CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Meyer on Suffering and Judging

Meyer lindaLinda Ross Meyer (Quinnipiac University School of Law) has posted Suffering and Judging in The Princess and the Pea (Quinnipiac Law Review, Vol. 30, p. 489, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This brief essay explores Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Princess and the Pea" for how it illuminates issues of suffering, compassion, victimization, political leadership, and mercy.

October 27, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Next week's criminal law/procedure arguments

Issue summaries are from ScotusBlog:

Monday, Oct. 29

  • Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l USA: Whether respondents lack Article III standing to seek prospective relief because they proffered no evidence that the United States would imminently acquire their international communications using 50 U.S.C. 1881a-authorized surveillance and did not show that an injunction prohibiting Section 1881a-authorized surveillance would likely redress their purported injuries.

Tuesday, Oct. 30

  • Bailey v. U.S.: Whether, pursuant to Michigan v. Summers, police officers may detain an individual incident to the execution of a search warrant when the individual has left the immediate vicinity of the premises before the warrant is executed.
  • Chaidez v. U.S.: Whether the Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, holding that criminal defendants receive ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment when their attorneys fail to advise them that pleading guilty to an offense will subject them to deportation, applies to persons whose convictions became final before its announcement.

Wednesday, Oct. 31

  • Florida v. Jardines: Whether a dog sniff at the front door of a suspected grow house by a trained narcotics detection dog is a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause?
  • Florida v. Harris: Whether an alert by a well-trained narcotics detection dog certified to detect illegal contraband is insufficient to establish probable cause for the search of a vehicle.

October 27, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Yankah on Vice Crimes

Yankah ekowEkow N. Yankah (Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law) has posted Legal Vices and Civic Virtue: Vice Crimes, Republicanism and the Corruption of Lawfulness (Criminal Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Vice crimes, crimes prohibited in part because they are viewed as morally corrupting, engage legal theorists because they reveal importantly contrasting views between liberals and virtue-centered theorists on the very limits of legitimate state action. Yet advocates and opponents alike focus on the role law can play in suppressing personal vice; the role of law is seen as suppressing licentiousness, sloth, greed etc. The most powerful advocates of the position that the law must nurture good character often draw on Aristotelian theories of virtue to ground the connection between law and virtue. While Aristotle believed that law and character were linked, it is ironic to note that he did not argue for the position evidenced in our vice laws that law was likely to succeed in instilling virtue.

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October 27, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Haugh on Applying Capital Mitigation Strategies to White Collar Cases

Haugh toddTodd Haugh (Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago-Kent College of Law) has posted Can the CEO Learn from the Condemned? The Application of Capital Mitigation Strategies to White Collar Cases (American University Law Review, Vol. 62, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Ted Kaczynski and Bernie Madoff share much in common. Both are well-educated, extremely intelligent, charismatic figures. Both rose to the height of their chosen professions — mathematics and finance. And both will die in federal prison, Kaczynski for committing a twenty-year mail-bombing spree that killed three people and seriously injured dozens more, and Madoff for committing the largest Ponzi scheme in history, bilking thousands of people out of almost $65 billion. But that last similarity — Kaczynski’s and Madoff’s plight at sentencing — may not have had to be. While Kaczynski’s attorneys tirelessly investigated and argued every aspect of their client’s personal history, mental state, motivations, and sentencing options, Madoff’s attorneys offered almost nothing to mitigate his conduct, simply accepting his fate at sentencing. In the end, Kaczynski’s attorneys were able to convince the government, the court, and their client that a life sentence was appropriate despite that he committed one of the most heinous and well-publicized death penalty-eligible crimes in recent history. Madoff, on the other hand, with almost unlimited resources at his disposal, received effectively the same sentence — 150 years in prison — for a nonviolent economic offense. Why were these two ultimately given the same sentence? And what can Madoff, the financier with unimaginable wealth, learn from Kaczynski, the reclusive and remorseless killer, when it comes to federal sentencing? 

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October 26, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shay on Illich on Prisons

Shay giovannaGiovanna Shay (Western New England University School of Law) has posted Illich (Via Cayley) on Prisons (Western New England Law Review, Vol. 34, p. 351, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This Article considers whether, more than a dozen years after publication of Cayley’s book, "The Expanding Prison: The Crisis in Crime and Punishment and the Search for Alternatives," Illich’s theories help us to make sense of America’s “prison-industrial complex.” The Author concludes that our current situation reflects in part the dynamics of his theory of “counterproductivity,” but that Illich did not take sufficient account of the salience of race and class in American criminal punishment.

October 26, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jones on Mobile Iris Scanning

Christopher Rutledge Jones has posted 'EyePhones': A Fourth Amendment Inquiry into Mobile Iris Scanning (South Carolina Law Review, Vol. 63, No. 925, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

MORIS, or Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, is a small device that attaches to a standard iPhone and allows the user to perform mobile iris scanning, fingerprinting, and facial recognition. Developed by BI2 Technologies, this device was recently made available to law enforcement agencies in America.

