Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses a recent criminal case out of Indiana, in which a woman was convicted and sentenced for feticide. Colb argues that while the situation as a whole is a tragedy, it also highlights a failure of the State of Indiana to have empathy for women in pain whose circumstances call for mercy rather than a pure retributive impulse.
Cornell University visiting law professor Joseph Margulies discusses the widespread phenomenon of conversations about criminal justice reform that notably exclude any mention of race.
Cornell University visiting law professor Joseph Margulies discusses the need for meaningful criminal justice reform to include not only prison reform, but also reform of law enforcement.
Cornell University visiting law professor Joseph Margulies discusses the problems that arise when a police force is driven by a push for revenue for the city rather than by public safety needs.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb considers whether, why, and to what extent the law should proscribe sexual relations with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other permanent impairments on the basis of their incapacity to consent.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda discusses the problems with eyewitness identification, as illustrated recently by the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton reviews 2014 in terms of the developments (both forward and backward) in child protection issues. Hamilton concludes that while there are some good reasons to celebrate 2014, we should not slow down the fight for child protection in 2015.
Guest columnist and Cornell University visiting professor of law Joseph Margulies continues his discussion of the American criminal justice system and describes basic principles upon which we could build superior alternatives to the present system.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, Elonis v. United States, in which the Court will consider what constitutes a “true threat.” Specifically, Colb considers whether the First Amendment right of free speech prevents criminalization of threatening speech only if the speaker intended to bring about fear of bodily harm or death, or if it is enough that a reasonable person uttering those words would have anticipated they would be interpreted as such a threat.
Guest columnist and Cornell University visiting professor Joseph Margulies discusses how the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict reflects the present ideology of American justice. Margulies argues that unless policymakers are willing to change that ideology that pits “us” against “them,” meaningful change will be impossible.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb comments on the new California law defining rape as the absence of affirmative consent, rather than as the presence of indicators of non-consent. Colb praises the law and addresses some of the arguments in opposition to it.
U.C. Davis law professors Vikram David Amar and Alan E. Brownstein discuss a case the U.S. Supreme Court that will be argued in the coming months, which presents the issue how courts should define “true threats” that fall outside First Amendment protection and thus are subject to punishment.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda critically discusses civil forteiture laws in Philadelphia, which he argues are unnecessarily harsh and extend beyond their intended purposes.
In light of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf weighs the benefits and costs of equipping police officers with wearable cameras to record encounters with citizens. Dorf concludes that while there are some risks inherent in the practice, it would be a good first step toward reducing the frequency of tragedies resulting from police–citizen confrontations.
John Dean, former counsel to the president, comments on the recent indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Dean cautions against falling for Perry’s and even some Democrats’ quick dismissal of the indictment as politically motivated and lacking sufficient basis. Dean argues that only Perry, not his special prosecutor, may have abused his power.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Paroline v. United States, in which the Court considered how much restitution a victim of sexual abuse should be able to recover from a single perpetrator. Colb explains the reasoning used by the majority and the two diametrically opposed dissenting opinions, and she extends the discussion to an important narrative the Court’s opinions fail to consider.
Guest columnist Courtney Minick comments on a recent decision by a federal district court judge striking down California’s death penalty. Minick describes the court’s reasoning and considers its possible implications.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton responds critically to a column by George Will recently published in the Washington Post in which Will belittled a Swarthmore rape victim and implied that college women are responsible for their rapes. Hamilton provides three examples of how society’s handling rape is improving and argues that Will and others should educate themselves about rape before writing columns that ignore facts.
Justia columnist and Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton describes two recent disappointing developments for survivors of sex abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. The first is the plea deal for the man who threw bleach in the face of a venerated advocate of sex abuse survivors, and the second is a community’s celebration of the prison release of a man who attempted to bribe a victim to drop charges against her abuser.
Justia columnist and Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton comments on the recent shooting incident by a white supremacist in Overland Park, Kansas. She describes the suspect’s religious beliefs and explains how the Kansas RFRA, federal RFRA, and RLUIPA can be used if not to protect a murderer acting due to his beliefs, then at least other wrongdoers similarly motivated.