Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

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Dr. Chris Totten Recently Publishes/ Co-Publishes Two Articles

Article #1:

Dr. Chris Totten, Assoc. Prof. of Criminal Justice (Law) and Director of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program, recently authored an Article in the Criminal Law Bulletin ("CLB"). The Article, entitled "Birchfield v. North Dakota: A Return to A Categorical Approach to the Fourth Amendment Search Incident to Arrest Exception,” evaluates and analyzes the recent United States Supreme Court decision of Birchfield, in particular its implications for Fourth Amendment doctrine and individual privacy. Overall, the Article suggests an alternative, more contextualized approach through which to evaluate the permissibility of breath test “searches” by police of drunk driving arrestees. In addition, the Article examines Birchfield within the context of recent Supreme Court decisions involving search incident doctrine and/ or similar fact patterns (i.e., BAC tests of drunk driving arrestees). The citation is: 53 Crim. L. Bull. 774 (2017). The article appears in Volume 53, Issue Number 4 of the CLB. In terms of ranking, Criminal Law Bulletin has tied for 2nd (with the ABA's journal Criminal Justice) among 17 peer-edited, English-language journals in the field of criminal law and criminal procedure.

Article #2:

Dr. Christopher Totten, Assoc. Prof. of Criminal Justice (Law) and Director of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program, and former KSU/ CJ Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Sutham Cobkit had an article co-published in the New York University (“NYU”) Journal of Law and Liberty. This peer reviewed journal ranks 118 out of 718 English language, specialized law journals in the United States (i.e., top 16%). The Article is entitled "Police Vehicle Searches Incident to Arrest: Evaluating Chief Knowledge of Arizona v. Gant." The citation is --- Totten, C.D. & Cobkit, S. (2017). Police vehicle searches incident to arrest: Evaluating chief knowledge of Arizona v. Gant. New York Journal of Law and Liberty, 11, 257-284. The article abstract is as follows ---

In 2009, in Arizona v. Gant, the United States Supreme Court significantly changed the Fourth Amendment norms governing police searches incident to arrest at vehicles. To date, there is no known empirical study of police knowledge regarding the standards for these searches. Moreover, previous studies on general law enforcement knowledge of Fourth Amendment rules largely focus on non-ranking or non-supervising officers. This survey study aims to fill these gaps by shedding light on police supervisor knowledge with respect to searches at vehicles. Overall, the study finds that police chief knowledge concerning search incident to arrest law at vehicles is rather uneven. Various policy implications and recommendations for law enforcement are included.


Posted: September 25, 2017