Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

This journal publishes articles in the field of criminal law and criminology, focusing on legal doctrine.

Articles from Vol. 85, No. 4, Spring

26 U.S.C. S. 5861(d) Requires Mens Rea as to the Physical Characteristics of the Weapon
I. INTRODUCTION In Staples v. United States,(1) the United States Supreme Court held that 26 U.S.C. [sections] 5861(d)(2) requires mens rea.(3) Specifically, the Court, reversing the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that the Government was required...
A Look at the Extrajudicial Source Doctrine under 28 U.S.C. S. 455
I. INTRODUCTION In Liteky v. United States,(1) the United States Supreme Court held that 28 U.S.C. [sections] 455(a), which provides that a judge "shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned,"...
Fifth Amendment - Double Jeopardy and the Dangerous Drug Tax
I. INTRODUCTION In Department of Revenue of Montana v. Kurth Ranch,(1) the Supreme Court addressed whether the punitive nature of Montana's Dangerous Drug Tax constituted a second punishment for double jeopardy purposes.(2) The Court held that the standard...
Fifth Amendment - Responding to Ambiguous Requests for Counsel during Custodial Interrogations
I. INTRODUCTION In Davis v. United States,(1) the United States Supreme Court resolved how law enforcement officers should respond during custodial interrogation of a suspect, when that suspect makes an ambiguous or equivocal request for counsel. The...
Fifth Amendment - the Covert Narrowing of Double Jeopardy Precedent: The Supreme Court's Real Reason for Hearing Schiro V. Farley
I. INTRODUCTION In Schiro v. Farley,(1) the Supreme Court denied Thomas Schiro's claim that his death sentence violated both the Double Jeopardy Clause and principles of collateral estoppel. Relying on Stroud v. United States,(2) the Court reasoned...
Fifth Amendment - Upholding the Constitutional Merit of Misleading Reasonable Doubt Jury Instructions
I. INTRODUCTION The United States Supreme Court denied the defendants' appeals in the consolidated cases of Victor v. Nebraska and Sandoval v. California.(1) In each case, the petitioner argued that the state trial court's reasonable doubt jury instruction...
Foreword: Bright Lines and Hard Edges: Anatomy of a Criminal Evidence Decision
I. INTRODUCTION As this issue of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology was going to press, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Tome v. United States.(1) The case addressed an important issue in criminal evidence law: the admissibility...
Fourteenth Amendment - Equal Protection: The Supreme Court's Prohibition of Gender-Based Peremptory Challenges
I. INTRODUCTION In J.E.B. v. Alabama,(1) the United States Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the exercise of peremptory challenges based solely on the gender of...
Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment - Malicious Prosecution and S. 1983: Is There a Constitutional Violation Remediable under Section 1983?
I. INTRODUCTION In Albright v. Oliver,(1) the United States Supreme Court addressed whether the claim of malicious prosecution is actionable under 42 U.S.C. [sections] 1983.(2) The plurality concluded that "substantive due process may not furnish the...
Has the Supreme Court Really Turned RICO Upside Down?: An Examination of NOW V. Scheidler
I. INTRODUCTION: ADVOCATE BLAKEY AND THE SUPREME COURT According to disappointed advocate(1) G. Robert Blakey, in April, 1986, Joseph Scheidler, who "learned his strategy of protest from Martin Luther King, [Jr.]," told the administrator of a women's...
RICO - the Rejection of an Economic Motive Requirement
I. INTRODUCTION In NOW v. Scheidler,(1) the United States Supreme Court held that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which outlaws certain racketeering activity by or in relation to an enterprise, does not require that the...
Should Courts Instruct Juries as to the Consequences to a Defendant of a "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity" Verdict?
I. INTRODUCTION In Shannon v. United States,(1) the United States Supreme Court held that under the Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984 (IDRA), courts need not instruct juries on the consequences to defendants of a verdict of "not guilty by reason of...
The Supreme Court's Interpretation of the Word "Willful": Ignorance of the Law as an Excuse to Prosecutions of Structuring Currency Transactions
I. INTRODUCTION In Ratzlaf v. United States,(1) the United States Supreme Court held that to establish a "willful" violation of the federal statutes that prohibit the structuring of currency transactions, the government must prove that the defendant...
The Williamson Standard for the Exception to the Rule against Hearsay for Statements against Penal Interest
I. INTRODUCTION In Williamson v. United States,(1) the United States Supreme Court defined the scope of Federal Rule of Evidence 804(b)(3)'s (Rule 804(b)(3) exception from the rule against hearsay for statements that subject a declarant to criminal...