Crime and punishment roundup

  • “Professional Responsibility: Prosecutors Run Amok?” video of panel from Federalist Society Lawyers’ Convention, with Judge Alex Kozinski, John Malcolm, George Terwilliger III, Darpana Sheth, moderated by Justice Keith Blackwell of the Supreme Court of Georgia;
  • Criminal punishment with no showing of mens rea (guilty state of mind) is just fine with a certain faction of progressives and that’s revealing [Scott Greenfield, earlier and generally, new Right on Crime website on criminal intent standards]
  • “Bill Cosby And Eliminating Statutes Of Limitation: A Truly Terrible Idea” [Joe Patrice, Above the Law]
  • An “emerging narrative in law enforcement circles: Cops aren’t shooting people nearly enough” [Radley Balko]
  • Police officer is struck and killed by passing car while attending to scene following alleged drunk driving crash. Can driver charged with original crash also be charged with manslaughter and homicide arising from officer’s death? [Ken Womble, Fault Lines on Long Island case of People v. James Ryan]
  • Labeling sex offenders’ passports? Really, what next? [Lenore Skenazy/New York Post, David Post/Volokh] “Why America Puts 9-Year-Old Kids on the Sex Offender Registry for Life” [same, Reason] “What new mean thing can we do to sex offenders to show how serious we are?” [Radley Balko]
  • “If you ignore levels, and just look at rates of change, crime rates in Canada track those in the United States to an astonishing degree. How can that be?” [Tyler Cowen on forthcoming Barry Latzer book, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America]


  • If the Supreme Court is so worried about teenage murders having a second chance they should be all over this fairly obvious injustice. Or is underage sex worse than murder?

  • The people vs Ryan case seems a bit of a stretch. The law requires you to stop in the case of an accident. He should be charged for the DWI and the first accident. The fact that the police officer arresting him for DWI was hit by a car was out of the control of Ryan.

  • If you make DUI a felony then to felony-murder rule should apply.

    • but the felony murder rule only applies when a death occurs while the felony is in progress. Once the accident was over and all the involved cars had come to a complete stop, the DUI was over and there was no felony in progress at the point where the officer was hit be another driver not involved in the original accident.

    • The New York felony murder law only applies to certain felonies, and while a DUI may in some cases by a felony, it’s not on the list of felony murder felonies.

      Felony murder is a stupid concept anyway. We already have manslaughter for those cases where a death wasn’t intended but was caused by the defendant. And the manslaughter law is already stretched to the point where it may or may not cover THIS case. Felony murder allows it to be stretched even farther than that.

      • “Felony murder is a stupid concept anyway. ”


        “We already have manslaughter for those cases where a death wasn’t intended but was caused by the defendant. ”

        Felony murder is for cases where the death wasn’t caused by the defendant.

        You and a partner rob a bank, A bank guard shoots your partner. Congratulations, under the felony murder rule you are guilty of murdering your partner.

  • @ Matt– Has felony-murder law really gotten that bad? I thought it was for a case like:
    I burgle an occupied home at night and exchange gunshots with the homeowner. I cannot claim I killed him in self defense.

    • The felony murder rule has never been what you thought.

      Bold is mine for emphasis.

      The rule of felony murder is a legal doctrine in some common law jurisdictions that broadens the crime of murder in two ways. First, when an offender kills (regardless of accidentally or without specific intent to kill) in the commission of a dangerous or enumerated crime (called a felony in some jurisdictions), he/she is guilty of murder. Second, it makes any participant in such an offence criminally liable for any deaths that occur during or in furtherance of that offence. In short, deaths that occur in the commission of a dangerous offence or enumerated offence (enumerated = stated in statute, e.g. rape, etc.) is murder.