Criminal Justice Section  


Criminal Justice Magazine
Summer 2001
Volume 16, Issue 2

Section News

Tom C. Smith

Spring Meeting in Albuquerque

In conjunction with the Criminal Justice Section Council meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a continuing legal education program was held on Friday afternoon, April 27. The two-part program dealt with state death penalty moratoriums and also with peer-reviewed expert witnesses in light of the United States Supreme Court decision in Daubert. It was organized and presented in conjunction with the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

The Section Council met on Saturday, April 28. It considered the initial draft revision of the pretrial release provisions in the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice. During this review, the Council suggested various changes to the draft. The revised version will be considered for final approval at the Council's August 4-5, 2001, meeting in Chicago. For more information, contact Susan Hillenbrand, staff director for the Standards project (202) 662-1503.

The Council also reviewed the latest version of the "Taking Testimony of Children Act" being drafted by a committee of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). Judge Catherine Anderson, a member of the Council and ABA advisor to the NCCUSL drafting committee, has requested that comments and suggestions on the Act be provided to her so that she might provide them to the drafting committee at its July 2001 meeting. Contact Fonzell Robinson in the Section staff office (202) 662-1520 to receive a copy of the Act. Judge Anderson may be reached by phone at (612) 348-2050.

The Council also considered the "ABA Guidelines for the Fair Treatment of Child Witnesses in Cases Where Child Abuse Is Alleged." They were developed by the Criminal Justice Section and adopted by the ABA House of Delegates in July 1985. A decision was made to review the guidelines and the commentary for the purpose of updating, if necessary. In addition, it was decided that the November 2001 continuing legal education program to be presented in conjunction with the Council meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, will focus on taking testimony of children.

New Council Members

Two new Council members were seated at the Council's April 28 meeting in Albuquerque. Bruce Swartz was designated by the U.S. Department of Justice as its representative. He succeeds Jonathan Schwartz. Deno Amoroso, a prosecutor from Brooklyn, New York, was elected to the seat vacated by Yong Jun An, an assistant U.S. attorney from Houston, Texas.

New Military Liaison

Colonel Robert Kuster, director of the United States Air Force judiciary, has been designated as the military liaison to the ABA Criminal Justice Section. He replaces Colonel James W. Russell, who retired from active duty in April.

Matters of Policy

At its April 18-21 meeting, the ABA Board of Governors approved an ABA policy resolution submitted by the Criminal Justice Section that urges Congress to fund an increase to the hourly rate paid to attorneys who are appointed under the Criminal Justice Act to represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases. The resolution supports an increase to $113 per hour (both in court and out of court). The Section is working with the ABA Governmental Affairs Office to effect this increase by Congress.
On March 2, 2001, the Criminal Justice Section submitted comments on proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The comments were submitted for consideration by the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. The comments were prepared by Prof. Elizabeth Marsh on behalf of the Section. Marsh is chair of the Section's Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence. The comments related to matters not covered by ABA policy and represented only the views of the Section. Separate comments, based on ABA policy, were submitted by Robert Evans, director of the ABA Governmental Affairs Office. It contained comments on Rule 6 (grand juries), urging that the Rule be amended to permit defense counsel to accompany witnesses in the grand jury room. It also commented on Rule 35, urging that the rule be amended to permit defense counsel to make motions for reduction or correction of a sentence.

Annual Meeting CLE

The Criminal Justice Section Committee on Continuing Legal Education has selected the following programs for presentation under the Section's sponsorship at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago (August 3-5, 2001).

o Annual Survey of Supreme Court Decisions
o Crimes Against the Elderly: Prosecution and Prevention
o Financial Crimes for the New Millennium
o Compliance Programs: A Pound of Prevention
o The Execution of Children: Another Kind of Innocence
o Persuading the Jury in the 21st Century.

For details, contact Sherrill Fortinberry, the Section staff director for planning and development at (202) 662-1512.

Reports of Interest

The Criminal Justice Section has released the publication "Youth in the Criminal Justice System-Guidelines for Policymakers and Practitioners." The 79-page report is a product of the Section's Task Force on Youth in the Criminal Justice System. It is the culmination of a project begun in 1997 and funded through The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. For details, contact Susan Hillenbrand, staff director of the Section's Criminal Justice Standards Project, at (202) 662-1503.

ABA President Martha Barnett joined with the National Bar Association in releasing a May 4 report entitled, "Justice by Gender." The Criminal Justice Section's Juvenile Justice Center was instrumental in preparing the report at the request of the ABA president. The supply of printed reports is exhausted. However, it is available through the Juvenile Justice Center's website at crimjust/juvjus.
The Criminal Justice Section's Juvenile Justice Center has issued a fact sheet on the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. The three-part fact sheet discusses topics on "Maintaining Core Requirements," "The Need for Advocacy," and "Supporting Continued Research." For a copy, contact Mary Ann Scali, deputy director of the center at (202) 662-1753.


Creighton University School of Law won the Eleventh Annual ABA-John Marshall Law School National Trial Advocacy Competition. The runner-up team was from Stetson University College of Law. The competition was held at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on March 29-31. Twenty law school teams participated. Prof. Ronald C. Smith, Section chair-elect, is the founder and director of the competition. Assistant directors include Lori G. Levin, Kelly Navarro, Rochelle Niedzwieki, Charles Aron, and Nicholas Zagotta.
Robert Schwartz, of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been selected as winner of the Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award. He will share the award with Tom and Dinae Geraghty of Northwestern University School of Law. The award will be presented at a reception to be held on August 5 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

ABA Legislative Priorities

The ABA Board of Governors adopted 12 legislative priorities for 2001 at its February 2001 meeting. Those of interest to the Criminal Justice Section include: (1) application of state ethical codes to federal government attorneys; (2) federal gun control; (3) indigent defense funding; (4) support for well-financed programs of legal services for the poor; and (5) law student loan forgiveness. For details and a complete list of the ABA legislative priorities, phone Kevin Driscoll, senior legislative counsel in the ABA Governmental Affairs Office at (202) 662-1766.

Staff News
Naimah Simkins has been hired to be the administrative assistant to the Criminal Justice Standards Project. She began work on March 28.

Kristi Kennedy has been hired as the Section's staff counsel. She is a 1996 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law. She had previously performed contractual work for the ABA's Center for Children and the Law.

James Feroli has been hired as the Section's criminal justice attorney. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and has worked for two years as an attorney on the staff of the ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division.

Amanda Peteruti was hired on March 7 to be the juvenile justice project assistant for the Section's Juvenile Justice Center. She graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She replaces Sadie Rosenthal, who was promoted to be the juvenile justice attorney for the center.


Jane Wexton, an active member of the Criminal Justice Section's White Collar Crime Committee, has been named by the ABA Board of Governors to be one of the association's two representatives on the board of regents for the National College of District Attorneys. The other association representative is Joe D. Whitley, of Atlanta, a member of the Criminal Justice Section Council.

Judge Irma Raker, former Council member and currently a member of the Section's Criminal Justice Standards Committee, has been included in The Daily Record as one of Maryland's top 100 women for 2001. The Record is Maryland's statewide legal and business newspaper. The "Top 100 Women" award recognizes women who have excelled in four areas (career, profession, community, and mentoring). She and other award recipients were recognized at a reception held at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore on March 20. In addition, she received the Circle of Excellence Award for 2001, for having been named as one of Maryland's top 100 women three times. This award is sponsored by the University of Maryland. On March 27, she was honored by the National Association of Social Workers as the recipient of its 2001 Public Citizen of the Year Award.

Tom C. Smith is director of the Criminal Justice Section.

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