March 26, 2011

The Jury Expert Has a New Look

The people at The Jury Expert are excited about moving to a new platrorm, Wordpress, where they can incorporate a new look and possibly some new features as well. Below is their e-mail announcing the change and providing links so you can see for yourselves. Take a look:

The e-mail:

We are too excited to wait until our next issue to get this announcement out! The Jury Expert has moved to a WordPress platform and we are ready for our close-up. We invite you to visit and see how much easier it is to find what you're looking for on our new site. One of the benefits of our new platform is we can use categories (see the right-hand side of the webpage for the category drop-down menu) to help you find what you need.

Want witness preparation? Visit our witness preparation category and find everything we've published from basic how-to's, to the implications of the Cendant ruling, or to preparing tough witnesses like narcissists. http://www.thejuryexpert.com/category/witness-preparation/

Want voir dire? We have everything in our voir dire category from best practices for paper and pencil organization to cognitive organization strategies or to the new iPad apps. http://www.thejuryexpert.com/category/voire-dire-and-jury-selection/

Want technology? Visit our technology and visual evidence categories for everything from forensic animations to the iPad to RSS to persuasive ways you can use visuals to communicate your message. http://www.thejuryexpert.com/category/technology/ or http://www.thejuryexpert.com/category/visual-evidence/

Want the latest on bias, gender, race, the internet? You know where to go. We have categories on all those topics and more. http://www.thejuryexpert.com/category/bias/ or http://www.thejuryexpert.com/category/gender/ or http://www.thejuryexpert.com/category/internet-social-media/

Visit us now at http://www.thejuryexpert.com/. We are still sprucing things up and uploading images but we are 95% of the way done and wanted to share it with you now. We'll have to bring the comments over bit by bit so don't worry, they will definitely be back but they are not in place now.

Visit. Read. Admire the work of our designer and programmer. And marvel at the fact that with The Jury Expert, you can improve your day-to-day practice without increasing your overhead. It's the gift of litigation advocacy from the American Society of Trial Consultants to all of you.

We publish our March/April issue the end of this month with pieces on the 'nerd' defense that made so many headlines in late February (i.e., put glasses on your criminal defendant and the jury will acquit); ADD jurors; questions about Powerpoint presentations in an article called "Beyond Bulletpoints"; new ideas to address social media's presence in the deliberation room; two new pieces on voir dire; online jury research; and a new video review of dueling iPad jury selection apps. You won't want to miss it!

In the meantime, bookmark our new address (http://www.thejuryexpert.com) and come visit!

March 26, 2011

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure March 21-25, 2011

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. All summaries are produced by Findlaw

March 21-25, 2011.

United States First Circuit, 03/22/2011
US v. Werra, No. 09-1593
Conviction and sentencing of defendant is reversed because stop-and-frisk conducted on him after law enforcement officers forced their way into a house occupied by a group of unrelated individuals to execute an arrest warrant violated the Fourth Amendment rights of defendant, where he was not the subject of the warrant.

United States Fourth Circuit, 03/25/2011
US v. Masciandaro, No. 09-4839
Conviction and sentencing of defendant for carrying or possessing a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle, under 36 C.F.R. section 2.4(b), is affirmed where the general federal savings statute, 1 U.S.C. Section 109, denies defendants an automatic entitlement to the benefit of post-arrest changes in the law.

United States Ninth Circuit, 03/21/2011
Smith v. Almada, No. 09-55334
In an appeals arising out of the arrest and trial of the appellant for arson, summary judgment in favor of the appellee is affirmed where failure to disclose evidence during criminal trial did not prejudice appellant.

