- “The Origins of Back-end Sentencing in California: A Dispatch from the Archives,” Stanford Law & Policy Review vol. 22, no. 2 (2011).
A study of the legislative history behind California’s 1970s parole supervision laws, which have been a primary driver of the state’s prison overcrowding crisis. I discovered that many legislators and law enforcement officials explicitly promoted the parole system as a way to circumvent the constitutional requirements that apply to criminal trials. Based mainly on papers in the California State Archives in Sacramento.
- “The Case of the Black-Gloved Rapist: Defining the Public Defender in the California Courts, 1913-1948,” California Legal History vol. 5 (2010).
California was an early leader in the public defender movement. In this paper I compared competing visions of what a PD should be — a zealous advocate for individual clients (akin to a private defense attorney), or a state official whose goal is to help make the criminal justice system run smoothly and efficiently. The titular case was one of Melvin Belli‘s first.