In the News

David Sklansky in the news:

Police ready to abide by court’s cellphone ruling

David Sklansky quoted in the Associated Press, June 26, 2014

“It certainly is true that if the police are just allowed to rummage through the cellphone of any arrestee without a warrant they can find all kinds of things that might be helpful,” said David Sklansky, a UC Berkeley law professor who’s written on Fourth Amendment issues. “The court recognizes that, but the court says that privacy is not costless. Sometimes honoring the Constitution means that law enforcement does not have advantages that it otherwise would have.”

In gentrifying neighborhoods, residents say private patrols keep them safe

Barry Krisberg and David Sklansky quoted in Al Jazeera America, May 30, 2014

Some criminal justice experts say the solution to crime isn’t more patrolling but greater opportunities for young people and people coming out of prison. “If you want to bring down robbery, you’ve got to reduce the unemployment rate in the city,” says Barry Krisberg.

“There’s a degree of ambiguity about how private patrols actually operate,” said David Sklansky.

Kelly Thomas: Ex-officers’ trial in death starts today

David Sklansky quoted in the Orange County Register, December 2, 2013

A video presents problems for the defense, but whether it leads to a conviction is uncertain, said David Sklansky, a professor and expert on criminal law at UC Berkeley. “Videos can often provide much more information about what happened at a confrontation than the memories of the people who survived and were at the confrontation,” Sklansky said. “There are cases where video is powerful evidence, on balance, for one side or the other.”

Bratton report a ‘serious indictment’ of Oakland police department

David Sklansky quoted in KQED News Fix blog, May 10, 2013

“This isn’t just a criticism of the way the OPD had implemented CompStat,” notes UC Berkeley law professor David Sklansky. “It’s also a serious indictment of how the department has staffed and supervised the work of investigating crimes—or, to a great extent, has failed to staff and to supervise that work.”

Private patrols no substitute for police in Oakland

David Sklansky quoted in San Jose Mercury News, April 8, 2013

“Why should Bel Air residents vote for higher taxes to pay for policing throughout Los Angeles, when they can—and do—hire private patrols for their own neighborhood?” wrote David A. Sklansky, a professor at UC Berkeley Law School in Private Police and Democracy. “Private policing easily can become part of the “secession of the successful.”

Oakland police commission faces obstacles

David Sklansky quoted in East Bay Express, July 4, 2012

Sklansky warned that adopting a particular governing structure for a police department would not cure deep-seated issues. “No structure of accountability is a cure-all — the devil is in the details.”… Sklansky also noted that studies show that civilian oversight doesn’t typically lead to stricter discipline for officers. “Civilians involved in the disciplinary system are actually more lenient on officers,” he said.

Bay Area sees dramatic drop in violent crime

David Sklansky quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, June 17, 2012

The statistics, though, reveal difficulties in some places. Violent crime went up 6 percent in 2011 in Oakland…. “The city is still struggling to devise a response to the crime problem that the city can unite around,” said David Sklansky, a law professor at UC Berkeley who has written extensively about policing.

Could cops use Google to prevent murder?

David Sklansky quoted in Slate, June 6, 2012

David Sklansky, a criminal law professor at UC Berkeley, says it could constitute the reasonable suspicion needed to pull someone over or stop him on the street. And police don’t need any reasonable suspicion at all to knock on someone’s door and ask what she’s up to, provided the person agrees to talk.

Five at UC awarded for distinguished teaching

Christopher Edley and David Sklansky quoted in Berkeley Patch, April 27, 2012

Berkeley Law Dean Chris Edley writes that Sklansky “communicates complex legal concepts to large classes of students and encourages their serious analysis of often politically and emotionally charged issues of criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence.”

Sklansky says his challenge is to keep classroom learning fresh for his students, “but that challenge is a big part of why I find teaching so joyful, so rejuvenating, and so deeply rewarding.”

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.

David Sklansky Says ‘Occupy’ Protests Pose Unique Challenges

National Public Radio, November 7, 2011 by Scott Neuman

“There are political questions to be answered here about how municipalities and their police forces weigh not only the interests in public safety but also their interests in maintaining public order and access to public spaces,” Sklansky says.

David Sklansky Observes Oakland’s Police Culture

The New York Times, October 1, 2011 by Shoshana Walter

“It used to be that police forces were overwhelmingly white and male, pretty uniformly and aggressively homophobic, and politically and culturally conservative,” he said. But as departments have diversified and surveillance technologies have proliferated, “police officers are expected to get along better with people now much more than they used to be,” he said.