Continue reading "Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure March 21-25, 2011" »

March 26, 2011

Book Review: The Fears Within: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial

TITLE: The Fear Within
SUBTITLE: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial
AUTHOR: Scott Martelle
PUBLICATION DATE: May 2011
PUBLISHER: Rutgers University Press
PAGE COUNT: 320 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-8135-4938-5 (Cloth)
PRICE: $26.95 (Cloth)

The author is a freelance journalist and writer with expertise in American history. Martelle details the 1948 arrest and trial of twelve members of the Communist Party USA who were accused of espionage and conspiracy in violation of the Smith Act, which prohibited inciting acts of force and violence against the government. He carefully describes the primary defense argument, namely, that these twelve men did nothing more than teach a doctrine and therefore the government’s case amounts to political repression. The author underscores the defense argument that the Smith Act’s constitutionality is suspect because of its inherent conflict with the First Amendment, because the allegations against the men involved no acts and therefore did not constitute a clear and present danger to the government. The Smith Act was hastily crafted during the pressure of wartime, the author notes, and was not intended to be used against those exercising their First Amendment right of free speech. Nevertheless, eleven of the men were convicted, and the author concludes that the judge’s charge to the jury was the deciding factor, as guilt rode on the defendants’ intent to overthrow the government and their use of words as a rule for action. Aimed at an academic audience and well-documented, the book is replete with analysis of the legal and political issues involved, and is thus recommended for academic, law, and larger public libraries.

Philip Y. Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Law Library, First Judicial District, New York, New York


March 8, 2011

Gangs in a New Jersey County


The following is a link to a a listing of towns in Union County New Jersey and the number of gangs reported to be established in each town, even many of the smaller ones. One reason for publishing this post is that we suspect this particular article may point to a very small representation of a much larger problem throughout the nation that should concern us all.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/nj_gangs_have_presence_in_all.html?appSession=82694619262727

David Badertsher

March 8, 2011

Book Review: The Eichmann Trial

TITLE: The Eichmann Trial
AUTHOR: Deborah E. Lipstadt
PUBLICATION DATE: March 2011
PUBLISHER: Schocken Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
PAGE COUNT: 272 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-8052-4260-7
PRICE: $23.95

The author is a professor of Jewish Studies at Emory University and has written extensively about the Holocaust. In her new work, she details the Israeli capture and trial of fugitive Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann fifteen years after his escape from U.S. custody at the end of World War II. Lipstadt carefully shows how Attorney General Gideon Hausner called witness after witness who had directly observed the most brutal and murderous aspects of Eichmann's evil objectives and were thus able to bring the tragedy alive. She concludes the verdict was a forgone conclusion, but the sentencing was more complicated, and thus followed a contentious debate about the death penalty in a society that preaches love and compassion. Arguments for and against Eichmann's execution are described in detail, with the author noting the Court's referral of the matter to the Prime Minister and Israeli Cabinet for ultimate resolution. Aimed at an academic audience, the book is replete with references to primary source material and thus constitutes an authoritative analysis of the historical and legal issues involved in a trial of international significance. Highly recommended for students, scholars, and researchers analyzing actions and motives of war crimes perpetrators and their victims during periods of political conflict and courtroom confrontation.

Philip Y. Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Law Library, First Judicial District, New York, New York

March 8, 2011

Book Review: Cross Examination Handbook: Persuasion, Strategies, and Techniques

We are pleased to presnet the following review of Cross Examination Handbook: Persuasion, Strategies and Techniques by Ronald H. Clark and others as acknowledged below. The review was prepared by our Senior Law Librarian for Public Access, Theodore Pollack

Title: Cross-Examination Handbook: Persuasion, Strategies, and Techniques

Author: Ronald H. Clark, George R. Dekle, Sr., William S. Bailey

Publisher: Wolters Kluwer: Law & Business

Series: Aspen Coursebook Series

Published: 2011

Price: $39.50

“The Cross-Examination Handbook“ is a useful volume for any law student or litigator. The book and accompanying dvd are provide a trial techniques class on cross-examination and examine various cross-examination techniques and the different trial situations in which they arise (e.g. runaway witnesses or recalcitrant witnesses). To deal with these situations in court or in deposition is often a difficult task and to have a guide which provides strategies, model examinations, and sample questions is of potential great assistance to a practitioner.

This book was written by Ronald H. Clark (Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Seattle University School of Law), George R. Dekle, Sr. (Legal Skills Professor, University of Florida Law School), and William S. Bailey (Adjunct Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law). The authors provide a readily read and highly useable aid which is useful to new and experienced trial attorneys. Perhaps it is of greatest utility to new practitioners as they enter trial practice and reduce the need to learn under combat situations and consequently increase their effectiveness.

“The Cross Examination Handbook” is recommended for law libraries, litigators, and law students.

