Access to Justice and the Overworked Public Defender

By Kaitlyn Grant The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to counsel when being tried for a crime.[1] As part of the United States court system, defendants are appointed an attorney by the court if they are unable to afford one on their own.[2] This court-appointed attorney serves an important role in the assurance that Read more about Access to Justice and the Overworked Public Defender[…]

The Cost of Sanctions

By Melissa Hernandez Economic sanctions are by no means a new tool for nations to conduct foreign policy. They have been utilized for centuries, starting from around the time Athens imposed a trade embargo against Megara in 432 B.C. [1] Today, economic sanctions are defined as the partial or complete withdrawal of financial relations between Read more about The Cost of Sanctions[…]

Prosecutorial Discretion in the Wake of Dobbs

By Mariam Rasooli On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, holding that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.[1] This ruling effectively overturned the earlier decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey—which had prohibited Read more about Prosecutorial Discretion in the Wake of Dobbs[…]

International Adoption During Crisis

By Sarah DeLoach It is difficult to overstate the wide-ranging ripple effects of Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine.[1] Situated amongst immense political turmoil and economic upheaval, Ukraine now faces an acute child protection crisis.[2] In addition to mass deaths and injuries, the escalation of armed conflict and ongoing violence has resulted in the displacement of Read more about International Adoption During Crisis[…]

False Protection: Why Some Neglect Statutes Jeopardize the Best Interests of the Child

By Courtney Squires Pursuant to § 63.2-100 of the Virginia Code, “physical neglect” is defined as “the failure to provide food, clothing, shelter, necessary medical treatment, or supervision for a child to the extent that the child’s health or safety is endangered.”[1]  The child protective services (CPS) manual, authored by the Virginia Department of Social Read more about False Protection: Why Some Neglect Statutes Jeopardize the Best Interests of the Child[…]

The Potential Pitfalls of Progressive Prosecution

By Frank Morris The theory that correcting racial and other demographic disparities in the administration of criminal justice can be achieved by electing reformist prosecutors who promise to use their broad discretionary and nolle prosequi privileges to reduce incarceration—so-called “progressive prosecution”—has gained traction in recent years.[1] The election of progressive prosecutors such as Larry Krasner in Read more about The Potential Pitfalls of Progressive Prosecution[…]

Should Mandatory Minimum Penalties Be Mandatory?

By Zach Lisner The Problem When it comes to sentencing, who should have control? Currently, our nation is divided in every aspect; criminal sentencing is no exception. For most of our nation’s legal history, judges were entrusted by citizens to decide what an individual’s sentence was, based on the crime and specific circumstances. However, after Read more about Should Mandatory Minimum Penalties Be Mandatory?[…]