Wednesday, July 23, 2008
From: Jason Gilder
Forensic Bioinformatics is holding its expert forum on the science of
DNA profiling on August 15 through 17. This will be our seventh annual
meeting in Dayton and I think you will agree that the program is one of
our best ever.
We have always been fortunate in being able to get prominent experts to
share their insights and learn from each other at this meeting and this
year is not an exception. Notable speakers for this year’s forum
include: Simon Ford; Christine Funk; Keith Inman; Roger Koppl; Larry
Mueller; Gabe Oberfield; D. Michael Risinger; Tania Simoncelli; and Bill
Last year’s introductory parallel session run by Christine Funk on the
first day of the forum was so successful that we have decided to build
the whole first day of this year’s meeting (Friday, August 15) around
it. This set of presentations for less experienced attorneys with cameo
appearances from world-renowned experts is intended to bring relative
new-comers to the field up to speed on the technical aspects of DNA
profiling so they can appreciate the cutting edge discussions about DNA
databases and statistical issues associated with DNA test results on the
days that follow.
This year we are again offering the opportunity to generate your own DNA
profile (from DNA extraction to statistical interpretation) during the
day of Thursday, August 14. Keith Inman from Forensic Analytical will be
running this special workshop using Wright State University facilities
for the first ten conference attendees who express an interest in this
Early registration ($295) for this year’s expert forum runs through
August 1 and represents a $130 savings over the full registration cost.
Groups of four or more can obtain a 20% discount and a limited number of
scholarships are still available upon request.
As always, much more information about the speakers, their talks and the
meeting in general (including registration forms and hotel information)
are available at the Forensic Bioinformatics web site
(www.bioforensics.com). I guarantee that you will find that this is one
of the best meetings that you have ever attended!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Widener Law is teaming up with area civic groups to present an
evening forum that showcases legal academics and practitioners in a
conversation on capital punishment, led by the woman who co-founded the
Cornell Death Penalty Project 15 years ago.
“Race and the death penalty: Is justice color blind?” is free and open to the public. It will be held Tuesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on the Delaware campus of Widener Law at 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington. The program will be preceded by a reception in the Barristers’ Club at 6 p.m.
Professor Sheri Lynn Johnson of Cornell University Law School, an expert on the interface of race and issues in criminal procedure, will speak first. Johnson is assistant director of the Cornell Death Penalty Project, an initiative to foster empirical scholarship on the death penalty. She helps students work with lawyers on death penalty cases.
Johnson graduated from Yale Law School in 1979 and went to work in the criminal appeals bureau of the New York Legal Aid Society. She joined the Cornell faculty in 1981 and teaches constitutional and criminal law. She supervises the school’s post-conviction litigation and capital trial clinics. After Johnson speaks, the program will move to a panel discussion featuring:
- Widener Professor Robert L. Hayman Jr., who co-teaches a seminar on constitutional law with adjunct professor and U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.
- Widener Professor Judith L. Ritter, who directs the law school’s criminal defense clinic.
- Keisha N. Hudson, an assistant public defender in the Philadelphia capital habeas unit.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
William Neal "Billy" Moore, former Georgia death row inmate, will discuss capital punishment on Tuesday, April 8, from noon to 12:50 p.m., at the Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate Street, Room 142, in Eugene.
Moore spent 16 years on Georgia’s death row and is one of the few Americans to be released from prison after admitting to a capital crime. Members of the victim’s family, Mother Theresa and Jesse Jackson supported his release. [Mark Godsey]
The many dangers to the health and safety of those involved in prostitution are well documented but does our legal system provide adequate resources to help these vulnerable people? Join the University of Maryland's School of Law Students Supporting the Women's Law Center [SSWLC] as they present an engaging panel discussion, From the Streets to the Courts: Examining the Relationship between Prostitution and the Legal System.
The dialogue, moderated by Baltimore Sun reporter Jonathan Bor, will explore how Maryland's legal system serves individuals involved in prostitution and consider possible improvements to the current system. Expert panelists include Judge Charlotte Cooksey of the Prostitution Reform Court; Sidney Ford, Executive Director of You Are Never Alone [YANA]; and a YANA friend. [Mark Godsey]
Monday, March 10, 2008
The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law hosts “Drugs: Addiction, Therapy, and Crime,” a conference to explore drugs, drug use, and related public policy, on March 13-14, 2008. Admission is free and open to the public.