Ted Pollack, Sr. Law Librarian, New York Supreme Court, New York County Public Access Law Library


December 21, 2010

New BJS Study: U.S. Prison - Probation - Parole Population Drops in 2009

A recently released U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Study presents data on the number of adults under some form of correctional supervision at the end of the year 2009. The Report discussing the Study was released on December 21, 2010; it is part of the Correctional Population of the United States Series, published annually. For more information see the Bureau of Justice Statistics Press Release accompanying the Report For additional information including links to accompanying spread sheet data click here.

December 14, 2010

Library Announcement: Online Access to Temporary Comission on Revision of New York Penal Law and Criminal Code (1961-1970) Papers Held by Library

David Badertscher

The New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library (New York County) is pleased to announce a major enhancement regarding access to those Temporary Commission on Revision of New York Penal Law and Criminal Code (1961-1970) papers held by the New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library (New York County). During the past year we in the library have been working with professional interns, archivists, and especially Philip Yow and his web design team at the State of New York Unified Court System to find ways to preserving these materials, many of which were beginning to deteriorate significantly. After confronting various obstacles, technical and otherwise, we settled on digitizing the material as a number of separate and searchable pdf files and then placing all of them on the library website with an overlay of google searchability. Although this may not be perfect it does make the documents accessible on the web in a cost effective manner.

A word of further explanation. these papers primarily consisting of documents submitted to and documents produced by the Temporary Commission on Revision of Penal Laws and Criminal Code (1961-1970) were collected by our former Administrative Judge Peter Mcquillan who served on the staff of the Commission. Justice Mcquillan left the Papers in my custody when he retired and we first put up an index to the papers on the web and now the full text of these materials. In addition we have included The Proposed New York Criminal Procedure Law of 1969 because in addition to the text of the proposed law, it includes valuable additional materials related to the work of the Commission and derivation tables for use in comparing the current Code with the earlier Code. Special permission was obtained from Thomson Reuters before publishing the latter segment.

To see the new site of the library website from which this material can be searched online, go to:

http://www.nycourts.gov/library/nyc_criminal/library_resources.shtml and scroll down if necessary to the search box under the first entry under this Section: Penal Law Records Search.

In order to resolve various format and other issues alluded to earlier, most searches will need to consist of two parts. Entering a search term or terms in the search box provided at this location will bring up various pdf documents where the terms entered are mentioned. Some of these pdf documents are very large. To determine exactly where in these pdf documents the terms are referenced you will need to enter your search a second time in the pdf search box at the upper right side of the document. This search should identify and highlight exactly where in the document the search terms you entered are highlighted.

Finally, for those people who need additional information about documents included in this collection prior to searching, we have preserved the original index or finding aid which is located at http://www.nycourts.gov/library/nyc_criminal/Temporary%20Commission.pdf

November 15, 2010

Two Book Reviews - One Author - Ron Arons

Until a few weeks ago before receiving a telephone call I had never heard of Ron Arons. During that call Mr. Arons explained that he had been following postings on this blog and wondered if I would be interested in reviewing two of his books. After some discussion I agreed to either review them myself or ask some of my colleagues to review them for posting on the Criminal Law Library blog, with the understanding that the books provided for reviewing would be added to the library collection of the New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library of New York County and not given to me personally.

We are fortunate that two colleagues, both experienced book reviewers, were available and eager to take on these assignments. Pepper Hedden who has worked with me on special projects and reviews materials regularly for the Law Library Association of Greater New York (LLAGNY) will graduate December 2010 from St. John’s University with an MLS degree. She is a reference librarian in the law library of the New York County District Attorney’s office and is reviewing The Jews of Sing Sing the first of Mr. Arons' books listed below. Ted Pollack who is reviewing Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records: Sources & Research Methodology, also by Mr. Arons, is the Senior Law Librarian at the New York County Public Access Law Library. Ted continues to review legal materials for both the New York Law Journal and the Library Journal.

