CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Carol A. Chase: Pepperdine Professor of Criminal Law


Professor of Law
B.A., summa cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles, 1975
J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1978

View a list of Professor Chase's recent writings

Before joining the Pepperdine faculty, Professor Chase was an assistant U.S. attorney for the criminal division in Los Angeles. She has been an associate in the Los Angeles offices of Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the California State Bar, and is admitted to practice in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts of California.

Professor Chase regularly teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Trial Practice, and has been honored as a Luckman Distinguished Teaching Fellow. She has commented extensively in the media on various legal topics, including the proceedings in People v. Simpson and People v. Jackson appearing for CNN, FOX-TV, E! Entertainment, KCET, and CBS-TV (Canada) and providing radio commentary for BBC (UK).

Her publications include a trial advocacy textbook, The Art & Science of Trial Advocacy (Anderson 2003), which she co-authored with Professors Perrin and Caldwell. In addition she has published "Bad Dream Team? The Simpson Defense Employs a Cynical Strategy," Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 1995; "Simpson Sideshow," Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 1995; "Police Action," Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 1995 (co-author); "Balancing Defendants' Confrontation Clause Rights Against the Need to Protect Child Abuse Victims," Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Newsletter; "Confronting Supreme Confusion: Balancing Defendants' Confrontation Clause Rights Against the Need to Protect Child Abuse Victims," 1993 Utah Law Review 407 (1993); "The Unruly Exclusionary Rule: Heeding Justice Blackmun's Call to Examine the Rule in Light of Changing Judicial Understanding About its Effects Outside the Courtroom," 78 Marquette Law Review 45 (1994) (co-author); "Hearing the 'Sounds of Silence' in Criminal Trials: A Look at Recent British Law Reforms with an Eye Toward Reforming the American Criminal Justice System," 44 Kansas Law Review 929 (1996); "A Challenge for Cause Against Preemptory Challenges in Criminal Proceedings," 19 Loyola International and Comparative Law Journal 507 (1997) (co-author); "If It's Broken, Fix It: Moving Beyond the Exclusionary Rule--A New and Extensive Empirical Study of the Exclusionary Rule and a Call for a Civil Administrative Remedy to Partially Replace the Rule," 83 Iowa Law Review 669 (1999) (co-author); "It is Broken: Breaking the Inertia of the Exclusionary Rule," 26 Pepperdine Law Review 971 (1999) (co-author); "Privacy Takes a Back Seat: Putting the Automobile Exception Back on Track After Several Wrong Turns," 41 Boston College Law Review (1999); "Rampart: A Crying Need to Restore Police Accountability," Loyola Law Review (2000); "The Five Faces of the Confrontation Clause," 40 Houston Law Review 1003 (2003); "Is Clawford a 'Get out of Jail Free Card' for Batterers and Abusers? An Argument for a Narrow Definition of 'Testimonials'" 84 Oregon Law Review 1093 (2006); and "Cars, Cops and Crooks: A Reexamination of Belton and Carroll with an Eye Towards Restoring Privacy Protection to Automobiles" 85 Oregon Law Review 101 (2007).

Professor Chase has also worked as a volunteer with elementary and high school children, teaching them about the American justice system and assisting them in participating in mock trials. She is an active volunteer in children's sports and holds an "F" license to coach soccer. [Mark Godsey]

More Information Carol A. Chase 

July 26, 2008 in Weekly CrimProf Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Latino-vs.-black violence drives hate crimes in L.A. County to 5-year high

41214406 The County Human Relations Commission reports a 28% increase last year, with assaults and vandalism the leading categories.

Hate crimes in Los Angeles County rose to their highest level in five years last year, led by attacks between Latinos and blacks, officials said Thursday.

The annual report by the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission showed hate crimes rose by 28%, to 763, with vandalism and assault leading the way.

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July 25, 2008 in Race | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A City’s Police Force Now Doubts Terror Focus


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Nearly seven years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the war on terror in this city has evolved into a quiet struggle against a phantom foe.

Last year, when a sailor slipped over the side of a Turkish merchant ship in the city’s port, a Providence police detective assigned to a joint terrorism task force was quickly alerted, reflecting a new vigilance since the Sept. 11 attacks. Alerts also went out to immigration, customs, the F.B.I. and other federal agencies, but the case went cold.

