We would like to thank all our guests for a wonderful 2022 Symposium! We are currently in the process of planning our next Symposium for the fall of 2024. If you have a topic suggestion, or are interested in speaking at a future symposium, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Review at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, see below for the wonderful schedule of speakers from our 2022 Symposium on Reform-Minded Prosecution.
Opening Remarks: 10:00 am
Miriam Krinsky, introduced by Tori Sheber
Pushback to Reform Panel: 10:15 am
Featuring Maybell Romero, Cynthia Godsoe, Brooks Holland, Laurie Levenson, and Justin Murray
Break: 11:15 am
Change From Within Panel: 11:30 am
Featuring Miriam Krinsky, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, and Mark Dupree
Lunch Break: 12:30 pm
Correcting Past Injustices Panel (Hybrid): 1:30 pm
Webinar featuring Ellen Podgor, Catherine Hancock, Bruce Green, Rebecca Roiphe, and Steve Zeidman
Break: 2:30 pm
Evolving Prosecutorial Discretion Panel: 2:45 pm
Featuring Taleed El-Sabawi, Justin Murray, Abbe Smith, and Maybell Romero
Closing Remarks: 3:45pm
Maybell Romero and Justin Murray
Pushback to Reform Panel
This panel will discuss the various forms of friction and backlash that reformist prosecutors have encountered as they strive to transform how criminal justice operates in their jurisdictions, ranging from bureaucratic infighting between elected reformers and line prosecutors and legal disputes between prosecutors and judges to recall elections, efforts by state-level officials to suspend or impeach locally elected leaders, and more. The panel will also explore potential strategies that reformist prosecutors can employ to anticipate and respond to this pushback.
Maybell Romero researches and teaches at the intersection of criminal law, criminal adjudication, and professional ethics.
Much of her writing focuses on rural criminal legal systems and prosecutorial ethics, informed by her nearly 10 years of law practice as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and general practitioner in a small community in northern Utah. Her work has featured or is forthcoming in a variety of publications including the Georgetown Law Journal, the Washington University Law Review, the Journal of Criminal Law Criminology, the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, and the University of Chicago Law Review online, among others.
Prior to joining Tulane Law in the fall of 2021, she was a member of the faculty of Northern Illinois University College of Law.
Cynthia Godsoe teaches courses in family law, criminal law, children and the law, professional responsibility and public interest lawyering. She is the Director of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship and the Marsha Garrison Family Law and Policy Fellowship programs at Brooklyn Law School. Her scholarship centers on the regulation of intimate behavior and gender roles through family and criminal law, encompassing topics including the path to marriage equality, the designation of victims and offenders in intimate violence, and the criminalization of non-conforming girls. Her recent and forthcoming work appears in the UCLA Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Yale Law Journal Forum, and California Law Review Circuit, among others. The media, including The New York Times, New York 1, and Time Magazine, have consulted Professor Godsoe on criminal law and family law issues.
Professor Godsoe graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude with distinction, and Harvard Law School, cum laude. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Edward Korman in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and was a Skadden Public Interest Fellow. Before joining the Brooklyn Law School faculty, Professor Godsoe represented children and youth in impact litigation and individual cases in juvenile justice, education, and family law matters as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division and Advocates for Children, among others. She is a Reporter of the ABA Criminal Justice Section Standards on Victims, chair of the AALS Criminal Law section, and has trained both prosecutors and public defenders on juvenile justice issues. She is a member of Accountability New York, a group dedicated to addressing prosecutorial misconduct, and participates in pro bono work on a variety of family law and criminal law issues.
Brooks R. Holland joined the faculty of Gonzaga University School of Law in 2006 after eleven years of practice as a public defender in the Bronx and Manhattan. Professor Holland’s experience representing clients in New York, and his continuing experience practicing as a federal public defender, inspires his interest in working with future lawyers to prepare them for the rewards, rigors, and vital impact that a career in law can offer.
