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Full-Text Articles in Public Law and Legal Theory

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin Nov 2018

The Consensus Myth In Criminal Justice Reform, Benjamin Levin

Michigan Law Review

It has become popular to identify a “consensus” on criminal justice reform, but how deep is that consensus, actually? This Article argues that the purported consensus is much more limited than it initially appears. Despite shared reformist vocabulary, the consensus rests on distinct critiques that identify different flaws and justify distinct policy solutions. The underlying disagreements transcend traditional left/right political divides and speak to deeper disputes about the state and the role of criminal law in society.

The Article maps two prevailing, but fundamentally distinct, critiques of criminal law: (1) the quantitative approach (what I call the “over” frame ...


Effects Of Senate Bill 4 On Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are At Risk In Low-Income Occupations, Daniella Salas-Chacon Aug 2018

Effects Of Senate Bill 4 On Wage-Theft: Why All Workers Are At Risk In Low-Income Occupations, Daniella Salas-Chacon

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

Abstract forthcoming


The Uk Forensic Science Regulator: A Model For Forensic Science Regulation?, Carole Mccartney, Emmanuel N. Amoako Aug 2018

The Uk Forensic Science Regulator: A Model For Forensic Science Regulation?, Carole Mccartney, Emmanuel N. Amoako

Georgia State University Law Review

The use of an array of scientific techniques and technologies is now considered customary within criminal justice, with technological developments and scientific advancements regularly added to the crime investigator’s arsenal. However, the scientific basis, reliability, and fallibility of the application of such “forensic science” (and the resulting scientific evidence) continues to come under intense scrutiny. In response to apparently irremediable problems with the quality of scientific evidence in the United Kingdom (UK), the government created the role of “Forensic Science Regulator” in 2007.

The introduction of a regulator was intended to establish quality standards for all forensic science providers ...


Georgia State Law Review Symposium Keynote Address: Uncovering Forensic Flaws - An Outside Perspective, Spencer S. Hsu Aug 2018

Georgia State Law Review Symposium Keynote Address: Uncovering Forensic Flaws - An Outside Perspective, Spencer S. Hsu

Georgia State University Law Review

This transcript is a reproduction of the Keynote Address by Spencer Hsu at the 2017–2018 Georgia State University Law Review Symposium — From the Crime Scene to the Court room: The Future of Forensic Science Reform — on April 6, 2018.

Spencer Hsu is an investigative reporter at the Washington Post, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a national Emmy Award nominee.


Safety From Flawed Forensic Sciences Evidence, Boaz Sangero Aug 2018

Safety From Flawed Forensic Sciences Evidence, Boaz Sangero

Georgia State University Law Review

This article addresses the way to safety in the context of forensic sciences evidence. After presenting the current lack of safety, which I term “unsafety,” I raise some possible safety measures to contend with this. My suggestions are grounded on two bases: first, the specific analysis of each type of evidence in line with the most recent research on the subject; and second, modern safety theory and its application to the criminal justice system. It is important to stress that my proposals represent only some of the conceivable safety measures. Developing a comprehensive safety theory for the criminal justice system ...


A Review Of Various Actions By The Federal Bureau Of Investigation And Department Of Justice In Advance Of The 2016 Election, Office Of The Inspector General, U.S. Department Of Justice May 2018

A Review Of Various Actions By The Federal Bureau Of Investigation And Department Of Justice In Advance Of The 2016 Election, Office Of The Inspector General, U.S. Department Of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

The Department of Justice (Department) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) undertook this review of various actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department in connection with the investigation into the use of a private email server by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton served as Secretary of State from January 21, 2009, until February 1, 2013, and during that time used private email servers hosting the @clintonemail.com domain to conduct official Department of State (State Department) business. In 2014, in response to a request from the State Department to Clinton for “copies of any Federal ...


Entering The Trump Ice Age: Contextualizing The New Immigration Enforcement Regime, Bill Ong Hing May 2018

Entering The Trump Ice Age: Contextualizing The New Immigration Enforcement Regime, Bill Ong Hing

Texas A&M Law Review

During the early stages of the Trump ICE age, America seemed to be witnessing and experiencing an unparalleled era of immigration enforcement. But is it unparalleled? Did we not label Barack Obama the “deporter-inchief?” Was it not George W. Bush who used the authority of the Patriot Act to round up nonimmigrants from Muslim and Arab countries, and did his ICE not commonly engage in armed raids at factories and other worksites? Are there not strong parallels that can be drawn between Trump enforcement plans and actions and those of other eras? What about the fear and hysteria that seems ...


