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. 82, No. 3, Spring

Accused and Unconvicted: Fleeing from Wealth-Based Pretrial Detention
I, Miranda Lynn ODonnell, am a 22-year-old woman. I was arrested yesterday, May 18, 2016...for a misdemeanor offense [driving with an invalid license]. I was told by the Sheriff's deputies that my money bail is $2500. I know that because I cannot...
An Analysis of Issues at Pre-Trial Proceedings Leading to Wrongful Convictions in "No Crime" Cases: There Was No Crime, but They Did the Time
I. INTRODUCTION Wrongful conviction is a term used to describe a situation when an innocent individual is wrongly accused and convicted for a crime that he or she did not commit. (1) However, there are cases where an innocent individual was wrongly accused...
Confronting the Twenty-First-Century Marian Examination
"To be sure, the Clause's ultimate goal is to ensure reliability of evidence, but it is a procedural rather than a substantive guarantee. It commands, not that evidence be reliable, but that reliability be assessed in a particular manner: by testing...
Convictions of Innocent People with Intellectual Disability
INTRODUCTION In Atkins u. Virginia, (1) the Supreme Court held that executing individuals with intellectual disability violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment. (2) Such executions are inherently excessive primarily because...
Is It Rational or Not? When Innocents Plead Guilty in Child Sex Abuse Cases
I. INTRODUCTION Any crime concerning a child victim is a matter of public concern and a concern of the criminal justice system as a whole. (1) When it comes to child sexual abuse, children are considered to be the "perfect" victims due to the challenges...
Reliable Justice: Advancing the Twofold Aim of Establishing Guilt and Protecting the Innocent
I. INTRODUCTION Justice Sutherland instructed several decades ago that "the twofold aim of [the law] is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer." (1) He condemned "improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction," while lauding "every...
Under the Hood: Brendan Dassey, Language Impairments, and Judicial Ignorance
INTRODUCTION: MAKING A MURDERER? The 2015 Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer" was a worldwide sensation. (1) The ten-part series told the story of Steven Avery of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who were convicted of the gruesome...
When a Plea Is No Bargain at All: Comparing Sentencing Outcomes for Massachusetts Defendants in Non-Sexual and Sexual Crimes
In the 1980s and early 1990s, a rapid increase in crime rates, particularly for violent offenses such as murder, manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, and rape, (1) prompted a public outcry for harsher punishment of offenders. (2) The belief that...
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