Professor Holland teaches professional responsibility, criminal law, criminal procedure, advanced criminal procedure, and international criminal law, and also contributes to the Civil and Human Rights Advocacy Clinic. Professor Holland additionally has taught comparative criminal law, trial advocacy, constitutional law, and perspectives on the law, and has deep interest in global legal education and human rights.
Professor Holland’s scholarly agenda tracks these teaching goals by focusing on the intersections of professional responsibility, criminal law, human rights, and social justice. For example, Professor Holland writes and speaks regularly on criminal law and procedure topics that implicate the professional roles of defense lawyers, prosecutors, and judges, and how these actors can challenge racism and other injustices in the legal system, both domestically and globally. Professor Holland also writes about access to justice issues in both the criminal and civil arenas.
Professor Holland proudly serves on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers, the preeminent professional association of law teachers committed to social justice and diversity. Professor Holland also serves on the Washington State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics, and previously has served as Chair of the Washington State Council on Public Defense, and served on the Washington State Bar Association committee that drafted the Rules of Professional Conduct for limited license legal technicians, the N.Y.C. Bar Association Criminal Law Committee, and the Board of Directors of the ACLU-WA. A favorite annual activity is his service on screening committees for the A.B.A. Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, the A.B.A.’s annual award program for media and arts that educate the public about law and legal systems.
In 2015, Professor Holland assumed the position of the J. Donald and Va Lena Scarpelli Curran Professor of Legal Ethics and Professionalism.
Professor Levenson is the David W. Burcham Chair in Ethical Advocacy at Loyola Law School where she teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, ethics, white collar crime, and trial advocacy. Professor Levenson founded Loyola’s Project for the Innocent and has participated in the exoneration of at least 14 individuals since its creation. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Federal Criminal Rules Handbook (Thomson Reuters), Criminal Procedure (Aspen Publishers), and Evidence (Aspen Publishers). Her articles include: Do Prosecutors Really Represent the People? A New Proposal for Civilian Oversight of Prosecutors, 58 Duquesne L. Rev. 279 (2020), Politicization of Prosecutors, 16 Ohio St. J. Crim. Law (2019), and The Problem with Cynical Prosecutor’s Syndrome, 20 Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 2 (March 2016). Professor Levenson served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1981-1989. She was Chief of Appeals, Chief of Training and an Assistant Division Chief. Professor Levenson attended Stanford University and UCLA School of Law, where she was the Chief Articles Editor for the Law Review. She clerked for the Honorable James Hunter, III, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Professor Levenson lectures regularly for the Federal Judicial Center and has served on numerous Commissions addressing criminal justice reform. She has also testified before the California State Legislature and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Change From Within Panel
The discussion will revolve around the speakers’ journeys that led them to the elected offices they hold, as well as their personal theories of change regarding criminal legal system reform. We’ll also touch on their key accomplishments, why these specific policy and programmatic changes are so important, and the challenges they’ve faced while in office. In addition to some Q&A time, we’ll likely conclude the panel with a brief discussion of the broader challenges and pushback the field of prosecutorial reform is currently facing.
Miriam Krinsky has a unique combination of skills and expertise that enable her to lead FJP and serve as a resource for newly elected prosecutors. She previously served for 15 years as a federal prosecutor, both in Los Angeles and on an organized crime and narcotics task force in the Mid-Atlantic region. During her tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, Ms. Krinsky served as Chief of the General Crimes Section (supervising the work of over 50 new prosecutors) and Chief of the Criminal Appellate Section (overseeing the Office’s docket of over 1,000 criminal appeals); chaired the national Solicitor General’s Advisory Group on Appellate Issues; served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Sentencing; and received the Attorney General’s highest national award for appellate work.
Ms. Krinsky has extensive experience in system change and reform of criminal justice institutions, policies and practice. In 2012, she served as the Executive Director of Los Angeles County’s Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, charged with investigating allegations of excessive force by Sheriff’s deputies in L.A. County jails and developing recommendations for reform. Thereafter, Ms. Krinsky directed the newly elected Sheriff’s Transition Team and spent a year working inside the Sheriff’s Department as the Special Advisor to the Sheriff, assisting in implementing reforms within one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation. She also previously served as a Co-Director of the Transition Team for the newly elected Los Angeles City Attorney.
