Criminal Justice Magazine, Summer 2009 (Vol. 24/ No. 2)
(Access to articles are limited to ABA members.)
In earlier eras it was known as nostalgia, shell-shock, combat fatigue. Today psychiatrists call it PTSD—post-traumatic stress disorder—a long-term and debilitating aftereffect of war. One study estimates 300,000 veterans will return from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat-related PTSD. Some of them will commit violent crimes. In this article the author discusses the use of PTSD as a defense—its advantages and disadvantages; its history and its current acceptance by juries and judges; case law; comparisons to the insanity plea and self-defense; and its use as a mitigating factor at sentencing.
E-Filing and Privacy: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know By Rebecca Hulse
With the passage of the E-Government Act of 2002, government records went electronic, making them available anywhere, anytime, and to anyone with computer access. Recognizing that some court records contain information that should remain private, the Supreme Court enacted rules that require lawyers to redact data such as Social Security numbers, home addresses, taxpayer IDs, the names of minors, financial account numbers, and birth dates. Some state laws go even further. In this article the author examines the many ways in which lawyers can innocently fail in their duty to protect a client’s information and details what tools are available to avoid malpractice suits or Rule 11 challenges.
Disability Discrimination Law in Correction Facilities By John Parry
There’s little doubt that conditions in American jails, prisons, and secure treatment facilities are inadequate. For inmates who suffer mental or physical disabilities, the situation is far worse. In fact, Amnesty International has termed the situation “inhumane.” Historically, a prisoner’s recourse has been limited to that relief provided by the U.S. Constitution and federal civil rights laws. In this article, author John Parry examines the state of the law today, including the legislation and case law that define what constitutes a “covered” disability; the right to treatment, accommodation, and education; and the means to litigating on behalf of the disabled inmate.
Sentencing Advocates Enhance Reasoned Court Decisions By Sharon Patrick and Jill Miller
Two experts make the case for defense-based sentencing advocacy as a means to ensure a fairer and more reasonable outcome once a defendant is convicted. The authors argue that this not only benefits the individual but society as a whole in that judges will often impose shorter sentences or alternatives to incarceration—both of which relieve the overburdened penal system. Here they delineate the role of the advocate, what qualities a defense lawyer should seek in a potential advocate, the cost of employing an advocate, as well as the advocate’s independent duties to the justice system.
Chair’s Counsel: WE GET IT: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT US!
Trial Tactics: PRESENT SENSE IMPRESSIONS AND THE PASSAGE OF TIME
Practice Pointers: RACE NO LONGER RELEVANT IN DNA TRIAL EVIDENCE
Ethics: INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE—TOO HOT TO HANDLE?
Federal Sentencing: CHILD PORNOGRAPHY GUIDELINES ARE RIPE FOR CHALLENGE
Cert Alert: SUPREME COURT CASES OF INTEREST
Juvenile Justice: ANATOMY OF A FALSE CONFESSION
Section News: POLITICS, POLICY FOCUS AT SPRING MEETING