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April 13, 2023

Convergence of civil rights and justice system in spotlight at ABA Criminal Justice meeting

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2023 — The intersection of civil rights and the criminal justice system will be the focus of the American Bar Association 2023 Criminal Justice Spring Meeting to be held Friday, April 21, at the Peabody Memphis Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.

Presentations will examine how decisions made in the criminal justice system have wide-

ranging implications for the civil rights of the public at large. Insights will be provided on how legal professionals and others can champion civil rights when advocating for change in their own criminal justice systems.

Also, during the meeting, three criminal justice champions will be honored for their contributions to the legal profession at the Criminal Justice Section Awards Luncheon at 12:30 p.m. CDT. The keynote speaker will be Steve Mulroy, district attorney for Shelby County, Tennessee.

2023 Criminal Justice Section Spring Meeting
Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section

Friday, April 21

Peabody Memphis Hotel
149 Union Ave.
Memphis, Tennessee

Other program highlights include (all times are CDT):

“Traction from Tragedy — Police Accountability as a Whole of Society Approach” — The response following the death of Tyre Nichols was unlike that of many other cities after experiencing similar tragedies. Influenced by a variety of factors, including but not limited to the brutality evidenced in the traffic stop that ended Nichols’ life, the calls for policing review and reform rightly remain both within Memphis and across the country. This plenary session will explore the ways in which different sectors are working together to promote accountability within the Memphis Police Department, increase transparency in the local criminal legal system and prevent future lethal interactions between police and community members.

9:15-10:45 a.m.

“Voter Suppression/Voter Fraud Criminalizing the Voting Rights of People with Criminal Convictions” According to the Sentencing Project, 48 states ban people from voting if they have a criminal conviction. Further, people must go through a disenfranchisement maze to restore their voting rights — if their state laws do not ban them from voting permanently. Panelists will discuss how the disenfranchisement maze leads to confusion and opens people up for potential prosecution, especially members of the Black and Latinx communities. Panelists will also discuss statutory and litigation trends regarding disenfranchisement and voter fraud cases and propose measures that may address these critical issues.

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

“Addressing the Criminalization of Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Youth” The panel will discuss the current wave of state laws banning and/or criminalizing the provision of gender-affirming care for transgender youth, the constitutionality of such laws and the effect such laws will have on trans youth.

2-3:30 p.m.

“Current Trends and New Developments Where Criminal Issues Intersect with Civil Issues” — Panelists will examine the current trends U.S. Attorney offices are focusing on pertaining to civil enforcement and what in-house counsel should watch for. Discussion will include new developments in enforcement efforts against consumer fraud; new enforcement efforts and regulations impacting crypto and digital currency; and representing clients in parallel criminal investigations.

3:45-5:15 p.m.

The complete schedule can be viewed online.

This event is open to members of the press. For media registration, please contact Barbranda Walls at [email protected].

The American Bar Association 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.