CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bradford & Jackson on Cooperating with the Police

Jackson jonathan Ben Bradford and Jonathan Jackson  (pictured) (Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and London School of Economics & Political Science - Methodology Institute) have posted Cooperating with the Police: Social Control and the Reproduction of Police Legitimacy on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Calling upon and assisting police officers are acts of public cooperation that link informal and formal mechanisms of social control. An in-depth study of seven London neighborhoods investigates the relationships between (a) cooperation with the police, (b) public trust in police fairness and effectiveness, and (c) public perceptions of everyday social regulation processes. Cooperation with the police is associated first with high levels of public trust in procedural fairness, second with confidence that local residents will intervene on behalf of the collective good, and third with heightened concerns about disorder and the loss of authority and discipline in society. We conclude with the idea that cooperation is shaped by trust in the police and is reinforced and challenged by a complex set of relational concerns. Moreover, by recognizing and supporting the function of the police to fight crime and administer justice, acts of cooperation both constitute and confer police legitimacy.

July 31, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Markel on Retributivism and Minors

Markel dan Dan Markel  (Florida State University College of Law) has posted  May Minors Be Retributively Punished after Panetti (and Graham)? (Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In this brief essay, I try to draw some connections between the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Graham v. Florida and its reasoning in a significant but not yet sufficiently appreciated 2007 decision in Panetti v. Quarterman. Specifically, I will argue that the outcome in Graham coheres startlingly well with the reasoning in Panetti, a case prohibiting the execution of a defendant who was deemed presently incompetent. These connections are present, I believe, but the Court still seems unaware of them; the best evidence of this conclusion is that Graham nowhere cites Panetti for support.

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July 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Federalization of Noncriminal Law: Internet Gambling

The New York Times has this story headlined Congress Rethinks Its Ban on Internet Gambling:

WASHINGTON — With pressure mounting on the federal government to find new revenues, Congress is considering legalizing, and taxing, an activity it banned just four years ago: Internet gambling.

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill that would effectively legalize online poker and other nonsports betting, overturning a 2006 federal ban that critics say merely drove Web-based casinos offshore.

July 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The House of Representatives, Criminal Justice, and the Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

"Ruling Against Arizona Is a Warning for Other States"

The New York Times has this analysis of yesterday's decision.. It also provides this link to the opinion.

July 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gross and O'Brien on False Convictions

O'brien barbara Samuel R. Gross and Barbara O'Brien  (University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University - College of Law) have posted Reply to Richard A. Leo and Jon B. Gould
(Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 9, 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In a recent article in the Ohio Journal of Criminal Law Professors Richard Leo and Jon Gould criticize some of our research on false convictions. In this brief reply we dispute some of their methodological assertions, and point out that while Leo and Gould take issue in some detail with our cautious and generally pessimistic view of research in this area, they do not actually dispute any of our empirical conclusions.

July 28, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Civilians take on police work in SFPD program"

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Fingerprints and DNA evidence are often not collected, Police Chief George Gascón said. To do so, a separate crime scene technician has to be called out, which could stretch into the next day.

"When the police get there, you've been waiting for three, four, five hours," Gascón said. "By this time, you're really fit to be tied."

That's all supposed to change under a pioneering and controversial test program included in the city's new budget that will use civilian investigators to respond to nonviolent crimes like burglaries or car break-ins, freeing up police officers to focus on crimes in progress or dangerous offenders.

July 28, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kotch & Mosteller on the Death Penalty and the North Carolina Racial Justice Act

Mostellerrobertp Seth Kotch and Robert P. Mosteller (pictured) (University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Center for the Study of the American South and University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law) have posted The Racial Justice Act and the Long Struggle with Race and the Death Penalty in North Carolina (North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 88, No. 6, 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In August 2009, the North Carolina Legislature enacted the Racial Justice Act (“RJA”), which commands that no person shall be executed “pursuant to any judgment that was sought or obtained on the basis of race.” One of the most significant features of the RJA is its use of statistical evidence to determine whether the race of defendants or victims played a significant role in death penalty decisions by prosecutors and jurors and in the prosecutor’s exercise of peremptory challenges. The RJA commits North Carolina courts to ensuring that race does not significantly affect death sentences.

