Criminal Procedure

Meghan J. Ryan, The Missing Jury: The Neglected Role of Juries in Eighth Amendment Punishments Clause Determinations

A recent study of death penalty cases has revealed that judges, who are ordinarily thought of as the guardians of criminal defendants‘ constitutional rights, often impose harsher punishments than jurors. This may be unsettling in its own right, but it is especially concerning when one considers that judges are the individuals charged with determining whether […]

Jacy Owens, A Progressive Response: Judicial Delegation of Authority to Federal Probation Officers

Federal probation officers supervise millions of offenders who must each comply with a multitude of probation conditions. These officers need enough flexibility to deal with the evolving needs of each offender, without having to clog the court system with repeated requests for modifications. Yet federal courts differ in the amount of discretionary authority they grant […]

William W. Berry III, Practicing Proportionality

At the heart of the Eighth Amendment‘s Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause are two concepts of proportionality—absolute and relative. Absolute proportionality (“cruel”) asks whether the sentence is commensurate with the state‘s purposes of punishment. Relative proportionality (?unusual?), by contrast, asks whether the sentence is relatively similar to the outcomes of similar cases. Absolute proportionality sets […]

Caycee Hampton, Confirmation of a Catch-22: Glik V. Cunniffe and the Paradox of Citizen Recording

63 Fla. L. Rev. 1549 (2011)| | | | On October 1, 2007, Simon Glik observed several police officers arresting a young man on the Boston Common. Concerned that the officers were employing excessive force, Glik began to record the arrest with his cell phone. After successfully arresting the young man, an officer asked Glik […]

Kathryn A. Kimball, Losing our Soul: Judicial Discretion in Sentencing Child Pornography Offenders

63 Fla. L. Rev. 1515 (2011)| | | | Child pornography offenders capitalize on the vulnerability of children and find pleasure in their victims’ humiliation. In United States v. Irey, the defendant sadistically raped, sodomized, and tortured more than fifty prepubescent girls and then broadcast this abuse across the Internet; yet the court characterized Irey […]

Scott A. Moss, The Overhyped Path from Tinker to Morse: How the Student Speech Cases Show the Limits of Supreme Court Decisions-for The Law and for the Litigants

63 Fla. L. Rev. 1407 (2011)| | | | Each of the Supreme Court’s high school student speech cases reflected the social angst of its era. In 1965’s Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, three Iowa teens broke school rules to wear armbands protesting the Vietnam War. In 1983, amidst parental and political […]