Articles

IQ, INTELLIGENCE TESTS, “ETHNIC ADJUSTMENTS” AND ATKINS

October, 2015

By Robert M. Sanger

In Atkins v. Virginia the U.S. Supreme Court declared that executing the intellectually disabled violated the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. In Atkins, the Court relied heavily on medical standards, which indicated that individuals with an IQ of approximately or below seventy and who met the other criteria for intellectual disability were ineligible for the death penalty. Twelve years later, in Hall v. Florida, the Court evaluated a Florida statute that created a bright line rule, making anyone whose IQ was above seventy eligible for execution, regardless of other factors suggesting the defendant was, despite his IQ score,... continue reading »

The Supreme Court and Criminal Law

September, 2010

Criminal Justice
By Robert M. Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

The Supreme Court and Criminal Law

Introduction

The United States Supreme Court has been quite active in the last few... continue reading »

The Dodd-Frank Reform Act and the Criminal Law

October, 2010

Criminal Justice
By Robert M. Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

The Dodd-Frank Reform Act and the Criminal Law

Introduction

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection... continue reading »

Criminal Liability for a Horse at Large

November, 2010

Criminal Justice

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for 37 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

Criminal Liability for a Horse at Large

Introduction

Okay, this is a different topic than usual for the Criminal... continue reading »

Forensic Laboratories and Scandal

May, 2010

Criminal Justice

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is now the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

Forensic Laboratories and Scandal

Introduction

The San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab is in the news as of this writing. ... continue reading »

Haitians and the Federal Prisons

March, 2010

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is now the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

 

Haitians and the Federal Prisons

 

Introduction

There is a secret, or more to the point a fact that few... continue reading »

Children Given No Hope

June, 2010

Criminal Justice

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is now the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

Children Given No Hope

Introduction

A child is, by definition, an immature human being.  A child’s frontal lobe is still... continue reading »

The Holder Memo

July, 2010

Criminal Justice

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

The Holder Memo

Introduction

The Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, has not been effecting sea... continue reading »

Honest Services Fraud

January, 2010

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.

 

Honest Services Fraud

 

Introduction

At the time of this writing, two of the three cases pending before the United States Supreme Court challenging the validity of so called “honest services fraud” have been orally argued.  A third will be argued later this term.

 

In this month’s Criminal Justice column, we will look at the... continue reading »

New Criminal Laws for 2010

February, 2010

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and has been the Co-Chair of the CACJ Legislative Committee for the last two years.

 

New Criminal Laws for 2010

 

Introduction

It is that time of year that we can have to catch up with the new laws passed during the last legislative session.  This last year has been... continue reading »

From Horses to Guns

December, 2010

 

Criminal Justice

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for 37 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger is Vice President of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

From Horses to Guns

Introduction

In the last Criminal Justice column we talked about horses.  This month, we... continue reading »

IAC, Public and Private Practice

August, 2010

 

Criminal Justice

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

IAC, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PRACTICE

Introduction

Most readers of this publication are aware of the acronym, IAC.  It... continue reading »

The Story of Four States Which Reduced Their Prison Populations

April, 2010

Criminal Justice

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 36 years.  He is a partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.  Mr. Sanger  is an Officer of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and is now the Co-Chair of the CACJ Death Penalty Committee as well as a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a Member of the ABA Criminal Justice Sentencing Committee.

The Story of Four States Which Reduced Their Prison Populations

Introduction

California continues to have a crisis regarding the... continue reading »

How Much is Too Much Discrimination in the Jury Pool?

September, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for 36 years.  He is partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.

 

How Much is Too Much Discrimination in the Jury Pool?