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July 27, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"China Pushes to End Public Shaming"

The story is in the New York Times:

BEIJING — The Chinese government has called for an end to the public shaming of criminal suspects, a time-honored cudgel of Chinese law enforcement but one that has increasingly rattled the public.

According to the state-run media, the Ministry of Public Security has ordered the police to stop parading suspects in public and has called on local departments to enforce laws in a “rational, calm and civilized manner.”

July 27, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Mel Gibson investigation focusing on medical records, text messages, sources say"

From the those-who-ignore-celebrity-cases-are-destined-to-learn-about-them-from-students file, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times:

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigation into Mel Gibson is focusing on physical evidence, witness testimony and text messages -- not highly publicized audio recordings -- to determine whether he should be charged with hitting his ex-girlfriend and/or endangering their child, law enforcement sources told The Times.

. . .

Detectives are working to overcome several obstacles to the investigation, including the fact that Grigorieva did not report the key incidents for several months and that some of the potential evidence has already been leaked to the tabloid media, sources said.

July 26, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rosenthal on Originalism, Race and Terry v. Ohio

Rosenthal_Lawrence Lawrence Rosenthal  (Chapman University - School of Law) has posted Pragmatism, Originalism, Race, and the Case Against Terry v. Ohio (Texas Tech Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Perhaps no decision of the United States Supreme Court concerning the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on “unreasonable search and seizure” has come in for more criticism than Terry v. Ohio, in which the Supreme Court concluded that even absent probable cause to arrest, a brief detention and protective search of an individual comports with the Fourth Amendment “where a police officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude that criminal activity may be afoot and that the person with whom he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous . . . .” Terry is frequently denounced as granting the police excessively broad discretion that threatens the liberty of the innocent, and which facilitates discrimination against minorities and others that the police are all too likely to view as suspicious. Originalists attack Terry as well, claiming that it lacks adequate support in framing-era practice.

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July 26, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Block on Information Sharing and Tainted Evidence

Micah Block has published The New Silver Platter: How Today's Police are Serving up Potentially Tainted Evidence Without Even Revealing the Search that Produced It to Defendants or to Courts at The Legal Workshop. An excerpt:

[T]he availability of the hand off threatens to alter fine judgments about what constitutes good, aggressive police work and what constitutes an unreasonable invasion of privacy. It does this in at least two ways. First, the hand off makes it easier to “get away with” marginally invasive behavior because that behavior is unlikely to be scrutinized by a judge. Even for the honest officer, this may subtly influence decisions about how much marginal activity to conduct, or how to conduct marginal activity. But perhaps more importantly, if the officer believes that the hand off legally cleanses evidence obtained in a prior investigation that may or may not have been unlawful, then the officer is given to believe that under the Fourth Amendment what a suspect doesn’t know doesn’t hurt him.

July 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Miranda Rule Should Not Be Weakened, Former FBI Special Agent Says"

ACSBlog has the post.

July 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Court Under Roberts Is Most Conservative in Decades"

From The New York Times:

[T]he court not only moved to the right but also became the most conservative one in living memory, based on an analysis of four sets of political science data.

. . . .

Almost all judicial decisions, they say, can be assigned an ideological value. Those favoring, say, prosecutors and employers are said to be conservative, while those favoring criminal defendants and people claiming discrimination are said to be liberal.

Analyses of databases coding Supreme Court decisions and justices’ votes along these lines, one going back to 1953 and another to 1937, show that the Roberts court has staked out territory to the right of the two conservative courts that immediately preceded it by four distinct measures.

July 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Top-Ten Recent SSRN Downloads

Ssrn logo are here. The usual disclaimers apply.

