September 25, 2010
Krishnan & Kumar on Speedy Trials in Comparative PerspectiveC. Raj Kumar (Indiana University Maurer School of Law and O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU)) have posted Delay in Process, Denial of Justice: The Jurisprudence and Empirics of Speedy Trials in Comparative Perspective (Georgetown Journal of International Law, Vol. 42, 2011) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Criminal law scholars regularly maintain that American prisons are overcrowded and that defendants in custody wait long periods of time before having their cases brought to trial. A similar refrain is made of the penal process in India – the world’s largest democracy, an ally of the United States, and a country with a judiciary that has drawn upon American criminal procedure law. In fact, the situation in India is thought to be much worse. Accounts of prisoners languishing behind bars for several years – and sometimes decades – awaiting their day in court are not uncommon. And many Indian prisons are one hundred-to-two hundred percent over-capacity, where conditions are squalid and weaker inmates face serious physical harm.
In this study, we examine the current state of the Indian criminal justice system. Beginning in 1979, the Indian Supreme Court, referencing the American constitution’s Sixth Amendment, held that defendants had a fundamental right to a speedy trial. We examine the evolution of the Indian jurisprudence on this matter, which has been quite favorable for defendants, but then move beyond this line of inquiry by empirically evaluating whether the positive court rulings have translated into tangible changes for the criminally-accused. As our findings suggest, there exists a major gap in India between these encouraging judicial pronouncements and how this right plays-out in reality, which we believe provides an important perspective for comparative and criminal law scholars.
Lee, Laube & Parness on State Crime Victim Recoveries
Laura Lee , Edmund Laube and Jeffrey A. Parness (pictured) (affiliation not provided to SSRN , affiliation not provided to SSRN and Northern Illinois University - College of Law) have posted State Crime Victim Recoveries (Cleveland State Law Review, 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Crime victim recoveries are typically available in American states through three separate, but related, avenues: a criminal proceeding (with or without a formal charge); a related civil claim (including a pre-suit settlement); and, a related administrative or special court proceeding. Multiple avenues can be pursued simultaneously. These avenues often, but not always, have constitutional as well as statutory foundations.
Unfortunately state crime victims often go without recovery. Barriers to recovery include intrastate and interstate confusion over terms like restitution and victim. More can be done for victims, especially during criminal case sentencing. Unlike federal district courts, state criminal courts typically have general jurisdictional authority allowing broader opportunities for crime victim recoveries at the close of criminal cases. Better crime victim recovery procedures are especially warranted where there are explicit state constitutional law interests.
September 24, 2010
"DOJ asks appeals court to uphold ruling on Arizona immigration law"Jurist has the story here.
"Murderer-rapist denied execution stay; execution set for Wednesday would be California's first in 5 years"
The L.A. Times has the story here.
A federal judge on Friday denied a stay of execution for murderer-rapist Albert Greenwood Brown but gave the condemned man a choice whether to die Wednesday by a single injection or the state's recently revised three-drug method.
Loewy on Fourth Amendment History, Purpose, and Remedies
Arnold H. Loewy (Texas Tech University School of Law) has posted The Fourth Amendment: History, Purpose, and Remedies on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In this article, Professor Loewy introduces the Fourth Amendment topics debated in the 2010 Texas Tech Criminal Law Symposium. Part I of this article begins with a critical overview of the Supreme Court’s use of history in resolving Fourth Amendment questions. Part II analyzes the values that the Fourth Amendment protects, emphasizing the concept of “reasonableness.” Part III evaluates the use of the exclusionary rule to enforce Fourth Amendment values. Professor Loewy concludes by recognizing his article’s overall unfavorable appraisal of the Supreme Court and inviting the symposium’s other speakers to share their opinions.
September 23, 2010
School Pays Damages after Searching Student's Cell Phone and Finding Nude Photos
FindLaw has the story here:
A minor student from Pennsylvania, identified in the lawsuit as N.N., settled with Tunkhannock Area School District and school officials for $33,000. As is typical in settlements, the school did not acknowledged any wrongdoing in the cell phone privacy case. N.N.'s claims against the District Attorney's Office were not part of the settlement, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. N.N. filed a federal complaint against the District Attorney's office with the help of the ACLU.
"USA Today exposes a "pattern of serious, glaring misconduct" among federal prosecutors"
Judges have warned for decades that misconduct by prosecutors threatens the Constitution's promise of a fair trial. Congress in 1997 enacted a law aimed at ending such abuses.
Yet USA TODAY documented 201 criminal cases in the years that followed in which judges determined that Justice Department prosecutors — the nation's most elite and powerful law enforcement officials — themselves violated laws or ethics rules.
September 22, 2010
"Poland prosecutors probing treatment of alleged USS Cole bomber at secret CIA prison"Jurist has this story about a remedy sought by the subject of an extraordinary rendition.
"City Officials Arrested in Los Angeles Suburb"
The article is in the New York Times:
BELL, Calif. — The investigators from the district attorney’s office showed up at the mayor’s house early Tuesday morning, arrest warrant and battering ram in hand, banging on the door. When the mayor, Oscar Hernandez, ignored their shouts — “Come out!” and “Put your hands up!” — they rammed down the door and arrested Mr. Hernandez on charges of looting the treasury of his own city to enrich himself.
. . .
