Thomas Ward Frampton & Brandon Charles Osowski, The End of Batson? Rulemaking, Race, and Criminal Procedure Reform. Columbia L. Rev. forthcoming.
On January 1, 2022, the most radical change to the American jury in at least thirty-five years occurred in Arizona: peremptory strikes, long a feature of American trial adjudication, were abolished. Arizona’s move is part of an important trend (one that has largely escaped scholarly attention): after decades of inaction at the federal level, states have begun experimenting with new ways to counter racial exclusion in the selection of juries. Nearly one-sixth of the country now lives in a jurisdiction where Batson v. Kentucky does not provide the basic framework governing peremptory strikes, and more states are contemplating reforms. Perhaps as noteworthy as the scope of Arizona’s reform is how the state’s abolition of peremptory strikes came about: wielding its rulemaking authority, the Arizona Supreme Court simply got rid of them. Indeed, the court did not even issue an explanation for its new rule, despite the private reservations—disclosed here for the first time—of some justices. Most of the other states’ reforms have followed the same trajectory: rather than announce new constitutional rules through adjudication (or call upon their legislatures to enact new statutes), state supreme courts have exercised their broad quasi-legislative authority to promulgate new rules of criminal procedure.
Matthew Tokson & Michael Gentithes, The Reality of the Good Faith Exception. University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 546 (2023).
The Fourth Amendment’s primary remedy is the exclusion of unlawfully obtained evidence at trial. But not every defendant whose rights are violated gets a remedy. The most substantial obstacle for defendants is the good faith exception, which directs courts to admit unlawfully collected evidence if the police can show they relied in good faith on existing authority. If the police rely on a statute that turns out to be unconstitutional, or a warrant or precedent that turns out to be invalid, the evidence they obtain will nonetheless be admitted under the good faith exception. The Supreme Court has justified this doctrine on the grounds that excluding evidence is only worthwhile if it deters misconduct by police officers. When officers rely in good faith on existing authority, the Court has found there is no misconduct to deter, and exclusion is unjustified.
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