Symposium 2017 | The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society: 50 Years Later

Fall 2017 Symposium Press Release

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The George Washington Law Review, along with our co-sponsor Dean Roger Fairfax of The George Washington University Law School, is thrilled to announce our Fall 2017 Symposium, The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society: 50 Years Later. Register now for this exciting event, Thursday, October 26­ and Friday, October 27, 2017 at The George Washington University Law School.

This Symposium marks the 50th Anniversary of the report by President Lyndon Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, “The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society.” Led by Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, the Commission compiled comprehensive data on crime in the United States, discussed the salient issues confronting the criminal justice system, and provided recommendations to address these problems.  

Now, fifty years later, our society continues to face many of the same obstacles to an effective and fair criminal justice system. At a time when there is bipartisan consensus that criminal justice reform is necessary, revisiting “The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society” will provide insights into how to address those questions. Inspired by the focus of the report, the Symposium will examine the essential issues of courts and procedure, technology, policing, corrections and sentencing, prosecution, the War on Drugs, and juvenile justice. The focus will be the future of the criminal justice system and what steps can be taken to achieve reform. This Symposium is particularly timely given the recent bipartisan legislation proposing a new National Criminal Justice Reform Commission modeled on the Johnson Commission.

We are thrilled to welcome three keynote speakers. From the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Bobby Scott, Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Congressman Jamie Raskin, Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, will address current legislative efforts to reform the criminal justice system and will offer their perspectives on the current state of the American criminal justice system and where we can go next. Chief Judge Patti Saris of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts will speak as well about the evolution of criminal policy since 1967 and the issues still facing us today. She will draw from her expertise developed during her tenure as Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission from 2010 to 2016.

The Symposium will convene leading criminal law scholars including Devon Carbado of UCLA School of Law, Todd Cox, Director of Policy, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., Edward Chung, Vice President for Criminal Justice Reform with the Center for American Progress, Angela Davis of American University Washington College of Law, Brandon Garrett of the University of Virginia School of Law, Adam Gershowitz of William & Mary Law School, Kristin Henning of Georgetown University Law Center, Nancy Leong of University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Erik Luna of ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Paul Marcus of William & Mary Law School, Tracey Meares of Yale Law School, Song Richardson of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School, Nkechi Taifa, Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice, Open Society Foundations, and Ron Wright of Wake Forest University School of Law.   

The Symposium will also bring together members of the 1967 Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, including Judge Patricia Wald, former Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard Law School, Sheldon Krantz of Georgetown University Law Center, and Susan Schapiro. These scholars will provide a historical perspective and shed light on their experience with the Commission as members of a panel moderated by Dean Alan Morrison of The George Washington University Law School.

We hope you will join us for what will be a landmark event in the development of national criminal justice reform. If you have questions about attendance or participation, please contact The George Washington Law Review at gwlr@law.gwu.edu.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, October 26

4:00-4:45 PM: Keynote Address: Chief Judge Patti B. Saris, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts & former Chair of U.S. Sentencing Commission (2010-2016) (Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

4:45-6:00 PM: Experiences and Perspectives on the 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

  • Moderator: Alan Morrison, Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law & Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School
  • Judge Patricia Wald, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit & former Commissioner of the President’s Commission on Crime in the District of Columbia and Advisor to the 1967 Commission
  • Elizabeth Bartholet, Professor of Law, Faculty Director, Child Advocacy Program, Harvard Law School & 1967 Commission Staff Member
  • Sheldon Krantz, Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center & 1967 Commission Staff Member
  • Susan Schapiro, 1967 Commission Staff Member

Friday, October 27

8:00-8:45 AM: Breakfast (Art Gallery Lobby, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

8:45-9:00 AM: Opening Remarks: Roger A. Fairfax, Jr., Jeffrey and Martha Kohn Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research Professor, George Washington University Law School & Director, GW Criminal Law Initiative (Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

9:00-9:30 AM: Keynote Address: Congressman Bobby Scott, U.S. House of Representatives, Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce & former Ranking Member of the Task Force on Over-Criminalization (113th Congress) (Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

9:30-10:30 AM: Police Violence and the Fourth Amendment (Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

  • Moderator: Roger A. Fairfax, Jr., Jeffrey and Martha Kohn Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research Professor, George Washington University Law School & Director, GW Criminal Law Initiative
  • Devon Carbado, The Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law & Associate Vice Chancellor, BruinX
  • Nancy Leong, Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • Song Richardson, Interim Dean and Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law

10:30-10:45 AM: Break (Art Gallery Lobby, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

 10:45-11:45 AM: Policing of Vulnerable Groups (Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

  • Moderator: Renée Hutchins, Jacob A. France Professor of Public Interest Law & Co-Director, Clinical Law Program, University of Maryland Carey School of Law
  • Kristin Henning, Agnes N. Williams Research Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Clinics, Centers and Institutes & Director, Juvenile Justice Clinic, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Erik Luna, Amelia D. Lewis Professor of Constitutional and Criminal Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Tracey Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law, Yale Law School & Founding Director, The Justice Collaboratory

11:45 AM-12:15 PM: Keynote Address: Congressman Jamie Raskin, U.S. House of Representatives, Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee & Co-Sponsor, National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2017 (Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs, 805 21st Street NW)

12:15-1:30 PM: Lunch (Faculty Conference Center, 2000 H Street NW)

1:30-2:45 PM: Looking Forward: Criminal Justice Policy and Reform (Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, 2000 H Street NW) (note change of location)

  • Moderator: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Edward Chung, Vice President for Criminal Justice Reform, Center for American Progress
  • Todd Cox, Director of Policy, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
  • Brandon Garrett, White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs & Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Paul Marcus, Haynes Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School
  • Nkechi Taifa, Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice, Open Society Foundations

2:45-3:00 PM: Break (Kelly Lounge, 2000 H Street NW)

3:00-4:15 PM: Prosecutorial Power (Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, 2000 H Street NW)

  • Moderator: Cynthia Lee, Charles Kennedy Poe Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School
  • Angela Davis, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
  • Adam Gershowitz, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development & Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School
  • Daniel Richman, Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Ronald Wright, Needham Yancey Gulley Professor of Criminal Law, Wake Forest University School of Law

4:15-6:30 PM: Closing Reception Co-Sponsored by The GW Criminal Law Initiative (Tasher Great Room, 2000 H Street NW) The GW Criminal Law Initiative is designed to illuminate career pathways in criminal law and policy for GW Law students and alumni, and to promote academic inquiry, professional engagement, and scholarly research on cutting-edge criminal law issues.