According to the authorities, some of what these city officials did was legal, taking advantage of loopholes in the law, but much was not. For example, Mr. Adams, the former police chief, whose salary was a third-larger than that of the police chief of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, was not charged. “We did not find any evidence with which to charge him,” Mr. Cooley said.
But Mr. Rizzo, the former city manager, faced 53 counts of misappropriation of funds and conflict of interest, including that he wrote his own employment contracts and pushed them through without winning approval of the City Council.
September 21, 2010
"As Hours Tick Away, Lawyers Plead Case of Woman Set to Die"
The New York Times has this story:
“She is clearly the head of this serpent,” the judge said of Teresa Lewis in 2003 when he sentenced her to death by lethal injection, describing her as the mastermind of the cold-blooded murders of her husband and his son as they slept in rural Virginia.
Late on Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied her last-ditch appeal for a stay, and Ms. Lewis, now 41, is scheduled to die on Thursday night at 9. Her case has drawn unusual attention, not only because she would be the first woman executed in the United States since 2005, and the first in Virginia since 1912, but also because of widely publicized concerns about the fairness of her sentence. Ms. Lewis waited this week in her prison cell, reportedly soothed by intense religious faith.
Harcourt on Risk Assessment and Racial Disparity in Prison Populations
Today, an increasing chorus argues that risk-assessment instruments are a politically feasible way to resolve our problem of mass incarceration and reduce prison populations. In this essay, I argue against this progressive argument for prediction: using risk-assessment tools to decrease prison populations would unquestionably aggravate the already intolerable racial imbalance in our prison populations and will not address the real source of mass incarceration, namely the admissions process. Risk has collapsed into prior criminal history, and prior criminal history has become a proxy for race. This means that using risk-assessment tools, even for progressive ends, is going to significantly aggravate the already unacceptable racial disparities in our criminal justice system. Instead of turning to prediction, we need to address prison admissions. Recent evidence suggests that our carceral excess was not so much fueled by the length of sentences, as it was by the front end: new admissions. The real solution to mass incarceration, then, is not to cut short prison terms though prediction, but to reduce admissions to prison.
September 20, 2010
"Dashcam video catches officer in lies; 79 cases dropped"FourthAmendment.com links to this story that should be of interest to those who are overly trusting of authority figures.
"Real-Time Security Cameras Link NYC Subway Hubs"
The New York Times has this A.P. story:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Five hundred cameras installed in three of the city's busiest transit hubs started feeding live images to the police department's high-tech security network Monday and will be monitored in counterterrorism efforts.
. . .
A single high-bandwidth fiber optic network connects the cameras to a police computer system. That allows investigators to set up programs that search for suspicious activity, like an object in one place for a long time. The analytic software also is designed to take video and catalog it according to movements, shapes and colors, so officers can set parameters to search the system for anyone wearing, say, a red jacket.
They can also scroll through footage from any camera in the network going back as long as images are available. The department usually purges the images in 30 days.
Glockner & Engel on Role-Induced Bias in Court
Andreas Glöckner (pictured) and Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods and Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods) have posted Role Induced Bias in Court: An Experimental Analysis on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Criminal procedure is organized as a tournament with predefined roles. We show that assuming the role of a defense counsel or prosecutor leads to role induced bias even if people are highly motivated to give unbiased judgments. In line with parallel constraint satisfaction models for legal decision making, findings indicate that role induced bias is driven by coherence effects (Simon, 2004), that is, systematic information distortions in support of the favored option. These distortions seem to stabilize interpretations, and people do not correct for this bias. Implications for legal procedure are briefly discussed.
September 19, 2010
Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads
|1||198||Status as Punishment: A Critical Guide to Padilla v. Kentucky |
Gabriel J. Chin, Margaret Colgate Love,
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Law Office of Margaret Love,
Date posted to database: July 10, 2010
|2||194||Palestine and the International Criminal Court: Asking the Right Question |
Michael G. Kearney,
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Law,
Date posted to database: July 3, 2010
|3||188||Those Who Can't, Teach: What the Legal Career of John Yoo Tells Us About Who Should be Teaching Law |
Chapman University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: June 27, 2010
|4||150||Cracked Mirror: SB1070 and Other State Regulation of Immigration through Criminal Law |
Gabriel J. Chin, Marc L. Miller,
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law,
Date posted to database: July 26, 2010 [5th last week]
|5||147||Selected Salient Evidentiary Issues in Employment Discrimination Cases |
University of Baltimore School of Law,
Date posted to database: July 12, 2010 [4th last week]
|6||130||An e-SOS for Cyberspace |
Duncan B. Hollis,
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law,
Date posted to database: September 3, 2010 [new to top ten]
|7||129||Statistical Knowledge Deconstructed |
Kenneth W. Simons,
Boston University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: September 7, 2010 [new to top ten]
|8||127||Therapeutic Jurisprudence and its Application to Criminal Justice Research and Development |
David B. Wexler,
University of Puerto Rico - School of Law,
Date posted to database: June 23, 2010 [6th last week]
|9||100||Fourth Amendment Pragmatism |
Daniel J. Solove,
George Washington University Law School,
Date posted to database: August 27, 2010 [10th last week]
|10||92||The Racial Justice Act and the Long Struggle with Race and the Death Penalty in North Carolina |
Seth Kotch, Robert P. Mosteller,
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Center for the Study of the American South, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law,
Date posted to database: July 21, 2010 [new to top ten]