Makau Mutua, Accused of Perjury and Misrule, Resigned as UB Law Dean

There are numerous news reports and blog posts online about both Dean Makau Mutua’s resignation as the University at Buffalo Law School Dean and the controversies surrounding his tenure. See, for example, “Buffalo Law School Dean Steps Down Amidst Allegations of Perjury” which largely restates what The Buffalo News already reported.

The news made it back (“Prof Makau Mutua Resigns As Buffalo Law School University Dean After He Was Accused of Lying in a U.S. Court”) to Kenya where Mutua has also caused controversy on the subject of the Kenyan President and the International Criminal Court. One African media outlet partial to the Kenyan President accuses Mutua of being an “ICC Mole” and of tampering with witnesses. (Who would have thought Buffalo could be so fascinating?)

As if the story wasn’t already sufficiently bizarre, another African media source declared that Mutua’s Buffalo demise was “God’s Wrath.” Mutua has denied the charges underlying these claims.

The faculty at UB Law had long been rife with complaints on Mutua’s leadership. According to Professor Rebecca French, Mutua has a “very authoritative style that is arbitrary and capricious.” French, along with several other female professors, particularly resented the way in which Mutua treated the faculty as a whole and each of them as individual professors. UB administrators apparently attempted to cover-up Mutua’s malfeasance as his actions nearly “caused a no confidence vote” that was stopped by then-UB President John B. Simpson.

Several professors were fired by Mutua in dubious circumstances. Professor Isabel Marcus recounted that she was fired by Mutua while she was undergoing chemotherapy. “He tried to force me to resign. I refused and he fired me.

As a result of another of these firings, Mutua was named as defendant in federal court in a lawsuit for wrongful termination. Mutua has been accused of committing perjury in a proceeding related to that suit. Fittingly, Mutua sat on Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission.

Mutua’s wife, Athena Mutua, remains on the Buffalo faculty along with Mutua. She writes articles such as “Multidimensionality Is to Masculinities What Intersectionality Is to Feminism” and ostensibly soaks up tuition, endowment, and tax funds to prepare students to serve as legal counselors and litigators.

Leaving the school in seeming chaos, with strained faculty relations, falling enrollment, and a sinking U.S. News ranking, Mutua stated he is “most proud of my work with my colleagues and with university leadership.”

Federal Judges Overriding Juries Via Sentencing: Only Three Supremes Troubled

In rejecting a petition to review a case that stemmed from a small drug deal, the U.S. Supreme Court left standing an 18-year prison sentence evidently grounded in the conspiracy charges that were specifically rejected by the jury. The three justices favoring review by the court were Scalia, Ginsburg, and Thomas. They argued in their dissent that it is unconstitutional under the Sixth Amendment for criminal defendants to serve “unreasonably” long sentences based on facts accepted solely by a judge, but not the jury.

Do the Sentencing Guidelines afford judges too much room to heap many years onto a sentence for a relatively lesser offense where the jury rejected the more serious charges?