 

Introduction

On September 30, 2009, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit which raised the question of how the courts are to determine when there is a statistical disparity in the composition of the jury pool.  In other words... continue reading »

The Crimes of the New Century

May, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

The Crimes of the New Century

 

Introduction

There is no doubt that the economic recession will result in more prosecutions for white collar crime.  Civil and transactional counsel will advise clients not to cut corners due to economic stress – but clients do not always follow our advice.  In the wake of the recession in 1989-1992 and the bursting of the dot.com bubble in 2000, there were dramatic increases in white collar prosecutions.  Those increases reflected the detection and prosecution of actual criminal behavior. But the increases also... continue reading »

What Happened to the International Criminal Court and the Rule of Law? Part II

March, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

What Happened to the International Criminal Court and the Rule of Law? Part II

 

Introduction

Last month, in the Criminal Justice column, we talked about the Rule of Law in domestic and international law.  We discussed the legacy of the Nuremberg trials where Justice Jackson had set a precedent in dealing with perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  That precedent involved avoiding the worst aspects of victor’s justice.  The political, military, medical and industrial leaders who engaged in crimes against... continue reading »

Torturing the Law of Torture

June, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Torturing the Law of Torture

 

Introduction

The Torture memos of John Yoo and, now Judge, Jay Bybee have become infamous.   You will recall that they were written in 2002 for the Justice Department and have been roundly criticized as disingenuous interpretations of the Geneva Convention’s prohibition of torture (Convention Against Torture) and the criminal provisions of title 18 U.S.C. Sections 2340-2340A.  Beyond that, they have been seen as a part of the ultraconservative theory of the “unitary executive” which gives primacy to the... continue reading »

Representation of Criminal Defendants

July, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Representation of Criminal Defendants

 

Introduction

The Editor of the Santa Barbara Lawyer asked that this month’s Criminal Justice column discuss the representation of criminal defendants as well as some aspects of representing high profile clients, including the Michael Jackson.  I will respectfully decline to discuss any particular client – especially Mr. Jackson regarding whom I have refused numerous network and national press requests – but will address issues encountered in high profile cases.

 

The representation... continue reading »

New Criminal Laws for 2009

January, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 35 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and published a law review article on California’s death penalty laws  in the Santa Clara Law Review in 2003.  He is a... continue reading »

What Happened to the International Criminal Court and the Rule of Law?

February, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 35 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and published a law review article on California’s death penalty laws  in the Santa Clara Law Review in 2003.  He is a... continue reading »

Where is the Federal Government Going in Criminal Enforcement?

August, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for over 35 years.  He is partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.

 

Where is the Federal Government Going in Criminal Enforcement?

 

Introduction

The Obama Administration has not been reticent about announcing changes in policy.  In the area of criminal law enforcement, some changes have been direct, some more subtle and others are still emerging.  In this month’s Criminal Justice column, we will... continue reading »

Science and Wrongful Convictions

April, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Science and Wrongful Convictions

 

Introduction

Invalid forensic testimony has led to numerous convictions of the innocent and, concurrently, the failure to apprehend and prosecute actual perpetrators.  The criminal defense bar has fought against junk science as a matter of necessity: the client claims he or she is innocent and the scientific evidence does not fit.  Prosecutors offer it, on the other hand, because it fits the theory that the police developed or that they have come to embrace.  The government has the first crack at... continue reading »

How Much is Too Much Discrimination in the Jury Pool?

November, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for 36 years.  He is partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.

 

How Much is Too Much Discrimination in the Jury Pool?

 

Introduction

On September 30, 2009, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit which raised the question of how the courts are to determine when there is a statistical disparity in the composition of the jury pool.  In other words... continue reading »

FINRA and Whistleblowers

December, 2009

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

Robert Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara for 36 years.  He is partner in the firm of Sanger & Swysen.