Since I am not writing any of the reviews below I will only say that as a law librarian who is always looking for useful sources of criminal records, I have already found Mr. Arons book Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records: Sources & Research Methodology useful in identifying criminal records in other jurisdictions. Unfortunately I have not yet found time to read The Jews of Sing Sing--but I will. Now on to the book reviews:
David Badertscher

Pepper Hedden's review:

The Jews of Sing Sing: Gotham Gangsters and Gonuvin
By Ron Arons
The Jews of Sing Sing proves the adage to not judge a book by its cover – or its title. This book is a lively and crystalline page-turner with something for everyone to enjoy.

Like many, Ron Arons paid little attention to the family stories he had heard over his lifetime until he found himself parentless. While disposing of the belongings of his “packrat parents”, he discovered a family tree his father had started and caught the “genealogy bug”. Having no living relatives of a proper age to ask for stories, the author began his genealogical expedition with the U.S. Census records. What he discovered raised perplexing questions. His great-grandfather had claimed to be born in three different locations. His great-grandmother’s death certificate listed a surviving husband with a name different from that of his great-grandfather. And his great-grandfather had served time in Sing Sing! He didn’t remember hearing such a story and the idea of a Jewish criminal flew in the face of his Jewish teachings to abide to a high moral value system.

Ron Arons is an award-winning researcher who invites us on his odyssey of discovery and engagingly reports the results. Over more than ten years, as he pieced together his great grandfather’ s story, he found a surprising number of other Jewish criminals from the early New York City streets especially the Lower East Side, also known as Five Points. In individual chapters, the reader is entertained with colorful descriptions of some of these Jewish criminals who had called Sing Sing “home” for a time from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century.

Throughout the book, the author’s meticulous research in census records, prison records, newspapers, archives, books, police records, court transcripts and personal interviews is impressive. Where pieces about the underworld characters do not fit nicely together, Ron Arons suggests possible answers based on other research. The details are exquisite. Locations, names and facts are exact. The storytelling is infectious.

For instance, we meet Monk Eastman, “the first true Jewish gangster” whose “presence and influence lasted for decades”. In one recounting, Monk and his companions were unaware they were being watched by undercover detectives as they “pushed revolvers in the youth’s face and attempted to steal his stash.” One detective “like an Olympic hurdler” cleared the leg Eastman put out to trip him as he pursued the companion “in front of Lewis & Conger, a crockery and home furnishings store located at 130 W. 42nd Street.” What follows is literally a blow-by-blow account of how the officer used the companion as a shield to block the gun shots hurled by Monk until Monk’s revolver was empty and he threw it through the Lewis & Conger store window to later be used as evidence. There are dozens of other delightful stories.

We learn that Bennet’s Hotel once existed at 7th Avenue and 41st Street and a Worker’s Party of America office was located at 110 West 14th Street. Did you know that the phrase “keeping tabs” stems from card players who hired “counters” with tablets called “tabs” to count cards?

The Jews of Sing Sing tells the story of crime and vice as the decades unfold. Gambling at times was almost entirely in the hands of Jewish gangs. It seems that in 1910, 16% of the Sing Sing population was Jewish. Many were immigrants who disguised their identity by using aliases, as shown on serial arrest records or, as was common, to Americanize their names to hide their heritage. For instance, Bugsy Siegel’s true name was Benjamin Siegelbaum.

Along the way, we briefly encounter more recognizable figures such as Clarence Darrow, J. Edgar Hoover, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. On the flip side is the story of the cozy relations between the gangsters and Tamany Hall politicians, police, unions and the rich and famous as they collaborate in corruption, graft, extortion, and prostitution as well as those determined to root out crime. A successful, and corrupt, wealthy Mr. Hertz bribed a graft investigator to resign from the police force. . .and he did. Louis Shomberg, ostensibly a prominent businessman is thought to be behind crime networks in New York for decades. He was so successful is covering his tracks that in the 1960’s federal prosecutors just gave up trying convict and deport him in his advancing years.

An unusual story in the criminal context is that of Benjamin Gitlow, one of the founders of the American communist movement in the early 20th century who was charged under new sedition laws. Later he had a change of heart and testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and cooperated with the FBI in rooting out communism in America.

Researchers will appreciate the efforts Aron’s took to accurately detail the lives of the gangsters he profiled and the circumstances in which they lived. Historians, or lovers of New York history, will delight in description of the events in various decades and the city that knew them. New Yorkers and those familiar with the New York streets will be making mental pictures of City addresses and imagining the buildings and business that once occupied it. For fans of crime novels, this book is a romp. The Jews of Sing Sing will appeal to and delight many readers whatever their interests.