Isolation Of Mitochondrial Dna From Single, Short Hairs Without Roots Using Pressure Cycling Technology, Kathryn A. Harper, Kelly A. Meiklejohn, Richard T. Merritt, Jessica Walker, Constance L. Fisher, James M. Robertson Jan 2018

Isolation Of Mitochondrial Dna From Single, Short Hairs Without Roots Using Pressure Cycling Technology, Kathryn A. Harper, Kelly A. Meiklejohn, Richard T. Merritt, Jessica Walker, Constance L. Fisher, James M. Robertson

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

Hairs are commonly submitted as evidence to forensic laboratories, but standard nuclear DNA analysis is not always possible. Mitochondria (mt) provide another source of genetic material; however, manual isolation is laborious. In a proof-of-concept study, we assessed pressure cycling technology (PCT; an automated approach that subjects samples to varying cycles of high and low pressure) for extracting mtDNA from single, short hairs without roots. Using three microscopically similar donors, we determined the ideal PCT conditions and compared those yields to those obtained using the traditional manual micro-tissue grinder method. Higher yields were recovered from grinder extracts, but yields from PCT ...


A Review And Conceptual Model Of Factors Correlated With Postmortem Root Band Formation, Joseph Donfack, Hilda S. Castillo Jan 2018

A Review And Conceptual Model Of Factors Correlated With Postmortem Root Band Formation, Joseph Donfack, Hilda S. Castillo

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

It is generally accepted within the forensic trace evidence community that a postmortem root band (PMRB) can appear in the root of hairs attached to remains during decomposition. Presently, the specific sequences of events and/or exact molecular signals that lead to the formation of a PMRB are not well understood. The published literature addressing the abiotic and biotic factors that correlate with the formation of PMRBs is reviewed and a conceptual model for the formation of PMRBs is proposed.


Science‐Based Interviewing: Information Elicitation, Susan E. Brandon, Simon Wells, Colton Seale Jan 2018

Science‐Based Interviewing: Information Elicitation, Susan E. Brandon, Simon Wells, Colton Seale

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

This article describes an ethical and effective science‐based model of interviewing. An initial planning phase assists the investigative team in separating facts from inferences, decreases the likelihood of errors based on cognitive biases, and prompts careful preparation of the environment. The interview begins with an explanation of why the subject is being questioned. The interviewer then metaphorically hands the interview over to the subject, making him the talker and the interviewer the listener. The interviewer engages in active listening, soliciting as much information from the subject as possible by deploying tactics that enhance memory based on science, including elements ...


Criminal Thinking, Psychiatric Symptoms, And Recovery Attitudes Among Community Mental Health Patients, Nicole R. Bartholomew, Robert D. Morgan, Sean M. Mitchell, Stephanie A. Van Horn Jan 2018

Criminal Thinking, Psychiatric Symptoms, And Recovery Attitudes Among Community Mental Health Patients, Nicole R. Bartholomew, Robert D. Morgan, Sean M. Mitchell, Stephanie A. Van Horn

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

Research suggests it is important to consider criminogenic needs among individuals with severe mental illness. This study aimed to determine the severity of criminal thinking in community-based clinical samples, understand the association between criminal thinking and psychiatric and criminal justice outcomes, and compare these associations between consumers enrolled in Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) programs. Participants (N = 234) were male and female consumers enrolled in ACT and FACT programs in five states. Results revealed no significant differences in criminal thinking when comparing participants by program type or history of criminal justice involvement. There were significant ...


Integration Of Paper Spray Ionization High‐Field Asymmetric Waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometry For Forensic Applications, Chia-Wei Tsai, Christopher A. Tipple, Richard A. Yost Jan 2018

Integration Of Paper Spray Ionization High‐Field Asymmetric Waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometry For Forensic Applications, Chia-Wei Tsai, Christopher A. Tipple, Richard A. Yost

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

Rationale: Paper spray ionization (PSI) is an attractive ambient ionization source for mass spectrometry (MS) since it allows the combination of surface sampling and ionization. The minimal sample preparation inherent in this approach greatly reduces the time needed for analysis. However, the ions generated from interfering compounds in the sample and the paper substrate may interfere with the analyte ions. Therefore, the integration of PSI with high‐field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) is of significant interest since it should reduce the background ions entering the mass analyzer without complicating the analysis or increasing analysis time. Here we demonstrate the ...