 

FINRA AND WHISTLEBLOWERS

 

Introduction

As most of you know, in 2007,  the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD) amended its by-laws and changed its name to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  FINRA has also taken over the regulatory duties of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) wholly owned subsidiary, NYSE Regulation,... continue reading »

Advancing Fees for Corporate Officers, Directors and Employees

September, 2008

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 34 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and published a law review article on California’s death penalty laws  in the Santa Clara Law Review in 2003.  He is a... continue reading »

White Collar Prosecutions in the Wake of Financial Crisis

October, 2008

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 34 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and published a law review article on California’s death penalty laws  in the Santa Clara Law Review in 2003.  He is a... continue reading »

Alaska in the News Again

November, 2008

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for 35 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and published a law review article on California’s death penalty laws  in the Santa Clara Law Review in 2003.  He is a partner... continue reading »

Sentencing Discretion and the Federal Courts

May, 2008

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 34 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and recently published a law review article in the Santa Clara Law Review.  He is a partner at Sanger & Swysen which... continue reading »

Respondeat Superior in Criminal Cases

April, 2013

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 34 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and recently published a law review article in the Santa Clara Law Review.  He is a partner at Sanger & Swysen which... continue reading »

The Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice Speaks on the Death Penalty

July, 2008


CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 34 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and recently published a law review article in the Santa Clara Law Review.  He is a partner at Sanger & Swysen which... continue reading »

Is RICO A Different Offense or Just Additional Punishment for the Same Criminal Conduct?

December, 2008


CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for 35 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and published a law review article on California’s death penalty laws  in the Santa Clara Law Review in 2003.  He is a partner... continue reading »

The History Of Sealing

August, 2008

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 34 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and published a law review article on California’s death penalty laws  in the Santa Clara Law Review in 2003.  He is a... continue reading »

The Postal Inspector Only Rings Once

April, 2008

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

By Robert Sanger

 

Robert Sanger writes this regular column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer entitled Criminal Justice.  Mr. Sanger has been a criminal defense lawyer here in Santa Barbara for over 34 years.  He is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a Director of Death Penalty Focus and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the ABA.  He has published numerous articles in the Federal Lawyer, the ABA Journal, CACJ Forum and recently published a law review article in the Santa Clara Law Review.  He is a partner at Sanger & Swysen which... continue reading »

Science and the Law – A New Rule for Admissibility

April, 2012
By Robert M. Sanger


Introduction


After years of personally litigating the significance and admissibility of scientific evidence in both civil and criminal cases -- in such areas as bio-chemical patent infringement, micro-chip technology, class-action statistics and regression analysis, complex business economic loss, oil refinement processing and structural engineering, as well as, more traditional criminal case concerns like DNA, firearms, ballistics, pathology, odontology, pathology, neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, psychological testing, tire marks, gun shot residue, etc.[1] – I have concluded that the existing legal rules on admissibility are hopelessly vague and disorganized leading to a sea of... continue reading »

Mental Retardation and Being Put to Death by the State, Part 1

August, 2011
By Robert M. Sanger


Introduction


The current medical term is Intellectual Disability but, as in many things, the law lags behind the science and still uses the term mental retardation. Just as the courts and West’s Key Number System held back the development of labor law by classifying it under “Master and Servant” the courts and legislatures continue to use term retardation.  It is a term which has some adverse and misleading connotations but we are doomed to use it in the law for now.

Whether or not a person is deemed legally “mentally retarded” can have significant consequences under the law.  It can mean that the person receives educational opportunities and special government benefits.  Or,... continue reading »

Money Laundering and Financial Crimes in Santa Barbara

January, 2011
By Robert M. Sanger


Introduction


Readers of this Criminal Justice column who advise banks or other financial institutions are already familiar with SAR’s. These are Suspicious Activity Reports which are required to be filed by the institution with regard to any transactions that appear to involve money laundering or other financial crimes. These SAR’s are then reviewed by personnel within the United States Treasury Department along with Currency Transaction Reports (CTR’s) and other mandatory reports. The purpose is to uncover money laundering, identity theft and other financial crimes.

In this month’s column, we will learn that we, in Santa Barbara, are included in a HIFCA, a “High Intensity... continue reading »

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