Morning Lecture Platform
Week Six — July 28-August 3, 2013
Crime and Punishment
This week, we focus on the state of the U.S. criminal justice system — what works, what doesn’t, how effective it is and how it compares to others around the world. Monday will feature a special lecture on portrayal of the law in opera, as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg combines her two passions. Former Virginia Law dean John C. Jeffries Jr. will provide a philosophical and historical introduction to criminology and criminal justice on Tuesday. Nina Morrison, senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project, will speak Wednesday on her organization’s work to exonerate the innocent and reform a system responsible for many unjust imprisonments. Wes Moore will review race and the U.S. criminal justice system, based on experiences of his youth and research for his book, The Other Wes Moore, on Thursday. Retired federal judge Nancy Gertner, now professor of practice at Harvard Law School, closes the week on Friday with remarks on sentencing law.
Monday–Friday, July 29–August 2 @ 10:45 a.m.
Monday, July 29
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated by President Bill Clinton as associate justice of the United States Supreme Court in June 1993 and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, she served from 1980 to 1993 on the bench of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
From 1972 to 1980, Justice Ginsburg was a professor at Columbia University School of Law; from 1963 to 1972, she served on the law faculty of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. In 1972, then-Professor Ginsburg was instrumental in launching the Women's Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. Throughout the 1970s she litigated a series of cases solidifying a constitutional principle against gender-based discrimination.
Justice Ginsburg has served on the Board of Editors of the American Bar Association Journal, and as secretary, Board member, and Executive Committee member of the American Bar Foundation. She served on the Council of the American Law Institute, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Justice Ginsburg has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, attended Harvard Law School, and received her LL.B. (J.D.) from Columbia Law School.
Tuesday, July 30
John C. Jeffries Jr.
former dean, University of Virginia School of Law
John C. Jeffries Jr. is David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, his alma mater. A civil rights and federal courts scholar, Jeffries joined the Virginia Law faculty in 1975 and served as dean from 2001 to 2008. He has co-written casebooks on civil rights, federal courts and criminal law, and has published a variety of articles in those fields. He also wrote a biography of Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.
Under Jeffries’ leadership, Virginia Law saw the creation of its Center for the Study of Race and Law and expanded the Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program, which allows graduates to pursue careers in public interest without the burden of law school debt. Jeffries previously held a variety of academic appointments, including the Arnold H. Leon and Emerson Spies professorships.
Prior to his teaching career, Jeffries clerked for Justice Powell before serving in the United States Army as a second lieutenant. While a student, Jeffries served as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Review. He also received the Z Award for the highest academic average and the Woods Prize for the outstanding graduate.
Wednesday, July 31
senior staff attorney, Innocence Project
As a staff attorney at the Innocence Project, Nina Morrison litigates claims for access to postconviction DNA evidence from around the nation, under both federal civil rights laws and state DNA testing statutes. She also supervises students in the Innocence Project clinic. In her 10 years at the project, Morrison has been lead counsel for and/or assisted in the representation of 20 men who have been freed from prison or death row based on new DNA evidence.
Morrison first served the Innocence Project as executive director, supervising day-to-day management while assisting with litigation and policy reform initiatives. Before joining the project, she was an attorney with the firm of Emery Cuti Brinckerhoff & Abady PC, specializing in police misconduct and other civil rights litigation, and a law clerk for the Hon. Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.
Previously, Morrison was an investigator with the California Appellate Project, which represents California’s death row inmates in post-conviction proceedings. She is a graduate of Yale University and New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow Public Service Scholar.
Thursday, August 1
author, The Other Wes Moore
Wes Moore is a youth advocate, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur, and host of “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network. His first book, The Other Wes Moore, became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller and was a 2012 selection of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle.
Moore, a paratrooper and captain in the United States Army, served a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. He then served as a White House Fellow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He currently serves on the boards of the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), The Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Community Foundation. Moore also founded an organization called STAND!, which works with Baltimore youth involved in the criminal justice system.
Despite early academic and behavioral struggles, Moore graduated Phi Theta Kappa in 1998 as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College, and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001, where he also played football and earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations. He then became a Rhodes Scholar, studying international relations at Oxford University.
On social media:
In the news:
Friday, August 2
retired judge, U.S. District Court of Massachusetts
Nancy Gertner was appointed to sit on the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Having retired from the bench in August 2011, she now teaches sentencing at Harvard Law School, and has since 1998 been an instructor at Yale Law School, teaching sentencing and comparative sentencing institutions. She also serves on the Leadership Council of the International Center for Research on Women.
In 2008, Gertner received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, only the second woman to receive it (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first). She has written and spoken widely on various legal issues concerning civil rights, civil liberties, employment, criminal justice and procedural issues. Her autobiography, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, was released in April 2011. Her book The Law of Juries, co-authored with Judith Mizner, was published in 1997 and updated in 2010.
Gertner’s other honors include the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award and the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Hennessey award for judicial excellence. She is a graduate of Barnard College and Yale Law School, where she was an editor on The Yale Law Journal. She received her master’s degree in political science at Yale University.