Exporting Miranda: How Fifth Amendment Protections Fall Flat in Overseas Interrogations

(Source) In the past twenty years, American law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have increased their presence abroad. This increased presence is due in part to terrorist attacks against American targets and narcotics trafficking that affects U.S. citizens. Law enforcement’s role overseas is to investigate violations of American criminal laws committed by non-U.S. citizens. An integral component of the investigation process includes interrogating suspects. In the United States, any interrogated suspect is constitutionally protected by the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. However, does this same right apply to non-citizens abroad? Per circuit courts’ understanding, the Fifth Amendment still applies in offshore interrogations. What is less clear is how this right must be given effect when interrogating non-citizens. Miranda v. Arizona and its Framework Domestically, the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination protects suspects during pretrial investigations. In the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court held that prosecutors may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from the custodial interrogation of a detainee, unless the prosecution demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards. These safeguards ensure the privilege against self-incrimination. Miranda, therefore, mandates that before engaging a suspect in custodial interrogation, law enforcement officials must inform the suspect [read more]

Kamala Harris Should Let John Roberts Off The Hook

(Sources) The Constitution provides that when the President of the United States is tried in the Senate, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, rather than the Vice President, presides over the President’s trial. This time last year, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, fulfilled his constitutional duty by presiding over Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial. The otherwise reserved Roberts made his uneventful political debut in the Senate, assuming a role he likely despised given the extent to which he has avoided entangling himself in the partisanship which has dominated his time on the Court. This time, however, Mr. Roberts may be off the hook. While some have already assumed that John Roberts will preside over Trump’s second trial, this conclusion is doubtful, and Mitch McConnell’s most recent memo on the upcoming trial flags this area of confusion. John Roberts, however, should not need to scurry from the Capitol steps over to the Senate chamber immediately after inaugurating Joe Biden on January 20th. While the Constitution designates the Chief Justice, rather than the Vice President, as the presiding officer when the President is tried, it says nothing about the trial of a former president. This makes sense [read more]

Work or Child Care: What Employers Can Do to Alleviate Burdens on Working Mothers

(Source) Facebook and Twitter have announced that they will allow their employees to work from home indefinitely, and other companies are considering adopting a similar policy. Remote work can benefit both employees and employers as employees no longer have to commute and employers can cut costs in rent. However, remote work can also be a source of issues. For example, it can exacerbate what is already an unequal distribution of domestic work on women. Prior to the stay-at-home orders in response to COVID-19, women consistently spent more hours on housework and child care than men. In addition, when women have children, they are less likely to be hired for jobs and likely to be paid less than their male colleagues. This is referred to as the motherhood penalty and exists not because mothers become less productive but because employers expect to them to be. The impact of COVID-19 on the distribution of domestic work isn’t clear, although one survey found that the distribution of housework and child care has not become more equitable as a result of stay-at-home orders. Additionally, McKinsey & Company released a report documenting the effects of COVID-19 on working women and found that one in four [read more]

Gender Bias in Capital Cases: Punishing Traumatized Women with Death

(Source) Introduction Women make up the minority of the death row population in the United States and globally.  In the United States, women account for only fifty of the over 2,600 individuals living on death rows around the nation.[1] The unique problems female capital defendants experience both before and after their capital sentences are overlooked and forgotten, in part because of the infrequency with which the death penalty is sought against women. This piece explores a few of the specific common themes in the cases of women facing the death penalty in the United States. We specifically focus on the effects of trauma, mental illness, and gender bias in legal proceedings, on female capital defendants. We also discuss Lisa Montgomery’s case as an example of how these themes all play out in real-life cases. Lisa is the only woman on federal death row and faces execution on January 12, 2021. Much of the information in this blog post is based on the authors’ analysis of the cases of women on death row though publicly available records, information gathered from DPIC’s databases, communications with women and their attorneys, and analysis of women’s trial transcripts. All analysis is on file with the [read more]

Fashion (Law) Forward: An Interview with Professor Susan Scafidi

(Source) Fashion (Law) Forward: An Interview with Professor Susan Scafidi This podcast transcript has been edited for concision and clarity. Christina Lee Hello, my name is Christina Lee, and today I am happy to have you on The Issue Spotter Podcast. Today, our Online Associate Jamie Smith will be interviewing Professor Susan Scafidi, and we are super excited to welcome both of them to the podcast. So, thank you so much and looking forward to hearing this.   Jamie Smith Thanks, Christina. And hello, Professor Scafidi, thank you so much for joining me today. I’m so glad we can finally meet each other. For those who don’t know you, I’d like to give a brief introduction before we get into what I’m sure will be a scintillating discussion. Professor Susan Scafidi is the founder and academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School. As the first professor to offer a course on fashion law, Professor Scafidi is an internationally recognized expert in the field. A frequent commentator on fashion and fashion law, Professor Scafidi has been featured in publications from The New York Times to Women’s Wear Daily and NPR. Professor Scafidi’s advocacy work ranges from support [read more]

