CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

N. California Innocence Project Hosts Top CA Appellate/Criminal Defense Attorney

Today, the Northern California Innocence Project is co-sponsoring a speech by Dennis Riordan, at Santa Clara University School of Law, to discuss developments in the Damien Echols case.  Riordan is Echols current counsel.

Here is some information about the Damien Echols case: In May 1993, three eight-year old boys, one sexually mutilated, were found murdered in a wooded area near West Memphis, Arkansas.  A year later, a jury convicted three local teenagers on the theory that they committed the murders as part of a Satanic ritual. The oldest defendant, Damien Echols – who was 18 years-old at the time of the crime – was sentenced to death.

Since that time, two prize-winning HBO documentaries (“Paradise Lost I” and “Paradise Lost 2:  Revelations”) and a book (“The Devil’s Knot”) have detailed the media frenzy surrounding the case and the lack of credible evidence against the three defendants.  The case has been called a modern-day Salem witch hunt, in which young, long-haired outcasts were wrongly condemned to quell a community’s fear and anger.

Dennis Riordan, Mr. Echols’ present counsel, will discuss new developments in the case, the constitutional issues, the procedural hurdles to obtaining a new trial in federal habeas corpus proceedings, and the DNA testing that may help establish Mr. Echols’ innocence.  The program will feature excerpts from the HBO documentaries.

Dennis Riordan, a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, is known as one of the top appellate lawyers in the state.  His work includes the defense of former Black Panther Johnny Spain, the SF dog-mauling case, and the Ed Rosenthal (medical marijuana) defense.

Mr. Riordan’s lecture at Santa Clara University School of Law is co-sponsored by The Northern California Innocence Project, The Heafey Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy, and The Center for Social Justice and Public Service.

The lecture will take place from 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 Bannan Hall, Room 241 (second floor).  Refreshments will be provided.  For more informarion contact Professor Margaret Russell at [Mark Godsey]

March 15, 2006 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

American University Law Hosts Homeland/International Security Conference

AmericanAmerican University Law School is proud to host Representatives from the Department of Energy, Department of State, Homeland Security and others to discuss Emerging Issues in National and International Security at EMININT 2006. The event will be held in Room 603 of American University’s Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday, March 20; and 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21.

Among the critical and timely topics to be discussed are oil security in a post-9/11 world; the War on Terror in the foreign media; cyber security; awarding governmental national security contracts; and immigration in an age of terror.

Contact: Kathy Thompson, WCL Public Relations, 202-274-4279; Cell Phone: 703-855-5556

For a detailed agenda click here. [Mark Godsey]

March 14, 2006 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"The Death Penalty on Trial: The Politics of Capital Punishment"

WsuWayne State University Law School is pleased to announce that Andrea D. Lyon, a nationally recognized expert on the death penalty, will deliver the 22nd annual I. Goodman Cohen Lecture in Trial Advocacy on Thursday, March 30, 2006.

Ms. Lyon’s lecture, "The Death Penalty On Trial: The Politics of Capital Punishment” will begin at 3 p.m. in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at the Wayne State University Law School, 471 W. Palmer St., Detroit, MI 48202.

Andrea Lyon is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Law; Director, Center for Justice in Capital Cases; and Supervisor, Death Penalty Legal Clinic at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.

Ms. Lyon joined the Cook County, Illinois Public Defender’s Office in 1976; by the end of her service she was chief of the Homicide Task Force, a 22-lawyer unit representing those accused of homicide. She has tried over 130 homicide cases and has defended more than 30 potential capital cases; she took 19 of those cases through the penalty phase. She won all 19 cases.

Prof. Lyon founded the Illinois Capital Resource Center in 1990. She was awarded the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Reginald Heber Smith Award for best advocate and she was given the Justice For All Award at the National Conference on Wrongful Conviction and the Death Penalty in 1998.

She received her J.D. from the Antioch School of Law and has taught at the University of Michigan Law School.

Professor Lyon’s lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Structure #1 across from the Law School on Palmer Street (corner of Cass) for $3.50.

March 14, 2006 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 9, 2006

DC Presentation: New Scholarship in Race and Ethnicity -- Reforming Criminal Justice for Indian Tribes

March 14 2006, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Event Details  One of the perhaps unanticipated side effects of the 1960s’ War on Poverty was an increase in the self-determination of Indian tribes. Treating the tribes as grassroots organizations, the Office of Economic Opportunity directed money to them so that they could begin exercising various governmental functions that had formerly been the purview of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. According to Prof. Kevin Washburn, the result was that “to a significant extent, modern tribal governments were born from the War on Poverty programs.”

Indian self-determination, however, is now at a crossroads. The tribes still lack control over felonies on Indian reservations. This is important, Washburn asserts, because “criminal law is the institution in which communities set out their most important values about how people should treat one another…one of the key institutions through which the community works to change the way it thinks about certain activities.”