“Despite the ubiquity of drugs--including prescription and over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, and illegal recreational substances--our nation’s drug policy is based on an inconsistent and sometimes contradictory and incoherent set of rules and theories,” S.J. Quinney College of Law CrimProf Erik Luna. “The conference hopes to challenge this mentality by examining the various responses society takes to such drugs, from laissez faire capitalism and social norms to governmental regulation and criminal prohibition.”
Joseph A. Califano, Jr., chair and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, presents the Utah Criminal Justice Center Distinguished Lecture at 7:30 P.M. on March 13.
A special assistant and senior domestic policy aide to President Lyndon Johnson, and the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare from 1977-1979, Califano is the author of several books on health care and substance abuse. “Over the past several decades, Mr. Califano has been a national leader on drug policy and health care reform,” Luna says.
Other presentations and panels include experts in criminal justice, law, medicine, philosophy, pharmacology, psychology, public policy, and toxicology. Participants represent the University of Utah and other educational institutions from across the nation.
“We hope the audience will obtain a better understanding of the full spectrum of drugs and drug-related issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, which may provoke new questions about society’s current stance on drug theory, policy, and practice,” says Luna.
Luna co-organized the conference with Allison Behjani, symposium editor of the Utah Law Review. Sponsors include the Utah Criminal Justice Center, Utah Law Review, S.J. Quinney College of Law, College of Social Work, College of Social and Behavioral Science, Utah Criminal Justice Society, Office of Undergraduate Studies, and Utah Addiction Center. [Mark Godsey]
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights will host its annual symposium, “The Roberts Court and the Future of the Fourth Amendment,” on Monday, March 3, 2008. The symposium will address developments in Fourth amendment jurisprudence since the appointment of Chief Justice Roberts, the ramifications of those developments, and what clues those developments may provide as to which direction the Court may take in future.
Beginning with the 2005 term, with the inaugurations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito still fresh, the Court’s newly formed conservative bloc set in motion what promises to be a continuous struggle within the Court for some of the core tenants of the Fourth Amendment. The symposium will explore two aspects of this struggle: the continuing validity and use of the exclusionary rule and the proper balance between personal privacy and autonomy and the State’s competing interest in enforcing the law.
This Symposium will provide an opportunity to better understand the Roberts Court’s Fourth Amendment decisions and the significant impact that they have on the law. It will also provide an opportunity for students interested in pursuing careers in criminal justice or constitutional law to meet lawyers and judges practicing in this area.
The symposium will commence with an address by keynote speaker, Thomas C. Goldstein, at 11:30 a.m. in the Sheffield Room at the University of Texas School of Law. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]
Monday, February 18, 2008
The Texas Tech School of Law will be hosting a Criminal Law Symposium entitled "Convicting the Innocent" on April 3-4, 2008.
The panelists will include:
- Arnold Loewy (Texas Tech),
- Juan Melendez (wrongly convicted 18 year death row inmate),
- Michael Radelet (Colorado),
- Richard Roper (U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Texas),
- Moderator: Jancy Hoeffel (Tulane).
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The Campbell Law Innocence Project will host guest speakers Dwayne Dail and Chris Mumma on campus Jan. 21.
Dail served 18 years in prison for the 1987 rape of a 12-year-old girl in Goldsboro until DNA testing revealed his innocence. He was exonerated and released from prison on Aug. 28, 2007, making him the 207th person freed nationwide by DNA testing.
Mumma, executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, served as Dail’s attorney and will speak about the case as well. She has served as the executive director of the North Carolina Chief Justice’s Criminal Justice Study Commission and serves on the boards of UNC Law School and Durham Academy, among others. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Mumma is the recent recipient of the News & Observer’s 2007 Tar Heel of the Year award. [Mark Godsey]
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Southwestern University's Law Review is hosing a Wrongful Conviction Symposium on Feb. 8, 2008
Wrongful conviction of the innocent not only destroys the lives of those found guilty and their families, it allows the criminals who actually perpetrated the crimes to go unpunished and free to commit additional offenses. Southwestern will present Wrongful Convictions: Causes and Cures on Friday, February 8, 2008, a symposium dedicated to exploring the causes of wrongful conviction, the media's role in these cases and the ways to reduce their occurrence.
Recent developments in DNA testing have confirmed the long-standing fear that individuals can be convicted of crimes they did not commit. There have been more than 200 DNA exonerations in the United States that have typically involved serious violent felonies, some of which were capital crimes. A number of exonerations have also occurred in cases not involving scientific evidence.
