Criminal Justice Magazine, Fall 2009 (Vol. 24/ No. 3)


Symposium Issue: Postconviction Practices


Priming Postconviction Representation By Andrew E. Taslitz
Issue editor for the symposium on postconviction practices, Prof. Andrew Taslitz, Howard University School of Law, here introduces the four major
features with an overview of the topic and an explanation of how each feature helps nonspecialists—both defense and prosecution—understand and address the needs of this often-forgotten population within the criminal justice system.

Procedural Obstacles to Reviewing Ineffective Assistance of Trial Counsel Claims in State and Federal Postconviction Proceedings
By Eve Brensike Primus
The author, a law professor and former trial and appellate defender, compares state and federal postconviciton review procedures, then examines the obstacles that bar successful postconviction claims: limited availability of evidentiary hearings, loss of witnesses due to delays, and no constitutional right to counsel at postconviction hearings, among others. Four defense options offer what she terms “partial solutions.”

Postconviction Claims of Innocence By Myrna S. Raeder
Explaining the options and obstacles facing those who make postconviction claims of innocence, the author, a professor at Southwestern University Law School, notes that appellate remedies exist to ensure a fair trial and not to “second-guess” juries. She addresses the relief available under the Innocence Protection Act and the limitations of DNA testing after the Osborne decision. She also looks at the role of crime victims, the ethical obligations of prosecutors, the definition of “new” evidence, statutes of limitations on relevant claims, and “freestanding” constitutional claims of innocence.

Gubernatorial Clemency Powers: Justice or Mercy? By Kathleen “Cookie” Ridolfi and Seth Gordon
Is a governor’s power of clemency strictly an act of mercy or is it an extension and, at time, correction to the course of justice? In this article the authors examine the two opposite sides of the coin to see how clemency has been applied by different governors and the legal reasoning employed. They conclude that clemency has been underutilized as a correction that is supported by both the courts and the Constitution as a fail-safe for an imperfect justice system. Included is a graph summarizing the procedures in all 50 states.

From Arrest to Reintegration: A Model for Mitigating Collateral Consequences of Criminal Proceedings
By J. McGregor Smyth, Jr.
Collateral consequences are the invisible, often unintended, punishments that those caught in the criminal justice system face. Indeed, the individual need not even be convicted of a crime—a simple arrest can initiate the process. Loss of job, eviction, deportation, severance of student loans, and denial of child custody are the triggers, the author argues, that so often lead to recidivism. Smyth suggests means by which defense and prosecution can reduce these effects, restore rights, and allow individuals a chance to reintegrate into society—rather than reoffend.


Chair’s Counsel: Tthe Evolving Prosecutor
Trial Tactics: Miranda: the functional equivalent of interrogation, and taint
Ethics: Amend rule 11 to require disclosure
Federal Sentencing: Standards of proof at sentencing
Cert Alert: Supreme court cases of interest
Rules Alert: Technology-Related Rules
Scientific Evidence: Right of confrontation: lab reports
Section News: Fall conference addresses sentencing and reentry issues


Criminal Justice Magazine

Criminal Justice magazine, published quarterly by the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association, is intended for a national audience of defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, academics, and other criminal justice professionals with a focus on the practice and policy issues of the criminal justice system. Each issue includes feature articles, as well as regular columns. In addition, there are occasional thematic issues which focus on one particular aspect of the criminal justice system.

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