Author:Birchenough, Katie L.
Position:FOREWORD - Miscarriages of Justice issue - Editorial

It is a great privilege to present this seventh edition of Miscarriages of Justice, an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Albany Law Review and the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Albany. This year, the Board of Editors has chosen to expand the scope of the issue beyond its usual preview of wrongful convictions, to examine outcomes generally among various systems of justice. Pleadings requirements, evidentiary standards, equitable and monetary relief, the methods and scope of an appeals process, and the availability of a jury of one's own peers all play a pivotal role in the pursuit of justice. Yet these principles vary among our many different adjudicative forums, and often for good reason. But, these forums frequently overlap or collide with one another and can often lead to confusing litigation, unexpected pitfalls, and conflicting outcomes.

Entitled: "Luck of the Draw," this edition examines the substantive and procedural aspects of different systems of justice, which often vary greatly when compared to one another and amount to vastly different outcomes depending on which adjudicative forum is chosen. Often, those impacted most by a judgment or decree--the criminal defendant, the ward of the state, the victim of domestic violence, the immigrant facing deportation, or the student facing expulsion at a university administrative hearing--are those that have little choice in determining where such relief is sought. This edition, like those before it, seeks to inform policymakers as well as the bench and the bar, and encourages those who do have the ability or luxury to select a particular venue for an action or proceeding to consider larger cross-system issues that affect the outcomes of individuals before it.

By comparing and contrasting the benefits and disadvantages of certain systems available to an individual, this edition showcases how one could have a significantly different outcome depending solely on the forum used. A quick skim of a local newspaper or national news program highlights some of these dilemmas. For instance, in the wake of an increasing rate of sexual assault allegations and complaints on college and university campuses, educational institutions and the local criminal justice system have continued to clash on their handling of such matters, as concerns about due process rights of the accused in administrative settings are weighed against policy objectives under Title IX and the now-infamous...

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