"It is no longer surprising to see media accounts of individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated after serving lengthy sentences, sometimes on death row," said Southwestern Professor Myrna Raeder, a nationally recognized expert on evidence and procedure who is a co-organizer of the event. "This symposium will focus on many of the recognized causes of wrongful convictions, and the ways that jurisdictions can become more effective in ensuring the integrity of the criminal justice system."
The symposium will feature legal scholars, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, defense attorneys, journalists, and other experts who will discuss the causes of wrongful convictions, such as mistaken eyewitness testimony, faulty forensic evidence, unreliable informants and false confessions, among other issues. Approaches to reducing the occurrence of wrongful convictions and providing compensation, such as those suggested by recently adopted American Bar Association (ABA) policies, will be also be discussed, as well as the media's role in these matters. The program is being co-sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section, the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.
In addition to featured luncheon speaker Peter Neufeld, co-director of the Innocence Project, panelists will include: Dino Amoroso, formerly Kings County District Attorney's Office; Professor Rory Little, University of California, Hastings College of the Law; Professor Laurie Levenson, William M. Rains Fellow and Director of the Center for Ethical Advocacy, Loyola Law School; Barry Fisher, Director, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Crime Laboratory; Professor Paul Giannelli, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Professor Jennifer Mnookin, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law; Professor William Thompson, Chair, Department of Criminology, Law & Society, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine; Professor Margaret Berger, Brooklyn Law School; Hon. Arthur L. Burnett, Sr., Executive Director, National African-American Drug Policy Coalition; Professor Andrew Taslitz, Howard University School of Law; Gigi Gordon, Directing Attorney, Post Conviction Assistance Center; Professor Gerald Uelmen, Director, Edwin A. Heafey Jr. Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy, Santa Clara University School of Law and Reporter, California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice; Henry Weinstein, Legal Affairs Reporter for the Los Angeles Times; and Professor Kenneth Williams, Southwestern Law School. Southwestern professors Isabelle Gunning, Jonathan Miller and Karen Smith will serve as moderators.
Articles written in coordination with the Wrongful Convictions symposium will be published in the Southwestern University Law Review, a student-edited quarterly journal that publishes scholarly articles and commentary on the law contributed by prominent jurists, practitioners, law professors, and student members of the Law Review staff. In addition to publishing the writings of the participants, the Law Review has received permission to reprint the ABA Criminal Justice Section's report "Achieving Justice: Freeing the Innocent, Convicting the Guilty." For further information, contact the Law Review Office.
The symposium will take place from 8:45 a.m. (check in begins at 8 a.m.) to 5:30 p.m. in the historic Bullocks Wilshire Building on Southwestern's campus, 3050 Wilshire Boulevard, in Los Angeles.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Widener University School of Law will host the first national conference on "crimtorts." "Crimtorts" refers to the expanding middle ground between criminal and tort law. The conference will take place on February 25, 2008 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The lineup of speakers include:
- Martha Chamallas (Ohio State),
- Mark Geistfeld (NYU),
- Keith Hylton (Boston University),
- Mary Kate Kearney (Widener),
- Tom Koenig (Northeastern Sociology),
- Jeffrey O'Connell (Virginia), Mike RustadSheila Scheuerman (Charleston),
- Tony Sebok (Cardozo),
- Cathy Sharkey (NYU),
- Ken SimonsByron Stier (Southwestern).
I will post the brochure in the next few days. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Robinette, at (717) 541-3993 or firstname.lastname@example.org. [Mark Godsey]
Friday, November 16, 2007
The twist and turns of the law will come to life when attorney and best-selling author Scott Turow speaks at the College of Law, Friday, November 16 at 9:00 a.m. He will discuss capital punishment. All are invited to attend.
Turow, the award-winning author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Presumed Innocent (1987), brought to life the story of Rusty Sabich, Kindle County’s long-time chief deputy prosecutor. He followed that work with seven additional best-selling novels: The Burden of Proof (1990), Pleading Guilty (1993), The Laws of Our Fathers (1996), Personal Injuries (1999), Reversible Errors (2002) and Ordinary Heroes (2005) and Limitations (2006). He has also written two non-fiction books: One L (1977), an autobiographical story about his experience as a first-year Harvard Law student, and Ultimate Punishment (2003), a reflection on the death penalty. In addition, Turow is a frequent contributor of essays and op-ed pieces to numerous publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Playboy and The Atlantic.
