Jurisprudence Section News

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Sources: Stephanie Domitrovich, JD, PhD, Section Chair, and Pamela King, JD, Section Secretary

Judge Joseph Maltese will be the moderator at the New York State Bar Association Annual Conference in New York City on “Hot Topics in Criminal Law” on Wednesday, January 25.

Judge Donald Shelton, Director of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Program at University of Michigan – Dearborn (UM-D), has launched a special police training program at the university called “Alternatives to Violent Force.” He indicates that they are currently in their second training session with local police officers from the Southeast Michigan area. This program is to address two of the most current and critical societal issues today:  1) the police use of deadly force, particularly on African-American citizens, and 2) the impact of the threat of terrorism on police profiling of Arab-American citizens. These concerns are especially critical in the Metro Detroit and Dearborn areas, which have significant populations of African-American and Arab-American citizens. Recent local events, involving both the use of lethal force by local police and the threats of violence and discrimination against Arab-Americans, have exacerbated these issues locally.  This project is aimed at deploying UM-D’s resources to help ameliorate these negative conditions. Judge Shelton indicates:  “Our goal is to educate police officers so that the first alternative they consider is not to use their gun or other forms of violence, but to respect the sanctity of all lives. If we end up saving the life of one citizen who might otherwise have been killed, the program will be a success.”

The Alternatives to Violent Force training program consists of seven three-hour training workshops:

  1. Re-Imagining the Use of Force and the Police Role
  2. How the Law Interprets Use of Force and How the Public Sees It
  3. De-Escalation as a First Alternative:  Distance, Cover, and Time
  4. Arab-American Culture and Religion
  5. African-American Culture
  6. Profiling in “Terry” Stops and Assisting Mentally-Ill Citizens
  7. Sanctity of Life and the Policing Experience

Faculty for the workshops will include law professor and former police officer Seth Stoughton, Program Director and former Circuit Judge Donald Shelton; Attorney General Investigator and former Detroit police officer Lyle Dungy; Detroit Crime Commissioner and former FBI agent Andrew Arena; Arab-American community leader Suehalia Amen; ACLU Racial Justice Project Staff Attorney Marc Fancher; Pastor Daryl Harris; and, UM-D Sociology Professor and social policy expert Paul Draus.

Two of Jurisprudence Section members recently published law review articles in the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law’s The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.  As part of the Symposium on the Role of the Courts in Improving Forensic Science at Northwestern Law School, held in April of 2015, Carol Henderson, together with Diana Botluk, published their article, “Sleuthing Scientific Evidence Information on the Internet.”  Judge Stephanie Domitrovich published her article, “Fulfilling Daubert’s Gatekeeping Mandate Through Court-Appointed Experts.”  The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology partnered with the American Bar Association/Judicial Division for this symposium.  For additional details, please visit:  http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/jclc_symposium/Improving_Forensic_Science/

The symposium examined the progress made in the forensic sciences since The National Academy of Science issued a report on the handling of forensic science in court, and addressed the role of the court in improving forensic science.  These articles are located in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology at Volume 106, Number 1, Winter 2016.