Pepper Hedden will graduate December 2010 from St. John’s University with an MLS degree and is a reference librarian in the law library of the New York County District Attorney’s office.
____________________

Ted Pollack's review:

Title: Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records: Sources & Research Methodology

Author: Ron Arons
Publisher: Criminal Research Press

Pages: 365

Wanted! U.S. Criminal Records” is a volume dedicated to assisting in locating current and archival material related to individuals with a criminal history. Ron Arons became interested in this area while researching a relative’s criminal past. This volume compiles a comprehensive listing of libraries, archives, and other physical locations as well as online resources that are very useful in locating criminal records. The author acknowledges that the method used to track records for and individual often varies from case to case. The apparent value in this work is the large number of resources compiled. The book is organized and covers each of the fifty states as well as the District of Columbia and the federal system. For individuals performing research in this area this book will be a highly useful tool. Nonetheless, the publisher might consider offering a digitized version with active links to websites to save users the difficulty of entering long web addresses to access online records locations. This book is recommended for special libraries, professional researchers, and individuals interested in performing research involving relatives with shady pasts.

Ted Pollack, Sr. Law Librarian, New York County Public Access Law Library

November 15, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. All summaries are produced by Findlaw

November 8-12 2010.

United States Fourth Circuit, 11/12/2010
US v. Ide, No. 09-4833
District court's grant of government's petition to revoke defendant's term of supervised release originally imposed in May 2002 as part of his sentence on a federal charge, claiming that defendant's commission of an additional state offense, along with his failure to file monthly reports, violated the conditions of his supervised release, is affirmed as, under the circumstances, a defendant's supervised release term is tolled under 18 U.S.C. section 3624(e) during the period that he spent in pretrial detention awaiting trial on the state charge for which he later was convicted. ..

United States Fifth Circuit, 11/09/2010
US v. Jackson, No. 09-10850
Defendant's conviction and sentence, following a jury trial, for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, are vacated where certain notebooks introduced into evidence were not sufficiently authenticated, the error violated defendant's rights under the Confrontation Clause, and the error was not harmless.

United States Fifth Circuit, 11/09/2010
US v. Flores-Gallo, No. 09-40882
Defendant's sentence for unlawful reentry into the U.S. is affirmed where the district court properly found that defendant's prior Kansas aggravated battery offense was a "crime of violence" for sentencing purposes and imposed an enhancement accordingly.


Continue reading "Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure" »

October 18, 2010

New York: Report of Preliminary Impact of 2009 Rockefeller Drug Law Reform

October 2009 - September 2010.

Issued October 2010

New York State fully implemented changes to its drug laws on October 7, 2009. This report provides a preliminary update of the impact during the first year. More comprehensive reports will be issued in the coming months. The preliminary review shows that because of the drug law changes:

• Approximately 1,000 fewer people went to state prison in the past 12 months:
300 individuals avoided state prison due to the elimination of certain mandatory prison sentences. These offenders were sentenced to jail or probation. 700 offenders who would have been sentenced to prison were instead enrolled into court-monitored judicial diversion programs.

• 327 Class B offenders were resentenced and released from prison.

• The number of individuals judicially diverted to drug court has increased substantially, with 46% admitted into residential treatment and 54% admitted into outpatient treatment.
This report and other related reports are available at: http://wwwdev:84/drug-law-reform/index.html.

The Interim Report can also be downloaded by click on the link below:

NY Criminal Justice Interim Drug Law Reform Update Oct. 2010 (PDF)

October 18, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. All summaries are produced by Findlaw

October 11-15 2010.

United States First Circuit, 10/11/2010
US v. Brown
Defendant's conviction for possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute is affirmed where: 1) although the district court's factual findings and the inferences made from those findings, which formed the basis of its conclusion that reasonable suspicion existed to stop a car, are not compelled by the record or by the facts, both are nonetheless reasonable and therefore pass constitutional muster; 2) the affirmance of the district court's finding that the officers had reasonable suspicion to stop the car forecloses the need to address defendant's challenge to the district court's alternate conclusion that the car was not seized when the officers first approached; and 3) there was no abuse of discretion in the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence without an evidentiary hearing.

