In the News

Andrea Roth in the news:

Initiatives will improve criminal justice system

Andrea Roth quoted by Daily Journal (registration required), Nov. 7, 2016

“In these cases, we know that errors — such as faulty eyewitness reports, inaccurate forensic evidence, false confessions and more — led to wrongful conviction because of DNA testing,” Roth said.

Amid weed wars, stoned-driving laws still half-baked

Andrea Roth quoted by San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 2016

“The well-acknowledged truth is that there is no known relationship between THC blood levels and increased relative crash risk,” Roth wrote in a California Law Review paper. If anything, she said, the studies suggest “that drivers with only THC in their blood are not causing a disproportionate number of fatal crashes.”

East Bay cops to get pot breath tests

Andrea Roth quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 2, 2015

“For many people out there, the concern about drugged driving is one of the main political hindrances to supporting legalization,” she said. “And I think anything that could be seen as a legitimate way of dealing with DUI-marijuana can only help the legalization movement.”

Ex-officer convicted in Matthew Ajibade case allowed to serve time on weekends

Andrea Roth quoted in The Guardian, Nov. 9, 2015

“It is the type of creative sentence that in one sense seems a great reform move because it allows people to serve time while keeping their jobs, thus promoting re-entry and life stability,” said Andrea Roth. … “One would hope, however, that all defendants, and not just sheriff’s deputies, would get the benefit of such creative sentencing practices.”

Increased use of police cameras raises new questions

Andrea Roth quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, July 25, 2015

“We never got to see up close the encounter between the officer and Sandra Bland in the car,” she said. She added that officers know where the camera’s lens is fixed and can often “essentially choose what to put on the camera and what not to put on the camera.”

Let’s consider leniency for many ‘violent’ offenders too

Andrea Roth writes for Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2015

“These crimes absolutely deserve serious punishment. But we should not ignore or excuse irrational overpunishment simply because an offender has done something violent.”

Berkeley balcony collapse: Could Segue’s civil disputes spark criminal charges?

Andrea Roth quoted in Contra Costa Times, July 4, 2015

“I think in general in this country, you don’t see the homicide law used against corporations in the past because we don’t want to chill commerce,” Roth said. “It’s looked at as something that is part of the risk of living and doing business…. That’s always the balance the law tries to find.”

Cellphone ban for driver who killed cyclist is ‘a reminder every day,’ judge says

Andrea Roth quoted in Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2015

“If there is a sense that this is a chronic problem, a habit, then taking away the phone is much more tightly linked to the problem,” Roth said. “There would have to be some showing that … she would do the same thing again.”

Durst heir faces murder charge after documentary broadcast

Andrea Roth interviewed by Associated Press, March 16, 2015

“Any statement that the defendant makes that they want to use against him, they can use against him,” said Andrea Roth. … “Even if it’s sketchy, and only in context appears to make him look guilty.”

Berkeley High School students protest police brutality

Andrea Roth quoted in The Daily Californian, October 23, 2014

According to Andrea Roth … anti-police brutality protests are very important. … “It changes the terms of the debate,” she said. “It shifts the debate over from ‘Should we do something?’ to ‘What should we do?’”

SF family of man killed by neighbor calls for murder charge

Franklin Zimring and Andrea Roth quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, May 8, 2014

“The question is whether there’s an imminent threat of bodily injury, and home invasion is very high on the list of things people get frightened of, particularly in the middle of the night,” said Franklin Zimring. “This case is well within the confines of circumstances where citizens will not be criminally prosecuted.”

Andrea Roth said that if a jury was asked to determine whether a shooter in Kachepa’s situation reasonably feared for his life, the panel would be “allowed to consider that this was an elderly man at 2 a.m. who faced an intruder who broke the doorknob.”

News Buzz: Advances in DNA testing

Andrea Roth interviewed by Iowa Public Radio, December 6, 2013

“It’s certainly given them an added powerful tool. Every day you hear media reports about cold cases being solved by DNA, but a lot depends on the case. I don’t think many people necessarily realize that a DNA match doesn’t mean that it’s definitely the DNA of the person whose DNA is found at a crime scene from 20 years ago.”

Inside a dysfunctional Contra Costa jury

Andrea Roth quoted in Contra Costa Times, September 28, 2013

Andrea Roth, a UC Berkeley law school professor specializing in criminal law and procedure, said a disgruntled, contentious jury is not necessarily bad. “We’re a pluralist society and disagree on all sorts of things, and that’s part of the beauty of it,” she said. “Deliberations are supposed to be heated and passionate; that’s why (judges) don’t venture too much into the box. … Jurors are not supposed to check their common sense at the door; they are supposed to bring their life experiences to the deliberations.”

Stand-your-ground the rule in state, courts affirm

Andrea Roth quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, April 15, 2012

Most states had similar rules until 30 or 40 years ago, when some passed laws barring a claim of self-defense outside the home if the person could have fled safely, said Andrea Roth, a UC Berkeley law professor…. “California’s law perpetuates the old frontier rule,” she said. “This is not some new brainchild of the NRA.”

Andrea Roth Says Judge’s DNA Opinion Merits Public Scrutiny

Daily Journal, February 28, 2012 by John Roemer (registration required)

“Judge Karlton’s analysis is significant in part because it unearths problematic details about the way the statute actually operates,” Roth said, “such as that the federal regulations have no provision for comparing the arrestee’s DNA profile to future arrestee profiles for identification purposes, that federal officials do in fact retain samples indefinitely, and that the law does not require federal officials ever to destroy the sample, even after dismissal or acquittal.”

David Sklansky, Andrea Roth Weigh in on Mirkarimi Case

San Francisco Chronicle, January 20, 2012 by Bob Egelko

Lopez went to her neighbor a day after the New Year’s Eve incident, but prosecutors might be able to show she was still traumatized when she made the taped statements, said David Sklansky, a UC Berkeley law professor.

Lopez’s recorded statements about her physical pain and alleged fears of her husband might be allowed in court, under that hearsay exception, but an account of how she was injured probably wouldn’t be, said Andrea Roth, another Berkeley law professor.