Ms. Krinsky has been involved over the years in the legal community, including serving as President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (the first lawyer from the public sector to hold that position), five years (including two years as President) on the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, three years on the California Judicial Council, as a member of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care and the American Bar Association’s Youth at Risk Commission, and was appointed by the California Supreme Court to serve a three-year term on the California State Bar Board of Trustees. She currently serves on the American Law Institute’s Sentencing Project Advisory group and the ALI Principles of Policing Advisory Group.
Ms. Krinsky has worked on a variety of system change endeavors, including spending a year as an advisor to the California Supreme Court during its creation of the Statewide Child Welfare Council and as an advisor to the Los Angeles County Bar’s Task Force that investigated and recommended prosecutive, court and justice system reforms in the wake of the LAPD Rampart scandal. She also spent five years as the Executive Director of the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles – a 200-plus person legal services organization representing over 20,000 abused and neglected foster children. She has testified before national and state legislative, governmental and judicial bodies, authored over 50 articles, and lectured nationwide on criminal law, law enforcement oversight and reform, foster care, juvenile justice, and sentencing issues.
Mark A. Dupree, Sr., is the District Attorney of Wyandotte County, the 4th largest county in the State of Kansas. Since being sworn into office in 2017, Dupree has led an office over seventy employees and managed a significant budget each fiscal year. His focus is equitably charging and prosecuting crime while proactively attacking violent crimes and crimes that affect the standard of living in the community.
Community involvement is the bedrock of the Dupree Administration. It builds community trust, and that trust greatly assists in preventing crime and bringing justice. Mr. Dupree and his administration lead the way in speaking at schools, neighborhood watch meetings, church gatherings, and civic organizations.
Prior to serving as District Attorney, Mr. Dupree has practiced in a variety of legal capacities. He clerked in Jackson County, Missouri; served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Jackson County; served as an Assistant Public Defender in Johnson County Public Defender’s Office; and he and his wife practiced in their firm, Dupree and Dupree, LLC – Attorneys at Law.
He graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science; and received his Juris Doctorate from the Washburn University School of Law. Mr. Dupree is married to his law school sweetheart, attorney Shanelle Dupree. They have four beautiful and active children.
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti is the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. Parisa was first elected to a four-year term in November 2019. Her core philosophy is that safety and justice are not opposite but complementary values, and that a prosecutor’s primary responsibility is to treat crime as crime and people as people.
Prior to being elected Commonwealth’s Attorney, Parisa served as an innocence protection attorney representing innocent individuals in DC, Virginia, and Maryland incarcerated for crimes they did not commit, as a public defender litigating cases of constitutional magnitude, and as a law professor helping train the next generation of criminal law attorneys.
Parisa earned her B.A. in Philosophy and Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Correcting Past Injustices Panel
This panel will initially focus on how we can recalibrate progressive prosecution to enhance its success and account for the current pushback, including discussion of how fiduciary theory factors into this analysis. It will then move to a discussion on whether progressive prosecution is misguided and whether it would be better to allocate funds to chronically under-resourced defenders.
Professor Ellen S. Podgor, the Gary R. Trombley Family White-Collar Crime Research Professor, is a former deputy prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, who teaches in the areas of white-collar crime, criminal law and criminal procedure: adjudication. She served as Stetson’s inaugural Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Electronic Education. She is the co-author of numerous books including White Collar Crime in a Nutshell, Understanding International Criminal Law, Mastering Criminal Law, White Collar Crime Hornbook, and Mastering Criminal Procedure Vol. I and Vol. II. She has authored more than 70 law review articles and essays in the areas of computer crime, international criminal law, lawyer’s ethics, criminal discovery, prosecutorial discretion, corporate criminality, and other white collar crime topics.
