Actus Reus

ac·tus re·us \ˈak-təs-ˈrē-əs, ˈäk-tu̇s-ˈrā-u̇s\

noun : the wrongful act that makes up the physical action of a crime

Latin: guilty act

For Clinicians

This section of Actus Reus gathers posts about and of interest to criminal defense clinicians.

Fordham Law Appellate Litigation Clinic wins Fourth Amendment case in Second Circuit

Students from the Fordham Appellate Litigation Clinic, supervised by Professor Ian Weinstein, recently prevailed on behalf of a client in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. After their client, Damian Cunningham, was convicted of participating in a robbery conspiracy and carrying a firearm during the course of the conspiracy, the Clinic argued that the police officers who stopped Mr. Cunningham lacked reasonable and articulable suspicion to search his car. The Second … [Read more...]

University of Tennessee Appellate Litigation Clinic wins habeas case in Sixth Circuit

Students from the University of Tennessee Appellate Litigation Clinic, led by Professor Lucy Jewel, recently argued and won a habeas corpus petition in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The case, which involved a question of whether the client’s post-conviction motion was properly filed to toll the statute of limitations under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, required a year of intense preparation by the clinic students, who filed multiple briefs and … [Read more...]

UCLA Criminal Defense Clinic wins commutation for long-time client

Congratulations to the UCLA Criminal Defense Clinic and its client, Darnell Crookshank, whose federal sentence of life without parole was commuted by President Obama earlier this week. The UCLA Criminal Defense Clinic, led by Professors Ingrid Eagly and Julie Cramer and assisted in this case by pro bono attorney Peter Johnson, has been representing Mr. Crookshank since 2014. All of the clinic's student attorneys collaborated in Mr. Crookshank's representation, preparing his commutation … [Read more...]

Delaware Law School Criminal Defense Clinic wins release for client formerly sentenced to life in prison

Congratulations to the Delaware Law School Criminal Defense Clinic, which recently won a major victory on behalf of a juvenile client who was sentenced to life in prison without parole when he was 16 years old. After the United States Supreme Court decided Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana, which collectively held that no child can be sentenced to mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Delaware Law School Criminal Defense Clinic handled the resentencing … [Read more...]

Dismantling the debtors’ prison, clinical style

The latest good work from St. Louis University School of Law clinical professor Brendan Roediger, whose Civil Litigation Clinic has jumped in with both feet to challenge racial disparities in the criminal justice system in Missouri, particularly in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson.  This NY Times article details one brilliant result of that work—a $4.7 million settlement reached with the city of Jennings, Missouri to compensate poor people jailed for unpaid fines. The use of … [Read more...]

Actus Reus goes live

A groundbreaking day for the University of Denver Criminal Defense Clinic - our new website, the brainchild of Professors Christopher Lasch and Robin Walker Sterling, and implemented by Clinical Fellow Rachel Moran, is finally ready to go live! … [Read more...]