Miami Law Experts in the News: Dylann Roof's Self Representation, Facebook Live Chicago Beating, Profs Sign Anti-Sessions Letter, and Airbnb and the Communications Decency Act


The Huffington Post I Why Dylann Roof Representing Himself Is A Constitutional Tragedy

Scott E. Sundby, professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law and author of “A Life and Death Decision: A Jury Weighs the Death Penalty” writes:

Dylann Roof has decided to represent himself in front of the jury that will decide whether he is to live or die and forego the assistance of the skilled capital defense attorneys that represented him during the guilt phase of his trial. His reasons for going it alone are unclear since the court hearings on the subject have been closed to the public. Roof may have delusions of being a martyr for the cause of white supremacy, or perhaps he does not want evidence of mental illness to be brought to light. Whatever his motivation, the judge has ruled that Roof has a right to represent himself because the Supreme Court has said that the Constitution generally provides an accused the right to be his own lawyer given that it his fate at stake.

CNN I Facebook Live Function Raise Ethical Questions

Mary Anne Franks interview discussing the ethics of the Facebook Live function that was used to stream a 30-minute clip of four Chicago African-Americans torturing and beating an 18-year-old disabled white man.

The Daily Business Review I Sessions Attorney General Nomination Opposed by 29 South Florida Law Professors

The list of faculty signatures includes 17 University of Miami law professors, six from Barry University, five from Nova Southeastern University and one from Florida International University. Law professors may still add their names, so the list was being updated regularly as of press time.

The UM School of Law professors are Anthony V. Alfieri, Sergio J. Campos, Donna Coker, Caroline Mala Corbin, Marcy Cox, Zanita E. Fenton, Patrick Gudridge, Frances R. Hill, Osamudia R. James, Catherine Millas Kaiman, Tamara Rice Lave, Peter D. Lederer, Bernard Perlmutter, Rebecca Sharpless, Irwin Stotzky, Frank Valdes and Teresa J. Verges.

True Viral News I The Most Important Law in Tech Has a Problem

Legal immunity, Franks says, is great if you’re a tech company that has been able to thrive under it, but not so great for those who have suffered at the hands of anonymous trolls. That raises the question of whether Section 230 really works for every internet user-or just a certain kind of internet user.

“If you belong to a certain type of demographic - and to be blunt about it, if you belong to a white, male, fairly privileged demographic - you probably have a pretty good experience online and think overall this is working out quite well,” Franks says. “But if you ask the opinions of people of color, or women, people whose lives have been turned upside down by the kinds of harassment that technology makes possible, I think it’s a different story.”

CONTACT: Catharine Skipp at 305-284-9810 or