United States First Circuit, 10/14/2010
US v. Kinsella
Conviction of defendant for conspiring to possess and distribute oxycodone, possessing oxycodone with intent to distribute, and willfully failing to appear in court as required, as well as a 97-month sentence, are affirmed where: 1) defendant's claim of multiple instances of prosecutorial misconduct is rejected; and 2) the district judge did not clearly err in his drug-quantity calculations.

United States First Circuit, 10/15/2010
Statchen v. Palmer
In plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against police officers, claiming that they used excessive force in arresting him for public intoxication and in transporting him from a station house to jail, district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on the basis of qualified immunity is affirmed as the district court had no basis for sending the case to a jury because plaintiff's own deposition provided no evidence to indicate that the force exerted was unnecessary, or that a reasonable police officer would have thought otherwise. .

Continue reading "Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure" »

October 15, 2010

U.S. Justice Department is Continuing its Anti Corruption Campaign

In the October 15, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Dionne Searcey reports that "after numerous record-shattering fines and executive prosecutions in recent years, the government's crackdown on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act shows no signs of slowing.

So far this year, the U.S. Justice Department has carried out a dozen prosecutions, after 19 prosecutions in 2009. That doesn't include civil cases brought under the law by the Securities and Exchange Commission." To see Ms. Searcey's complete article, go to:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704634104575552583836621938.html?mod=dist_smartb

October 15, 2010

Chief Judge Lippman Announces Creation of Permanent Sentencing Commission for New York State

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman on October 13, 2010 announced the establishment of the New York State Permanent Sentencing Commission, charged with conducting a comprehensive and ongoing evaluation of sentencing laws and practices and recommending reforms to improve the quality and effectiveness of statewide sentencing policy. A very important aspect of this Commission is that has been designated as permanent. There have been previous commissions created to look into these matters in New York State but they were designated as temporary. Hopefully the permant designation of this Commission will increase its influnce and help ensure that it's recommendations and ongoing guidance will have significant impact over many years.

For official Unified Court System Press Release announcing establishment of New York State Sentencing Commission visit:

http://www.nycourts.gov/press/pr2010_11.shtml:

Related Stories include:

Michael Jacobson named to New York State sentencing commission ...
Vera's director, Michael Jacobson, has been named to the new New York State Permanent ... announced today by the New York State Unified Court System. ...
www.vera.org/node/4498

News for lippman "sentencing commission" new york
Sentencing Law and Policy: New York gets a permanant commission to ... Oct 14, 2010 ... As reported in this New York Daily News article, ... "The present sentencing laws are a mess," Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman told the Daily News. ... in charge of the Permanent Sentencing Commission for New York State. ...
sentencing.typepad.com/.../new-york-gets-a-permanant-commission-to-help-with-sentencing-mess.html

The Crime Report » Archive » Blue-Ribbon Panel To Study New York ... Oct 14, 2010 ... A blue-ribbon panel aims to clean up New York state's ... will head the Permanent Sentencing Commission for New York State. ... ¿We don't know whether the offenders are prepared to live useful lives,¿ Lippman said. ...
thecrimereport.org/.../blue-ribbon-panel-to-study-new-york-sentencing-mess/

Permanent Sentencing Commission for New York State New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman says 'the present sentencing ...
www.nydailynews.com/.../Permanent+Sentencing+Commission+for+New+York+State



October 13, 2010

Around the Blawgsphere

October 13, 2010.

Argument recap: Court doubts that failure to suppress confession is prejudicial in felony murder case
posted by James Bickford at SCOTUSblog -
On Tuesday, the Court heard oral argument in the case of *Premo v. Moore*.

Overcriminalization 2.0: Developing Consensus Solutions posted by White Collar Crime Prof Blogger at White Collar Crime Prof Blog
The Journal of Law, Economics & Policy at the George Mason University School of Law will host its annual symposium on October 21, 2010, in partnership with the Law & Economics Center at George Mason Universi...

