PRIOR CONSISTENT STATEMENTS AND THE PREMOTIVE RULE
Frank W. Bullock, Jr. and Steven Gardner
The admissibility of prior consistent statements has long been a difficult and contentious issue.1 The issue impacts a wide variety of significant cases, including sex-abuse cases,2 criminal drug cases,3 civil rights cases,4 and many other actions, both criminal and civil.
JUDGING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SUPREME COURT’S DEATH PENALTY JURISPRUDENCE ACCORDING TO THE COURT’S OWN GOALS: MILD SUCCESS OR MAJOR DISASTER?
Opponents of the death penalty have long taken the United States Supreme Court to task for not ruling that the penalty is per se unconstitutional. But there also has been a longstanding breed of less absolutist critics. These critics are willing to assume arguendo that regulation rather than abolition is a proper stance for the Court. They then argue that the Court’s chosen means of regulation have proven ineffective to remedy the very evils that prompted the Court to undertake regulation of capital punishment in the first place. The most complete and high-profile presentation of this critique occurs in a provocative article in a recent issue of the Harvard Law Review. There, Professors Carol S. and Jordan M. Steiker seek to perform an “internal” critique of Supreme Court death penalty jurisprudence: an examination of whether the Court has achieved the goals that it has set for itself since it began to regulate state death penalty law more than two decades ago. After exhaustive and thoughtful analysis, the authors come to a damning conclusion: “[T]he Supreme Court’s chosen path of constitutional regulation of the death penalty has been a disaster, an enormous regulatory effort with almost no rationalizing effect.” If Steiker and Steiker are correct, they have succeeded in exposing the fact that the Court’s regulatory effort is the juridical equivalent of the Emperor’s new clothes—costly, yet embarrassingly ineffective for the goals Steiker and Steiker attribute to the Court: decreasing “overinclusion”—the imposition of death sentences on defendants who are not among the “worst” murderers; decreasing “underinclusion”—the imposition of death sentences on only some, rather than all, equally culpable murderers; and increasing “individualization” of sentencing by considering all aspects of the defendant’s character; all through “heightened procedural reliability.”
VIRTUAL TAXATION: STATE TAXATION OF INTERNET AND ON-LINE SALES
Sales are beginning to take place over the Internet and on-line in significant numbers. As commerce moves from the real world to the virtual world, states will lose needed revenue if sales over the Internet and on-line are nontaxable by states. This Article examines the possibility of imposing sales and use tax collection obligations on sellers of tangible goods online or over the Internet. Part II discusses the recent growth of commerce online and over the Internet, the resulting problem faced by states of lost revenue in the form of sales tax, and the confusion faced by parties conducting sales over the Internet as to their tax collection obligations. Part III describes the constitutional barriers to the taxation of out-of-state sellers. Part IV analyzes several suggested proposals for the constitutional taxation of out-of-state sellers. Finally, Part V concludes that unless there is a federal legislative solution in the area, states may not impose tax collection obligations on out-of-state sellers that sell over the Internet or online without any other presence in-state. Thus, companies and individual vendors are free to engage in tax-free sales on-line or over the Internet.
CRUCIAL STAGES, CRUCIAL CONFRONTATIONS, AND THE FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENDANT’S RIGHT TO COUNSEL
Anthony J. Mazzeo
The right to counsel granted by the U.S. Constitution is an evolving concept. Commentators have asserted that “[d]uring the past half century, Supreme Court decisions have transformed the Sixth Amendment’s ‘Assistance of Counsel’ clause from a simple guarantor of the aid of retained counsel at trial into a requirement that counsel be available to protect the defendant’s interests in an ever expanding variety of pre-trial contexts.” Part II of this Comment examines the right to counsel as it has evolved under the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution. Part III reviews and analyzes the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Traylor v. State and subsequent decisions in Florida courts, and compares them with the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court relating to the right to counsel. Parts IV and V discuss the effect of equivocal invocations of Miranda rights in light of recent Florida and U.S. Supreme Court cases. Part VI analyzes the impact of Florida’s right to counsel jurisprudence on various longstanding law enforcement methods. Finally, Part VII recommends a modification to the Florida Supreme Court’s approach that will avoid interference with these longstanding methods of law enforcement.
LETTING THE SUPERMAJORITY RULE: NONUNANIMOUS JURY VERDICTS IN CRIMINAL TRIALS
Michael H. Glasser
Many recent criminal jury verdicts have evoked the public’s frustration with the justice system in the United States. New York State Supreme Court Justice Harold J. Rothwax speaks for many others when he says that criminal trials “too often produce results that are inaccurate or unjust.” Many Americans have thus called for radical reforms.
THE IMMIGRATION MARRIAGE FRAUD AMENDMENTS: SHAM MARRIAGES OR SHAM LEGISLATION?
James A. Jones
The family, a central institution in our society, is threatened, disrupted, and undermined by domestic violence. Approximately ninety-five percent of this violence is inflicted by a man upon a woman. Every fifteen seconds, or six million times per year, a woman is battered. Domestic violence transcends age, race, religion, cultural heritage, and socio-economic status, and immigrant women, like many others, are extremely vulnerable.