Dominique Srauss-Kahn prosecution: Reminiscent of Tawana Brawley? Or of Michael Nifong? Or is it just possible that there there is no thematic connection to be made, simply because DSK got “what most defendants never get — early Brady material”?
Michael O’Hear would like to threaten indifferent students with incarceration, but acknowledges that “that is emphatically not a power I should have.” The Seventh Circuit doesn’t appear to be similarly conflicted.
Video arraignments: here to stay.
“In Ex Parte Brown, decided June 21, 2011, the S.C. Supreme Court has finally held that lawyers are entitled to compensation for their services, and that denial of reasonable compensation is a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause.” (Decision, here.) Then there is Skagit County, Washington: “A unique class-action lawsuit filed in Skagit County accuses Mount Vernon and Burlington of violating defendants’ constitutionally protected right to counsel because the public defender is taking on more than double the number of cases the state bar says is a reasonable amount.”
Search and seizure:
- United States v. Gross, 6th Cir. No. No. 08-4051, 6/15/2011 (discovery of arrest warrant didn’t remove taint from illegal stop: “We do not wish to create a system of post-hoc rationalization through which the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against illegal searches and seizures can be nullified.”); State v. Echols, Tenn. Crim. App. No. E2009-01697-CCA-R3-CD, 6/14/2011 (same). [Credit to John Wesley Hall for posting case summaries.]
- Ocampo v. Vail, 9th Cir. No. 08-35586, 6/9/2011 (statement of non-testifying declarant, allowed into evidence by state court on theory the “testimony only implied the outlines of [the] statement,” violated confrontation: “it would be an unreasonable application of the core Confrontation Clause principle underlying Crawford to allow police officers to testify to the substance of an unavailable witness’s testimonial statements as long as they do so descriptively rather than verbatim or in detail.” Related discussion in State v. Linton post, under “Joinder/Severance);
- U.S. v. Meises, 1st Cir Nos. 09-2235, 09-2239, 5/13/2011 (much the same: “government’s use of improper overview testimony from the lead law enforcement agent” violated confrontation. “It makes no difference that the government took care not to introduce Rubis’s ‘actual statements.’”) Richard Friedman has thoughts on both these cases, here.
From the academy:
- Rodney J. Uphoff (UW ’76; Milwaukee Trial PD alumnus), The Physical Evidence Dilemma: Does ABA Standard 4-4.6 Offer Appropriate Guidance? (“When a lawyer takes possession of an evidentiary item, must she always turn it over to the authorities, as required by most courts that have addressed this dilemma? Or, can defense counsel return the evidence to the source from whom counsel received it as recommended by Standard 4-4.6 of the ABA Criminal Justice Standards for Prosecution and Defense Functions?”);
- Eli K. Best, Elements, Sentencing Factors, and the Right to a Jury Trial: An Analysis of Legislative Power and its Limits (focuses largely on U.S. v. O’Brien, 130 S. Ct. 2169 (2010) and appears to conclude that the ball is squarely in the legislature’s court: “O’Brien demonstrated that the Constitution does not appear to impose practical constraints on Congress’s ability to shift fact-finding to sentencing.”);
- César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, When State Courts Meet Padilla: A Concerted Effort is Needed to Bring State Courts Up to Speed on Crime-Based Immigration Law Provisions (“The early results are not comforting. State courts, this review evidences, are having great difficulty navigating Padilla’s mandate largely because they are unfamiliar with immigration law.”);
- Fredrick E. Vars, Rethinking the Indefinite Detention of Sex Offenders (is the Static-99 reliable enough to support putting someone away, possibly the rest of his life? “The answer is mixed and qualified, but largely negative. The limitations of this study preclude any strong conclusions, but my findings at least suggest that the goals and methods of sex offender civil commitment need to be reevaluated. In the meantime, this Article identifies several ways in which the Static-99 and like instruments are deficient and can and should be improved.”)