Criminal Law

Who appointed me God? Reflections of a Judge on Criminal Sentencing

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Autumn 2016 | Volume 100 Number 3

In my 14 years as a federal district judge, I estimate that I have sentenced well over 2,000 individuals.1 Sentencing is the most multifaceted, emotional, and challenging task a judge […]

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The New Rap Sheet: Prosecuting Crimes, Chilling Free Speech

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Summer 2020 | Volume 104 Number 2

With the Fourth Amendment gone, eyes are on the First // That’s why I’m spittin cyanide each and every verse These lyrics from American rap artist Paris’ 2003 album, Sonic […]

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Judging Eyewitness Evidence

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Spring 2020 | Volume 104 Number 1

Eyewitness evidence, in which a witness visually identifies the culprit, is a staple of criminal investigations. But its fallibility is notorious. As the National Academy of Sciences explained in an […]

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Distinguishing Between Reliable and Unreliable Eyewitnesses

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Spring 2020 | Volume 104 Number 1

Increasing research shows that eyewitness confidence at the time of the initial identification can be a strong predictor of accuracy under appropriate lineup identification conditions.1 In such conditions, police show […]

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The Creation and Conclusions of the Third Circuit Task Force on Eyewitness Identifications

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Spring 2020 | Volume 104 Number 1

In 2016, the Third Circuit sat en banc to hear the case of Commonwealth v. Dennis.1 Little did the court realize the sustained impact this single appeal would have on […]

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A Clearer View: The Impact of the National Academy of Sciences Report on Eyewitness Identification

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Spring 2020 | Volume 104 Number 1

Six years ago, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) convened a panel of experts to consider the problem of eyewitness identification. Eyewitnesses have long played a significant role in […]

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Assessing Risk: The Use of Risk Assessment in Sentencing

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Summer 2019 | Volume 103 Number 2

Judges are using risk assessment instruments in criminal cases more than ever before. Their role is increasingly prominent at all stages of the criminal justice system, including policing, pretrial detention, […]

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Koehler

How Trial Judges Should Think About Forensic Science Evidence

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Spring 2018 | Volume 102 Number 1

Here is a forensic-science test for you. Please answer each of the three questions below True or False. Scientific tests conducted over the past 100 years have repeatedly demonstrated that […]

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reentry philosophies, approaches, and challenges

Reentry philosophies, approaches, and challenges

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Summer 2018 | Volume 102 Number 2

Competing notions of crime and punishment have shaped the administration of criminal justice in the United States ever since the Quakers established the Walnut Street Prison in 1773 in Philadelphia, […]

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Hornby Spring 2019

Can Federal Sentencing Remain Transparent?

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Spring 2019 | Volume 103 Number 1

Criminal trials have virtually disappeared in many federal courtrooms.[1] According to a recent U.S. Sentencing Commission report, “[i]n recent years, 97 percent of federal defendants convicted of a felony or […]

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