Criminal Justice Section  


Criminal Justice Magazine
Spring 2005
Volume 20 Number 1

Section News

By Patrice McFarlane

Patrice McFarlane is staff counsel to the Criminal Justice Section.

Midyear Meeting 2005
The ABA met February 9-15, 2005, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among the matters before it were Criminal Justice Section recommendations on federal sentencing, ineffective defense counsel, informants, and compensation for innocents (persons incarcerated for crimes they did not commit). The House of Delegates approved all four.
The Criminal Justice Section’s Executive and Nominating Committees also met at the Midyear Meeting on February 12, 2005. Contact Acting Section Director Susan Hillenbrand for more information at (202) 662-1503.
The Section also held CLE programs at the Midyear Meeting. The “Impact of Blakely v. Washington on Sentencing Reform” program included panelists Professor Stephen Saltzburg, George Washington University School of Law; Jeffrey Fisher, Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle, Washington; Hon. Paul Cassell, United States District Court for the District of Utah; and John D. Knodell III, prosecuting attorney Grant County, Washington; Cindy Dyer, supervisor of the Family Violence Division, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, Dallas, Texas; Jeffrey Fisher, Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle, Washington; Erik Luna, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Hon. Dee Benson, United States District Court for the District of Utah, participated in another panel, “Crawford v. Washington—The Written Word.”

Spring 2005 in Minneapolis
The Criminal Justice Section 2005 Spring Meeting will be held May 13-15 at the Grand Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Committee meetings as well as symposiums are planned. Please check the Section Web site at for details.

Join Us in Chicago
The ABA 2005 Annual Meeting will be held August 4-9, 2005, in Chicago, Illinois. The Criminal Justice Section will meet Friday, August 5, through Sunday, August 7, at the Swissotel. A variety of committee meetings will be scheduled, as well as presidential CLE programs, including the “Annual Review of Supreme Court Decisions: Criminal Cases,” “To Be Paid or Not to Be Paid: That Is the Question,” “Where Have All the Guidelines Gone? (An Analysis of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Post-Blakely, Fanfan, and Booker),” and “The Challenge of False and Coerced Confessions of Juveniles.” The Presidential CLE Center will be located at ABA headquarters in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. In addition, you will have the opportunity to explore other accredited CLE programs and committee meetings. Information about the 2005 Annual Meeting, including meeting and hotel registration, can be accessed from the ABA Web site at and the Criminal Justice Section at, or call the ABA Service Center at (800) 285-2111.

Amicus Brief
On January 4, 2005, the Criminal Justice Section’s Executive Committee approved cosponsoring the application of the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project for an ABA amicus brief in Medellin v. Dretke. On February 22, 2005, the American Bar Association filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Halbert v. Michigan. The brief, prepared by Paul Wolfson of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, was similar to the brief in Kowalski v. Tesmer, filed by the ABA in June 2004. The Court granted review in the Halbert case immediately after ordering the Tesmer case dismissed for lack of standing. Both ABA briefs, arguing that indigent criminal defendants who seek to pursue a first appeal should have appointed counsel even if they pleaded guilty and must obtain leave to appeal, were written and filed at the request of the Criminal Justice Section. For more on all of these cases, see the Cert Alert column in this issue.

Juvenile Justice Committee
As of January 1, 2005, the Juvenile Defender Project of the Criminal Justice Section’s Juvenile Justice Center became an independent organization, the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC). The center’s staff will continue to share their expertise and provide guidance to the Section’s Juvenile Justice Committee throughout the remainder of the association year.

Hon. Catherine Anderson, chair of the Criminal Justice Section, has been appointed by the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court to the newly created Minnesota Judicial Council, which will govern the court system for the state.
Kevin Driscoll, former ABA senior legislative counsel, has been promoted to deputy director of the ABA Governmental Affairs Office. Among other legislative responsibilities, Driscoll has worked on criminal justice issues with the Section for many years.
Patricia Puritz, former director of the Section’s Juvenile Justice Center and now director of the independent National Juvenile Defender Center, has been named the “2004 Champion of Indigent Defense” by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). The annual award recognizes an individual for outstanding efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state, or national indigent defense system. In describing Puritz, NACDL board member Priscilla Forsyth, head of the award selection subcommittee, noted: “…juvenile justice issues are all-too-often overlooked by many in the criminal justice system. Through her work with the ABA, Patti has brought these issues to the forefront, ensuring that juvenile justice issues remain a focal point of reform efforts.” NACDL presented the award to Puritz at its spring meeting in New York City.

Continuing Legal Education
Please check the Section’s calendar at

Staff Changes
With the creation of the independent National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC), former staff personnel for the Section’s Juvenile Defender Project, Patricia Puritz, MaryAnn Scali, Elizabeth Gladden, and Erin Martell, have relocated to the NJDC’s new headquarters at 1350 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 304, Washington, DC 20036. Please visit for more information.



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