Articles Posted in Worth the Read

Do you have enough to read, well here’s more.

In sum, the Miranda decision has, at best, had little or no impact on the risks of false confession and wrongful conviction. At worst, the influence of police on Miranda procedures and subsequent litigation has actually made things worse for defendants.

Leo & Cutler, False Confessions in the Twenty-First Century.  The Champion magazine, (2016) ForthcomingUniv. of San Francisco Law Research Paper No. 2016-15.

There are a couple of interesting items in Vol. 224, MIL. L. REV.

MILITARY JUSTICE INCOMPETENCE OVER COMPETENCY DETERMINATIONS, by Major David C. Lai.  This is relevant to me because I have an appellate case where there are issues with the client’s current competency and there were at trial.

ALWAYS ON DUTY: CAN I ORDER YOU TO REPORT CRIMES OR INTERVENE? By Major Matthew E. Dyson.  This is highly relevant in regard to the ongoing sexual assault issues and considerations of by-stander behavior.

Practitioners of military justice have been dealing with change over the last years due primarily to different approaches to sexual assault cases.  Friend and colleague Cully Stimson has a published piece from his and his organization’s perspective.  Take a look.

The 2015 Report of the Military Justice Review Group: Reasonable Next Steps in the Ongoing Professionalization of the Military Justice System

· Police can tell when a suspect is lying
· People confess only when they have actually committed the crime they are being charged with
· Most judges and jurors fully understand court instructions
· Eye-witnesses are always the most reliable source of case-related information
· Most mentally ill individuals are violent
· All psychopaths are criminals
· We need to be ‘tough on crime’ by giving convicted felons harsher punishments
· The death sentence is an effective way to deter criminal activity
· Excitement improves memory

What do you think the right answer is to the above statements.  Have a go before you — read on for the point. Continue reading →

“If we prioritize conviction rates rather than having just verdicts, and if we vote that way in elections, this problem [of unfair, biased criminal prosecutions] will just continue.”

by Todd VanDerWerff on January 11, 2016, Netflix’s Making a Murderer: the directors explain what many have missed about the series.  Vox.com, January 11, 2016.

Prosecutorial bias permeates the American judicial system. Prosecutors hell-bent on victory often directly or indirectly prod investigators and experts to get the results they want. It’s refreshing to see a judge recognize this in a well-reasoned, groundbreaking decision.

The interesting case of West v. Rieth, et. al. has come across the transom and it’s worth the read.

West alleges that the Federal Defendants, who with one exception were also U.S. Marine Corps service members at all relevant times, conspired to lodge false complaints and accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against him. According to the complaint, such false allegations were personally motivated by a desire to remove West and another individual from their supervisory positions and to obtain favorable transfers.[3]Investigations ensued, and West was court-martialed with respect to the allegations lodged by Rieth, Parrott, and Allen. The allegation that West raped defendant Johnson was not part of the court-martial because an investigator found that such allegation was not credible.[4]

At the court-martial in November 2014, defendants Rieth, Parrott, and Allen testified under oath against West, which testimony West alleges was false.

One of the discussions ongoing about military sexual assault cases is the breadth of conduct meant to capture, and potential ambiguities in how the law seeks to define a crime versus boorish or otherwise inappropriate behavior.  Here is an interesting piece based on developments in Canada.

Implied Consent & Sexual Assault: Introduction, Michael Plaxton, University of Saskatchewan – College of Law, November 27, 2015

Introductory Excerpt from Implied Consent and Sexual Assault: Sexual Autonomy, Intimate Relationships, and Voice (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015) (Forthcoming).