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Drug Legislation and Enforcement

Federal Monitoring of Local Policing - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
William G. Otis, Samuel Walker September 26, 2014

Is it within a federal court's authority to order local police officers to wear video cameras in an effort to create an "objective record" of police activity, as occurred last summer in New York City? What is the basis and is it advisable for the Department of Justice to impose reforms on local police activity via consent decrees or other means (see here and here)? What should we make of lawsuits, such as the one filed by police officers rejecting such oversight in Seattle? Are they attempts to vindicate the sovereignty of their own policing, or do they gloss over the serious problems in law enforcement that would go otherwise unchecked without federal involvement? Our experts answered these and other questions.

  • Prof. William G. Otis, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Prof. Samuel Walker, Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Controversial Sentencing in the Antwuan Ball Case - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Douglas Berman, Paul G. Cassell April 18, 2014

prison bars

In 2005, Washington, D.C. resident Antwuan Ball was indicted for a massive drug conspiracy and associated murders. Following a lengthy jury trial he was acquitted on all the counts, except for one crack distribution count. At sentencing, District Judge Richard Roberts found “clear evidence of [Ball's leadership in] a drug conspiracy” and sentenced Ball to a 225-month prison sentence for the drug distribution — far in excess of the recommended guideline sentence for the single drug distribution charge. The D.C. Circuit upheld this sentence in a decision on March 14. Was the D.C. Circuit Court correct? Our experts discussed the opinion and answered questions from our call-in audience.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Douglas Berman, Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • Hon. Paul G. Cassell, Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Endowed Chair in Criminal Law, The University of Utah College of Law

[Listen now!]??

Smarter Sentencing Act - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
John G. Malcolm, William G. Otis March 24, 2014

Prison Guard

Numerous proposals in Congress, the Justice Department, and the Sentencing Commission would bring down the sentences now given to those convicted of federal drug offenses. Probably the most prominent of these is the proposed Smarter Sentencing Act, which was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with the support of all its Democratic members and several Republicans. The act would, among other things, reduce the mandatory minimum sentences judges must now give certain classes of drug offenders and would expand the existing Safety Valve that has enabled some defendants to avoid the mandatory minimum.

Proponents of the Smarter Sentencing Act say that our prisons are overcrowded and that the pendulum has swung too far in terms of mandatory minimum penalties for non-violent drug offenders. Opponents say that stern mandatory sentencing has helped bring down crime, reined in irrational disparities from one courtroom to the next, insured at least a rock-bottom sentence for socially destructive behavior, and has been more than worth the expense through the savings reduced crime has brought about.

Featuring:

  • John G. Malcolm, Director and Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
  • Prof. William G. Otis, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

[Listen now!]

FDA Involvement in Off-Label Drug Use - Event Video

Southwestern Student Chapter
Ryan Abbott, Richard A. Epstein, Susan Prager March 19, 2014

On January 13, 2014 the Southwestern Law School Federalist Society student chapter hosted a debate about the FDA's role in regulating off-label drug use featuring Professor Richard Epstein, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU and the Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Ryan Abbott, Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School and Visiting Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Ryan Abbott, Southwestern Law School
  • Prof. Richard Epstein, NYU Law School
  • Moderator: Dean Susan Prager, Southwestern Law School

Southwestern Law School
Los Angeles, CA