Call Number: Law Reference Stacks KF8961.A75 R43 2011
Publication Date: 2011-10-26
The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition, assists judges in managing cases involving complex scientific and technical evidence by describing the basic tenets of key scientific fields from which legal evidence is typically derived and by providing examples of cases in which that evidence has been used. First published in 1994 by the Federal Judicial Center, the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence has been relied upon in the legal and academic communities and is often cited by various courts and others. Judges faced with disputes over the admissibility of scientific and technical evidence refer to the manual to help them better understand and evaluate the relevance, reliability and usefulness of the evidence being proffered. The manual is not intended to tell judges what is good science and what is not. Instead, it serves to help judges identify issues on which experts are likely to differ and to guide the inquiry of the court in seeking an informed resolution of the conflict. The core of the manual consists of a series of chapters (reference guides) on various scientific topics, each authored by an expert in that field. The topics have been chosen by an oversight committee because of their complexity and frequency in litigation. Each chapter is intended to provide a general overview of the topic in lay terms, identifying issues that will be useful to judges and others in the legal profession. They are written for a non-technical audience and are not intended as exhaustive presentations of the topic. Rather, the chapters seek to provide judges with the basic information in an area of science, to allow them to have an informed conversation with the experts and attorneys.
United States Attorneys (USAs), the chief federal prosecutors in each judicial district, are key in determining how the federal government uses coercive force against its citizens. How much control do national political actors exert over the prosecutorial decisions of USAs? This book investigates this question using a unique dataset of federal criminal prosecutions between 1986 and 2015 that captures both decisions by USAs to file cases as well as the sentences that result. Utilizing intuitions from principal-agent theory, work on the career ambition of bureaucrats and politicians, and selected case-studies, the authors develop and advance a set of hypotheses about control by the President and Congress. Harnessing variation across time, federal judicial districts, and five legal issue areas - immigration, narcotics, terrorism, weapons, and white-collar crime - Miller and Curry find that USAs are subject to considerable executive influence in their decision making, supporting findings about the increase of presidential power over the last three decades. In addition, they show that the ability of the President to appoint USAs to higher-level positions within the executive branch or to federal judgeships is an important mechanism of that control. This investigation sheds light on how the need to be responsive to popularly-elected principals channels the enormous prosecutorial discretion of USAs.