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Trolling Research Papers, January 2012

January 19, 2012

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Trolling Research Papers, January 2012

I can spend hours at a clip trolling the Social Science Research Network for papers.  Hit “Browse” by the masthead and have at it, or type “Criminal” (or whatever) in the search box then change the sort to “Date Posted, Descending.”  Just watch the original publication date because it doesn’t always coincide with the SSRN […]

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Hate Crimes: Enhancing mens rea to what end?

January 18, 2012

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Hate Crimes: Enhancing mens rea to what end?

I’ll cut right to the chase on Hate Crimes.  I don’t like them.  Allow me to explain.  It’ll take a few paragraphs … Let’s say that someone beats me upside the head with a baseball bat.  Hate when that happens.  I suffer significant injuries.  He gets 2 to 4 years on an Agg Assault charge. […]

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Being a Snitch as a Business Plan

January 17, 2012

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Being a Snitch as a Business Plan

I love it when someone gets all, “Hey, yo, I ain’t no snitch!”  Their nose gets crinkly, and if you’re lucky you can catch the beam of ambient light as it exits their nostrils because there’s no mass to impede its journey from their ears. Let’s deconstruct the situation that leads to that proclamation.  Someone […]

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SCOTUS Criminal Opinions – January 10-11, 2012

January 13, 2012

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SCOTUS Criminal Opinions – January 10-11, 2012

The Supreme Court of the United States done us right good – two days, four opinions with criminal-law implications.  We may not like them, but final rulings are always a good thing.  Let’s dig in. We were waiting for Perry v. New Hampshire after our writing on eyewitness testimony, and now we have it.  Here’s the […]

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Double Jeopardy: And the categories are …

January 11, 2012

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Double Jeopardy:  And the categories are …

We’re gonna talk about the Constitution’s Double Jeopardy Clause – nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb – but excuse me for a moment while I watch this video (sorry about the ad up front):  OK.  That just cracks me up.  Where was […]

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Sotomayor & Retroactive Sentencing Adjustments: Surprisingly Constrained

January 6, 2012

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Sotomayor & Retroactive Sentencing Adjustments: Surprisingly Constrained

The fears of the judicially conservative during the nomination and confirmation of any SCOTUS justice from a liberal Administration is that the newly seated justice will expand the Constitution like a rubber band until it snaps.  Now-seated Associate Justice Sotomayor had these fears bounced off the side of her head throughout the review process.  I’m […]

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Due Process v. Ex Post Facto: Why we’re still arguing a Death Penalty case 34 years later

January 4, 2012

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Due Process v. Ex Post Facto:  Why we’re still arguing a Death Penalty case 34 years later

This case is so old, I’ve added the “History” tag.  Oh for the days when a horse thief was found guilty on Monday and hung on Tuesday.  So you know where we’re heading before we get lost in the decades, SCOTUS has been petitioned to grant cert.  No reaction yet, but I suspect they will […]

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Preview of selected SCOTUS Arguments – January 2012

January 2, 2012

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Preview of selected SCOTUS Arguments – January 2012

SCOTUS has 12 cases presently set for oral argument in January 2012.  I’ve grabbed four I thought may be of interest to you. The first case pits the strong arm of the federal government against us little guys in Sackett v. EPA (10-1062).  It’ll be argued on January 9, 2012.  Check this out: Chantell and […]

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When Habeas Corpus Fails

December 30, 2011

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When Habeas Corpus Fails

The Writ of Habeas Corpus (Latin – We command that you have the body) is a cornerstone of our Constitutional rights.  Properly filed, it requires the government to produce an incarcerated person and to defend the basis for the imprisonment.  If the government’s defense fails, the person walks … kinda sorta that’s how it works […]

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Megan’s Law & Sex Offender Registration in Pennsylvania

November 17, 2011

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Megan’s Law & Sex Offender Registration in Pennsylvania

Megan is a Welsh name meaning “little pearl.”  Megan Kanka was 7-years old when she was murdered in 1994.  The murderer raped her before and after he snuffed her.  He had two sexual assault priors, both with little girls (ages 5 and 7), and did a bit under seven years total.  The dude got the […]

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