Criminal Law

/Criminal Law
1 Feb, 2012

Michelle Alexander’s Book on Mass Incarceration

2019-03-18T18:47:48-05:00February 1st, 2012|Tags: , , |

I've been reading lots of write-ups for Law Professor Michelle Alexander's book on the American criminal justice system, entitled The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. From what I've read, and heard from others in the legal community, it sounds like an amazing work. You can find the website for the [...]

23 Jan, 2012

Attaching a GPS Device to a Car Is a Fourth Amendment Search

2012-01-23T16:08:13-06:00January 23rd, 2012|Tags: , , , |

In a big loss for the federal government, the Supreme Court held today that when the government attaches a GPS device to a vehicle to monitor the vehicle's movement, the government conducts a Fourth Amendment search. Justice Scalia wrote the opinion for the Court in United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259, backed by the Chief Justice, [...]

14 Jan, 2012

Three Hopeful Changes for the Criminal Justice System in 2012

2019-03-18T18:47:49-05:00January 14th, 2012|Tags: , , , , , |

I am a little late on New Year's resolutions. But I thought I would shoot for three things I would like to see happen in the criminal justice system in 2012. At number three I would like to see the U.S. Supreme Court declare, loud and clear, that lawyers must be constitutionally effective at the [...]

2 Dec, 2011

The Efficiency Over Rights Argument

2011-12-02T18:49:41-06:00December 2nd, 2011|Tags: , , |

Stanford Law Professor Jeffrey L. Fisher had a particularly compelling argument yesterday in the New York Times against the assertion that if applying federal constitutional rights costs too much than the right should not apply. This efficiency versus rights argument is a commonly employed by prosecutors offices across the country. And it is incredibly false. Tax [...]

11 Nov, 2011

More on Jones–the Supreme Court’s GPS Monitoring Case

2019-03-18T18:47:50-05:00November 11th, 2011|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

SCOTUS news was dominated this week by the oral arguments United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259. In that case, the Court must decide whether law enforcement can conduct GPS monitoring sans warrant without violating the Fourth Amendment’s prescription of unreasonable searches and seizures. A lot was written about the oral arguments, but [...]

7 Oct, 2011

Do We Finally Have Consensus on the Failings of the Drug War?

2019-03-18T18:47:53-05:00October 7th, 2011|Tags: , , , |

It appears that we may have finally reached a consensus on the simple proposition that the War On Drugs is bad policy. Well, kind of. I know what you’re thinking, are there really people out there who believe that the drug war is good policy? Unfortunately, yes, especially if they happen to [...]

15 Sep, 2011

2011 Term Preview: The Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Cases

2019-03-18T18:47:54-05:00September 15th, 2011|Tags: , , , , , |

The 2011 Supreme Court Term is about to ramp up and there are several intriguing criminal cases set for argument. The cases I’m most curious to see the Court confront are the ones that have so far flown under-the-radar. Let’s start with the ineffective assistance of counsel cases. IAC claims are the [...]

24 Aug, 2011

Conviction by Jailhouse Snitch

2019-03-18T18:47:54-05:00August 24th, 2011|Tags: , , , |

It is nice to see California attempting to rectify one of the more serious problems with the criminal justice system. The problem is what I call "conviction by jailhouse snitch." This is when the prosecution locks up someone in a county jail with known snitches. These snitches question and prod and sometime interrogate the defendant [...]

23 Aug, 2011

A Serious Protestival? Seattle’s Hempfest 2011

2019-03-18T18:47:54-05:00August 23rd, 2011|Tags: , , |

This year marked the twentieth anniversay of the Seattle Hempfest. To mark the big occasion, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich spoke to a crowd of stoners pro-pot proponents. He compared the quest to legalize marijuana to the uprisings in the Middle East, the push for womens’ right to vote and the civil rights [...]