Even though he is an accomplished writer, Turow still works as an attorney, concentrating on white collar criminal defense for firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. Prior to joining the firm, he worked as a supervisor in the United States Attorney’s Office, honing his skills by conducting federal criminal prosecutions, including grand jury matters, as both a prosecutor and as defense counsel. He was one of the prosecutors in the trial of Illinois Attorney General William J. Scott, who was convicted of tax fraud. Turow was also lead government counsel in a number of the trials connected to “Operation Greylord”, a federal investigation of corruption in the Illinois judiciary.
Today, he devotes significant time to pro bono cases, including capital cases. He is well-known for his successful representation Alejandro Hernandez in the appeal that preceded Hernandez’s release after nearly 12 years in prison—including five on death row—for a murder he did not commit.
Turow is currently Chair of the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission, and previously served as a member of the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment, whose recommendations led to substantial reforms of the Illinois death penalty. [Mark Godsey]
Monday, November 12, 2007
Since 1989, over 200 prisoners have been exonerated in the United States due to post-conviction DNA testing, their innocence proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. The original convictions in those cases occurred as a result of a number of errors, including mistaken identifications, false confessions, police and prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective assistance of counsel, perjury by jailhouse informants, and the use of dubious forensic science.
Presumably, the factors that led to the wrongful convictions in those cases overturned by DNA appear in matters that lack biological evidence (an estimated 80-90% of criminal cases overall), yet non-DNA cases are notoriously difficult to litigate. Over time, moreover, the rate of DNA exonerations is bound to diminish as pretrial DNA testing becomes commonplace and, thus, more innocent suspects are filtered out at the front end of the process. Accordingly, issues surrounding non-DNA claims of innocence will become increasingly significant.
These issues will be tackled at a two-day symposium to be held Nov. 15-16, 2007, at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. More Information. . . [Mark Godsey]
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Shabaka WaQlimi, who spent 13 years on Florida’s death row before his wrongful conviction was overturned just 15 hours before his execution, will detail his experience and discuss the dangers of capital punishment during a Nov. 13 visit to Vermont Law School.
The program, “Witness to Innocence,” will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Chase Community Center. It is sponsored by the VLS chapters of the National Lawyers Guild, the Black Law Students Association, the Latin American Law Students Association, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and Amnesty International (Burlington).
In 1974, Shabaka WaQlimi, known then as Joseph Green Brown, was convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to death. Thirteen years passed before his pro bono attorneys obtained a stay from the 11th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.
VLS Professor Michael Mello, who wrote about the case in his 2002 book, “Deathwork: Representing the Condemned” (University of Minnesota Press) noted that Brown had eaten his “last meal” and had been measured for the suit he would have worn for his funeral before the Circuit overturned his conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct. The court found the prosecutor had knowingly allowed and exploited perjured testimony from the state’s star witness. [Mark Godsey]
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
James Tillman served 18 years in a Connecticut prison for a rape he didn't commit. But through the efforts of the Innocence Project and DNA evidence, he was exonerated and released from prison last year. The state legislature recently awarded him $5 million as compensatory damages for his ordeal.
Tillman will be among those who will take part in an educational program, “Guilty Until Proven Innocent,” at Quinnipiac School of Law from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24.
The event will be highlighted by a brief speech from Tillman about how he overcame his adversity. A panel discussion will follow, centering on the Innocence Project's findings and outlining how race, the criminal justice system, public policy and the media intersect at times for some distressing outcomes.
Karen Goodrow, director of the Connecticut Innocence Project, and Jeff Meyer, a professor of law at Quinnipiac, will be a part of the panel moderated by Stan Simpson, a journalism professional in residence in the School of Communications who also works as a columnist at The Hartford Courant and a radio talk show host for WTIC NewsTalk 1080.
The Innocence Project, based at Yeshiva University in New York for the past 15 years, has now exonerated more than 200 inmates through DNA evidence. The data from those cases reveal this chilling trend: 60 percent of the men exonerated by the IP are black men wrongfully convicted, like Tillman, of raping white women. In 40 percent of its cases, not only has the IP freed someone wrongfully accused, but it was able to identify the real assailant. The concern now is that there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of other cases similar to Tillman's. [Mark Godsey]
Saturday, May 19, 2007
From latimes.com: High-profile Los Angeles trial attorneys told law students Thursday that lofty notions of jurisprudence, such as the presumption of innocence or burden of proof, are all well and good. But in defending clients, it's best to focus on how jurors actually think, they told a conference on celebrity justice at Loyola Law School.