Join us for this discussion of federal Indian policy and the ways in which it might be altered.

Conference Room, 5th floor
Woodrow Wilson Center,
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004 -3027

Directions are available at our web site at Please allow extra time for security; a picture ID is required. Admission to the discussion and the reception are free but seating is limited and reservations are required. Please RSVP to

About the speakers:

Kevin K. Washburn, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota and an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, has taught at the law schools of the University of Nebraska and the University of New Mexico. 

Dan M. Kahan is Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Deputy Dean at Yale Law School.

Alexander Tallchief Skibine, Professor of Law at the University of Utah, is a member of the Osage Indian Tribe of Oklahoma.

March 9, 2006 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wayne State to Host Symposium on Public Corruption

On Friday, March 24, 2006 at 8:15 a.m., the Wayne Law Review, with the support of the State Bar of Michigan and the Departments of Criminal Justice and Political Science at Wayne State University, will host its Annual Legal Symposium on the topic of Public Corruption.

The Symposium will be held at the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at the Wayne State University Law School, 471 W. Palmer St., Detroit. The all-day event begins at 8:15 am with a continental breakfast. Lunch is scheduled for noon and a 5:15 pm reception will follow the symposium, which is free and open to the public. The Review encourages all attendees to RSVP to ensure a spot.

Given the recent high-profile federal prosecutions of Connecticut Governor John Rowland, former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, former Detroit City Council member Alonzo Bates, Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff, and many others, public corruption cases are a priority for the U.S. Department of Justice. The prosecutions of these well-known figures have been criticized on many levels, including “federalizing” what would be the purview of county and state prosecutors; vagueness of the Hobbs Act, designed to combat corruption; and questions of ethics codes and internal legislative oversight replacing prosecutions.

Scheduled Speakers:

Noel Hillman, Chief of the Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC

Craig Morford, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio

Richard Hibey, Criminal Defense Attorney, Miller Chevalier, Washington, DC

Marilyn Glynn, Legal Counsel for the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Washington, DC

Professor George Brown, Boston College Law School, specialist in federal-state relations and government ethics

Professor Frank Anechiarico, Hamilton College, expert in government and law

Professor Daniel Lowenstein, University of California, Los Angeles, expert in election law

Michael Stanton, Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author and Journalist, Providence Journal, Providence, RI

Parking is available in Structure #1 across from the Law School on Palmer (corner of Cass) for $3.50.

RSVP: Davidde A. Stella, Executive Articles Editor, Wayne Law Review, (313) 577-8032 or at For more information contact Mr. Stella or visit the Law Review’s symposia’s website:

March 9, 2006 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ohio State Seeks Commentaries

From Joshua Dressler: The Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law still has room for a few Commentaries for our Fall 2006 issue. As you hopefully know by now, the Commentary section is for relatively short, relatively lightly footnoted, essays on ANY criminal procedure topic, in almost any genre (provocative; humorous; etc.). Maybe a Commentary on the current debate over President Bush's Executive Order permitting electronic surveillance----maybe we can get a "it is legal" and "no it is not" faceoff. Or, maybe a Commentary on some pedagogical matter (we don't teach the right issues in criminal law or criminal procedure?; casebooks have got it all wrong?). Or maybe a Commentary on Chief Justice Rehnquist's impact on criminal procedural law. Or maybe a humorous essay on . . . well, you name it. Essentially this is a chance to write on some subject that wouldn't fit the usual law journal because of the topic, or the informality of your approach, or its brevity. We also remain interested in Reviews---of books, of criminal justice in the arts, etc. Inquiries and submissions should go to <>.

Our website:

December 31, 2005 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Michigan-Illinois Comparative Law Workshop

Michigan-Illinois Workshop: Comparative Law Work in Progress

Announcement and Call for Papers

Jacqueline Ross (University of Illinois College of Law) and Mathias Reimann (University of Michigan Law School) are organizing a comparative law workshop to discuss work in progress.  This workshop will be established jointly by the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Michigan Law School and will be co-sponsored by the American Society of Comparative Law.

There is no regular opportunity for comparative law scholars in the United States to meet and discuss their work in any depth. The scholarly programs of the meetings of the American Society of Comparative Law are chosen and organized by the respective host schools and aim at the presentation of finished papers on a given topic. While there is some opportunity to present work in progress, there is little opportunity for sustained discussion. The meetings of the Comparative Law Section at the AALS Conference each January are also dedicated to a specific topic and usually exhaust themselves in the presentation of papers with little substantive discussion. There is a thus a need for a forum in which comparative law work in progress can be explored among colleagues in a serious and thorough manner that will be truly helpful to the respective authors.

The Workshop: Comparative Law in Progress will fill that need. It will involve up to six papers during a two-day period. If more than six papers are submitted for discussion, the organizers will jointly decide which ones to accept, giving preference to younger scholars.