Professor Podgor served for six years as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and presently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law (ISRCL), and the Innocence Project of Florida. She is a past President of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS). She is a past Chair of the Association of American Law School’s (AALS) Sections on Criminal Justice and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues. Professor Podgor is an honorary member of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL) and also is a life member of the American Law Institute.
In 2010, Professor Podgor received the Robert C. Heeney Award, the highest honor given by the NACDL. She is also the recipient of the Dickerson-Brown Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship, the Homer & Dolly Hand Award for Excellence in Research, the J. Ben Watkins Award for Excellence in the Legal Profession, the Southeast Association of Law Schools Distinguished Service Award and the ABA Criminal Justice Section Raeder-Taslitz Award. She received Stetson’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019.
Bruce Green is the Louis Stein Chair at Fordham Law School, where he directs the Stein Center for Law and Ethics. He previously served as a federal judicial law clerk, as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and in the office of the Iran-Contra independent counsel, and as a member of the NYC Conflicts of Interest Board.
At Fordham, Professor Green teaches in the areas of legal ethics and criminal procedure, including a seminar on ethics in criminal advocacy, and he has engaged in extensive professional service in these areas, including as chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, as chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Standards Committee, and as chair of the ethics committees of the NYC and NYS bar associations. Prof. Green’s voluminous scholarly and professional writings include many articles on prosecutors’ ethics, and he co-authors a professional responsibility casebook, Professional Responsibility: A Contemporary Approach.
Catherine Hancock is the Geoffrey C. Bible & Murray H. Bring Professor of Constitutional Law at Tulane Law School. Professor Hancock received her A.B. in History with Distinction from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. She joined the Tulane Law faculty after a clerkship with Judge James L. Oakes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Brattleboro, Vermont. Her pro bono activities include eight years of service as co-counsel pursuing federal remedies for a death row inmate whose case she argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1990. She teaches courses in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and the First Amendment, and she has co-authored a casebook in these fields. Her scholarship includes articles on defamation law, Fourth Amendment privacy rights, police interrogations and confessions, the death penalty, wrongful convictions, and the Chicago Eight trial. She was honored for her writing with the Sumter Marks Award and the C. J. Morrow Research Professorship. She received the Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teaching Award from the graduating classes of 1992, 1998, and 2005.
Rebecca Roiphe is the Joseph Solomon Professor of Law and Co-Dean for Faculty Scholarship at New York Law School where she teaches Professional Responsibility, Criminal Procedure, Ethics in Criminal Practice, and American Legal History. She runs the Institute for Professional Ethics and is a co-director of the Criminal Justice Institute at NYLS. Professor Roiphe writes on the history of the legal profession and prosecutorial ethics. She is a legal news contributor for CBS News and also appears as an expert on MSNBC and CNN. Before going into academia, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted white collar crime. She is currently a member of the New York State Bar’s Committee on the Standards of Attorney Conduct, the liaison from the American Association of Law Schools to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and she serves as a subject matter expert for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.
Professor Steven Zeidman of CUNY School of Law is Co-Director of the Defenders Clinic and also works with law students in the Second Look Project: Beyond Guilt to assist people in prison who seek to extricate themselves from life and long-term sentences. A graduate of Duke University School of Law, he is a former staff attorney and supervisor at the Legal Aid Society. He has taught at Fordham, Pace, and New York University School of Law and was awarded the NYU Alumni Association’s Great Teacher Award in 1997 and CUNY’s Outstanding Professor of the Year honor in 2011.
Professor Zeidman is a member of the New York State Appellate Division Indigent Defense Organization Oversight Committee and the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Council, and serves on the Board of Directors of Prisoners’ Legal Services and the Parole Preparation Project. Professor Zeidman has served on several statewide commissions, including the Commission on the Future of Indigent Defense Services and the Jury Project, and was a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for the Judiciary in the Bloomberg and Giuliani administrations. He has made numerous presentations on a range of issues, including judicial selection, evidence, and the ethical dimensions of the effective assistance of counsel.
