Powered by TypePad

« September 2010 | Main | November 2010 »

October 26, 2010

Clarification on plans/goals for rape unit and reform role-play

Much to my pleasure, I have heard a number of folks expressing interest in our rape law reform role play, and here I want to provide a little clarification for how we will approach this topic and the role play:

1.  For this Thursday's class, I will provide some common-law background on the history of rape law and modern statutory reforms.  We will conclude with a survey on what we think should comprise the actus reus of the crime of rape.

2.  For this Friday's class, I will report the results of the survey on what we think should comprise the actus reus of the crime of rape.  We will then discuss what we think ought to be the mens rea of rape.

3.  For next Tuesday's class, we will have a legislative session in Oliwood with the goal of enacting a reformed rape provision to improve on the now dated terms of MPC § 213.1 (Rape and Related Offenses).  Given our limited legislative time, our goal is to pass by majority class vote a (simple?) new Oliwood Revised Code § 213.1 provision, which should defines the elements of the worst kind (and only the worst kind) of sexual offense(s) in Oliwood.

To participate effectively, everyone must read pp. 863-871 in our text and be familiar with ORC § 2907.  In addition, it is recommend (but not required) that folks check out other sections of the Rape chapter in the text and this Ohio Journal of Criminal Law article (which is titled "Why the Model Penal Code’s Sexual Offense Provisions Should Be Pulled and ReplacedWhy the Model Penal Code’s Sexual Offense Provisions Should Be Pulled and Replaced").

Those folks volunteering for "role play" credit this time around can/should form committees in order to draft a new Oliwood Revised Code  § 213.1 provision to define the crime of Rape for Oliwood.  Perhaps aided by the provisions of ORC § 2907.2 (Rape), the new Oliwood Rape provision should cover only those offenses that should qualify as a felony of the first degree and thus be eligible for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment under the terms of MPC § 6.06(1).

The rape reform drafts developed by the committee(s) will be the basis for discussion during our Tuesday legislative session.

October 26, 2010 in Course materials and schedule | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 25, 2010

What do you like and/or dislike most about the MPC and Ohio approaches to homicide?

A number of top-notch students have started a top-notch discussion of felony murder and other homicide issues in this prior comment thread.  In addition to wanting to praise those students for their efforts, I wanted to provide this new post to urge additional class discussion and debate over these homicide topics (especially in the context of discussing/debating some key difference between how homicides are treated in Ohio and Oliwood).

Especially because the Model Penal Code lacks any true form of felony murder (or its JV version, misdemeanor-manslaughter), perhaps I can jump-start a discussion and debate by asserting that the MPC's drafters made a mistake in not including a traditional FM provision.  Alternatively, because the Ohio Revised Code lacks any true form "extreme recklessness" murder, perhaps I should focus discussion and debate by urging our class to urge the Ohio General Assembly to amend its murder provisions to enable extremely reckless killers like Mayes and Malone to be branded (and sentenced) as murderers.

On the first issue, consider the fact that some modern commentators have suggested that a key reason the MPC's approach to homicide has been rejected by most states is the absence of any true form of felony murder.  With the benefit of hindsight, do others agree with my supposition that MPC drafters could have been more effective by drafting a very limited and targeted form of felony murder to cover, for example, causing the death of an innocent person in the commission of a rape or with deadly weapon during the commission of serious violent felony?  In other words, should the MPC have included an FM provision akin to the one to be found in the Ohio Revised Code?

UPDATE:  It dawns on me that folks might also be interested in how the federal criminal code approaches these issues, so here are links to the federal homicide basics, including:

For a variety of reasons, federal homicide prosecutions are relatively rare.  But, as evidenced by this Ninth Circuit ruling handed down just today, they are not that uncommon in response to killing on Native American lands.

