 49-year-old man was gunned down at midnight Saturday near Sherman Park on the city's north side. A U.S. Park Service ranger shot and killed a man who drove a vehicle that hit him early Sunday morning near the Arch grounds.

It may be small comfort to note that this is not just a St. Louis problem. It is a disturbing national trend.

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July 7, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Reality TV's new target: Flipped-verdict dramas

Dnastoryx Reality television, which has probed virtually every aspect of American life, is looking to enter a gritty part of the criminal justice system: the campaign to exonerate the innocent.

GRB Entertainment, whose clients include National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, has discussed a proposal with the California Innocence Project, GRB Executive Vice President Michael Branton says.

A separate, undisclosed company is negotiating with the Innocence Project of Texas, says Jeff Blackburn, the Texas project's chief counsel.

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July 7, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

A chance for a clean slate

40747003 Thousands of Marylanders have had their arrest records removed from public view because of a new state law that requires automatic expungement for those who are detained and released without charge.

Proponents say the nine-month-old law is working as intended, removing potential barriers to obtaining employment, housing and loans. Another major change in state expungement law takes effect Oct. 1, when some criminal convictions in Maryland can be wiped out without a pardon from the governor.

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July 7, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

National Sex Offender Guidelines Released

The Justice Department today (June 1, 2008) released the final Sex Offender Registration and Notification ACT (SORNA) Guidelines. These are the guidelines for the Adam Walsh Act's sex offender registration and notification provisions. A copy of the guidelines is here (pdf.)

The Act is officially known as the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The Guidelines are in Title I of the Act, named the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The DOJ office that released the guidelines is the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing,
Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART).

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July 6, 2008 in Sex | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Probe Into Maryland Custody Death Slows

State and federal agents are investigating the death of a Maryland man in his cell two days after he was arrested and charged with killing a county police officer. But their efforts have been slowed by a lack of cooperation from prison officials. [Mark Godsey]

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July 6, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


In 1994, Californians saw a state criminal justice system that too often let the worst criminals out of prison to wreak destruction and hurt the innocent, only to be sent back to prison for worse crimes.

Fresno parent Mike Reynolds had been pushing Sacramento to pass a "three strikes" measure after the murder of his 18-year-old daughter, Kimber, during a robbery in 1992. Then the rape and murder of Petaluma's 12-year-old Polly Klaas - kidnapped from her home by another violent career criminal - confirmed the voters' worst fears.

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July 6, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)