This article discusses the Fourth Amendment implications arising from the use of such a device, and asks whether a reasonable expectation of privacy exists in one's irises while in public spaces. The article explores past Supreme Court Fourth Amendment jurisprudence regarding the use of technology to enhance senses, abandonment, and the plain view doctrine in an attempt to determine when mobile iris scans would and would not be allowed by the Fourth Amendment.

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October 25, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Atiq on Folk Beliefs about Free Will

Emad Hanzala Atiq has posted The Role of Folk Beliefs about Free Will in Sentencing: A New Target for the Neuro-Determinist Critics of Criminal Law (New Criminal Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Do recent results in neuroscience and psychology, that portray our choices as predetermined, threaten to undermine the assumptions about “free will” that drive criminal law? This Article answers in the affirmative, and offers a novel argument for the transformative import of modern science. It also explains why a revision in the law’s assumptions is morally desirable. Problematic assumptions about free will have a role to play in criminal law not because they underlie substantive legal doctrine or retributive theory, but because everyday actors in the sentencing process are authorized to make irreducibly moral determinations outside of the ordinary doctrinal framework. Jurors, judges, and legislators are each required, at key points in the sentencing process, to make moral judgments that cannot be reached without reference to the person’s own understanding of free will. As a result, sentencing actors give legal effect to widely-held folk beliefs about free will, beliefs that the evidence suggests are both scientifically suspect and morally distorting. The relevant beliefs make adjudicators less likely to attend to the underlying causes of crime, such as social deprivation – a tendency that biases adjudicators against relevant arguments for mitigation in sentencing. Modern science could have an important corrective effect in this context.

October 25, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Papachristos & Smith on Al Capone and Organized Crime

Andrew V. Papachristos and Chris M. Smith (Yale University - Department of Sociology and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Department of Sociology) have posted The Small World of Al Capone: The Embedded and Multiplex Nature of Organized Crime on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Organized crime groups may or may not have some criteria for membership, but organized criminal activities seep into the legitimate spheres of society. We argue that it is at the boundaries of the underworld and the upper world where crime gets organized. Layers of embedded and multiplex relationships between criminals and non-criminals comprise Chicago’s Prohibition era organized crime network. This study draws a sample from our unique relational “Capone Dataset” on early 1900s Chicago crime, which we began compiling in 2008 from six archival sources. Using formal social network analysis techniques, this study explores an organized crime network of more than 4,000 relationships between 1,400 individuals. Our stepwise analysis moves from a bounded group of members of Al Capone’s Syndicate, to an embedded and multiplex network spanning criminal, personal, and legitimate spheres, to a small world graph test using simulated random and ERGM networks. We find that an organized crime network conceptualization that includes multiplex and embedded relationships beyond gang membership provides a more accurate and provocative picture of organized crime and has the properties of small world graphs. These findings have implications for future studies of organized crime networks, corruption, resilience, and vulnerability.

October 25, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Johnson & Johnson on Bail

Johnson marciaMarcia Johnson (pictured) and Luckett Anthony Johnson (Texas Southern University - Thurgood Marshall School of Law and affiliation not provided to SSRN) have posted Bail: Reforming Policies to Address Overcrowded Jails, the Impact of Race on Detention, and Community Revival in Harris County, Texas (Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy, Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Starting in the 1970s, the U.S. federal government and many state and local governments adopted “get tough” policies against crime. These new strict policy initiatives produced an explosion of incarceration in prisons throughout the country. They also impacted local jails as well, particularly in the numbers of persons detained pre-trial. This Article explores this phenomenon and its implications for local governments, as well as its unforeseen consequences on communities, particularly communities of color. The Article uses Harris County, Texas to exemplify the systematic problems resulting from the over-jailing of its citizens, particularly persons who are detained pre-trial. We attempt to show that with some changes to local policies and the development of new initiatives, Harris County could substantially reduce its jail population without increasing crime, at a substantial savings to the county in both monetary and human capital.

October 24, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vladeck on the Significance of Military Law

Vladeck stephenStephen I. Vladeck (American University - Washington College of Law) has posted The Civilianization of Military Jurisdiction (THE CONSTITUTION AND THE FUTURE OF CRIMINAL LAW IN AMERICA, John T. Parry, Song Richardson, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2013) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Most discussions of current and future issues in American criminal law and procedure tend to ignore completely the role of the military in shaping that body of jurisprudence. Perhaps this lacuna reflects widespread - if tacit - acceptance of the maxim that 'military law is to law as military music is to music.' Or it may represent generations of lawyers inculcated with Justice Black’s oft-quoted characterization of the U.S. court-martial system as a 'rough form of justice.' Regardless, the assumption appears to be that there is little for true criminal law scholars to learn from judicial proceedings presided over by jurists - and juries - in uniform.

