Albany Law Review

A student-run journal that publishes critical and analytical articles written by judges, lawyers, and law school professors, as well as notes and comments on legal topics written by Law Review members and other Albany Law School students. Academic and pro

Articles from Vol. 79, No. 3, Spring

A Nearly Perfect System for Convicting the Innocent
I. HOW TO CONVICT THE INNOCENT A law school casebook asks whether plea bargaining "convict[s] defendants who are in fact innocent (and would be acquitted [at trial])." (1) As the question indicates, the fact that plea bargaining may lead some innocent...
Confronting the Elephants in the Courtroom through Prosecutor Led Diversion Efforts
ABSTRACT Prosecutors are in a unique and powerful position to influence and create change through innovative approaches to law enforcement. By focusing on the goal of reaching a case disposition based on public safety instead of case disposal, prosecutors...
Elephants in the Courtroom: Examining Overlooked Issues in Wrongful Convictions
The elephant in the room': An important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn't discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable." (1) Sometimes, those elephants lurk in courtrooms. They lumber about...
Elephants in the Station House: Serial Crimes, Wrongful Convictions, and Expanding Wrongful Conviction Analysis to Include Police Investigation
ABSTRACT In this article we advocate that the study of miscarriages of justice be expanded to view the entirety of police crime investigation as a source of wrongful convictions. We set this proposal in a framework of how the inductive innocence...
If Hindsight Is 20/20, Our Justice System Should Not Be Blind to New Evidence of Innocence: A Survey of Post-Conviction New Evidence Statutes and a Proposed Model
I. THE CASE OF JOANN PARKS On April 9, 1989, JoAnn Parks put her three children to sleep and went to bed. (1) Around midnight, she awoke to their screams. (2) Her children were trapped on the other end of their house, and the house was engulfed...
Innocence Project: DNA Exonerations, 1989-2014; Review of Data and Findings from the First 25 Years
I. INTRODUCTION During the last quarter century there have been 325 DNA exonerations in the United States (1989-2014). What seemingly started out as a few tragic examples of wrongful convictions has turned into a growing body of cases (and individuals),...
Mental Competency Law and Plea Bargaining: A Neurophenomenological Critique
I. INTRODUCTION They talked of cause and effect, as if they believed it possible to isolate an event and hold it up to scrutiny in a pure, timeless space, outside the mad swirl of things. They would speak of whole peoples as if they were...
Orwell's Elephant and the Etiology of Wrongful Convictions
"And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking...
Recantations and the Perjury Sword
Witness recantations pose a special problem in criminal law. Often, trial witnesses come forward, sometimes years after a criminal trial, and admit or allege that the incriminating testimony they gave at trial, and which contributed to the conviction...
The Prosecutor's Duty of Silence
I. INTRODUCTION Prosecutors enjoy a broad array of opportunities to communicate with the public outside the courtroom. Justice Holmes's famous dictum--that "[t]he theory of our system is that the conclusions to be reached in a case will be induced...
These Lives Matter, Those Ones Don't: Comparing Execution Rates by the Race and Gender of the Victim in the U.S. and in the Top Death Penalty States
In a recent article, Baumgartner and colleagues demonstrated based on national statistics that the odds of execution differ dramatically based on the race and gender of the victim. (2) They compared national statistics on homicide victimization, which...
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