ANOTHER UPDATE:  Kudos to Luke for spotlighting the first-degree murder charges that have been brought against the "Hiccup Girl" in Florida as a result of her role in a botched robbery.  Here is a link to Florida's murder provisions, which are elaborate to a fault and showcase how some states approach the codification of felony murder in modern times.  In addition, as this local news article about the case highlights, there may be a lot of interesting aspects to the "Hiccup Girl" case as it moves forward.  The article is headlined "Tourette's syndrome may play into Jennifer Mee's defense, attorney says."

October 25, 2010 in Class reflections | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 18, 2010

Specifics for (last?) administration of practice exam(s)

I have reserved Room 354  on Tuesday, October 19 starting at 11:00am for another administration of the practice exam. 

I will plan to give to all those students who show up just the "original" practice exam (the one for which there is a memo reviewing the substance).  But anyone who has already taken the original and now would like to take on a different question should let me know ASAP.  I will happily bring an alternative practice question for those who are gluttons for this kind of practice punishment.

October 18, 2010 in Course materials and schedule, Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 15, 2010

More information and a place to share thoughts/findings on the Ohio Pudelski case

I previously provided basic background fact to John Pudelski Ohio case in class.  I can here provide additional links that provide a lot more details about the case.  Students interesting in helping with this case should check out this website (and the documents linked there) and also should review this Sixth Circuit ruling rejecting John's effort to obtain relief via habeas corpus.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to share thoughts about this case in the comments to this post.  In addition, as I mentioned in class, I am interested in finding reports/details on similar Ohio cases in which a defendant has been held responsible for the death of a child and gotten lighter sentences.  Such findings can/should be placed in the comments, too.

October 15, 2010 in Pro bono activities | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

More information and a place to share thoughts/findings on the California Kruzan case

I previously provided basic background to the Sara Kruzan California case discussed here at my SL&P blog, and now I can provide additional documents providing a lot more details about Sara and her case.   Students interesting in helping with this case should check out a letter and memo prepared by Sara's lawyers in support of her clemency application:

Download 9-27-10 Letter to Governor S on Kruzan

Download 9-24-10 Memo on Kruzan case details

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to share thoughts about this case in the comments to this post.

October 15, 2010 in Pro bono activities | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Repeat practice exam time reminders

Just a quick blog reminder of the two times I have scheduled to give another real-world-condition (optional) practice exam experience:

October 15, 2010 in Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2010

Welcome back and ... the week(s) ahead

Though I will review in class on Tuesday some of the plans for various class-related tasks, I wanted here to note some of the basics and encourage feedback to make sure we are all on the same basic page administratively:

1.  We will move through the homicide materials efficiently (and should be through the whole unit before the end of the month).  Keep up with the readings, and keep considering how the cases examined would likely be resolved under Ohio and Oliwood law.

2.  I will administer the practice exam again under "real" conditions on Friday afternoon after class and/or at other times based on student interests. 

3.  I will begin discussing the small-section research assignment later this week and "officially" begin the assignment next week.  The major part of the assignment will be due (not later than) Saturday November 6.

4.  I have a pro bono (and completely optional) opportunity for interesting work for any student(s) interested in helping me put together a letter in support of clemency in conjunction with the California case discussed here at my SL&P blog.  Students interesting in this project should let me know of their interest after class or via e-mail (and can start by seeking answers to the questions posed in the linked blog post).

October 11, 2010 in Course materials and schedule, Research assignment | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 5, 2010

Confirming interest in practice test administration on Wednesday (10/6) at 11am

A few students have written via e-mail to confirm their interest in having me formally administer a practice test tomorrow, Wednesday, October 6 at 11am.  I am thus now planning to go to our usual room (Drinko Hall 348) a little before 11am to begin to simulate real exam-taking conditions for a one-hour practice exam. 

Please comment on the blog if you are thinking about coming for the experience (and/or if you would like we to administer the test at another time/place in the not-too-distant future).

Thanks. Hope all are having a great break!

October 5, 2010 in Course materials and schedule, Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack