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Title IX and Criminal Law on Campus: Against Mandatory Police Involvement in Campus Sexual Assault Cases

Meghan Racklin

This Note argues that policy proposals mandating law enforcement involvement in campus sexual assault cases are harmful to survivors of sexual assault and are inconsistent with Title IX. Title IX’s gender-equality goals require schools to address sexual assault as a civil rights issue, with a focus on its impact on survivors’ continued access to education. Mandatory police involvement proposals will frustrate that goal. These proposals take a criminal law view rather than a civil rights approach, and in doing so, import obstacles that survivors have long faced in the criminal system into the campus process. What is more, these proposals will have the effect of making it more difficult for survivors, particularly those from marginalized communities, to report their sexual assaults to their schools. If survivors are not able to report, they will not be able to access the accommodations they need to continue their education, and schools will not have the information they need to adequately combat sexual assault on campus. Efforts at reform would be better served by focusing on improving the campus process than on limiting survivors’ options.

Challenging Racist Predictive Policing Algorithms Under the Equal Protection Clause

Renata M. O’Donnell

Algorithms are capable of racism, just as humans are capable of racism. This is particularly true of an algorithm used in the context of the racially biased criminal justice system. Predictive policing algorithms are trained on data that is heavily infected with racism because that data is generated by human beings. Predictive policing algorithms are coded to delineate patterns in massive data sets and subsequently dictate who or where to police. Because of the realities of America’s criminal justice system, a salient pattern emerges from the racially skewed data: Race is associated with criminality in the United States. Because of the “black-box” nature of machine learning, a police officer could naively presume that an algorithm’s results are neutral, when they are, in fact, infected with racial bias. In this way, a machine learning algorithm is capable of perpetuating racist policing in the United States. An algorithm can exacerbate racist policing because of positive feedback loops, wherein the algorithm learns that it was “correct” in associating race and criminality and will rely more heavily on this association in its subsequent iterations.

This Note is the first piece to argue that machine learning-based predictive policing algorithms are a facial, race-based violation of the Equal Protection Clause. There will be major hurdles for litigants seeking to bring an equal protection challenge to these algorithms, including attributing algorithmic decisions to a state actor and overcoming the proprietary protections surrounding these algorithms. However, if the courts determine that these hurdles eclipse the merits of an equal protection claim, the courts will render all algorithmic decision-making immune to equal protection review. Such immunization would be a dangerous result, given that the government is hurling a growing number of decisions into black-box algorithms.

The Power of Prosecutors

Jeffrey Bellin

One of the predominant themes in the criminal justice literature is that prosecutors dominate the justice system. Over seventy-five years ago, Attorney General Robert Jackson famously proclaimed that the “prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America.” In one of the most cited law review articles of all time, Bill Stuntz added that prosecutors—not legislators, judges, or police—“are the criminal justice system’s real lawmakers.” And an unchallenged modern consensus holds that prosecutors “rule the criminal justice system.”

This Article applies a critical lens to longstanding claims of prosecutorial preeminence. It reveals a curious echo chamber enabled by a puzzling lack of dissent. With few voices challenging ever-more-strident prosecutor-dominance rhetoric, academic claims became uncritical, imprecise, and ultimately incorrect.

An unchallenged consensus that “prosecutors are the criminal justice system” and that the “institution of the prosecutor has more power than any other in the criminal justice system” has real consequences for criminal justice discourse. Portraying prosecutors as the system’s iron-fisted rulers obscures the complex interplay that actually determines criminal justice outcomes. The overheated rhetoric of prosecutorial preeminence fosters a superficial understanding of the criminal justice system, overlooks the powerful forces that can and do constrain prosecutors, and diverts attention from the most promising sources of reform (legislators, judges, and police) to the least (prosecutors).

Towards Permanently Delegitimizing Article 98 Agreements: Exercising the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over American Citizens

Antoinette Pick-Jones

This Note discusses one method to permanently delegitimize Article 98 agreements: exercising International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction over Americans to prosecute them for alleged crimes committed in Afghanistan (“the Situation in Afghanistan”). Since their inception, Article 98 agreements have threatened the ICC’s mission by limiting states parties’ ability to assist the ICC in exercising jurisdiction over Americans. This Note considers potential proceedings against an American in the Situation in Afghanistan as a case study to demonstrate how, in practice, Article 98 agreements undermine the ICC’s anti-impunity mission. First, this Note describes the principles and procedures followed by the ICC. Second, this Note discusses the United States’ legal justifications for Article 98 agreements and responds to these justifications with the most prevalent critiques of Article 98 agreements. Although the legal bases for the agreements under Article 98(2) of the Rome Statute are controversial, this Note assumes that the agreements are legally valid as originally intended by the parties. However, this Note also assumes that Article 98 agreements are never binding on the ICC and thus cannot prevent the ICC from exercising its territorial jurisdiction. Finally, this Note explores the allegations against Americans in the Situation in Afghanistan and considers how Article 98 agreements are likely to hamper the ICC’s proceedings. This Note concludes that the Situation in Afghanistan is an opportunity to demonstrate the need to permanently delegitimize Article 98 agreements, and that it can serve as a catalyst for change, even if Americans are not prosecuted.

Is Selling Malware a Federal Crime?