Virtual Recruitment: The U.S. Military’s Campaign into Twitch and Esports

(Source)   Twitch.tv is a live-streaming platform that has exploded in popularity over the last several years. The platform, focusing primarily on broadcasting live video game content, attracts the curious eyes of over seventeen million visitors each day, and has been cementing itself as the de facto “king” of live video game streaming over the last half decade. In 2020 thus far, viewers have spent over 950 billion minutes watching content on Twitch. Of its immense viewing congregation, fourteen percent are between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, making Twitch a particularly valuable resource for those looking to market to Gen Z. Coincidentally, after missing recruitment goals in 2018, the Army turned to Twitch in advertising and recruiting efforts aimed at teens. As part of its Gen-Z-centered campaign, the Army has been leveraging esports to reach the substantial centennial population on Twitch. To their credit, this campaign has certainly borne fruit; the Army’s push to use esports in recruiting has generated over 13,000 recruiting leads so far this year. This success has caught the eye of several prominent U.S. military branches, including the Air Force and Navy, who have also begun to establish a presence on Twitch and in esports. [read more]

An Overdue Overturning: The Insular Cases and the Need for Heightened Judicial Review for Puerto Rico

(Source)   In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which left the entirety of Puerto Rico without power, President Donald Trump visited the island. Towards the end of his trip, President Trump began tossing paper towels into a crowd — as if he were a rock star tossing T-shirts to a concert crowd. This conduct, while disrespectful, perhaps serves as an allegory of the United States’ treatment of Puerto Rico throughout the island’s history. Despite being U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are treated as second-class citizens who are not afforded most of the fundamental rights of mainland Americans. Most notably, Puerto Ricans are not allowed to vote in U.S. elections. This second-class treatment is the result of Puerto Rico’s territorial status as an “unincorporated territory.” The constitutional backbone of this arrangement was cemented by the Supreme Court in the Insular Cases of the early 1900s. These cases, which justified the United States’ colonial expansion and unilateral control over its territories, are still held as good law today. In light of the disparate treatment Puerto Ricans receive and the racist context in which the Insular Cases were written, it is time for American jurisprudence and the Supreme Court to overturn these cases and [read more]

Stopping the Spread: How California and Neighboring States Can Better Fight Wildfires

(Source) The title of the piece has been changed to acknowledge that the author has not directly experienced California wildfires. The Journal does not purport to intimately understand the struggles Californians face and we extend our condolences to those who have lost so much in these tragedies. We have all seen the headlines running about the raging forest fires in California and neighboring states. This past summer, dozens of extremely large forest fires ignited across the state of California, ruining rural and suburban communities, damaging and killing wildlife, and covering cities across the U.S. in a smoggy haze. Forest fires are common to California and neighboring states, and fire season always poses a challenge to the state, but over the past ten years, the fires have been larger and more destructive than ever before. From 2001 to 2010, California saw 7.03 million acreage of their land destroyed by fires; from 2011 to 2020, the number increased to 10.3 million acres. Yet, 2020 has topped every year with the largest and most destructive forest fires in California’s history: around 3.2 million acres of land being destroyed (as of September). And, to give a sense, San Francisco is “only” 30,000 acres. Coinciding [read more]

Increased Tuition for an Inferior Product: The University’s Guide to Not Caring

(Source) Imagine you decided to go to the dealership to buy yourself a brand-new car. After carefully researching the model and make of car and shopping around for a good deal, you finally decide to make the purchase. When the car gets delivered, you are excited to take it out for a drive, only to realize that the dealer has sent you a Vespa (an electric scooter). You complain to the dealer and they tell you to “make the best” out of a bad situation. You might think this is ridiculous, but it is in fact the experience of almost every university-enrolled student during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a poorly-kept secret that tuition rates in the United States have risen at an alarming pace. In 1963, the average cost of attending college was $9,918 (adjusted for inflation), while in 2017, the average cost was $23,091. This precipitous increase has led students to borrow alarmingly high amounts and at increasing rates, resulting in a cumulative student loan debt teetering over $1.5 trillion. Today, students are leaving universities crippled by student loans and, in many cases, unable to pay them back. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 10.8% of [read more]

Patent Rights in a Pandemic: Does the Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine Mean Inequitable Access?

(Source)   The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it. The world has come a long way since the initial outbreak, but the uncertainty surrounding a potential Covid-19 vaccine persists. Even with mounting uncertainty, the demand for a safe and effective vaccine continues to increase. The Food and Drug Administration’s approvals and authorizations for the Covid-19 vaccine are only some of the obstacles in this respect. Even if these approvals come through and a vaccine becomes marketable, there is no guarantee that the vaccine will be widely accessible. This is where intellectual property starts playing a crucial role in the distribution and affordability of a potentially successful vaccine. If this vaccine is patented, it would grant exclusive rights to the patent holder to exclude others from making, using, importing, and selling the patented innovation for the duration of the patent grant, within the boundaries of the United States. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is necessary to strike a balance between innovation  and the ethical implications of patents for human health. Patent protection is required to stimulate innovation and incentivize pharma companies given the extensive time and resources needed for the development of a new drug. This incentive is [read more]
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