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Criminal Litigation & Procedure

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In this module, Dr. Read Montague, an American neuroscientist, popular science author, and professor at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, describes how researchers are studying structure and connectivity in the human brain, what the data may tell us about criminal responsibility, and the impact that this research may have on the courts. He addresses the following questions:

  • What can neuroimaging tell us about capacity? To what extent can the data provide insight about an individual in specific circumstances versus general information about brain function?
  • Can scientists use neuroimaging data to provide evidence related to capacity or intent?
  • What does recent research show regarding legally defined mental states and their representation in distinct brain regions?
  • What sort of large-scale guidance can the data provide?

Objectives:

  • to broadly understand the approaches researchers are using to shed light on capacity and criminal responsibility
  • to appreciate the scope of what these data can contribute to legal policy

To learn more about Dr. Montague, click here.

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This module introduces the neuroscientific evidence underpinning the differences between adolescent and adult brains and how this may inform legal decision-making. Dr. Robert Kinscherff, associate professor in the doctoral program in clinical psychology and associate vice president for community engagement at William James College, talks about ways to gain a better understanding of how the brains of young adults differ from those of children and adults and how this affects young adult behavior. He also elaborates on the importance of considering how culpability and punishment should be viewed differently in cases involving young adults.

Objectives:

  • to understand the fundamental differences between adolescent and adult brains
  • to understand how maturation of the adolescent brain could affect the behavior of young adults

To learn more about Dr. Kinscherff, click here.

Additional Resources:

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This package of materials was transmitted to Congress on April 26, 2018, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2018.

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure are as follows:

  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 8, 11, 25, 26, 28.1, 29, 31, 39, and 41, and Forms 4 and 7.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002.1, 5005, 7004, 7062, 8002, 8006, 8007, 8010, 8011, 8013, 8015, 8016, 8017, 8021, 8022, and 9025, new Rule 8018.1, and new Part VIII Appendix.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 5, 23, 62, and 65.1.
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 12.4, 45, and 49.

Additional information about these amendments is available on the Center’s website at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

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The concluding volume of the series covers debates concerning structural changes to the federal courts, including the creation of the U.S. magistrate and U.S. bankruptcy judge positions, and alterations to the federal appellate system, including the division of the Fifth Circuit, the creation of the Federal Circuit, and proposals for a national court of appeals. A section on criminal justice reform recounts debates over access to counsel for indigent defendants, detention before trial, habeas corpus, and the creation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The volume also covers proposed civil justice initiatives regarding diversity jurisdiction, class actions, case management, alternative dispute resolution, and the creation of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and concludes with discussions on the discipline of federal judges, including proposals for a nonimpeachment method for judicial removal.  

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This package of materials was transmitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 4, 2017, concerning amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure to become effective on December 1, 2018.

This contains proposed amendments to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 8, 11, 25, 26, 28.1, 29, 31, 39, and 41, and Forms 4 and 7; Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 3002.1, 5005, 7004, 7062, 8002, 8006, 8007, 8010, 8011, 8013, 8015, 8016, 8017, 8021, 8022, 9025, new Rule 8018.1, new Part VIII Appendix, and Forms 417A and 417C; Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 5, 23, 62, and 65.1; and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 12.4, 45, and 49.

Additional information about these amendments is available at Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure (webpage).

Information about rules amendments and the rule-making process is available on uscourts.gov at United States Courts Rules & Policies.

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from requiring a criminal defendant to pay "excessive bail" in order to get out of jail before trial. Nevertheless, nearly half a million people across the country are in pretrial detention. The collateral consequences of detention can affect a defendant's employment status, housing situation, and mental health, among other facets of his or her life. Off Paper's guests on this episode—Chief Pretrial Services Officer Chris Dozier and Pretrial Justice Institute Chief Executive Officer Cherise Fanno Burdeen—have been working for decades to reduce both the inequality in the federal and state bail systems and the number of defendants who are unnecessarily detained before trial.  On this episode of Off Paper host Mark Sherman talks to his guests about bail reform efforts, issues relating to jails and the consequences of pretrial detention.

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from requiring a criminal defendant to pay "excessive bail" in order to get out of jail before trial. Nevertheless, nearly half a million people across the country are in pretrial detention. The collateral consequences of detention can affect a defendant's employment status, housing situation, and mental health, among other facets of his or her life. Off Paper's guests on this episode—Chief Pretrial Services Officer Chris Dozier and Pretrial Justice Institute Chief Executive Officer Cherise Fanno Burdeen—have been working for decades to reduce both the inequality in the federal and state bail systems and the number of defendants who are unnecessarily detained before trial.  On this episode of Off Paper host Mark Sherman talks to his guests about bail reform efforts, issues relating to jails and the consequences of pretrial detention.

Some of the nation's top legal scholars discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's 2016–2017 term and analyze the decisions that are most likely to affect the work of federal judges. Among the decisions discussed will be those involving the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments as well as criminal law and procedure, patent law, and the federal courts.

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This pocket guide is designed to offer judges an introduction to the law and practice of securities litigation. It provides an overview of the types of legal and practical issues judges may confront in litigation arising under the securities laws, and, where possible, offers suggestions. This guide also identifies the areas of securities law most prone to circuit splits or frequent change, so that judges know where to be particularly vigilant about looking at up-to-date case law and legislation.

Holistic defense is also called community-oriented defense, therapeutic defense, or holistic advocacy. Whatever the name, its purpose is to solve underlying social and environmental problems that may have contributed to an individual's involvement in crime. It does this by emphasizing teamwork, partnerships with other criminal justice stakeholders, and identification and mitigation of collateral consequences. By doing this, defense attorneys hope to improve public safety by helping clients avoid involvement in the criminal justice system and reducing recidivism. In this episode of Off Paper, federal defenders Kathy Nester (D. Utah) and Maureen Franco (W.D. Tex.), who have been at the forefront of this work in the federal system, talk about the role of the defender in building and sustaining a multi-stakeholder, district-wide reentry infrastructure and in developing and implementing collaborative, problem-solving courts.

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