Importance of State Law in Police Reform

Saint Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 60, No. 363, 2016

Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-11

29 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2016

See all articles by Roger L. Goldman

Roger L. Goldman

Saint Louis University - School of Law

Date Written: May 17, 2016

Abstract

Most articles on police reform concern the role of federal courts in enforcing constitutional rights under the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments through application of the exclusionary rule, criminal prosecution of law enforcement officers and pattern and practice suits brought against police departments. Additionally, much has been written about the need for civilian review of departmental discipline at the local level. In contrast, the focus of this article is on state law. On the one hand, state criminal prosecution of officers involved in shootings of unarmed, Black suspects has been shown to be ineffective because of the unwillingness of prosecutors to charge, grand juries to indict and petit juries to convict. On the other hand, the approach of some states to seek administrative remedies has proved somewhat effective, particularly revocation of state licenses of police officers for serious misconduct and, more recently, enactment of laws that provide for decertification of entire police departments.

Suggested Citation

Goldman, Roger L., Importance of State Law in Police Reform (May 17, 2016). Saint Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 60, No. 363, 2016; Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2817551

Roger L. Goldman (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

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