MICHAEL CONKLIN, Powell Endowed Professor of Business Law, Angelo State University – San Angelo, Texas Anti-mass-incarceration advocates are using the coronavirus epidemic to argue for the early release of inmates. Class action lawsuits on behalf of inmates include accusations of “deliberate indifference to the severe and obvious risk of rampant infection and death that COVID-19 […]More
Criminal Law & Procedure
Location, Location, Location: How The ACCA’s Categorical Approach Produces Vast Sentencing Discrepancies, and Why The Sentencing Guidelines Should Replace It
HALEY E. ROACH- J.D., May 2019, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law; B.A., May 2016, University of Dayton—Dayton, Ohio. John has lived his entire life in Gary, Indiana. He joined a gang when he was fourteen and has been in and out of the correctional system ever since. At nineteen, he and two other […]More
This Article focuses on opinions from the Indiana Supreme Court and many of the significant opinions from the Indiana Court of Appeals, on a wide range of [criminal law and procedure] issues that affect cases from their beginning to end.More
After years of disclosure of forensic frauds, discrediting of previous forensic techniques, and exonerations of innocents incarcerated for crimes they did not commit, in 2009, at the behest of Congress, the National Academies of Science published a thoughtful, but devastating critique of the practice of forensic science in the criminal courts of the United States.More
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines were originally imposed by Congress in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (SRA). This statute was an attempt to create a determinate sentencing system, which included large-scale elimination of parole and severe restriction of good time credit in order to create a system in which criminals would serve most or all of the time to which they were sentenced.
For nearly 100 years prior to the enactment of the SRA, the U.S. federal criminal system was an indeterminate sentencing system, under which “[s]tatutes specified the penalties for crimes but nearly always gave the sentencing judge wide discretion” in whether an individual should be incarcerated and for how long, and as to whether the use of parole was appropriate.More
Although cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are often likened to the Old Wild West, that does not mean there are not any laws governing them. While many issues surrounding the decade-old digital asset remain unclear or unregulated, there are some practices that can get the average retail investor in trouble. For example, federal policies adopted in 2017 impact taxes on cryptocurrency and participation in initial coin offerings. More regulations are likely — and that could be a good or bad thing, depending on whom you ask. This plain-language primer provides an overview of the most common legal issues that investors need to be aware of and what the future may hold.More
This Article responds to an article authored by John P. Gross, in which Professor Gross argues that representation by a public defender with an excessive caseload may be the defendant’s “best option.”More
In Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court held that all criminal defendants facing serious criminal charges are entitled to the assistance of counsel, regardless of whether they can afford an attorney. In the years since Gideon, however, the provision of public defense to those who cannot afford counsel has fallen far short of the ideal expressed in Gideon that “every defendant stands equal before the law.” The failure of public defense systems to provide adequate representation to indigent defendants is often caused by severe underfunding and has resulted in the chronic appointment of “incompetent or inexperienced” counsel; delays in the appointment of counsel and discontinuity of attorney representation; a lack of training and oversight for counsel representing indigent defendants; excessive public defender caseloads and understaffing of public defender offices; inadequate or nonexistent expert and investigative resources for defense counsel; and a lack of meaningful attorney-client contact.
One response to these failings—as is often the case when constitutional violations are afoot—has been to challenge them in court. The focus of this short Article is on how the courts can address and have addressed the failings of underfunded and structurally flawed indigent defense systems. More specifically, it explores lawsuits that identify systemic failures—such as underfunding, excessive caseloads, and inadequate training and oversight—and seeks system-wide remedies capable of transforming the provision of defense services.More
JUSTICE STEVEN H. DAVID | JUDGE CALE J. BRADFORD
Crime doesn’t pay; it costs. In addition to serving a sentence or probation, a convicted criminal may be ordered to pay for his or her crime(s), literally.
Our goal is to have this Article serve as a one-stop guide to trial court judges and practitioners about the types of criminal debt that defendants may be ordered to pay and the requirements and guidelines for imposing each.
by Kayleigh Long, 2L Note Candidate In a political climate of gridlock where the Senate refused to act on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminded the nation of the art on how to disagree vehemently within the bounds of civility after the untimely passing […]More