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October 31, 2014

Some (and only some) of the intricacies of ORC Chapter 2907: Sex Offenses

As I mentioned in class, I do not test on the doctrines of rape and other sex offenses in large part because (1) nearly everyone now views the Model Penal Code sexual offense provisions to be badly dated and anything but "model" for modern times, and (2) the Ohio Revised Code provisions on rape and other sexual offenses are stunningly lengthy and intricate.  You can see for yourself the enormity of ORC Chapter 2907 at this link.

Among the many interesting things to notice about Ohio's "modern" sexual offense provisions is how many different labels we now have for different types of sexual offenses:

Also of note here are the detailed "general definitions" of various key terms set out in ORC 2907.01, which gets started this way:

As used in sections 2907.01 to 2907.38 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Sexual conduct" means vaginal intercourse between a male and female; anal intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex; and, without privilege to do so, the insertion, however slight, of any part of the body or any instrument, apparatus, or other object into the vaginal or anal opening of another. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete vaginal or anal intercourse.

(B) "Sexual contact" means any touching of an erogenous zone of another, including without limitation the thigh, genitals, buttock, pubic region, or, if the person is a female, a breast, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.

(C) "Sexual activity" means sexual conduct or sexual contact, or both.

October 31, 2014 in Course materials and schedule | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 28, 2014

All needed spots now filled (I think) for next week's drafting role play ... UPDATED 10/29

I am very pleased to be able to report that I have already had voluteers for two sets of legislative sub-committees for next week's role play.  As detailed below, here are (according to my notes) the groups that have formed to work on needed revisions to Oliwood rape law and to establish the terms of the worst offense for a model campus sexual offense code for universities in Oliwood.  I have given silly names/labels to the groups for ease of reference:

First Oliwood Rape Reform Drafting Subcommittee (FORR) is comprised of Madison Gessiotto and Jason Manion ... and Madison Troyer and Holly Cline

Second Oliwood Rape Reform Drafting Subcommittee (SORR) is comprised of Cowles Osatrander, Jogan Riley and Chris Tavenor ... and Sasa Trivunic


First Oliwood Campus Code Drafting Subcommittee (FOCC) is comprised of Jana Al-Akhras, Anthony Lelli, Cassie Pedicelli and Tara Workman 

Second Oliwood Campus Code Drafting Subcommittee (SOCC) is comprised of Clair Bullock, Kiera Ransey and Abigail Woods

If I have any of these details wrong, let me know ASAP so we can have the groups finalized ASAP.  And thanks so much to the dozen students who have so quickly volunteered to participate in what should be a fun and inforative exercise.

As for what will follow, early next week (likely on Monday), each subcommittee will have about 10 minutes to present their proposed legislation.  Proposed statutes can/should be sent my way via e-mail for posting in this space before too late on Sunday.

In the meantime, every member of the Oliwood legislature can perhaps benefit from reviewing this short (and very informative) 2003 article published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law authored by Professor Deborah W. Denno titled "Why the Model Penal Code’s Sexual Offense Provisions Should Be Pulled and Replaced."

October 28, 2014 in Course materials and schedule | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2014

Intriguing Kansas Supreme Court ruling about (full and partial) defenses in high-profile murder case

Though not precisely on-point with topics we discussed concerning intentional homicides this past week, a ruling yesterday by the Kansas Supreme Court in Kansas v. Roeder, No. 104,520 (Kan. Oct. 24, 2014) (available here), provides an interesting and high-profile example of an appeals court upholding a trial court's decision to preclude an intentional killer from having various full and partial defenses presented to a jury at his trial.  Here are the first two paragraphs from the start of this notable Roeder ruling to perhaps whet your appettite for reviewing the full opinion (which convers some concerpts will will be exploring is some depth come November):

On May 31, 2009, Scott Roeder executed his years-old plan to kill Dr. George Tiller to prevent the Wichita, Kansas, doctor from performing any further abortions.  After fatally shooting the doctor from point blank range during church services while the doctor served as an usher, Roeder hastily fled the premises. During his getaway,  Roeder threatened to shoot two other ushers who had pursued him outside the church. Roeder did not deny committing the physical acts underlying a premeditated first-degree murder charge and two counts of aggravated assault, and the jury convicted him of those offenses.

