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2011 Law Review Symposium: "Life After the War on Drugs"
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2011 Law Review Symposium: "Life After the War on Drugs"

3/24/2011

When: March 24, 2011
Where: Windows Lounge
UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
4200 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC  20008
Contact:
Leila Mansouri, Symposium Editor

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Free and open to the public. Please RSVP by clicking 'Register for this event' above.

(Advance registration is requested, but not required!)

University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
2011 Law Review Symposium

David A. Clarke School of Law

Life After the War on Drugs: Reviewing Past and Present Policies

With an Eye Toward Legal Reform

 

UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

4200 Connecticut Ave. NW

Building 38, 2nd Floor, Windows Lounge

Washington, DC 20008

Red Line Van Ness/UDC Station

Parking Under Campus off Van Ness St. - $10/day

 

(More detailed speaker biographies below)

Introduction (10:00 – 10:15 a.m.)

  • John Brittain: Professor, UDC-DCSL; Chief Counsel and Senior Deputy Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (2005-2009)

Panel 1: Drug Policy at Home and Abroad (10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) 

The first panel begins by looking back at past attempts to reform drug policies both in the United States and abroad. The panelists will also explore the strengths and weaknesses of current movements and what, if anything, the federal government in the United States can learn from the approaches taken by several states and the international community.

  • Eric Sterling: Advisory Board Member, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)
  • Brooke Mascagni: PhD Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Jordan Blair Woods: PhD Candidate, Cambridge University (U.K.); J.D. University of California Los Angeles
Lunch (12:00 – 1:00 pm)
  • Lunch Keynote Speaker: Ronald C. Machen, Jr.: United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

Panel 2: Conflicts between State and Federal Drug Laws (1:00 – 2:45 p.m)

As the District of Columbia enters an era of legalized medical marijuana and as numerous states propose relaxed drug laws, longstanding conflicts between the views of the Federal and State governments once again are coming to the forefront of political debate. The second panel will focus on the growing national sentiment toward reduced drug regulation, enforcement tactics aimed at subverting State policy decisions, unique strategies for attacking Federal laws, and its relation to Constitutional and Federalism concerns.

  • Andrew Ferguson (Moderator): Professor, UDC-DCSL; Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia (2004-2010)
  • Robert Hildum: Deputy Attorney General, DC Office of the Attorney General
  • Alex Kreit: Director, Center for Law and Social Justice, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego, CA)

Panel 3: The Unknown Effects of the War on Drugs (3:00 – 5:00 p.m.)

The third panel of the day will explore the lesser-known effects and the "hidden casualties” of the War on Drugs. Each panelist will discuss a different issue that often is left out of the mainstream discourse surrounding drug policy reform effects.

  • Brian Gilmore: Director, Michigan State University College of Law Housing Clinic
  • Ken Lammers: Deputy Commonwealth Attorney, County of Wise and City of Norton in Virginia
  • Michael Liszewski: Board of Directors, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Cocktail Reception (5:10 – 6:00 p.m.)

Plenary Panel: Life After the War on Drugs (6:00 – 9:00 p.m.)

The Symposium will conclude with a plenary panel focusing on the micro and macro-level social changes that may occur if the policy innovations discussed throughout the day are brought to bear. The plenary panel will examine the evolution and the future of sentencing for drug offenses, the best-practices for preparing communities to reintegrate recently released offenders, and other critical considerations related to shifting policies away from those utilized throughout the War on Drugs.

  • Keynote Speaker: Wade Henderson: President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Jasmine Tyler: Deputy Director of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Mark Osler: Professor, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minneapolis, MN)
  • The Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr.: National Executive Director, National African-American Drug Policy Coalition
  • Dr. Faye Taxman: Director, Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence, George Mason University

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES, PHOTOGRAPHS

Introduction (10:00-10:15 a.m.) Speaker:

John Brittain: A renowned civil rights attorney and former Thurgood Marshall School of Law Dean, John Brittain came to UDC-DCSL from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he served as Chief Counsel and Senior Deputy Director. Professor Brittain has devoted much of his time to public service in numerous leadership roles, including President of the National Lawyers Guild (1991-93). He is also a recipient of the William Ming Advocacy Award, NAACP's highest honor for a lawyer.

Panel 1: Drug Policy at Home and Abroad (10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) Panelists:

Eric Sterling: Advisory Board Member, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition  (LEAP). President of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, Mr. Sterling was Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary from 1979 until 1989. On the staff of the Subcommittee on Crime, he was responsible for drug enforcement, amongst other things. He was a principal aide in developing the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988. In the 96th Congress, he worked on comprehensively rewriting the Federal Criminal Code.

Brooke Mascagni: PhD candidate in political science and feminist studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. Ms. Mascagni's doctoral work focuses on Proposition 19, California's recent electoral initiative to tax and regulate cannabis. Surprisingly, some of the greatest opposition to full legalization comes from members of the medical marijuana industry, who argue that state initiatives like Prop 19 pose a threat to patients' already tenuous access to their medicine. Ms. Mascagni will discuss how centering the legalization debate around the "patients" has marginalized the issue of racial justice. In her study, she suggests that the tendency to draw a line between recreational and medicinal marijuana undermines the greater movement to end the unjust War on Drugs.

Jordan Blair Woods: PhD candidate, Cambridge University (U.K.), J.D. University of California Los Angeles. Mr. Woods' research centers on what the United States can take from the current developments in drugs policy reform within Europe following Portugal's decriminalization of drugs. He will explain Portugal's decriminalization model and present the empirical evidence on its effectiveness, discuss why this model will or will not work in other European countries, and also will discuss what the United States can learn from Portugal's model and the current discussion in Europe.