Another alarm was sounded over a suspicious man of Indian descent who asked a metals dealer about buying old power tools and hair dryers. The lead petered out when the prospective buyer told a police detective in an interview that he wanted to refurbish the equipment for resale overseas.

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July 25, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Prisoners' time spent on death row doubles

A_deathrowgraf_2 The time prisoners spend on death row has nearly doubled during the past two decades. Legal experts predict it will rise further as states review execution procedures and prisoners pursue lengthy appeals. Waits rose from seven years in 1986 to 12 years in 2006, the latest Justice Department statistics show. In all five states with the most prisoners on death row — California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Alabama — offenders spend more time in prison than they did four years ago, a USA TODAY survey of state records through 2007 found.

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July 25, 2008 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Courses at New York Law School

This fall, New York Law School will be offering four courses from the  nine-course array of  its online, distance learning curriculum. Courses combine streaming videos, readings, weekly synchronous chat rooms (meaning, class meets at 8:45 on Monday night, say, but you can be home in your pajamas or at a coffee shop, not in Room A 602), asynchronous message boards and two full day live face-to-face seminars (in which skills issues are always emphasized). We've been offering these courses since 2000, and have grown the program this year from six to nine courses (about which we are very excited). Courses to be offered this fall (with chat room times listed) are these:

Survey of Mental Disability Law (Monday, 8:45-10 pm)

Sex Offenders (Tuesday, 8:45-10 pm)

Therapeutic Jurisprudence (Wednesday, 8:45-10 pm)

Americans with Disabilities Act: Law, Policy and Procedure (Thursday, 8:45-10 pm)

The courses are open to law students and to attorneys (CLE is available), and are also appropriate for mental health professionals, advocates, and activists. Currently, NYLS has formal partnerships with Southern University Law Center, Gonzaga Law School, Concord Law School, and McGeorge Law School; however, students from other law schools are encouraged to enroll for these courses as well.

For more information, please visit the website: <>  (scope notes for each course can be found at, <,>  or write for details to Liane Bass, Esq., senior administrator of the program ( Registration is now open for all courses. [From Michael Perlin][Mark Godsey]

July 25, 2008 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Interesting Sentencing Hearings Due in California? A criminal defendant's right to address the judge before sentencing and plead for mercy without being cross-examined, a right traced back to 17th century England, doesn't exist in California, the state Supreme Court ruled today.

In a case from San Mateo County, the justices ruled unanimously that a defendant who is about to be sentenced must be treated like any other witness - testifying under oath and subject to cross-examination by the prosecutor - when asking for leniency.

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July 24, 2008 in Criminal Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Court Holds There is a Due Process Right to Post-Conviction Access to Evidence for DNA Testing

On Monday, Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an opinion concluding that "the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment grants a convicted offender access to physical evidence for the purpose of DNA testing if it can be performed with negligible cost to the state and exculpatory results would undermine confidence in the outcome of trial."  [Mike Mannheimer]

July 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Supreme Court on Trial: How the American Justice System Sacrifices Innocent Defendants

"DNA has conclusively proven the innocence of hundreds of prisoners. Yet
thousands, if not tens of thousands, of innocent prisoners remain behind
bars because no DNA evidence exists or it has not yet been tested. George
Thomas's new book, The Supreme Court on Trial: How American Justice
Sacrifices Innocent Defendants, should be read by everyone who has an
interest in justice and in protecting innocent defendants from being sent to
prison. His carefully-developed thesis is that due process of law is most
importantly about protecting innocent suspects and defendants. He shows how
the current system too often fails at protecting the innocent, and he offers
a realistic blueprint for meaningful reforms.

The book examines how Western cultures have historically identified those
guilty of crimes. It begins with the ancient Greeks. By the time the book
reaches the late seventeenth century, it shows how the British and American
systems of justice had evolved into what lawyers call an "adversarial
system." In that kind of system, advocates for both parties examine and
cross-examine witnesses in court as the way to reveal the truth about guilt.

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July 24, 2008 in Book Club | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Forensic Bioinformatics Expert Forum

From: Jason Gilder

Forensic Bioinformatics is holding its expert forum on the science of
DNA profiling on August 15 through 17. This will be our seventh annual
meeting in Dayton and I think you will agree that the program is one of
our best ever.

