This Article reports the results of a qualitative research study identifying best practices for family engagement in the juvenile justice system. The typical system operates from the faulty premise that families cause their children’s problems. As a result, decisions about treatments or sanctions for youth routinely fail to incorporate family members’ views about how best to address a youth’s needs. Instead, system professionals make decisions that expose youth to treatments and environments that increase recidivism and place youth at a high risk of being abused. Victims, youth, families, and system professionals all lose under the current model. The goal of this study was to develop a shared understanding of how to reform justice systems to meet the needs of youth and families without sacrificing the public safety concerns of justice system professionals and victims.
Synthesizing efforts from jurisdictions across the country, this Article proposes a radical transformation of the justice system and introduces a concept called Family-Driven Justice. The foundational values of this transformation are: all families care about their children and can be trusted to make good decisions on their behalf; all families have strengths to build upon; all families want their children to grow up safe and free from justice-system involvement; and all families have dreams for their children and want them to succeed in adult life.
In September 2012, scandal broke at the Massachusetts state crime laboratory: Annie Dookhan, a chemist at the lab, was arrested for falsifying thousands of drug test results. Amazingly, her misconduct had gone undiscovered for nine years, despite the fact that she testified–and was cross-examined–in at least 150 trials. Tens of thousands of prosecutions were jeopardized, and scores of appeals filed. But beyond the immediate fallout, Dookhan’s misconduct raises a bigger question: Is cross-examination of laboratory analysts–a right conferred by the Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts–effective at discovering misconduct in forensic testing, or merely a hollow right for defendants that imposes substantial costs on prosecutors? This Article examines the Dookhan scandal, arguing that it showcases the shortcomings of Melendez-Diaz, and proposes a new rule favoring the retesting of forensic evidence over needless cross-examination.
It may be a bad idea to waste resources, but is it illegal? Legally speaking, what does “waste” even mean? Though the concept may appear completely subjective, this Article builds a framework for understanding how the law identifies and addresses waste.
Drawing upon property and natural resource doctrines, this Article finds that the law selects from a catalog of five specific, and sometimes competing, societal values to define waste. These values include: (1) economic efficiency; (2) human flourishing: (3) concern for future generations: (4) stability and consistency; and, (5) ecology. The law recognizes waste in terms of one of, or a combination of, these values.
In recent years, the war on poverty has moved in large part into the tax code. Scholarship has started to note that the tax laws, which once exacerbated the problem of poverty, have become increasingly powerful tools that the federal government uses to fight against it. Yet questions remain about how this new tax war on poverty works, how it is different from the decades of nontax anti-poverty policy, and how it could improve. To answer these questions, this Article looks comprehensively at the provisions that make up the new tax war on poverty. First, this Article examines each major piece of the tax war on poverty—looking at its mechanics of each, its political history, and its effectiveness at addressing poverty. Second, this Article analyzes the tax war on poverty as a whole, identifying commonalities across its different provisions and highlighting its distinctive features. Third, this Article proposes ways that the tax war on poverty could be more effective. In particular, this Article examines how tax lawmakers and tax lawyers could approach this task. In so doing, this Article conceptualizes tax law as the new poverty law and proposes a growing role for public-interest tax lawyers.
Almost 15 years after Congress passed the first contemporary anti-slavery legislation, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, state anti-trafficking law and policy still lag far behind their federal counterparts in terms of prosecuting traffickers, protecting victims, and preventing trafficking. Regrettably, Arizona provides an ample case study in these inadequacies, from its prosecution of sex trafficking victims for prostitution to its inadequate victim assistance mechanisms. This Note maintains that the war on human trafficking will be won or lost at the state level. After a detailed analysis of federal and state law and policy, this Note argues that the Uniform Law Commission’s new Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking provides states with a solid blueprint for comprehensive anti-trafficking reform. States should adopt the Uniform Act in its entirety, without delay, because nobody should be enslaved in the Land of the Free.
This Note considers the curious urban legend that suggests Arizonans have a legal duty to provide water to thirsty strangers. It concludes that this “law” is a myth, but its existence reflects the important reality that Arizona is an outstanding candidate for a duty-to-rescue law that would require citizens to assist people in grave danger (including those who are severely dehydrated). This Note gives a detailed overview of the philosophical debate over duty-to-rescue laws, discusses the content and effect of existing duty-to-rescue laws in the United States, and proposes a model duty-to-rescue statute for Arizona.
The Arizona Supreme Court is presently considering an amendment to Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which governs class actions. The proposed amendment requires that at least 50% of all residual class action funds be distributed to a state legal aid organization that provides legal services for low-income individuals. Whether the Court adopts this amendment, the proposal presents an opportunity to comment on the current trend of allocating residual class action funds to state legal aid organizations, ostensibly pursuant to the “cy pres” doctrine. Although allocating residual class action funds to a legal aid organization undoubtedly puts these funds to a productive use, to call it cy pres” is disingenuous. It is improper for a court to adopt such a change by using the cy pres doctrine as a Trojan Horse.
Law & Policy Note
In 2008, the United States experienced the largest financial downturn it had seen since the Great Depression. Some point to excessive compensation as a leading cause of the Financial Crisis, while others blame a lack of shareholder involvement in corporate management. Congress responded by enacting several legislative acts, including the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2009, and the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. These reforms included provisions requiring shareholder “say-on-pay” votes and, more generally speaking, encouraged shareholder engagement and dramatically increased shareholders’ influence on corporate decision-making. However, these congressional reforms miss the mark because they fail to address compensation plans that encourage excessive risk-taking. Many believed that giving power to the shareholders would be an adequate solution to this problem. However, based on the current reality of the corporate landscape in the United States, the expectation that shareholders will adequately govern and discipline corporations is doomed to disappoint. This Note argues that the post-Financial-Crisis legislation–specifically, the legislation’s push for increased shareholder involvement–fails to adequately fix the problem of excessive executive risk-taking; instead, a deferred compensation model for corporate executives would be a more effective solution for that problem.
Law & Policy Note