For example, Richard Hutton, who specializes in cases of driving under the influence and was recently hired by Paris Hilton in her probation violation case, said it was easy to choose panelists for the clients he defends.
"You want to pick people in my little world…. that drink and drive," he said, to laughs from the students.
Hutton said he watches potential jurors on their breaks and notes the ones who smoke. "How many people do you know who smoke but don't drink, who are not going to" Alcoholics Anonymous?
The program — called the Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice — aims to give students a look at the "inner workings of the criminal justice system."
It was named for Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, a Loyola alumnus who is now hearing the Phil Spector murder trial and canceled the day's court proceedings to attend the event.
Fidler said he hoped to expand the program in coming years.
"My goal is to make Loyola the destination for anyone who wants to practice criminal law," he said.
The seminar brought together some of the top practitioners of criminal law, both prosecutors and defense lawyers, to discuss the craft of preparing and arguing a case. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Lewis & Clark Law School’s National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) will sponsor its sixth conference focused on the rights of crime victims in the criminal process. The conference, titled “Architecture of Justice: An Integration of Victims’ Rights,” is scheduled Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19.
The annual conference gives attorneys, advocates and policy makers a chance to hear the latest issues and success stories for the Crime Victims’ Rights Movement. Featured speakers include U.S. Department of Justice members John Gillis, director of the Office for Victims of Crime in the U.S. Department of Justice, and Mary Beth Buchanan, acting director of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. More. . . [Mark Godsey]
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
University of Miami Law School CrimProf Stephen I. Vladeck participated in a symposium at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, titled "Crimes, War Crimes, and the War on Terror." Professor Vladeck was in a panel titled "The Other Criminal Process: War Crimes, Military Commissions, and Habeas Corpus," where he will present a new paper, titled "Enemy Aliens, Enemy Property, and Access to the Courts."
In this paper, Professor Vladeck examines the underexplored jurisprudence concerning who the "enemy" is, comparing the jurisprudence under the Alien Enemy Act of 1798, the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917, and the so-called "enemy property" doctrine. The paper argues that courts have long played a central role in adjudicating claims by individuals that they are not, in fact, "enemies," and that the current debate over "enemy combatants" and access to the courts has completely neglected these earlier--and important--precedents. [Mark Godsey]
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
University of Texas Hosts "Re-examining Incarceration: A Discussion on Civil Rights and the Prison System"
The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights presented its annual symposium, “Re-examining Incarceration: A Discussion on Civil Rights and the Prison System,” on Tuesday, April 17, at The University of Texas School of Law.
The event featureed a critical discussion of civil rights issues surrounding incarcerated persons in Texas.
The special guest speaker was Kerry Max Cook, the author of Chasing Justice, who was exonerated after spending two decades on Texas’ death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Cook’s long struggle for freedom and exoneration is said to be the result of one of the worst cases of prosecutorial misconduct in American history. He will tell his story.
Two panels followed in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom, one discussing the state of juvenile justice in Texas and the second discussing how civil society can work to effect change within the Texas prison system. They included:
- “JUVENILE JUSTICE: HOW DO WE FIX THIS MESS?”
Scott Medlock, Texas Civil Rights Project, Will Harrell, ACLU of Texas, and Isela Gutierrez, Texas Coalition Advocating for Juvenile Justice
- “FIGHTING FROM THE OUTSIDE: CIVIL SOCIETY CHALLENGES TO THE CONDITIONS OF INCARCERATION”
Nicole Porter, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas; Michele Deitch, Professor, LBJ School of Public Policy, The University of Texas; J. Rogue, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power; Andria Shively, Inside Books Project [Mark Godsey]
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Valerie Caproni, Chief Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is one of 15 legal experts from around the country to join the Lewis & Clark Law School Spring 2007 Law Review Symposium. The symposium, titled “Crimes, War Crimes, and the War on Terror,” takes place on Friday, April 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Lewis & Clark Law School.
Panel discussion topics include:
- “Domestic Law and National Security,”
- “The other criminal Process: War Crimes, Military Commissions, and Habeas Corpus,”
- “Perspectives from International Law,”
- “Surveillance and Transparency.”
Lewis & Clark Law School faculty panelists include
- Prof Bill Funk
- CrimProf John Kroger
- CrimProf John Parry
- Prof Juliet Stumpf
- CrimProf Susan Mandiberg.
All events will be held at Lewis & Clark Law School in Classroom. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Symposium fee includes materials, continental breakfast, and lunch. Cost varies based on private practice, governmental and academic affiliations. [Mark Godsey]