On appeal, Roeder challenges both his convictions and his hard 50 life sentence. With respect to his convictions, Roeder raised numerous issues, some of which overlap, to-wit: (1) The district court erroneously denied his requested instruction on voluntary manslaughter based upon an imperfect defense-of-others; (2) the district court violated his due process right to present a defense of voluntary manslaughter based upon an imperfect defense of another; (3) the district court erroneously denied the defense motion for a change of venue; (4) the prosecutor committed reversible misconduct during closing argument; (5) the district court violated his due process right by excluding evidence to support a necessity defense and by failing to instruct on the necessity defense; (6) the district court erroneously denied his requested second-degree murder instruction; (7) the district court erroneously denied his requested defense-of-others instruction; and (8) the cumulative effect of trial errors denied him a fair trial.  Finding that Roeder was not denied a fair trial, we affirm his convictions.

October 25, 2014 in Notable real cases | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 24, 2014

For our sex offense legislative drafting role play...

Would you rather have the exercise focused on:

1.  Drafting a new/improved rape provision for Oliwood/MPC to replace Section 213.1(1),


2.  Drafting a "most serious sex offense always requiring expulsion and prosecution" for a school campus behavior code?

Please indicate your preference in the comments.  Thanks.

October 24, 2014 in Course materials and schedule | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

October 19, 2014

Any lingering concerns or questions (other than grades) with respect to mid-term?

I just wanted to create this space for any enduring question on concerns regarding the mid-term exam.  For a host of reasons, process questions would be easier to answer than substance questions.  But I remain eager to continue the learning from an experience intended to be high-learning, low-stress (to the extent possible).  

I sincerely hope that, with the exam now in the rear-view mirror, everyone is now looking forward and gearing up for a lot of exciting homicide discussions over the next few weeks.  Though I love all parts of the course, I think the next 3-4 weeks are among the most dynamic, engaging and real-world exciting of the entire semester.

October 19, 2014 in Course materials and schedule, Preparing for the final | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 8, 2014

Gearing up for homicide discussions strating with Joe Shooter role play

As I mentioned in class, next week we will begin our in-depth discussions of homicide laws and we get started with another role-play.  To get off to a running start, I will here posting the Joe Shooter facts along with an encouragement for folks to sign up (in the comments and/or via an e-mail) to play the role of either prosecutor or defense attorney on Joe Shooter's behalf next week in California (a common-law-influenced jurisdiction) or Kansas (an MPC-influenced jurisdiction) or Ohio (a little of everything).

This time around, we only really need one lawyer for each side (so 6 total voulneers, a single prosecutor and a single defense attorney for each state).  In addition to the usual offer of happy hour celebration, volunteers this time around can know that they will be rewarded for their efforts by being assured they do get called upon in class until (well) after the midterm.  In addition, as I said in class, I am confident that serving as a lawyer in this role play provides a really good pre-mid-term preparation experience.

So, review the Shooter facts and sign on up in the comments or via an e-mail to me.

Download 2014 Shooter facts

October 8, 2014 in Course materials and schedule | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 6, 2014

Details of extreme ACCA federal felon-in-possession case, US v. Young

I mentioned in class the remarkable federal case of US v. Young, in which I filed an amicus brief on behalf of the defendant in support of his Eighth Amendment claim (and had the chance to participate in oral argument as well).  Roughly a month ago, a panel of the Sixth Circuit rejected the defendant's arguments on appeal in US v. Young, No. 13-5714 (6th Cir. Sept. 11, 2014) (available here); the Sixth Circuit panel's per curiam ruling starts this way: 

Edward Young received a mandatory fifteen-year prison sentence for the crime of possessing seven shotgun shells in a drawer.  He came into possession of the shells while helping a neighbor sell her late husband’s possessions.  When he eventually discovered them, he did not realize that his legal disability against possessing firearms — resulting from felonies committed some twenty years earlier — extended to ammunition.  See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).  Under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), Young received a mandatory fifteen-year sentence.

Young now asks this court to conclude that the ACCA, as applied to him, is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment because the gravity of his offense is so low as compared to the harshness of his sentence, and unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment because he lacked notice.  Our precedent compels us to reject these claims and to affirm Young’s sentence.

There is now a pending petition for en banc review by the full Sixth Circuit, but I will be surprised if that gets grant.  Thereafter, the defendant is likely to appeal to the Supreme Court, and I will be eager to write another amicus brief in support of that appeal when the time comes (and would be eager for any and all student help at that time).   

A lot more information about this case can be found in my various posts about it on my main blog, which I have listed and linked below:

October 6, 2014 in Notable real cases | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 3, 2014

I will be in our classroom today at 1:30 for optional discussion followed by happy hour...

The weather forecast has led the OSU golf event to be postponed, so I am now eager to hang out this afternoon in class and after with whomever wants to hang out with me.  I hope to see some of you.

October 3, 2014 in Course materials and schedule | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack