Criminal Justice Section  

    Criminal Justice Magazine

Criminal Justice Magazine
Summer 2000
Vol. 15, Issue 2

Section News

Thomas E. Lester

Martin Elected Section Chair

Ralph C. Martin, II, officially assumed his duties as Section chair on Sunday, July 9. Martin is the district attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts. He can be reached at (617) 619-4200.

New Council Members

The Criminal Justice Section elected new Council members and Officers at the Section's July 9 membership meeting in New York. They were nominated and elected without opposition. They are:


Ronald C. Smith, chair-elect; Albert Krieger, vice-chair for planning; Ronald Weich, vice-chair for governmental affairs; Michael Pasano, vice-chair for CLE; Carol Garfiel Freeman, vice-chair for publications; Michael Th. Johnson, Section delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.

Council Members

Three-year term: Arthur Burnett, Sr., Anthony Joseph, Barbara O'Connor, Stephen Saltzburg, and Michael Wims.

One-year term: Clarence Guthrie, III

Law Student Division liaison: Allison Balc (one-year term)

Annual Meeting in New York

The 2000 ABA Annual Meeting was held in New York, July 7-12. The Section offered many substantive committee meetings and CLE programs throughout the weekend, as well as a welcome reception on Friday. The Section Council convened Saturday and Sunday.

CLE programs included:

o Ethical Problems Facing Prosecutors

o Annual Survey of Supreme Court Decisions

o War Crimes

o Reconciling International Standards for Bribery: The International Olympic Committee Experience

o U.S. Sentencing Commission: New Commissioners, New Directions, New Challenges

o Successfully Defending a DWI Case

o Presidential Showcase: Lessons from the Innocence Project

o Presidential Showcase: Discretion and Racism in the Courts: Practical Strategies for Defense Attorneys, Prosecutors and Judges

o Youth on Trial: Developmental Perspectives on Juvenile Justice

Annual Meeting in London

The London portion of the ABA's 2000 Annual Meeting was a smashing success. The Criminal Justice Section was the primary sponsor of the plenary continuing legal education program session entitled: "The Future of the Jury System in the U.S. and England: Changing Paradigms," held on July 19. Section members were guests at a reception by the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association and the Criminal Bar Association at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, on July 18. Our colleagues from across the Atlantic proved to be warm and gracious hosts.

Barry Scheck at Section Luncheon

Barry Scheck, professor of law at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law and coauthor of the recently published book, Actual Innocence, addressed Section members at the Criminal Justice Section Luncheon in New York. Scheck's remarks, entitled "Crime, Politics, and Innocence ", provided a stimulating perspective of the current state of the American criminal justice system and some of the challenges faced by practitioners.

Biological Evidence Policy

Following action by the Section Council at its April 1 meeting, a policy recommendation outlining principles for the use of biological evidence (DNA) was submitted to the ABA House of Delegates at its July 10-11 meetings. The Council also directed the Section to study the need for ABA standards for the collection and use of biological evidence as well as the implications of conviction of innocent persons.

Law Student Writing Competition

The Section is sponsoring the Fifth William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition. This year's topic is, "School Violence and the Classroom: Balancing Constitutional Rights of Students and the Need for Safe Schools." Submissions are limited to 3,100 words and must be received by October 31, 2000. For more information, contact Thomas Lester, Section counsel, at the staff office (202) 662-1511, or look for complete rules on the "Section News" on the CJS website at

Northeast Regional Trial Competition Set

The Section has received approval from the ABA Board of Governors to cosponsor a "Northeast Regional Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition" with Quinnipiac University College of Law in Hamden, Connecticut. The first competition will be held in the fall between 10 teams from the northeastern region of the United States. Contact Professor Elizabeth Marsh at (203) 287-3268 for more information.

Juvenile Defender Center Names Regional Affiliates

The National Juvenile Defender Center of the ABA Juvenile Justice Center named eight regional affiliate centers in an effort to increase the capacity of the juvenile defense bar across the country. The regional centers will work together toward the goal of providing quality representation to every child involved in the justice system. The national center will support the development of each region independently and will build upon synergies among the eight affiliates in elevating the national debate on issues of quality representation and access to juvenile defenders in serving as a catalyst for change. Check the center's website at www.abanet. org/crimjust/juvjus/jdc.html for more information.

ABA, Section Intensify Death Penalty Advocacy

Bill Paul, ABA immediate-past president, followed up a March 3 letter to Attorney General Janet Reno on death penalty issues with a May 2 letter to President Bill Clinton. Paul's initial letter to the attorney general was spurred by news that a Department of Justice review of the federal death penalty was intended to focus primarily upon the issue of racial disparity. Although noting that the ABA does not have a position on the death penalty per se, Paul requested that " . . . consistent with the need to ensure due process and fairness, the Department's examination of the federal death penalty should not be limited to the question of racial disparity." The ABA president's follow-up letter to Clinton expressed dismay at having not received a response to his March 3 letter and subsequent media reports and comments by Reno's staff that the department intended no examination of the death penalty. Contact Kevin Driscoll in the ABA Governmental Affairs Office at (202) 662-1766 for copies of these letters.

Paul has also written letters opposing the execution of juvenile offender Gary Graham to the Texas governor and the chairperson of the Board of Pardon and Parole. Working with other sections of the ABA, the Juvenile Justice Center is taking steps to intensify its efforts to advance ABA policy in the area of the juvenile death penalty. This summer the center welcomed Katy White, graduate student at American University, who will devote her time and efforts to issues involving the execution of juvenile offenders. For more information see the center's website at http://www.abanet org/crimjust/juvjus/deathpenalty.html.

Section Web Page Redesign Complete

The Criminal Justice Section's website has undergone an extensive reconstruction to better serve the membership and the general criminal justice community. There are enhanced features on the site, including the "black letter" of the Criminal Justice Standards, online access to the Section's newsletter and a variety of other informational resources. Please visit the site at www.abanet. org/crimjust. For questions or other information regarding the Section's website, please contact Nicholas Alexander, staff counsel, at (202) 662-1516 or

ABA Teleconference CLE

The Criminal Justice Section, in conjunction with the ABA Journal, will present a one-hour CLE teleconference entitled "The Science of Evidence" at 1 p.m. (EDT) on August 16, 2000. The program is based on an article in the August issue of the Journal and examines the emerging areas of scientific evidence from an attorney's perspective. There is no cost to participate in the teleconference. To register, call (800) 285-2221 between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EDT). CLE credit has been applied for in states accepting teleconference format.

Section's Summer Interns

The Criminal Justice Section has three summer interns at the Washington, D.C., office. Meggan Ways, Indiana University, Katy White, American University, and Lucy Yen, Boston College, all committed to spend their summer in the Criminal Justice Section. The Section is very pleased to have them aboard.

CJS People

Amie Clifford, the Section's vice-chair for CLE, received the 1999-2000 Justice Tom C. Clark Judicial Fellow Award. The award was presented by Chief Justice Rehnquist at a luncheon earlier this summer. This prestigious and coveted award provides a fitting cap to her year as a U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellow in Washington, D.C.

"Gus" Sandstrom has announced his resignation from the Criminal Justice Section Council. He has been appointed by the Pueblo County (Colorado) commissioners as the Veterans Service Officer. He is also president-elect of the Colorado District Attorneys Association, and will be a member of the board of the National District Attorneys Association Council. His resignation was prompted by these additional obligations.

Thomas E. Lester is staff counsel with the Criminal Justice Section in Washington, D.C., and a contributing editor to Criminal Justice magazine.