Christopher Edley, David Sklansky Praise Goodwin Liu

Los Angeles Law Schools Examiner, September 27, 2011 by Seth Chavez

Edley praised Liu for his “patience, clarity, organization, humor, a balanced temperament, and good listening skills.” Edley said “there was no one on the faculty more widely respected or more genuinely admired for his fairness, collegiality, and good judgment.”

Sklansky said he was impressed with Liu’s “powerful intellect but also with his character:  his decency, his open-mindedness, and his evenhandedness.”

David Sklansky, Goodwin Liu Comment on Judicial Nomination

-San Francisco Chronicle, September 1, 2011 by Bob Egelko

He is someone who “listens to and understands the views of people he disagrees with,” said David Sklansky, a UC Berkeley law faculty colleague.

Questioned at Wednesday’s hearing, Liu drew a distinction between a scholar’s task “to be provocative, innovative and creative, and to work on the edges of the law,” and a judge’s duty to put personal opinions aside.

-Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2011 by Maura Dolan,0,2622495.story

In response to a question, Liu said that being an academic required him to be provocative, creative and often critical, whereas a judge’s “personal viewpoints have no role.”

-The Sacramento Bee, September 2, 2011 by David Siders

“I stood in this rotunda many times, perhaps even on days, governor, when you were hard at work just a few paces away,” Liu said. “But I never imagined that our paths would cross quite like this.”

John Yoo, David Sklansky Praise Judicial Nominee Goodwin Liu

San Jose Mercury News, August 7, 2011 by Howard Mintz

But Liu also had strong support, even from conservatives such as Kenneth Starr. John Yoo, a colleague and controversial former Bush administration lawyer, said Liu was “a good nomination for a Democratic president” and is convinced he’ll make a “fine justice” on the state Supreme Court.

Another colleague, law professor David Sklansky, was troubled by the attacks on Liu’s judgment and temperament, which is widely described as unflappable. “He’s exceptionally fair-minded,” Sklansky said.

David Sklansky Explains Prosecutorial Limits in Chauncey Bailey Trial

Bay Area News Group, May 17, 2011 by Thomas Peele

“The basic idea is that the Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant a right to confront the witnesses against him, and the Supreme Court has said that right can be compromised if the prosecution introduces a statement taken outside of court from the other defendant,” said David Sklansky.

David Sklansky Lauds Goodwin Liu’s Judicial Temperament

Daily Journal, April 21, 2011 by David Sklansky (registration required; go to H:\Law School in the News\In the News 2011\News Clips for article)

I’ve watched him mediate faculty conflicts as associate dean and assess personnel cases objectively and without ideological favoritism. I’ve never seen him to be anything but thoughtful, evenhanded, and painstakingly fair. That’s not just my impression. It’s the widely shared view of those who have been fortunate enough to have Liu as a colleague or as a teacher. We know he would be an exemplary — and fair-minded — judge.

David Sklansky Says Crime Rates Can Mislead Voters

Contra Costa Times, October 24, 2010 by Thadeus Greenson

“I think assessing a district attorney by the crime rate is risky because lots of things that influence crime rates are beyond the control of a district attorney,” Sklansky said. “In fact, we went through a decade or two of increasing crime rates in this state and experts couldn’t agree on what was driving those rates. Then, we had a remarkable turnaround and crime rates have been falling since then, and there’s an astonishing lack of consensus about what’s causing the crime rates to fall.”

David Sklansky Examines Constitutional Regulation of Police

Balkinization, September 24, 2010 by David Sklansky

The police share crime fighting and order maintenance duties with a proliferating array of public and private agencies, and the boundaries are blurring between policing and a range of other things—immigration enforcement, probation and parole supervision, mental health policy, family law, and school discipline, for starters…. We need ways to think about and to address the blurred boundaries between law enforcement … and the growing range of other agencies and governmental functions that pool their resources and their legal powers with the police.

David Sklansky Says Immigration Prosecutions Burden Courts

National Public Radio, Morning Edition, September 14, 2010 by Ted Robbins

David Sklansky, a former federal prosecutor who is now a law professor at UC Berkeley, says the federal courts have already been transformed by the rise in immigration prosecutions. “We’ve now reached a point where immigration prosecutions are not just the largest category of federal criminal prosecutions; they are a majority of federal criminal prosecutions,” Sklansky says. “And that doesn’t strike me as a good use of our prosecutorial machinery.”