Two or Three Myths About Substantive Due Process

posted by Timothy Sandefur, guest-blogging at The Volokh Conspiracy
(Timothy Sandefur, guest-blogging) When talking about “substantive due process,” as I’ve been doing, one must address a number of myths about that theory that, sadly, are so common

Costs of capital punishment getting the spotlight in Connecticut case
posted by Doug B. at Sentencing Law and Policy -
As detailed in this local article, which is headlined "Steven Hayes Defense Outlines High Cost Of Putting Someone To Death," the significant economic costs of capital punishment has moved from policy debate ...


Mapping Your Return to Useful Websites
posted by admin at Legal Talk Network -
Internet search is only half of the equation. Many times, you simply want to return to a site you had previously found. Managing bookmarks and favorites has long been a less-than-satisfying experience. Why...

October 13, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. All summaries are produced by Findlaw

October 4-8, 2010.

United States First Circuit, 10/07/2010
US v. Figueroa-Gonzalez
Conviction of defendant for carjacking and firearm use during and in relation to a crime of violence is affirmed as there was no error, clear or otherwise, as the district court was presented with conflicting evidence and chose to conclude that the evidence was stronger in favor of competency to plead guilty.

United States First Circuit, 10/08/2010
Tevlin v. Spencer
District court's denial of defendant's request for habeas relief from his convictions for first-degree murder, armed robbery, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, is affirmed where: 1) defendant has failed to demonstrate the existence of ineffective assistance of counsel in any of his theories; and 2) the Massachusetts discovery procedures are not on their face unconstitutional and defendant has not established that their application here violated due process. .

United States Second Circuit, 10/06/2010
Matthews v. US
Defendant's convictions for racketeering, drug-related murder, and the use of a firearm are affirmed where, while drug-related murder can be punishable by death if certain aggravating circumstances are specified in the charging instrument, no such aggravating factors were specified in the information. .

Continue reading "Findlaw Case Summaries: Criminal Law and Procedure" »

September 29, 2010

Correcting Mandatory Injustice: Judicial Recommendation of Executive Clemency

A significant note from the Duke Law Journal by Joanna Huang with the above title has been posted today September 29 on the Sentencing Law and Policy blog According to Ms. Huang, "...in 1987 the United States political and social systems lost trust in the judiciary and severely limited its authority by enacting the Federal Sentencing Guidelines." She goes on to observe that in 2005 trust was restored in the judiciary when United States v. Booker made the Sentencing Guidelines advisory; and that, although Booker provides for increase in judicial discretion, judges are still unable to correct sentences imposed during the intervening eighteen years because Booker does not apply retroactively.

For more, we recommend that you go to the Sentencing Law and Policy blog

NOTE:

Readers interested in this topic may also be interested in Final Report on the Impact of United States v. Booker on Federal Sentencing, United States Sentencing Comission, March 2006.

September 20, 2010

Should Cost be a Significant Factor in Sentencing Convicted Criminals?

Apparently the court system in Missouri thinks so. In her article, Missouri Tells Judges Cost of Sentences, publsihed in the September 18 New York Times, Monica Davey reports that "When judges here [Missouri] sentence convicted criminals, a new and unusual variable is available for them to consider: what a given punishment will cost the State of Missouri". According to the article "legal experts say no other state systematically provides such information to judges, a practice put into effect here last month by the state’s sentencing advisory commission, an appointed board that offers guidance on criminal sentencing." Smart Sentenciing Volume 2 Number 5 August 17, 2010 A Bulletin of the Missouri Sentencing Commission includes a discussion of cost of sentencing as a variable when determining sentences. According to the Bulletin the Missouri Sentencing Commission has added data about the risk of being reincarcerated and the costs of sentences to its online application as a variable to enhance the availability of objective inform I found it somwhat surprising that "....no other state systematically provides such information to judges". On alternative for those interested in pursuing this subjct further would be to start by following a search I conducted on the National Center for State Courts website using the terms cost and incarceration. David Badertscher
September 20, 2010

Findlaw Case Summaries:Criminal Law and Procedure

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. All summaries are produced by Findlaw

September 13-17, 2010.

