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April 06, 2022

Six leaders in criminal justice to be honored at Criminal Justice Section Spring Meeting

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2022 — A criminal defense lawyer, juvenile justice champion, law professor, county prosecutor, civil rights attorney and civil liberties organization will be honored for their contributions to the legal profession during the American Bar Association 2022 Criminal Justice Section Spring Meeting on April 8 in Savannah, Georgia.

The 2021 awards, which were postponed last year because of COVID-19, will be presented to honorees during a luncheon ceremony at Mansion on Forsyth Park, Kessler Collection from 12:30-2:15 p.m. EDT.

The honorees are:

Charles E. English Award

Cynthia Eva Hujar Orr is the recipient of the Charles E. English Award, which is awarded to judges, prosecutors, the defense bar, academics and other attorneys who are members of the ABA Criminal Justice Section and have distinguished themselves by their work in the field of criminal justice. Orr, a former chair of the section, is a founder and former president of the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. She has also served as president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Orr is currently the president of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, where she studies and presents programs on criminal law reforms with judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers and law enforcement around the globe. Working with the Innocence Project of New York, she was instrumental in gaining the release of Michael Morton, which led to substantial discovery reforms in Texas, and won an exoneration for Hannah Overton for capital murder and a reversal of the death sentence of Pedro Sosa, one of the longest-serving inmates on Texas death row. She continues her innocence representation work across the state. Orr, an inductee into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, is managing partner of Goldstein & Orr in San Antonio.

Click here for a photo of Cynthia Eva Hujar Orr.

Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award

Robert W. Mason (posthumous) is the recipient of the Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award, given to an active member of the bar who devotes a significant portion of his or her legal practice to youth and children, and is making positive contributions to the field both in and outside the courtroom. Mason was an assistant public defender in Jacksonville, Florida, from 1990-2020. He was the director of the Juvenile Division and participated on the Juvenile Life Without Parole team since its inception in 2010. Mason also chaired the Florida Public Defender Association Juvenile Justice Steering Committee and was vice chair of the inaugural Florida Bar Juvenile Law Board Certification Committee. A past chair of the Florida Bar Committee for the Legal Needs of Children, he helped draft the Florida Guidelines of Practice for Lawyers Who Represent Children in Delinquency Proceedings. The MacArthur Foundation honored him as a 2010 Models for Change “Champion for Change” and the National Juvenile Defender Center awarded him the Robert E. Shepherd Jr. Award for Excellence in Juvenile Defense in 2019.

Click here for a photo of Robert W. Mason

Raeder-Taslitz Award

Cynthia E. Jones is the recipient of the 2021 Raeder-Taslitz Award, presented to a law professor whose excellence in scholarship, teaching or community service has made a significant contribution to promoting public understanding of criminal justice, justice and fairness in the criminal justice system or best practices on the part of lawyers and judges. Jones, a professor of law at the American University Washington College of Law, has written numerous scholarly articles on wrongful convictions, criminal discovery reform, eliminating cash bail and racial disparities in the criminal legal system. She has served as the director of the Washington College of Law Advocacy Program and as one of the inaugural directors of the Criminal Justice Practice and Policy Institute. For more than a decade Jones has worked with the Federal Judicial Center to give lectures on the Federal Rules of Evidence for U.S. District Court judges. She also lectures on evidence law at bench and bar conferences throughout the U.S. Jones has served as the president of the Sentencing Project Board of Directors and as chair of the board of the Civil Rights Corps and the board of trustees of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She has also been a member of the governing boards of the Pretrial Justice Institute and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project. In 2010, Jones became the inaugural director of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Racial Justice Improvement Project, which received the ABA Meritorious Service Award. The former public defender is currently a visiting professor at the University of Miami School of Law.

Click here for a photo of Cynthia E. Jones

Curtin-Maleng Minister of Justice Award

Daniel Satterberg is the recipient of the 2021 Curtin-Maleng Minister of Justice Award, bestowed on a prosecutor who embodies the principles enunciated in the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, Prosecution Function, particularly that “the Duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.” (Originally known as the Norm Maleng award, it was renamed the Curtin-Maleng Award in 2021.) Satterberg has served in the King County (Washington) Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (KCPAO) for more than three decades and was first elected to lead the office in November 2007. He served as chief of staff to Norm Maleng for 17 years and was responsible for the management and operation of the PAO. Satterberg is committed to improving public safety and the reform of the criminal justice system through partnership with the communities most impacted by crime. The KCPAO is a founding partner in the creation of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, a national model creating a compassionate response to drug-addicted people and giving police additional tools for responding to people with addiction and mental health issues. Satterberg is the co-chair of the Washington State Reentry Council and is a member of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Click here for a photo of Daniel Satterberg

Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award

Benjamin Crump is the recipient of the Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award, presented to an attorney or legal service provider (including organizations) who have either directly represented specific victims in criminal, juvenile or appellate courts or who have worked to promote or implement policies to improve the treatment of crime victims in the criminal justice system. Through a steadfast dedication to justice and service, Crump has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost lawyers and advocates for social justice, winning a number of record settlements and verdicts for victims and families that have faced injustice. The founder and principal owner of Ben Crump Law, he has worked on some of the most high-profile cases of the last decade, representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd as well as the family of Henrietta Lacks in a landmark reparations case. In 2021, St. Thomas University College of Law announced the establishment of the Benjamin L. Crump Center for Social Justice in his honor, which will open doors for minority students pursuing law degrees. His 2019 book, “Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People,” reflects on the historic cases in which he has been involved, and how discrimination in the courthouse devastates real families and communities. He is listed among the Most Influential People of 2021 by Time100, Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 Most Influential African Americans and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers.

Click here for a photo Benjamin Crump

Albert Krieger Champion of Liberty Award

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) is the recipient of the Albert Krieger Champion of Liberty Award, which recognizes defense attorneys who embody the principles enunciated in the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, Defense Function. The private, nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization is dedicated to the principle of individual liberty embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU-NJ appears before the State Supreme Court more often than any other nongovernmental organization. Since 2020 alone, the ACLU-NJ has argued more than 40 criminal cases or cases addressing the rights of incarcerated people, people on parole or people interacting with police before the state’s highest court. The organization also has helped lead the work to end extreme sentences for children. The ACLU-NJ was instrumental in the development and passage of the groundbreaking Public Health Emergency Credits law, a first-of-its-kind piece of legislation that led to the early release of more than 6,000 people from state prison since the start of the pandemic. Because of the collective work of the ACLU-NJ and its partners, these initiatives have contributed to a 42% reduction in New Jersey’s prison population.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.