We have always been fortunate in being able to get prominent experts to
share their insights and learn from each other at this meeting and this
year is not an exception. Notable speakers for this year’s forum
include: Simon Ford; Christine Funk; Keith Inman; Roger Koppl; Larry
Mueller; Gabe Oberfield; D. Michael Risinger; Tania Simoncelli; and Bill

Last year’s introductory parallel session run by Christine Funk on the
first day of the forum was so successful that we have decided to build
the whole first day of this year’s meeting (Friday, August 15) around
it. This set of presentations for less experienced attorneys with cameo
appearances from world-renowned experts is intended to bring relative
new-comers to the field up to speed on the technical aspects of DNA
profiling so they can appreciate the cutting edge discussions about DNA
databases and statistical issues associated with DNA test results on the
days that follow.

This year we are again offering the opportunity to generate your own DNA
profile (from DNA extraction to statistical interpretation) during the
day of Thursday, August 14. Keith Inman from Forensic Analytical will be
running this special workshop using Wright State University facilities
for the first ten conference attendees who express an interest in this
$200 course.

Early registration ($295) for this year’s expert forum runs through
August 1 and represents a $130 savings over the full registration cost.
Groups of four or more can obtain a 20% discount and a limited number of
scholarships are still available upon request.

As always, much more information about the speakers, their talks and the
meeting in general (including registration forms and hotel information)
are available at the Forensic Bioinformatics web site
( I guarantee that you will find that this is one
of the best meetings that you have ever attended!

July 23, 2008 in Symposiums | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Criminal Justice: One Of The Enormous Non-Issues Of Presidential Politics

Headshot James Freedman

What happened to "the land of the free"?

In February, we reached an all-time high, with one out of 100 American adults incarcerated. Some groups are hit particularly hard; one out of every 15 African American adults were behind bars as of 2006.

In April, Adam Liptak started off a piece for the International Herald Tribune with two straightforward but powerful sentences: "The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners."

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July 23, 2008 in Criminal Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Los Angeles police chief seeks to forgo reviews in some use-of-force cases

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton is seeking permission to make the department's review of officer-involved shootings and other use-of-force incidents less punitive for some officers who violate department rules.

The Los Angeles Police Commission, which oversees the Police Department, is poised to vote today on whether to approve Bratton's proposed changes to how he and his command staff deal with officers who use serious force during altercations.

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July 22, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

L.A.'s homicide toll is slightly below that of the same 2007 period

The LAPD reported a nearly 40% increase in homicides in the first 21/2 months of 2008. But as of Monday, 204 people have been killed in the city -- 2% fewer than that date last year.
After rising nearly 40% earlier this year, killings in the city of Los Angeles have fallen below last year's levels, according to LAPD statistics.

4114133821135523 The Police Department said there were 204 killings in 2008 as of Monday evening, four fewer than were reported over the same period last year. That represented a 2% decline overall, Sgt. Ruby Malachi said.
Officials were quick to point out that the percentage drop was so small that a few more homicides this week could push the total number over 2007 levels.

Still, they said the statistics represented a shift from mid-March, when Los Angeles seemed poised to see a major increase in killings after five years of historic declines.

"We see fluctuations throughout the year, and sometimes those spikes we see are very disturbing," said LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger.

"But at the end of the day, we still see a marked degradation in crime. And that's the goal."

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July 22, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ACLU files suit challenging Ala. law barring many felons from getting voting rights restored

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ After serving eight months behind bars for a conviction of receiving stolen property, Annette McWashington Pruitt was excited about the prospect of being able to vote again.

One of her first stops after being released from prison was the Jefferson County Voter Registrar's Office. But she was told she was a convicted felon and couldn't vote.

"I couldn't believe it," Pruitt said. "They continued to give me numbers to call. It was very much demeaning."

Now she has gone to court to try to get her right to vote restored.

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July 22, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tech release of records omits key materials

Virginia Tech will withhold officials' notes and some details concerning the shooter

BLACKSBURG -- Some of the deepest secrets about Seung-Hui Cho's killing rampage at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, may never be made public.

