CrimProf Blog

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

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Court Reverses Ninth Circuit's Ineffectiveness Finding in Death Case

The per curiam opinion in Wong v. Belmontes is here.

November 16, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Court Grants Cert to Hear Issue on Habeas Challenge to New Sentence

The case is Maywood v. Culliver. ScotusBlog summarizes it here, and Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy comments here. Here's how ScotusBlog describes the key facts:

After an original death sentence for Magwood was overturned in 1986, he was again given a death sentence following a new proceeding in state court.  After state courts rejected his challenge to the new sentence, Magwood’s lawyers filed for federal habeas, contending that he had had no notice that a state court ruling adverse to his case would be applied retroactively, and thus to his case.  A federal judge ruled in his favor, but the Eleventh Circuit Court overturned that result.  The Circuit Court ruled that the claim of a lack of fair warning was a second or successive habeas claim, and thus was barred.  The claim could have been raised at Magwood’s initial sentencing, that court decided.

November 16, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Horwitz on Democracy and Prosecuting Bush Administration

PhpThumb.php Paul Horwitz  (University of Alabama School of Law) has posted Democracy as the Rule of Law (PROSECUTING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION: WHAT DOES THE RULE OF LAW REQUIRE? Nasser Hussain & Austin Sarat, eds., Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This paper is a chapter for a forthcoming book, Prosecuting the Bush Administration: What Does the Rule of Law Require? The book does not debate whether the Bush administration violated the law in the course of the War on Terror and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through such actions as torture. Rather, it assumes for purposes of debate that violations of the law occurred, and asks, if that is so, whether the rule law requires prosecution.

This contribution takes this question as an occasion to examine the tangled relationship between three essentially contested concepts: democracy, the rule of law, and transitional justice. It proceeds fairly unsentimentally, assuming that these concepts are not especially helpful as simple invocations and that they should be viewed as pragmatic rather than metaphysical goods. It makes two main arguments. The first, which many other critics share, is that transitional justice consists largely if not entirely of a pragmatic and political balance between democracy and the rule of law. It requires a consideration of what I call the “costs of settlement” - a balancing of past investments in and future costs to the stability and viability of both democracy and the rule of law. As such, both transitional justice and the “rule of law” itself, despite the latter term’s usual assumption of universality, may require different approaches and different compromises in different societies.

Continue reading

November 16, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekend Roundup

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Louis Brandeis’ Influence on Shaping Protection of Privacy Rights"

ACSBlog links here to video of a recent program addressing the topic and a guest blog post from Brandeis biographer Melvin I. Urofsky.

November 15, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"The Best Way to Try Terrorists"

The New York Times has this interesting debate between a former federal prosecutor and an expert in national security law here. Here's how it starts:

I recently co-authored a study of the experience of federal courts in adjudicating terrorism cases. The data we collected shows that federal-court terrorism prosecutions have generally yielded just, reliable outcomes that have not undermined our national security.

The list of convictions includes not only the trial of Omar Abdel Rahman in 1995, but also of Ramzi Yousef, Zacarias Moussaoui, Jose Padilla, John Walker Lindh and Richard Reid, to name just a few. Not all cases have been perfect, but the outcomes, by and large, have been accepted around the world and have consigned the convicted terrorists to spend many decades or the rest of their lives in the obscurity of federal prison.

November 15, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Silverglate on "Three Felonies a Day"

Video of a talk  sponsored by the CATO Institute by Harvey Silverglate discussing his book by that title is available here.

November 15, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

Ssrn logo are here. The usual disclaimers apply.

Rank Downloads Paper Title
1 280 The Emerging Criminal War on Sex Offenders
Corey Rayburn Yung,
The John Marshall Law School,
Date posted to database: August 18, 2009
2 228 The Torture Lawyers
Jens David Ohlin,
Cornell Law School,
Date posted to database: September 10, 2009
3 221 Blaming the Brain
Steven K. Erickson,
University of Missouri at Columbia - School of Law,
Date posted to database: September 12, 2009
4 197 The Increased Level of EU Antitrust Fines, Judicial Review, and the European Convention on Human Rights
Wouter P. J. Wils,
European Commission Legal Service,
Date posted to database: October 24, 2009 [new to top ten]
5 171 Can Bad Science Be Good Evidence: Lie Detection, Neuroscience, and the Mistaken Conflation of Legal and Scientific Norms
Frederick Schauer,
University of Virginia School of Law,
Date posted to database: August 13, 2009 [6th last week]
6 166 Debacle: How the Supreme Court Has Mangled American Sentencing Law And How It Might Yet Be Mended
Frank O. Bowman III,
University of Missouri School of Law,
Date posted to database: September 10, 2009 [4th last week]
7 164 Finding Bernie Madoff: Predicting Fraud by Investment Managers
Stephen G. Dimmock, William Christopher Gerken,
Michigan State University - Department of Finance, Auburn University - Department of Finance,
Date posted to database: September 11, 2009 [5th last week]
8 153 Stranger Than Dictum: Why Arizona v. Gant Compels the Conclusion that Suspicionless Buie Searches Incident to Lawful Arrests are Unconstitutional
Colin Miller,
John Marshall Law School,
Date posted to database: August 18, 2009 [7th last week]
9 134 The Experiential Future of the Law
Adam J. Kolber,
University of San Diego School of Law,
Date posted to database: October 13, 2009 [new to top ten]
10 133 Competing Theories of Blackmail: An Empirical Research Critique of Criminal Law Theory
Paul H. Robinson, Michael T. Cahill, Daniel M. Bartels,
University of Pennsylvania Law School, Brooklyn Law School, Center for Decision Research, University of Chicago GSB,
Date posted to database: September 23, 2009 [8th last week]

November 15, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)