Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Teaching Padilla

Students in my Crimmigration course are typically on their third read of Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010). It's a case they explored in Criminal Procedure. If they've already taken Immigration Law, they read it for that class. And now, they're seeing this old friend for a third time.

One way to make the case new again is to introduce them to Padilla himself. As it turns out, Padilla spoke at the University of Denver in 2016 and his remarks are available online. From 5:52 to 24:18, Padilla speaks about the facts of his arrest, his unsuccessful sting work with the feds to flesh out the buyers of all that pot, his state criminal trial, and his plea.

Playing this segment really humanizes Padilla and forces students to see the case in an entirely new light. Not every class will have the 20 minutes free to introduce students to the man behind the case, but for those who have the time, it is well worth it.


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