News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.


Conflict over Retracted Criminology Studies

B&W photo of jail cellScience News recently reported that Justin Pickett, an Assistant Professor at the University of Albany School of Criminal Justice, and his co-authors announced the retraction of their article “Ethnic Threat and Social Control: Examining Public Support for Judicial Use of Ethnicity in Punishment,” published in the May 2011 issue of Criminology.  Four other articles published 2015-2019 in the journals Criminology, Social Problems and Law & Society Review are also in the process of being retracted.  Eric Stewart, a Professor of Criminology at the Florida State University (FSU) College of Criminology & Criminal Justice, is a co-author of all five articles.  As reported in Retraction Watch, Pickett and his co-authors received a May 2019 email from a “John Smith” who noted data irregularities in their May 2011 article and four other articles.  When he had trouble getting the full data set, Pickett re-examined his limited data files and found issues with the number of survey respondents and changing sample sizes.  Stewart eventually sent Pickett a copy of the full data set, and Pickett found overwhelming evidence of data duplication and alteration.  In July 2019, Pickett posted his findings to the SocArXiv preprint server on the Open Science Framework.  Stewart has not commented publicly on the issue.  Gary Ostrander, FSU Vice President of Research, stated the university completed an inquiry and “the committee felt that there was no need to move to the full investigation as the professor had already been working with the journal’s editors to address any questions they had about the work.”  Pickett says he has no regrets, and wished “the world of science was more receptive and more kind to people who speak out about problems in published research, whether those problems result from honest error or misconduct.”

Blogs and Podcasts to Keep Your Edge Over Break

 While it’s tempting to spend the entire break binge-watching Netflix and Amazon Prime (try The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for a good laugh), it may be beneficial to keep up with a few legal blogs and podcasts to help your brain maintain that keen lawyer edge you have been developing all semester. Check out the ABA’s list of Best Legal Blogs of 2018 and their list of Best Law Podcasts of 2018. Both lists feature blogs and podcasts written and produced by attorneys.

If you haven’t become addicted to Serial yet, that podcast is also worth checking out, especially since Season 3 focuses on cases and people at Cleveland’s Justice Center. C|M|Law’s Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich will be teaching a class this Spring titled “Understanding and Reforming the Criminal Justice Process,” in which he plans to use episodes from season 3 of the Serial podcast to explore issues in the criminal justice system.

House Homeland Security Chairman to Speak at C|M|Law Tomorrow

cyberTexas Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, will deliver a keynote address at the Republican National Convention Cybersecurity Forum co-hosted by Cleveland State University and Baldwin Wallace University July 19.  The RNC Cybersecurity Forum is the only officially sanctioned cybersecurity event during the convention and one of several nonpartisan educational events throughout the week that will highlight important policy issues in the upcoming presidential election.

The Forum will bring together technology and policy experts, lawmakers and delegates to discuss innovative ways that the private sector, educational institutions and the government can collaborate to address economic and national security challenges facing the nation and develop effective and fair policies that balance security and privacy. Registration is at 12:15 p.m. and the event runs from 1 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 19 in the Cleveland-Marshall Moot Court Room. It is free and open to the public and preregistration is required.

Former Cleveland-Marshall Dean had Connections to Current Supreme Court Nominee

Back in 1997, Merrick Garland, President Obama’s current nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, was a high-ranking official in the Justice Department who was providing legal oversight and supervision for the prosecution of the Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh.

federalcourtsimmigrationAt that time, Geoffrey Mearns, C|M Law’s Dean from 2005-2010, was working as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Garland recommended Mearns to be added to the trial team that helped prosecute McVeigh’s accomplice, Terry Nichols.

Mearns, who is now President of Northern Kentucky University, gave several interviews to local Kentucky news stations about his connection to Garland including these two from WCPO in Kentucky, and Cincinnati.com.

The Oklahoma City Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, on April 19th, 1995 was the worst act of homegrown terrorism in U.S. History.

Law in a Flash: Flashcards Available for Checkout

lawinaflashLaw in a Flash Flashcards are available for checkout at the circulation desk in the Law Library. Flashcards are a great way to finish up your last minute studying by testing concepts learned throughout the semester.

Depending on demand for the flashcards more titles may be added in the future.