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October 24, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Keenan on Crawford in the Lower Courts

Dylan O. Keenan  has posted Confronting Crawford v. Washington in the Lower Courts (Yale Law Journal, Vol. 122, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Crawford v. Washington is arguably the most significant criminal procedure decision of the last decade. Critics have argued that the Crawford line is a doctrinal muddle that has led to arbitrary and unpredictable results in the lower courts. I respond to this critique with empirical evidence by presenting results from the first statistical analysis of post-Crawford Confrontation Clause cases. The results show that lower courts have emphasized two factors — the presence of a state actor and the presence of an injured party — to evaluate whether a statement is testimonial under Crawford. I then argue that these results are not ambiguous or contradictory but consistent with Crawford’s reasoning and the underlying purposes of the Confrontation Clause.

October 23, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rodenberg & Kaburakis on Sports Gambling

Ryan M. Rodenberg and Anastasios Kaburakis (Florida State University and Saint Louis University - John Cook School of Business - Department of Management) have posted Legal and Corruption Issues in Sports Gambling (Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 2013, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

On April 15, 2011, the federal government shut down the three largest online poker sites servicing the American market – Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet. The shutdown was subsequently labeled Black Friday in the mainstream press. In addition to seizing the assets of each of the aforementioned online poker operators, each affiliated website included stern notices from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informing visitors that certain gambling is illegal under federal law. Less than two months later, the online sports gambling industry was also subject to a federal-level enforcement action dubbed Blue Monday. 

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October 23, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Italian Seismologists Found Guilty! (Kolber)

Kolberaj_photoLast year, I posted here and here about the manslaughter charges against Italian seismologists for failing to predict and adequately warn the public about the risk of an earthquake in the L'Aquila region of central Italy. There were some tremors in the area, but the seismologists did not predict it would lead to an imminent, major earthquake. There was, in fact, an earthquake in April 2009 that led to the deaths of over 300 people.

Nature News is now reporting (via Twitter) that the seismologists have been convicted and sentenced to six years in prison. And here's more via Boing Boing:

La Repubblica, the popular Italian newspaper, reports that the verdict affects seven members of the "Committee on Major risks" who were in office in 2009, and confirms the charges that they "provided false information" about the improbability of a strong seismic event on the night of April 6, 2009, which led to the deaths of 309 citizens. Prosecutors had asked for four years in prison, but a higher sentence of 6 was given. There's a video report here, but in Italian. The Telegraph notes that the scientists will also have to pay for the prosecution's legal costs. The decision is expected to create a profound chilling effect for scientists in Italy. 

These results are surprising to say the least. I think the mainstream media in the U.S. will soon be paying a lot more attention to this case.

UPDATE: And speaking of liability for earthquakes, see this news report about how drilling for water in southern Spain may have contributed to the severity of an earthquake there last year.

October 22, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

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

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 451 The Curious History of Fourth Amendment Searches 
Orin S. Kerr
George Washington University - Law School, 
Date posted to database: October 1, 2012 [2nd last week]
2 306 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement as Seen through Wal-Mart's Potential Exposure 
Mike Koehler
Southern Illinois University School of Law, 
Date posted to database: September 13, 2012 [3rd last week]
3 259 Examining Shaken Baby Syndrome Convictions in Light of New Medical Scientific Research 
Keith A. Findley
University of Wisconsin Law School, 
Date posted to database: October 11, 2012 [new to top ten]
4 183 'Becker on Ewald on Foucault on Becker': American Neoliberalism and Michel Foucault's 1979 'Birth of Biopolitics' Lectures 
Gary S. BeckerFrancois Ewald,Bernard E. Harcourt
University of Chicago - Department of Economics, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, University of Chicago - Department of Political Science, 
Date posted to database: September 5, 2012 [6th last week]
5 180 Arthur Andersen and the Myth of the Corporate Death Penalty: Corporate Criminal Convictions in the Twenty-First Century 
Gabriel Markoff
Southern District of Texas, 
Date posted to database: August 21, 2012 
6 157 Standing Up for Mr. Nesbitt 
Stephen W. Smith
Texas Southern University - Thurgood Marshall School of Law, 
Date posted to database: September 8, 2012 [7th last week]
7 150 Using Brain Imaging for Lie Detection: Where Science, Law, and Policy Collide 
Daniel D. LanglebenJane Campbell Moriarty
University of Pennsylvania - School of Medicine, Duquesne University - School of Law, 
Date posted to database: September 1, 2012 [new to top ten]
8 137 Social Networks and Risk of Homicide Victimization in an African American Community 
Andrew V. PapachristosChristopher Wildeman
Yale University - Department of Sociology, Yale University - Department of Sociology, 
Date posted to database: September 19, 2012 [10th last week]
9 125 Judith Shklar on the Philosophy of International Criminal Law 
Samuel Moyn
Columbia University, 
Date posted to database: September 20, 2012 [new to top ten]
10 121 Leveraging Death 
Sherod Thaxton
University of Chicago Law School, 
Date posted to database: August 30, 2012 [new to top ten]


October 22, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)