Autoerotic Asphyxiation and Accidental Death Insurance: Odd Facts Make Odd Law in Circuit Split

Current Issue, Online
Mike Brown*Full Article.I. IntroductionIt was a grim scene involving a famous actor, but this was no movie. Still, there was a mystery to be unraveled. The setting was a hotel room in Bangkok, Thailand.[1] In the closet hung the lifeless body of David Carradine, star of Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” films and 1970s television show “Kung Fu.”[2] An intricate web of ropes suspended him above the floor, wrapped around his neck and genitals.[3] The door to the hotel room was locked, and there was no sign that anyone other than Carradine had been there.[4] When asked, his friends were skeptical that he would commit suicide.[5]Authorities ultimately concluded the cause of Carradine’s death was autoerotic asphyxiation,[6] defined as an intentionally induced state of asphyxia that heightens sexual arousal during masturbation.[7] It…
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Crime, DNA, and Family: Protecting Genetic Privacy in the World of 23andMe

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 1 (Spring)
Victoria Romine* Full Article. Introduction In 2018, the capture of the “Golden State Killer,” also known as the “East Area Rapist” or the “Original Night Stalker,” captured the eyes of the nation.[1] The man responsible for at least thirteen murders and fifty rapes—crimes that many thought would never be solved—was taken into custody and charged with capital murder.[2] Why the sudden movement in a case that had been cold for over three decades? Joseph DeAngelo, the now-infamous serial killer, was definitively identified through DNA using a breakthrough new science: genetic genealogy.[3] At the time, the potential of this new method seemed boundless. The public began to speculate about how many cases could finally be resolved—even infamous cold cases that had haunted communities for decades.[4] The wait was short. Only two…
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You Belong with Me: Retaining Authorship and Ownership of Sound Recordings

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 1 (Spring)
Delilah R. Cassidy* Full Article. “For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. . . . This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value[,]’ he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it. . . . And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make.” – Taylor Swift[1] I. Introduction Growing up, a girl named Taylor Swift was considered an outcast.[2] The kids at school thought she was “weird.”[3] Her feelings of loneliness, frustration, and rejection became all-consuming.[4] With…
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Advancing Criminal Reform Through Ballot Initiatives

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 1 (Spring)
Nicholas Ansel* Full Article. I. Introduction 2020 brought the world’s attention to bear on American policing and the American carceral regime. After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, protests erupted in every state in America.[1] By early July, experts estimated that “about 15 million to 26 million people in the United States ha[d] participated in demonstrations,” representing “the largest movement in the country’s history.”[2] As of mid-October, Black Lives Matter demonstrations still continue in many cities.[3] America now cages more people than any other country in the history of Earth, incarcerating African Americans “at a rate six times that of South Africa during Apartheid.”[4] The murder of George Floyd represented a crystallization of the American criminal project’s treatment of black and brown communities, of marginalized communities, of…
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Corporate Criminal Law Is Too Broad—Worse, It’s Too Narrow

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 1 (Spring)
Robert Thomas* Full Article. Abstract Corporate criminal law is built atop the doctrine of respondeat superior, whereby a business organization can be convicted for virtually any crime committed by its employee. Critics have noted for more than a century that this rule of attribution exposes businesses to the prospect of more criminal liability than is either just or efficient—in short, respondeat superior is overbroad. By contrast, virtually no attention has been paid to the fact that this same doctrine is also underbroad; in addition to including too much conduct under its ambit, respondeat superior also captures too little misconduct. However, this formal symmetry belies a deep, substantive asymmetry. The ambition of this project is to show that respondeat superior’s underbreadth problems are—or, at the very least, are becoming—both more serious…
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Nontraditional Criminal Prosecutions in Federal Court

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 1 (Spring)
Jonathan Remy Nash* Full Article. Abstract Who, besides the U.S. Department of Justice, can prosecute criminal actions in federal court? This Article considers this question, which has arisen recently in various contexts—the DOJ’s attempt to abort the prosecution of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the contempt prosecution of former Sheriff Joseph Arpaio (who received a presidential pardon), the confrontation over the court-appointed interim U.S. Attorney in New York, and a local District Attorney’s threats to prosecute lawbreaking federal law enforcement officials. Consider first nontraditional, trial-level federal prosecutions. The Constitution’s Take Care and Appointments Clauses, as well as standing doctrine, preclude private prosecutions and prosecutions by states and Houses of Congress. Court-appointed interim U.S. Attorneys may oversee federal prosecutions, and court-appointed special prosecutors may prosecute criminal contempt cases. However, court-appointed…
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Enforcing Inbound Forum Selection Clauses in State Court

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 1 (Spring)
John Coyle* & Katherine C. Richardson**Full Article.AbstractA forum selection clause is a contractual provision that selects a court for future disputes. Such clauses serve two primary functions. First, they may be used to redirect litigation from one state to another (an “outbound” clause). Second, they may be used to extend the personal jurisdiction of the chosen court over the contracting parties (an “inbound” clause). To date, scholars have focused most of their attention on the redirecting function played by outbound clauses. In this Article, we provide a definitive account of the role played by inbound clauses as means of obtaining personal jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants.This account is based on our review of 283 published and unpublished state court cases where the defendant challenged the enforceability of an inbound forum selection…
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Uncoupling

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 1 (Spring)
Naomi Cahn & June Carbone*Full Article.AbstractA series of Supreme Court decisions recognize the end of the federal–state–corporate partnership that once provided a foundation for employment security and family stability. That partnership, which reached its pinnacle during the industrial era, established a family wage made available to the majority of the male population through unionization, a social safety net that filled the gaps left by wage labor, and the extension of these public and private benefits to women and children through marriage.Uncoupling shows how family security and stability can no longer be linked to employment or marriage, requiring a redesign of the state response. The Supreme Court has framed the necessary elements in that response. First, although other scholars note that the Court’s marriage equality decision in Obergefell celebrates marriage, this…
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