Tag Archives: criminal law

Criminal Minds: The Need To Refine The Application Of The Doctrine Of Objective Chances As A Justification For Introducing Uncharged Misconduct Evidence To Prove Intent

Dean Wigmore once wrote that the hearsay doctrine is the “most characteristic rule of the Anglo-American law of Evidence.” Today, it can be said that the character evidence doctrine is the most characteristic rule of American evidence law. At early … Continue reading

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Tunnel Vision: Causes, Effects, and Mitigation Strategies

The recent spate of exonerations has alerted the public about the problem of intentional prosecutorial misconduct. However, an even more disturbing insight gained from the study of exonerations is that many of these wrongful convictions resulted from something shy of … Continue reading

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The Worst of the Worst: Heinous Crimes and Erroneous Evidence

The criminal justice system was once considered infallible. But we now know that innocent defendants are incarcerated and even executed. Indeed, the National Registry of Exonerations (“NRE”) provides a list of 1535 inmates who were exonerated and released from prison … Continue reading

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Ameliorating Lethal Injection by Using Bispectral Index Monitoring of Inmates to Help Ensure a More Humane Death

As compared to hanging, firing squad, electrocution, or lethal gas, death by lethal injection appears more humane and painless because it mimics medical anesthesia. Drugs are even manufactured to ensure that terminally ill patients can end their lives painlessly and … Continue reading

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Do Prosecutors Really Matter?: A Proposal to Ban One-Sided Bail Hearings

The inspiring story of Gideon v. Wainwright gives lawyers and law students alike the impression that indigent people will be provided with defense counsel when they are charged with a crime. What few people realize, however, is that in about … Continue reading

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Candor in Criminal Advocacy

[I]t is precisely when one tries to act on abstract ethical advice that the practicalities intrude . . . . – Monroe H. Freedman Monroe Freedman’s 1966 article on the three hardest ethics questions for criminal defense lawyers has lost … Continue reading

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In Memory of Monroe Freedman: The Hardest Question for a Prosecutor

This Article honors Monroe Freedman’s iconic piece on the hardest questions for a criminal defense attorney by posing the same question for prosecutors. What is the hardest question for a prosecutor? Even this is a hard question. The thousands of … Continue reading

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The Prosecutor’s Ethical Duty to End Mass Incarceration

Of the many crises in our criminal justice system, none is more critical than the problem of mass incarceration. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with over 2.2 million people in prison or jail and … Continue reading

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In Defense of the Devil’s Advocate

Among the many controversial positions for which Monroe Freedman advocated during his illustrious career, the one that I find most surprising and uncharacteristic is his contention that lawyers who undertake morally questionable representations have a duty to explain or justify … Continue reading

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Stop Blaming the Prosecutors: The Real Causes of Wrongful Convictions and Rightful Exonerations

Wrongfully convicted and rightfully exonerated criminal defendants spent an average of ten years in prison before exoneration, and the ramifications to the defendants, the criminal justice system, and society are immeasurable. Prosecutorial misconduct, however, is not the primary cause of … Continue reading

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