Lunch (12:00-1:00 p.m.) Keynote Speaker:

Ronald C. Machen, Jr.: Mr. Machen was nominated to serve as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia by President Barack Obama on December 24, 2009. Mr. Machen's appointment was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 11, 2010. Before Mr. Machen's appointment, he was a partner at the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr, and practiced in the firm's Investigations and Criminal Litigation group.

Panel 2: Conflicts between State and Federal Drug Laws (1:00-3:30 p.m.) Panelists:

Andrew Ferguson (Moderator):  Professor Ferguson teaches and writes in the area of criminal  law and criminal procedure. Prior to joining the law faculty at UDC-DCSL, Professor Ferguson worked as a supervising attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Before joining the Public Defender Service, Ferguson was awarded the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship at the Georgetown Law Center's Criminal Justice Clinic.

 

Alex Kreit: Director, Center for Law and Social Justice at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego, CA). Mr. Kreit argues that since the federal government is unable to block state drug reforms, federal lawmakers should enact laws that would respect states' decisions to innovate in the area of drug policy, while also providing important controls and incentives to prevent against negative externalities in the form of spillover effects in neighboring states.

Robert Hildum: Deputy Attorney General, DC Office of the Attorney General, former Director, D.C. Dept. of Youth Rehabilitation Services.  Mr. Hildum  served as the Interim Director of the District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services in 2010. He left the position in December, returning to the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General, where he previously worked as a deputy charged with prosecuting juvenile crimes, among other responsibilities.

Panel 3: The Unknown Effects of the War on Drugs (3:45-5:00 p.m.) Panelists:

Brian Gilmore:  Director, Michigan State University College of Law Housing Clinic,  J.D., University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law. Mr. Gilmore will discuss the correlation between the War on Drugs and public housing policies in the District of Columbia and across the country. Mr. Gilmore will also explore the constitutional issues surrounding random drug testing in the public housing arena and the potential effects of similar proposed policies that would condition the receipt of government assistance on passed drug tests.

Ken Lammers: Deputy Commonwealth Attorney, for the County of Wise and City of Norton in Virginia. Mr. Lammers will discuss the similarities between prescription drugs and their illicit counterparts, and how pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and doctors all are contributing to the increased frequency of prescription drug addiction and abuse in rural America. He will also discuss how drugs like oxycodone are in fact not so different from drugs like heroin, and the consequences of making some drugs available by prescription and creating criminal penalties for others, even though they both have similar effects on the body and mind.

Michael Liszewski: Board of Directors, Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Mr. Liszewski, a third year law student at UDC-DCSL, will discuss Good Samaritan overdose protection policies, which are harm reduction tactics that grant limited immunity to drug or underage alcohol possession charges to individuals seeking help for an overdose victim by calling 911 or otherwise summoning assistance.  Washington, D.C.'s overdose death rate is approximately twice the rate nationally, and Mr. Liszewski argues that a Good Samaritan overdose law for D.C. could save several dozen lives annually.

Cocktail Reception 5:10-6:00 p.m.

Plenary Panel: Life After the War (6:00-9:00 p.m.) Panelists:

Keynote Speaker:  Wade Henderson, Esq. is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference  on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. Mr. Henderson is well known for his expertise on a wide range of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues, and is the author of numerous articles on civil rights and public policy issues. Since taking the helm of The Leadership Conference in June 1996, Mr. Henderson has worked diligently to address emerging policy issues of concern to the civil and human rights community and to strengthen the effectiveness of the coalition. During his tenure, The Leadership Conference has become one of the nation's most effective advocates for civil and human rights.

Jasmine Tyler:  Deputy Director of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance. Ms. Tyler advocates for policies that reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system, increase access to social and health services, and treat people who use drugs with dignity. Her work has included grassroots and grasstops organizing across the political spectrum, public speaking, and media appearances. She is one of the leaders of the Crack the Disparity Coalition, which works to equalize the penalties for crack and powder cocaine. Her work led directly to federal crack cocaine sentencing reform in 2010, including the first elimination of a mandatory minimum penalty since the 1970s. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Economist, Huffington Post and other national media outlets. Prior to joining DPA, Jasmine worked as research director for the Justice Policy Institute.

Mark Osler: Professor, St. Thomas University School of Law (MN). Mr. Osler  served as lead counsel in Spears v. United States (2009), where the U.S. Supreme Court held that sentencing judges are permitted to categorically reject the federal sentencing guidelines' 100:1 disparity between offenses involving crack and powder cocaine. Mr. Osler argues that judges must incorporate uniformity and discretion during sentencing, and is a proponent of trailing-edge guidelines.

The Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr.: National Executive Director, National African-American Drug Policy Coalition (DC), and Professor, Howard University School of Law. Judge Burnett's record of accomplishments spans over four decades. Since August 2004, Judge Burnett has served full-time as the National Executive Director of the National African-American Drug Policy Coalition. He also serves as a member of the American Bar Association Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, and is actively involved in the ABA's work on various criminal justice issues, including wrongful convictions, sentencing and re-entry, and illegal drug use.

Dr. Faye Taxman:  Director, Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence, and Professor, George Mason University. Dr. Taxman is recognized for her work in developing the seamless systems of care model that links criminal justice and community-based service delivery systems, as well as for her work toward reforming probation and parole supervision services. Dr. Taxman's work covers the breadth of the adult and juvenile correctional systems, including jails, prisons, and community corrections agencies. Dr. Taxman has collaborated on research with entities including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Maryland Division of Probation and Parole.

 

This Symposium is Free and open to the public.

Please RSVP by clicking 'Register for this event' above.

For more information, please contact Symposium Editor Leila Mansouri at Leila.Mansouri@udc.edu


 

 

 
 
 

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