Disclosure of the essential facts of the tragedy in a public archive was a key part of a settlement last month with victims' families, reached after the university released thousands of pages of internal documents to their lawyers.

But a Richmond Times-Dispatch review of an estimated 20,000 pages of those documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, found almost nothing about key issues the families wanted to be made public. Tech withheld from the newspaper some of the documents it released to the families.

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July 22, 2008 in Evidence | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May Pardons Be Granted Preemptively? With six months to go before President Bush leaves office, the White House is receiving a flurry of pardon applications. The New York Times reported that "several members of the conservative legal community" are pushing for the White House to grant pre-emptive pardons for officials involved in counterterrorism programs. Wait—can a president really pardon someone who hasn't even been charged with a crime?

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July 22, 2008 in Criminal Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 21, 2008

How reliable is DNA in identifying suspects?

41115690 State crime lab analyst Kathryn Troyer was running tests on Arizona's DNA database when she stumbled across two felons with remarkably similar genetic profiles.

The men matched at nine of the 13 locations on chromosomes, or loci, commonly used to distinguish people. The FBI estimated the odds of unrelated people sharing those genetic markers to be as remote as 1 in 113 billion. But the mug shots of the two felons suggested that they were not related: One was black, the other white.

In the years after her 2001 discovery, Troyer found dozens of similar matches -- each seeming to defy impossible odds.

As word spread, these findings by a little-known lab worker raised questions about the accuracy of the FBI's DNA statistics and ignited a legal fight over whether the nation's genetic databases ought to be opened to wider scrutiny.

The FBI laboratory, which administers the national DNA database system, tried to stop distribution of Troyer's results and began an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign to block similar searches elsewhere, even those ordered by courts, a Times investigation found.

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July 21, 2008 in DNA | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

U.S. Is Alone in Rejecting All Evidence if Police Err

18exclude02_600 Bradley Harrison was driving a rented Dodge Durango from Vancouver to Toronto in the fall of 2004 with 77 pounds of cocaine in the trunk when a police officer pulled him over, found the drugs and arrested him. A year and a half later, an Ontario trial judge ruled that the officer’s conduct was a “brazen and flagrant” violation of Mr. Harrison’s rights. The officer’s explanation for stopping and searching Mr. Harrison — confusion about a license plate — was contrived and defied credibility, the judge said, and the search “was certainly not reasonable.” In the United States, that would have been good news for Mr. Harrison. Under the American legal system’s exclusionary rule, the evidence against Mr. Harrison would have been suppressed as the result of an unlawful search.

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July 21, 2008 in Evidence | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Felons Seeking Bush Pardon Near a Record

19pardon_03_190 WASHINGTON — Felons are asking President Bush for pardons and commutations at historic levels as he nears his final months in office, a time when many other presidents have granted a flurry of clemency requests.

Among the petitioners is Michael Milken, the billionaire former junk bond king turned philanthropist, who is seeking a pardon for his 1990 conviction for securities fraud, the Justice Department said. Mr. Milken sought a pardon eight years ago from President Bill Clinton, and submitted a new petition in June.

In addition, prominent federal inmates are asking Mr. Bush to commute their sentences. Among them are Randy Cunningham, the former Republican congressman from California; Edwin W. Edwards, a former Democratic governor of Louisiana; John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban; and Marion Jones, the former Olympic sprinter.

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July 21, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

IMPD unveils an 'integrity plan'

Department tries to fix its image after officer arrests'

Narcotics detectives ripping off drug dealers. A police officer selling a gun to a felon informant. Another officer helping his wife run an illegal escort service.

In the past four months, criminal misconduct allegations have been leveled against a half-dozen Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers.

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July 20, 2008 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

State Supreme Court narrows probable-cause grounds in pot case

Law-enforcement officers who detect the odor of marijuana from a vehicle can't arrest all of the occupants, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, the court determined the smell of pot isn't enough probable cause to warrant the arrest and search of everyone inside a car. While smell alone may be reason for a vehicle search, the court determined, it doesn't warrant handcuffing passengers without other supporting evidence.

Defense attorneys on Thursday called it a right-to-privacy victory. Law-enforcement officers say it won't greatly affect the way they make arrests.

The ruling stems from a traffic stop in April 2006 in Skagit County.

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July 20, 2008 in Drugs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)