CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, October 4, 2010

Audio of Supreme Court arguments

Among others, Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy noted the Court's new policy of posting audio of all oral arguments on the Friday of the week in which the cases are argued, in addition to providing a written transcript on the day of argument:

I would guess that releasing the audio at the end of the week is a compromise designed to satisfy the Supreme Court geeks while minimizing the risk that the mainstream press will use the clips to report on the Court’s work. For law geeks, the transcript will tide us over until Friday when we can load the mp3s on our iPods for a weekend listen. For radio and TV reporters, on the other hand, the delay from an argument in the beginning or middle of the week until the audio is released on Friday will be so long that the clips won’t be nearly as newsworthy by the time they are posted.

October 4, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

This week's criminal law and procedure arguments

Issue summaries from ScotusBlog:


  • Abbott v. US; Gould v. US: A federal statute requires an additional five-year sentence for using a gun during certain drug trafficking crimes or crimes of violence, unless another statute provides a higher minimum sentence. (1) Does the five-year addition apply when the underlying drug trafficking offense or crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of more than five years? (2) Does it apply when the defendant was convicted for a separate offense, arising from the same incident, that carries a minimum sentence of more than five years?


  • Michigan v. Bryant: The Sixth Amendment generally requires prosecutors to present testimonial evidence through live testimony at trial. Do statements made by a wounded crime victim to police officers about the perpetrator constitute such testimonial evidence, or can the police officer testify at trial about what the victim said?


  • Connick v. Thompson: Can a prosecutor’s office be held liable for the illegal conduct of one of its prosecutors, on the theory that the office failed to adequately train its employees, when there has been only one violation resulting from that deficient training?

October 4, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scheck on Professional and Conviction Integrity Programs

Scheck barry Barry Scheck  (Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law) has posted Professional and Conviction Integrity Programs: Why We Need Them, Why They Will Work, and Models for Creating Them (Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 31, No. 6, 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The best way to effectively prevent Brady violations and other forms of prosecutorial misconduct that cause wrongful convictions is nternal regulation of the District Attorney’s office. Civil liability, state or bar disciplinary action, the stigma of appellate reversal, and the threat of criminal prosecution have failed to provide effective deterrence against Brady violations as well as other forms of misconduct. However, the lack of alternatives is not the reason why internal regulation is the most promising way to prevent Brady violations, but rather because prosecutors themselves are in the best position to implement procedures that achieve this goal.

Continue reading

October 4, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

Ssrn logo are here. The usual disclaimers apply.

Rank Downloads Paper Title
1 202 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 [3rd last week]
2 165 The Diplomacy of Universal Jurisdiction: The Regulating Role of the Political Branches in the Transnational Prosecution of International Crimes
Maximo Langer,
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law,
Date posted to database: August 19, 2010 [new to top ten]
3 164 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 [4th last week]
4 154 Selected Salient Evidentiary Issues in Employment Discrimination Cases
Lynn McLain,
University of Baltimore School of Law,
Date posted to database: July 12, 2010 [5th last week]
5 150 An e-SOS for Cyberspace
Duncan B. Hollis,
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law,
Date posted to database: September 3, 2010 [7th last week]
6 149 Statistical Knowledge Deconstructed
Kenneth W. Simons,
Boston University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: September 7, 2010
7 130 Fourth Amendment Pragmatism
Daniel J. Solove,
George Washington University Law School,
Date posted to database: August 27, 2010 [10th last week]
8 115 Some Reflections on Ethics and Plea Bargaining: An Essay in Honor of Fred Zacharias
Michael Cassidy,
Boston College Law School,
Date posted to database: August 9, 2010 [9th last week]
9 109 Rethinking Proportionality Under the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause
John F. Stinneford,
University of Florida Levin College of Law,
Date posted to database: August 20, 2010 [new to top ten]
10 109 What Might Retributive Justice Be?
Dan Markel,
Florida State University College of Law,
Date posted to database: September 4, 2010 [new to top ten]

October 3, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)