This seminar will examine a number of current topics and issues facing practitioners of federal criminal law, whether as prosecutors or defense lawyers. Topics will include: (1) False confessions and their implications for the traditional law of Miranda and custodial interrogation law; (2) The criminal prosecution of corporations and the constitutional rights of employees in such matters, a subject of recent significant case law and commentary; (3) Sentencing developments and practices under the now-advisory federal sentencing guidelines; (4) The effectiveness of criminal prosecution as compared with other methods of crime control, including anti-loitering statutes and gang injunctions and sociological analyses of methods of crime control and the relation of police to gangs; (5) Search and seizure of electronic evidence in the workplace; (6) The constitutional violations in discovery found in a host of recent cases and their implications for the adversary process; (7) Whether certain offenses "should be" crimes. We will consider, for example, whether, as a policy matter and given practical considerations, blackmail, insider trading, and conspiracy offenses merit criminal prosecution; and (8) Other topics, including the role of the victim in the criminal process and the diminishing role of the jury in criminal prosecutions. We expect to have two or three guest speakers in the course of the seminar. Students' grades will be based on class participation, a mid-term writing project and a final examination.
Writing credit is available.