CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Do Prosecutors Have Too Much Power?"

Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy links to and summarizes contributions to this New York Times feature, pulling together a group of distinguished commentators.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Woods on Racial Bias and RICO

Jordan Blair Woods (University of Cambridge) has posted Systemic Racial Bias and RICO's Application to Criminal Street and Prison Gangs (Michigan Journal of Race & Law, Vol. 17, No. 2, p. 303, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This Article presents an empirical study of race and the application of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to criminal street and prison gangs. A strong majority (approximately 86%) of the prosecutions in the study involved gangs that were affiliated with one or more racial minority groups. All but one of the prosecuted White-affiliated gangs fell into three categories: international organized crime groups, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and White supremacist prison gangs. Some scholars and practitioners would explain these findings by contending that most criminal street gangs are comprised of racial minorities. This Article challenges and problematizes this factual assumption by critically examining the processes by which the government may come to label certain criminal groups as gangs for RICO purposes. Based on the study findings, the Article argues that this labeling may be driven by systemic racial biases that marginalize entire racial minority groups and privilege mainstream nonimmigrant White communities. These systemic biases are characterized by converging constructions of race and crime, which fuse perceptions of gang-related crime with images of racial minorities. Conflating racial minorities with criminal activity enables the government to rely upon denigrating racial stereotypes in order to engage in invidious practices of racial profiling and to conduct sweeping arrests of racial minorities under RICO. This conflation also shields groups of nonimmigrant White criminal offenders from being conceptualized as gangs and shields nonimmigrant White neighborhoods from the stigma of having gang problems. In practice, this may harm communities that have White gang problems by preventing the government from executing gang-specific interventions within those communities.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Clancy on Rehnquist's Fourth Amendment

Clancy thomas kThomas K. Clancy (West Virginia University College of Law) has posted Introduction: Symposium – William Rehnquist's Fourth Amendment on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

William Rehnquist served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from September 26, 1986 to September 3, 2005. During that period, he wrote an astonishing number of majority opinions on the Fourth Amendment, totaling in all 25. The list includes many of the most important cases of that time. In addition, the Rehnquist Court issued numerous per curiam decisions and it is fair to say that Rehnquist had something to do with them, given that he dissented in none of those cases. Indeed, Justice “Per Curiam” wrote more majority opinions when Rehnquist was Chief Justice than has any of the current Justices of the Court (excepting only Justice Scalia). During his tenure as Chief Justice, Rehnquist also wrote four dissenting opinions but no concurring opinions. Rehnquist served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from January 7, 1972 to the date of his elevation as Chief Justice. During that earlier period, he wrote 23 majority opinions, five concurring opinions, and eleven dissenting opinions. In total, he wrote 68 opinions in his 33 years on the bench. In only a handful of those opinions did he side with the individual. Regardless of whether one agrees with his views, Chief Justice Rehnquist’s impact on Fourth Amendment analysis – and his legacy – is substantial and the symposium addresses that legacy.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Walsh on Eyewitness Identifications after Perry v. New Hampshire

Dana Walsh has posted Eyewitness Identifications after Perry v. New Hampshire: A Call for Greater State Involvement in Ensuring Fundamental Fairness (Boston College Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This Note addresses the future eyewitness identifications after the 2012 Supreme Court decision Perry v. New Hampshire and calls on states to take greater action to ensure reliability of eyewitness identifications at trial.

August 20, 2012 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Murphy & Swire on Standardless Discretion after US v. Jones

Murphy erinErin Murphy (pictured) and Peter P. Swire (New York University School of Law and Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law) have posted How to Address Standardless Discretion after Jones on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The Supreme Court held in United States v. Jones that prolonged GPS tracking infringes upon a Fourth Amendment interest, but left for another day whether that means that a warrant is required for all such surveillance activity. Building on Supreme Court precedent that directly addresses the problem of “standardless and unconstrained discretion," we propose that courts test the constitutionality of police action of this kind by examining the adequacy of procedural safeguards and actual police compliance therewith. Accordingly, in a range of settings involving new technologies, the state would need to craft reasonable safeguards against standardless discretion, and then comply with those safeguards in order for state action to be deemed constitutional.

August 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

in criminal law and procedure ejournals are here. The usual disclaimers apply.

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 456 The Innocent Defendant’s Dilemma: An Innovative Empirical Study of Plea Bargaining’s Innocence Problem 
Lucian E. DervanVanessa Edkins
Southern Illinois University School of Law, Florida Institute of Technology, 
Date posted to database: May 31, 2012
2 344 Preventing Sex-Offender Recidivism Through Therapeutic Jurisprudence Approaches and Specialized Community Integration 
Heather CucoloMichael L. Perlin
New York Law School, New York Law School, 
Date posted to database: July 26, 2012
3 294 Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, Verse 2: The Canadian Response to Professor Mason 
Emir Crowne
University of Windsor - Faculty of Law, 
Date posted to database: July 13, 2012 [4th last week]
4 287 The Unexonerated: Factually Innocent Defendants Who Plead Guilty 
John H. BlumeRebecca K. Helm
Cornell Law School, Unaffiliated Authors -affiliation not provided to SSRN
Date posted to database: July 11, 2012 [3rd last week]
5 237 Jewish Law and the Tragedy of Sexual Abuse of Children: The Dilemma within the Orthodox Jewish Community 
Steven H. Resnicoff
DePaul University College of Law, 
Date posted to database: June 2, 2012 [6th last week]
6 157 Reconceptualizing the Burden of Proof 
Edward K. Cheng
Vanderbilt Law School, 
Date posted to database: June 19, 2012 [8th last week]
7 152 Looking Across the Empathic Divide: Racialized Decision Making on the Capital Jury 
Mona LynchCraig Haney
University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Psychology, 
Date posted to database: June 26, 2012 [10th last week]
8 146 Does Corruption Pay in Indonesia? If so, Who are Benefited the Most? 
Rimawan Pradiptyo
Universitas Gadjah Mada, 
Date posted to database: July 16, 2012 [9th last week]
9 144 Ontario Disempowers Prostituted Persons: Assessing Evidence, Arguments, & Substantive Equality in Bedford v. Canada 
Max Waltman
Stockholm University - Department of Political Science, 
Date posted to database: June 25, 2012 [new to top ten]
10 126 Who's Guarding the Henhouse? How the American Prosecutor Came to Devour Those He is Sworn to Protect 
Jonathan Rapping
Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, 
Date posted to database: June 11, 2012 [new to top ten]


August 19, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)