Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1435484
 


 



Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, Rodriguez v. City of Houston, and Remedial Rationing


Jennifer E. Laurin


University of Texas School of Law


Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Vol. 109, 2009
U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 155

Abstract:     
Criminal procedure rights are most commonly thought of as adduced and enforced in the context of criminal proceedings, in the course of which defendants litigate criminal procedure guarantees and thereby both obtain individual relief and, the story goes, generate systemic incentives for the conduct of law enforcement. This regulatory process also occurs, however, though civil litigation of criminal procedure rights, most commonly through the federal civil rights statute 42 U.S.C. s. 1983. This recursive dynamic is eschewed, however, by what this short essay identifies as a recent trend of "remedial rationing" in the Supreme Court's criminal procedure jurisprudence: the cabining of criminal procedure litigation in either the criminal or civil realms. The Supreme Court's recent Confrontation Clause decision in the criminal case Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, and a recent civil rights verdict in the case Rodriguez v. City of Houston - both cases that concern constitutional limitations on the conduct of law enforcement with respect to forensic science practices - provide an opportunity to reflect on the limits of both criminal and civil litigation as mechanisms for generating law enforcement incentives, and to consider the possible coordinate and synergistic advantages of the availability of both remedial regimes. Such a dynamic suggests that the Court's “remedial rationing” approach is misguided.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 9

Keywords: Melendez-Diaz, civil rights, criminal procedure

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Date posted: July 18, 2009 ; Last revised: April 7, 2010

Suggested Citation

Laurin, Jennifer E., Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, Rodriguez v. City of Houston, and Remedial Rationing. Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Vol. 109, 2009; U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 155. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1435484

Contact Information

Jennifer E. Laurin (Contact Author)
University of Texas School of Law ( email )
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
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