Development And Validation Of A Solid Phase Extraction Sample Cleanup Procedure For The Recovery Of Trace Levels Of Nitro-Organic Explosives In Soil, Jennifer L. Thomas, Christopher C. Donnelly, Erin W. Lloyd, Robert F. Mothershead Ii, Mark L. Miller Jan 2018

Development And Validation Of A Solid Phase Extraction Sample Cleanup Procedure For The Recovery Of Trace Levels Of Nitro-Organic Explosives In Soil, Jennifer L. Thomas, Christopher C. Donnelly, Erin W. Lloyd, Robert F. Mothershead Ii, Mark L. Miller

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

An improved cleanup method has been developed for the recovery of trace levels of 12 nitro-organic explosives in soil, which is important not only for the forensic community, but also has environmental implications. A wide variety of explosives or explosive-related compounds were evaluated, including nitramines, nitrate esters, nitroaromatics, and a nitroalkane. Fortified soil samples were extracted with acetone, processed via solid phase extraction (SPE), and then analyzed by gas chromatography with electron capture detection. The following three SPE sorbents in cartridge format were compared: EmporeTM SDB-XC, Oasis HLB, and Bond Elut NEXUS cartridges. The NEXUS cartridges provided the best ...


Potential Effects Of Ionizing Radiation On The Evidentiary Value Of Dna, Latent Fingerprints, Hair, And Fibers: A Comprehensive Review And New Results, Keith L. Monson, Sherine Ali, Michael D. Brandhagen, Martine C. Duff, Constance L. Fisher, Karen K. Lowe, Carna E. Meyer, Maria A. Roberts, Kyle R. Tom, Aaron L. Washington Ii Jan 2018

Potential Effects Of Ionizing Radiation On The Evidentiary Value Of Dna, Latent Fingerprints, Hair, And Fibers: A Comprehensive Review And New Results, Keith L. Monson, Sherine Ali, Michael D. Brandhagen, Martine C. Duff, Constance L. Fisher, Karen K. Lowe, Carna E. Meyer, Maria A. Roberts, Kyle R. Tom, Aaron L. Washington Ii

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

An extensive literature review and new post-irradiation experimental results are presented of genotyping blood stains and hair, and physical examinations of latent fingerprints, hairs, and fibers. Results indicate that successful development of nuclear short tandem repeat (STR) and mitochondrial DNA sequence profiles from human blood and hair evidence is possible—up to a point—following exposure to gamma, neutron, beta, and alpha radiation at several levels that would most likely be present at this type of crime scene (i.e., a “dirty bomb,” etc.). Commencing at gamma radiation levels between 90 and 900 kGy, DNA analysis using conventional DNA techniques ...


A Protocol For Obtaining Dna Barcodes From Plant And Insect Fragments Isolated From Forensic-Type Soils, Kelly A. Meiklejohn, Megan L. Jackson, Libby A. Stern, James M. Robertson Jan 2018

A Protocol For Obtaining Dna Barcodes From Plant And Insect Fragments Isolated From Forensic-Type Soils, Kelly A. Meiklejohn, Megan L. Jackson, Libby A. Stern, James M. Robertson

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

Soil is often collected from a suspect’s tire, vehicle, or shoes during a criminal investigation and subsequently submitted to a forensic laboratory for analysis. Plant and insect material recovered in such samples is rarely analyzed, as morphological identification is difficult. In this study, DNA barcoding was used for taxonomic identifications by targeting the gene regions known to permit discrimination in plants [maturase K (matK) and ribulose 1,5-biphosphate carboxylase (rbcL)] and insects [cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI)]. A DNA barcode protocol suitable for processing forensic-type biological fragments was developed and its utility broadly tested with forensic-type fragments (e.g ...


Pilot Testing The Daily Activities List For Inmates (Dali): Item Evaluation And Content Validity, Philip R. Magaletta, Rokas Perskaudas, Christina J. Connors, Marc W. Patry, Jarrod Reisweber Jan 2018

Pilot Testing The Daily Activities List For Inmates (Dali): Item Evaluation And Content Validity, Philip R. Magaletta, Rokas Perskaudas, Christina J. Connors, Marc W. Patry, Jarrod Reisweber

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

Scheduling enjoyable daily activities is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy intervention used in the treatment of depression and substance abuse disorders that are prevalent disorders among inmates. To effectively use this intervention with inmates, an activities list with items ecologically sensitive to the correctional setting needs to be created. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate items; thus, establishing a content valid Daily Activities List for Inmates (DALI). Fifteen corrections professionals representing a wide range of disciplines and managerial backgrounds served as subject matter experts (SMEs). Each SME evaluated 403 daily activity items that were aggregated from 4 ...