Rank Downloads Paper Title
1 2461 Arizona Senate Bill 1070: A Preliminary Report
Gabriel J. Chin, Carissa Byrne Hessick, Toni M. Massaro, Marc L. Miller,
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Arizona State, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, University of Arizona College of Law, University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law,
Date posted to database: May 29, 2010
2 385 Padilla v. Kentucky: The Right to Counsel and the Collateral Consequences of Conviction
Margaret Colgate Love, Gabriel J. Chin,
Law Office of Margaret Love, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law,
Date posted to database: April 16, 2010
3 327 War and Peace in the Jury Room: How Capital Juries Reach Unanimity
Scott E. Sundby,
Washington and Lee University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 12, 2010
4 181 Broken Lives from Broken Windows: The Hidden Costs of Aggressive Ordermaintenance Policing
Babe Howell,
CUNY School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 18, 2010 [new to top ten]
5 147 The Conscience of a Prosecutor
David J. Luban,
Georgetown University Law Center,
Date posted to database: May 24, 2010 
6 130 From TRIPS to ACTA: Towards a New 'Gold Standard' in Criminal IP Enforcement?
Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan,
Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition & Tax Law,
Date posted to database: May 4, 2010
7 87 Collective Responsibility and Post-Conflict Justice
Mark A. Drumbl,
Washington and Lee University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 10, 2010 [8th last week]
8 83 The International Criminal Court Does Not Have Complete Jurisdiction Over Customary Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes
Jordan J. Paust,
University of Houston - Law Center,
Date posted to database: May 2, 2010 [10th last week]
9 82 Reconsidering Reprisals
Michael A. Newton,
Vanderbilt University - Law School,
Date posted to database: June 9, 2010 [new to top ten]
10 76 Retributivism Refined - Or Run Amok?
Kenneth W. Simons,
Boston University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 17, 2010 [new to top ten]

July 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Rough justice: America locks up too many people, some for acts that should not even be criminal"

Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy excerpts this interesting commentary from The Economist,

July 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2)

"Canada high court rules damages appropriate remedy for Charter rights violations"

Jurist reports on Friday's decision:

The case arose after Vancouver lawyer Cameron Ward was mistakenly arrested for making threats against then-prime minister Jean Chretien [CBC profile]. Ward was detained and eventually arrested for breach of the peace, and he and his car were searched based on the mistaken arrest. Ward filed a lawsuit alleging tort violations and violations of his Charter rights. . . . The court held that determining the appropriate remedy for a violation of Charter rights is a three-step process involving an inquiry into whether the rights were violated, a showing of why damages are an appropriate remedy and the opportunity for the government to refute the appropriateness of the damages.

July 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Drivers on Prescription Drugs Are Hard to Convict"

The story is in the New York Times:

The issue is vexing police officials because, unlike with alcohol, there is no agreement on what level of drugs in the blood impairs driving.

The behavioral effects of prescription medication vary widely, depending not just on the drug but on the person taking it. Some, like anti-anxiety drugs, can dull alertness and slow reaction time; others, like stimulants, can encourage risk-taking and hurt the ability to judge distances. Mixing prescriptions, or taking them with alcohol or illicit drugs, can exacerbate impairment and sharply increase the risk of crashing, researchers say.

“In the past it was cocaine, it was PCP, it was marijuana,” said Chuck Hayes of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “Now we’re into this prescription drug era that is giving us a whole new challenge.”

July 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Robinson on Schabas and International Criminal Law

Robinson darryl Darryl Robinson  (Queen's University (Canada) Faculty of Law) has posted A Response to William Schabas and a Reflection on Discursive Assumptions: One Vision or Many? on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This article critically examines some of the criticisms leveled by Professor William Schabas with respect to early policies and jurisprudence of the ICC, namely self-referrals and admissibility due to inaction. That examination serves as a springboard for broader observations about discursive assumptions in international criminal law.

One observation is that although discourse focuses on points of disagreement, it is also a vehicle through which the interpretive community implicitly absorbs and acquiesces in countless assumptions and propositions, which limit and shape legal debate.

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July 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Cultural Defense Accepted as to Nonconsensual Sex in New Jersey Trial Court, Rejected on Appeal"

Eugene Volokh has this post at The Volokh Conspiracy, excerpting this case.

July 23, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)