Find Professor Zeidman on Twitter: @SteveZeidman
Recent Developments in Prosecutorial Discretion
This panel will examine how conventional prosecutors have used their expansive discretionary power over charging, bail, plea negotiation, and other key stages of the criminal process, and how reform-minded prosecutors are trying to exercise their discretion differently so as to combat mass incarceration and race/class disparities in criminal justice. The panel will also explore some potential limitations of criminal justice reform centered on prosecutors and prosecutorial discretion and highlight the need for leadership from other actors, including public defenders, to produce transformative change.
Dr. Taleed El-Sabawi is an Assistant Professor of Law at Florida International University College of Law. She is an interdisciplinary scholar, with a JD and a PhD in Public Health, Health Services Management and Policy with a doctoral cognate in Political Science. Dr. El-Sabawi specializes in the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze texts, including congressional hearing testimony, regulations, legislation, news media, political speeches and interview transcripts.
Her area of expertise is in addiction and mental health policy, politics and law. Dr. El-Sabawi has studied and written extensively on narrative discourse surrounding opioid overdose deaths; federal administrative regulation of potentially habit-forming substances; and health insurance parity. Recently, Dr. El-Sabawi co-authored a model law that creates non-police behavioral health crisis response teams.
Dr. El-Sabawi is on the advisory circle of the North Carolina Urban Survivors Union, a chapter of the Urban Survivors Union, on the Board of Directors for Next Distro and frequently works alongside persons who use drugs advocating for policy reform.
Justin Murray joined New York Law School as an Associate Professor of Law in 2019. He teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, and race, bias, and advocacy. He also co-directs NYLS’s Criminal Justice Institute.
Professor Murray’s scholarship focuses on prosecutorial discretion and on strategies for preventing and penalizing illegal conduct on the part of prosecutors and other criminal justice actors. His academic work has been published in a number of law journals, including the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Fordham Law Review. His scholarship has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and by judges on other courts, and he received the Otto Walter Award for best article by a full-time faculty member from the NYLS faculty for his 2021 article, “Policing Procedural Error in the Lower Criminal Courts.”
In addition, Professor Murray is Chair of the Pedagogy Committee of the Law School Anti-Racism Consortium, a member of the Advisory Board for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books, and a member of the leadership team of the Criminal Procedure Section of the Association of American Law Schools, among other institutional and service roles.
Professor Murray began his career as a clerk on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. After that, he spent four years as an appellate lawyer at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, followed by a year at the Consumer Fraud Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. He then left legal practice to serve as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where he taught legal research and writing, before joining NYLS’s faculty.
Abbe Smith is Director of the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, Co-Director of the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program, and Professor of Law at Georgetown University. She joined the Georgetown faculty in 1996. Prior to Georgetown, Professor Smith was Deputy Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School, and a Clinical Instructor and Lecturer of Law at Harvard.
Professor Smith teaches and writes on criminal defense, legal ethics, juvenile justice, and clinical legal education. In addition to numerous law journal articles, she is the author of Case of a Lifetime: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Story (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), co-author with Monroe Freedman of Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics (4th ed., Lexis-Nexis, 2010), co-editor with Monroe Freedman of How Can You Represent Those People: Criminal Defense Stories (forthcoming, 2013), co-author with Charles Ogletree, et al. of Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct In Minority Communities (Northeastern University Press, 1994), and a contributing author of We Dissent (Michael Avery, ed., NYU Press, 2008) and Law Stories (Gary Bellow & Martha Minow, eds., University of Michigan Press, 1996).
Professor Smith began her legal career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She is on the Board of Directors of The Bronx Defenders and the National Juvenile Defender Center, and a longtime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Lawyers Guild Court.
In 2010, she was elected to the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, an exclusive national society for outstanding criminal trial lawyers. Professor Smith is also a published cartoonist. A collection of her cartoons, Carried Away: The Chronicles of a Feminist Cartoonist, was published by Sanguinaria Publishing, Inc. in 1984.