CrimProf Blog

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

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Murphy on Databases, Doctrine, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure

Erin Murphy (New York University School of Law)

Erin Murphy (New York University School of Law) has posted Databases, Doctrine, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure (Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 37, No. 803, 2010) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: 

Over the past twenty years there has been an explosion in the creation, availability, and use of criminal justice databases. Large scale database systems now routinely influence law enforcement decisions ranging from formal determinations to arrest or convict an individual to informal judgments to subject a person to secondary pre-flight screening or investigate possible gang membership. Evidence gathered from database-related sources is now commonly introduced, and can play a pivotal proof role, in criminal trials. Although much has been written about the failure of constitutional law to adequately respond to the threat to privacy rights posed by databases, less attention has focused upon the awkward fit between database-generated evidence and the conventional modes of analysis in constitutional criminal procedure. This Essay examines databases as a tool of law enforcement and sets forth tentative steps toward a theory of constitutional violations in this area.

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