The participants will consist of the respective authors, one commentator on each paper, faculty members of the host institution, particularly those with expertise in comparative law and research, and others interested in attending. The overall group will be kept small enough to sit around a large table and to allow serious discussion (20 people maximum). The papers will not be presented at the workshop. They will be distributed two weeks in advance and every participant must have read them before attending the meeting. The commentator will present a 10 to 15 minute introduction and critique, leaving at least one hour for discussion. There are no plans to publish the papers. Instead, it is up to the authors to seek publication if, and wherever, they wish.

The first Workshop will take place on April 21-23, 2006 at the University of Michigan Law School. It will be an experiment. If it works as intended, it will then take place on a regular basis, once or twice a year, depending on the amount of interest. For the time being, its venue will alternate between the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor and the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign.

The Workshop will be funded by the host school and by the American Society of Comparative Law. Authors of papers and commentators will be reimbursed for their travel expenses and accommodation up to $ 600.00.

Interested authors should submit papers either to Jacqueline Ross ( or Mathias Reimann ( by February 15, 2006. "Work in progress" means scholarship that has reached a stage at which it is substantial enough to merit serious discussion and critique but that has not yet appeared in print (although it may have been accepted for publication). It includes law review articles, book chapters or outlines, substantial book reviews, and other appropriate genres.

Our objective is not only to provide an opportunity for the discussion of scholarly work but also to create an opportunity for comparative lawyers to get together for two days devoted to nothing but talking shop, both in the sessions and outside. We hope that this will create synergy that fosters more dialogue, cooperation, and an increased sense of coherence in a discipline badly in need of it.

Jacqueline Ross                                             Mathias Reimann

December 20, 2005 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Friday, September 30, 2005

PI Paul Ciolino to Speak at Arizona


Internationally renowned Paul J. Ciolino, famous for participating in the release of innocents from prison, will speak at the University of Arizona, Rogers College of Law on: Friday, October 7, 2005, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Rogers College of Law, Room 140, 1201 E. Speedway (Speedway and Mountain), Tucson, AZ

This presentation is open to the U of A community and to the public.  Pay parking is available in the UA garage at Park and Speedway.

Called “One of America’s top five investigators” by CBS News Anchor Dan Rather, Paul Ciolino is most known for his work in complex criminal and civil investigations.  His participation in wrongful conviction investigations has helped free five men from death row in Illinois.  In February of 1999, he obtained a dramatic videotaped confession from a double murder suspect, which was shown on TV stations across the western hemisphere.

Ciolino is a past national director of the National Association of Legal Investigators, Inc. (NALI), and a past president and life member of the Special Agents Association in Chicago.  In 1999 he was named CII’s “Investigator of the Year.”  Currently Ciolino is the owner of Paul J. Ciolino & Associates, and Dearborn Process Services in Chicago. He is a popular lecturer at both investigation seminars and universities across the country, and appears regularly on CNN’s “Burden of Proof.”  He has also coauthored many leading investigative textbooks such as “Advanced Forensic Civil Investigations.” 

Ciolino will speak about the experiences that have gained him so much national, and international, recognition.

This presentation is sponsored by the Law, Criminal Justice and Security Program/Criminal Law Association. More information about the LCJSP/CLA Fall 2005 Speaker Series and schedule can be found at the College of Law website

September 30, 2005 in Colloquia | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Upcoming Workshops

George Mason:  Sept. 8: JJ Prescott, Harvard Law School and MIT Department of Economics
Title: Measuring the Consequences of Criminal Jury Trial Protections

Loyola LA:  Thursday, September 15, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in FH126
Richard Leo, Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society; and
Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California at
Irvine:      "Police Interrogation and the American Process of Justice"

NYU:  November 23:  Anders Walker, Assistant Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY,  "The Rise of Criminal Law: Science, Psychiatry, & the Model Penal Code”

Florida:  November 9—
Event: Faculty Presentation at 12 noon in FDR.
Topic: Reformulating the Miranda Warnings in Light of Contemporary Law & Understandings
Speaker: Professor Mark Godsey, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati College of Law

September 13, 2005 in Colloquia | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Speaker Series: Fordham Law School

CrimProf Deborah Denno at Fordham has put together an excellent list of speakers this term, including other crimprofs from around the country.  Details here. [Jack Chin]

February 1, 2005 in Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Gary Wells Speaking on Eyewitness Identification at Yale Tuesday

Yale Law School announces: "Gary Wells, professor of psychology and distinguished professor of liberal arts and sciences at Iowa State University, will give a talk titled "Eyewitness Identification and Wrongful Convictions," on Tuesday, November 9, 2004, at 6:10 p.m. in Room 127 [at 127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT]. The talk is sponsored by the Innocence Commission Project and is free and open to the public."  More details here:

Professor Wells' very useful homepage (full of eyewitness ID links and information) is here.

Jack Chin

November 7, 2004 in Colloquia, CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)