As the summer begins and a lot of us are planning our research and writing, please keep in mind that the 9th Annual AALS Alternative Dispute Resolution Section’s Works-in-Progress Conference will be on October 23 & 34, 2015, at the Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas. As many of the readers … Continue reading Save the date: AALS ADR Works in Progress in October
Yesterday the AP reported that prosecutors in Nashville, Tennessee “made sterilization of women part of plea negotiations at least four times in the past five years.” The cases all seemed to involve mistreatment or neglect of children and some involved seriously mentally ill defendants. The article makes it clear that these are just the known … Continue reading Disgraceful Example of Hard Bargaining in Plea Bargaining
Jennifer asked for my thoughts on the apology of a Louisiana prosecutor for his role in convicting an innocent man in a death penalty case. The apology is powerful. He states, in part, “In 1984, I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested … Continue reading A few thoughts on a Prosecutor’s Apology
As we know, it is rare that any form of dispute resolution makes it onto network television in prime time. Friday night’s episode of Blue Bloods—the New York police drama starring Tom Selleck—featured a story line about restorative justice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good example. In the story, a young woman whose family was killed … Continue reading Blue Bloods and Restorative Justice
The New York Times reported today here that Taliban justice is becoming more popular with Afghans as they see the formal justice system as corrupt and inefficient. This is the system that the international community, including the United States has invested large amounts of money and effort in building. When it became clear that just … Continue reading Not a surprise when a bad idea fails
In July of 2013, I blogged about the Marissa Alexander case here . Ms. Alexander was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to twenty years in prison after firing a “warning shot” at her estranged, and reportedly abusive, husband. Last week Ms. Alexander was released after entering a plea deal to … Continue reading Update on Marissa Alexander
The NY Times recently published an op ed using the podcast Serial to argue that the defendant would have been better off taking a deal due to the trial penalty. The defendant, after a trial, was sentenced to life in prison plus thirty years. By contrast, the op ed reports that the average murder sentence … Continue reading On Serial and Plea Bargaining Conferences
As the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend comes to an end, and as a new semester is beginning, I am thinking about how we talk about race, and how we handle race, both in the classroom and in the larger society. Clearly the events in Ferguson last year, the unfortunately not uncommon killing of a … Continue reading Teaching in a World of Racism without Racists?