Criminal Law & Procedure

United States First Circuit, 09/14/2010
Merlonghi v. US
In plaintiff's suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), for the actions of a U.S. Special Agent, involving an automobile accident, district court's grant of government's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is affirmed as plaintiff's claim under 28 U.S.C. section 1346(b)(1) was properly dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the agent was not acting within the scope of his employment when he crashed into plaintiff during a car chase. .

United States First Circuit, 09/16/2010
Fusi v. O'Brien
District court's denial of defendant's request for habeas relief from his rape conviction is vacated and remanded as the district court should have dismissed the petition without prejudice because the defendant failed to exhaust his ineffective assistance of counsel claim in state court. .

United States First Circuit, 09/16/2010
Gautier v. Wall
Defendant's application for a certificate of appealability is denied and the judgment of the district court is vacated as the court lacked jurisdiction to consider defendant's second or successive petition without authorization, and not one of defendant's claims meets the gatekeeping requirements of section 2244(b).

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September 17, 2010

ABA Criminal Justice Section Iniated or Co-Sponsored Resolutions*

Approved by the ABA House of Delegates

Sept. 2010

At the 2010 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the House of Delegates approved resolutions that the Criminal Justice Section initiated or co-sponsored regarding the following issues (click on the relevant REPORT # to view the full text of the resolution and the background report):

REPORT 100A* (Investigations and reports of professional misconduct of U.S. Justice Department Attorneys)

Urges the United States Department of Justice to continue in its commitment to investigate allegations of professional misconduct on the part of the Department’s lawyers and to release as much information regarding completed investigations as possible, consistent with privacy interests and law enforcement confidentiality concerns.

REPORT 100B* (Prosecutorial “misconduct” and “error”)

Urges trial and appellate courts, in criminal cases, when reviewing the conduct of prosecutors to differentiate between “error” and “prosecutorial misconduct.”

REPORT 100C* (Funding for defense advice about immigration consequences)

Urges federal, state, territorial, tribal and local governments to provide funding to state and federal public defender offices and legal aid programs specifically for the provision of immigration advice about the immigration consequences of criminal proceedings to indigent non-U.S. citizen defendants, and about any available relief from such consequences.

REPORT 100D* (Funding for forensic science research)

Urges federal, state, local and territorial governments to provide sufficient funding and resources necessary to facilitate basic and applied scientific research to improve and/or further develop forensic science disciplines.

REPORT 100E* (Funding for standards, accreditation, examinations of forensic laboratories)

Urges the federal government to provide funding and resources sufficient to facilitate the examination of existing standards, accreditation and certification for government and private laboratories, examiners/analysts in government and private laboratories, and identified forensic science service providers who offer examination conclusions and/or interpretations of forensic laboratory results.

REPORT 100F* (Funding to integrate forensic sciences into homeland security)

Urges the federal government to provide the funds, resources and other support necessary to effectively integrate the forensic science community into the nation’s system of homeland security.

REPORT 100G* (Funding for mandatory medico-legal death accreditation, certification)

Urges federal, state, and territorial governments to provide funding and enact legislation necessary to support requiring that all offices charged with conducting medico-legal death investigations meet mandatory accreditation, certification or professional practice standards within a reasonable timeframe.

REPORT 100H* (Funding re fingerprint identification and ballistic information networks)

Urges Congress to enact legislation and authorize and appropriate funds necessary to achieve nationwide interoperability of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and improve the effectiveness of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network.

REPORT 100I (Funding for testing and re-testing evidence and for expert assistance)

Urges federal, state, local and territorial governments, legislative bodies and courts to provide the funds and other resources necessary to assure that in criminal cases an accused: 1) is able to obtain testing or retesting of evidence, and 2) is provided expert testimonial or other assistance when necessary to assure a fair trial or sentencing proceeding.

REPORT 115** (Micro-stamping of semi-automatic pistols)

Urges federal, state and territorial governments to enact laws requiring that all newly-manufactured semi-automatic pistols be fitted with microstamping technology which would enable law enforcement to identify the serial number of the pistol and hence the first known purchaser of a weapon used in a crime.

REPORT 116** (Money laundering and terrorist financing)

Supports the U. S. Government’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and observes that voluntary, risk-based and updated guidance would assist legal professionals to avoid money laundering and terrorist financing risks when providing services to clients and adopts the Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
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* A service of the ABA Criminal Justice Section.