Marcelo Triana

Congress enacted the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to impose criminal penalties for a variety of computer misuse offenses. One provision, 18 U.S.C. §1030(a)(5)(A), criminalizes hacking and the use of malicious software (“malware”) by making it a crime to transmit code (i.e., malware) with “intent to cause damage.” Today, § 1030(a)(5)(A) fails to adequately police the black market for malware. The United States Department of Justice has recently used the statute to combat these markets by prosecuting hackers who sold malware. This Note argues that § 1030(a)(5)(A) is ill suited to combat the sale of malware for two reasons. First, certain types of malware do not fit under the CFAA’s definition of “damage.” Second, selling malware does not necessarily satisfy the statute’s “intent” element. Ultimately, the black market for malware needs to be policed, and Congress must amend the CFAA’s outdated elements to deal with the dangers of malware attacks on our increasingly connected society.

The Costs of Waiver: Cost-Benefit Analysis as a New Basis for Selective Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege

Mathew S. Miller

The nature of corporate criminal liability and the extreme consequences of indictment or conviction place great pressure on corporations to cooperate with federal prosecutors as they investigate corporate wrongdoing. This pressure often leads corporations to disclose privileged corporate communications, including internal investigation reports and notes from employee interviews, to aid prosecutors in their investigation. In most jurisdictions, once these documents are disclosed, the protections of the attorney-client privilege are waived as to everyone—a total waiver. However, in a minority of jurisdictions, when privileged corporate communications are disclosed to the government as part of a criminal investigation, the privilege is waived only as to the government and remains to prevent discovery by third parties, including civil plaintiffs—a selective waiver. Courts have provided various rationales for both positions, although none has been universally endorsed and all are subject to criticism. This Note provides a new justification for the selective waiver rule. It argues that utility-maximizing prosecutors will be more likely to ask for these critical privileged corporate communications under a selective waiver rule because of the high costs of the total waiver rule. This, in turn, will lead to a more efficient and robust investigation and prosecution of corporate crime.

Disproportionate Impact: An Impetus to Raise the Standard of Proof at Sentencing

Anthony LoMonaco

It is well-known that in a criminal trial, the prosecution must prove culpability beyond a reasonable doubt. But during the subsequent sentencing phase, the standard of proof is much lower: a preponderance of the evidence. This relatively low standard can lead to a problem known as “disproportionate impact.” Disproportionate impact occurs when evidence of additional criminal activity is introduced during the sentencing phase and becomes more determinative of the defendant’s punishment than the actual crime of conviction. Such evidence can subject criminal defendants to significantly more punishment without the safeguards available at a criminal trial, and it may include uncharged and acquitted crimes. In response to this issue, some circuit courts fashioned an exception to the preponderance rule, raising the standard of proof to the clear and convincing standard to protect the due process rights of criminal defendants. However, use of this exception was curtailed in all circuits but the Ninth when the Supreme Court rendered the Sentencing Guidelines advisory in 2005. This Note analyzes the lopsided circuit split surrounding the disproportionate impact exception and challenges the notion that the exception is no longer necessary because the Guidelines have become advisory.

The Domestic Dog’s Foreign Tail: Foreign Relevant Conduct Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Valerie S. Roddy

In this Note, Valerie Roddy studies the continuing hesitancy of U.S. courts to include foreign relevant conduct in federal sentences, despite the expansive inclusion of domestic relevant conduct. Roddy analyzes the courts’ principal concerns and concludes that the distinctions that courts are drawing between foreign and domestic relevant conduct are illusory. She argues that to achieve consistency in sentencing and proportional sentencing for international defendants, foreign and domestic conduct must be treated identically. Finally, she contends that distinguishing foreign relevant conduct and subjecting it to a special analysis is best viewed as a means of retaining a measure of discretion in a federal sentencing system struggling with both the potent effect of relevant conduct on sentences and the shrinking judicial discretion over sentences.

Criminals and Commoners: Can We Still Tell the Difference?

William H. Edmonson

Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything

The government possesses a variety of tools to control the populace. Obvious examples include the criminal justice system, administrative regulation, and taxation. Because these tools involve varying degrees of coercion, the federal government’s choice of tools in addressing a particular problem has considerable impact on citizens, both financially and in terms of individual rights.

Detection Avoidance

Chris William Sanchirico

In practice, the problem of law enforcement is half a matter of what the government does to catch violators and half a matter of what violators do to avoid getting caught. In the theory of law enforcement, however, although the state’s efforts at “detection” play a decisive role, offenders’ efforts at “detection avoidance” are largely ignored. Always problematic, this imbalance has become critical in recent years as episodes of corporate misconduct spur new interest in punishing process crimes like obstruction of justice and perjury. This Article adds detection avoidance to the existing theoretical frame with an eye toward informing the current policy debate. The exercise leads to several conclusions. First, despite recent efforts to strengthen laws governing obstruction and perjury, sanctioning is relatively inefficacious at discouraging detection avoidance. Sanctions send a mixed message to the offender: Do less to avoid detection, but to the extent you still do something, do more to avoid detection of your detection avoidance. The Article argues that detection avoidance is often more effectively deterred through the structural design of evidentiary procedure (inclusive of investigation). Specifically advocated are devices that exploit the cognitive psychological shortcomings of individuals and the sociological fragility of their collusive arrangements.