Use Of The Lus In Sequence Allele Designations To Facilitate Probabilistic Genotyping Of Ngs-Based Str Typing Results, Rebecca S. Just, Jodi A. Irwin Jan 2018

Use Of The Lus In Sequence Allele Designations To Facilitate Probabilistic Genotyping Of Ngs-Based Str Typing Results, Rebecca S. Just, Jodi A. Irwin

U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials

Some of the expected advantages of next generation sequencing (NGS) for short tandem repeat (STR) typing include enhanced mixture detection and genotype resolution via sequence variation among non-homologous alleles of the same length. However, at the same time that NGS methods for forensic DNA typing have advanced in recent years, many caseworking laboratories have implemented or are transitioning to probabilistic genotyping to assist the interpretation of complex autosomal STR typing results. Current probabilistic software programs are designed for length-based data, and were not intended to accommodate sequence strings as the product input. Yet to leverage the benefits of NGS for ...


Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2018

Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper is a chapter that will appear in REFORMING CRIMINAL JUSTICE: A REPORT OF THE ACADEMY FOR JUSTICE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOLARSHIP AND REFORM (Erik Luna ed., Academy for Justice 2018). The criminal law treats some people with severe mental disorders doctrinally and practically differently at virtually every stage of the criminal justice process, beginning with potential incompetence to stand trial and ending with the question of competence to be executed, and such people have special needs when they are in the system. This chapter begins by exploring the fundamental mental health information necessary to make informed judgements ...


The Federal Rules Of Inmate Appeals, Catherine T. Struve Jan 2018

The Federal Rules Of Inmate Appeals, Catherine T. Struve

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure turn fifty in 2018. During the Rules’ half-century of existence, the number of federal appeals by self-represented, incarcerated litigants has grown dramatically. This article surveys ways in which the procedure for inmate appeals has evolved over the past 50 years, and examines the challenges of designing procedures with confined litigants in mind. In the initial decades under the Appellate Rules, the most visible developments concerning the procedure for inmate appeals arose from the interplay between court decisions and the federal rulemaking process. But, as court dockets swelled, the circuits also developed local case management ...


Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David Rudovsky, David A. Harris Jan 2018

Terry Stops And Frisks: The Troubling Use Of Common Sense In A World Of Empirical Data, David Rudovsky, David A. Harris

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The investigative detention doctrine first announced in Terry v. Ohio and amplified over the past fifty years has been much analyzed, praised, and criticized from a number of perspectives. Significantly, however, over this time period commentators have only occasionally questioned the Supreme Court’s “common sense” judgments regarding the factors sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion for stops and frisks. For years, the Court has provided no empirical basis for its judgments, due in large part to the lack of reliable data. Now, with the emergence of comprehensive data on these police practices, much can be learned about the predictive power ...


The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Jan 2018

The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This excerpt from the recently published Shadow Vigilantes book argues that, while vigilantism, even moral vigilantism, can be dangerous to a society, the real danger is not of hordes of citizens, frustrated by the system’s doctrines of disillusionment, rising up to take the law into their own hands. Frustration can spark a vigilante impulse, but such classic aggressive vigilantism is not the typical response. More common is the expression of disillusionment in less brazen ways by a more surreptitious undermining and distortion of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Shadow vigilantes, as they might be called, can affect ...


Fourth Amendment Anxiety, Stephen E. Henderson, Kiel Brennan-Marquez Dec 2017

Fourth Amendment Anxiety, Stephen E. Henderson, Kiel Brennan-Marquez

Stephen E Henderson

In Birchfield v. North Dakota (2016), the Supreme Court broke new Fourth Amendment ground by establishing that law enforcement’s collection of information can be cause for “anxiety,” meriting constitutional protection, even if subsequent uses of the information are tightly restricted.  This change is significant.  While the Court has long recognized the reality that police cannot always be trusted to follow constitutional rules, Birchfield changes how that concern is implemented in Fourth Amendment law, and importantly, in a manner that acknowledges the new realities of data-driven policing.
 
Beyond offering a careful reading of Birchfield, this Article has two goals.  First ...