Race Poverty & Democracy
As part of a Catholic and Spiritan University Founded in 1878, our Law School’s Mission since our very inception in 1911 has been (and steadfastly remains) built upon a pursuit of justice that advances the values of human dignity and mutual respect. As a law school, we are uniquely positioned to foster inclusive excellence and we are obligated to be powerful agents of change in our community.
To that end, Duquesne Law will be presenting a series of events and CLEs devoted to the subjects of race, poverty, and democracy. We will be working with our faculty, alumni, and community to present programming to highlight the deleterious effects of racism and discrimination, and to examine how democratic institutions have historically perpetuated, and can be used to combat, racial injustice. Our goal is to educate, lead positive change and serve as active participants against racial injustice.
Prohibition's Surprising Role in the Regulation of Modern Police
Presented by Professor Wesley M. Oliver, Director of the Criminal Justice Program and Professor of Law
1 hour of substantive CLE credit
Friday, February 26, 2021, 12-1PM
The legal limits on the use of force by police officers are very unclear and the subject of much controversy. Search and seizure law, by contrast, is governed by a vast body of law and – Breonna Taylor’s case notwithstanding – is not a matter of public concern. To put this contrast more starkly, the law very precisely tells an officer when it is appropriate to search the trunk of a car, but provides almost no guidance on when it is appropriate to shoot someone dead. Police academies largely rely on judicial decisions to train officers. The law’s lack of guidance on force therefore has significant consequences. How did the law come to thoroughly regulate searches but not shootings? This CLE will demonstrate that judicial responses to Prohibition in the 1920s provide a possible explanation and suggest that the remedy Prohibition gave us – namely the exclusionary rule – is a relic of that era, unsuitable for a world with concerns much more consequential than liquor searches, and unworthy of the deference we typically attribute to precedent. This presentation will be drawn from Professor Oliver’s book, The Prohibition Era and Policing: A Legacy of Misregulation (Vanderbilt Univ. Press 2018).
Police Dogs: Problems of Violence and Racism
Presented by Ann Schiavone, Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship and Associate Professor of Law
1 hour of substantive CLE credit
Friday, March 19, 2021, 12-1PM
This CLE will discuss the dilemma of using police dogs in the apprehension of criminal suspects, particularly focusing on the issues surrounding use of force and racial bias. Recent severe injuries and even deaths caused by police dogs have triggered media attention and government audits of K-9 programs. This CLE will discuss the legal basis for using police dogs for the apprehension function, while bringing in historical, scientific, and psychological evidence, along with current events to help reevaluate their use.
The Death of Eyewitness Testimony and the Rise of the Machine Conference - 4 hours substantive and 1 hour ethics credits, $200, special rates for government employees and DLAA
In an age where cyber-surveillance, facial recognition, and other forms of "technopolicing" have begun to replace more traditional forms of evidence, it is a good time to both revisit the past and examine the future. In this conference, several speakers will examine the role of machines and artificial intelligence as evidence for criminal cases.
Presenters will explain how machine-driven evidence may replace more traditional forms of evidence, such as handwriting comparison, eyewitness identification, and even police testimony. But with this new evidence comes both novel concerns about accuracy, meaningful confrontation of witnesses, and the potential for coding biases into the machine. Other presenters will examine evidence that continue to pose "black box" problems in which it is difficult to determine accuracy and uncover bias problem, such as those posed in abusive head trauma cases, eyewitnesses' testimony, and neuroimaging evidence.