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"Social Sciences, The Law, The Environment, and First Peoples."



On January 28-29, 2016, at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, the Canadian Studies Program sponsored a conference, “Fossil Fuels and Radical Sovereignties: Boardrooms, Blockades, and Jurisdictional Struggles over Oil and Gas Development in ‘North America,’” that dealt with major current issues relating to the law and the environment with a particular emphasis on the rights of First Peoples, frequently described by the terms, Aboriginal or Indigenous. Due to work, I missed several of the presentations, but I was able to hear many of the papers and engage in conversations, observations, and raise questions with several of the presenters and attendees. While the conference presenters showed real concern for justice toward the environment and First Peoples and several of the papers offered excellent summaries of recent relevant social action and legal cases, they lacked references to the social sciences of the law relevant to these events and cases. Instead of using this extensive literature to interpret their material, the presenters frequently substituted an analytical concept more derivative of identity politics than the social sciences. Thus I critically review several issues of interest to social scientists, by focusing on perhaps the least ideological of the papers with a more in-depth reference to concepts of major researchers in the areas of social sciences, the law, the environment, and First Peoples.
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A discussion on false confession cases in the United States.
Über die als „Rechtssoziologie“ bekannt gewordenen Werkstücke von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft ist bereits vieles gesagt und geschrieben worden. Die mittlerweile vorliegende Edition der Texte im Rahmen der historisch-kritischen Gesamtausgabe sowie die in der Editionsarbeit gewonnenen Einsichten in den Entstehungsprozess, die innere Logik und den Ort dieses „Collagenwerkes“ geben jedoch Anlass, sowohl etablierte Deutungen zu hinterfragen als auch neue Interpretationen dieser vielschichtigen Texte zur Debatte zu stellen. So lassen sich in diesen Texten bereits Ansätze eines Pluralismus normativer Ordnungen finden, und auch die kulturelle Dimension als Differenz der Rechtsordnungen wird von Weber in einer Weise betont, die noch für Betrachtungen von Gegenwartsgesellschaften und ihrer Identitätsbilder bedeutsam scheint. Dieser Band versammelt Beiträge, die vor diesem Hintergrund und in der erneuten Auseinandersetzung mit Webers Schriften zum Recht entstanden sind.
A staged crime scene involves deliberate alteration of evidence by the offender to simulate events that did not occur for the purpose of misleading authorities. Staging has received little attention in the medical, legal and criminology literature, and discussions of staged car accidents are almost non-existent – bar a few case studies, no literature exists. The study examined 16 homicides staged as car accidents. The descriptive analysis examined common staging behaviours, and victim, offender and offence characteristics. Findings indicate staged car accidents present differently than true accidents. They often involve single vehicle, slow speed, downhill scenes, with middle-aged, female victims. Physical damage to vehicles is usually minimal, except for fire damage. Common offender behaviours include transporting the body to a vehicle, mutilation of the body, arson, and clean up. The results suggest these efforts are often unsophisticated and potentially identifiable to investigators and physicians.
For centuries, most people believed the criminal justice system worked - that only guilty defendants were convicted. DNA technology shattered that belief. DNA has now freed more than three hundred innocent prisoners in the United States. This book examines the lessons learned from twenty-five years of DNA exonerations and identifies lingering challenges. By studying the dataset of DNA exonerations, we know that precise factors lead to wrongful convictions. These include eyewitness misidentifications, false confessions, dishonest informants, poor defense lawyering, weak forensic evidence, and prosecutorial misconduct. In Part I, scholars discuss the efforts of the Innocence Movement over the past quarter century to expose the phenomenon of wrongful convictions and to implement lasting reforms. In Part II, another set of researchers looks ahead and evaluates what still needs to be done to realize the ideal of a more accurate system.
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