In op-eds, blogs and lectures, the Honorable Nancy Gertner, Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, has questioned whether long-term incarceration for non-violent crimes contributes to a prisoner’s rehabilitation or has any beneficial social effect at all.
Judge Gertner will speak on the nature of criminal sentencing and its goals on April 8 at 5 p.m. when she delivers the 2010 Friedman & Gilbert Criminal Justice Forum lecture, “Have We Become an Overly Punitive Society? A View form the Bench,” in the Moot Court Room of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, located at the corner of East 18th Street and Euclid Avenue.
Judge Gertner’s lecture is approved for one free hour of CLE credit.
Judge Gertner, a graduate of Yale Law School, began her legal career as one of only a few women criminal defense attorneys in Massachusetts. In her 22-years in private practice, she did not shy away from controversial cases: cases that upheld women’s procreative rights, that challenged Medicaid policy on abortion, and that advanced the workplace rights of women, including women bringing gender-discrimination suits against academic institutions that had denied them tenure. She soon became as well known for her advocacy of the poor as for her advocacy of women. Many of her cases garnered heavy media attention, including her first major case, the defense of anti-war activist Susan Saxe and, later, her representation of the Concerned Black Educators of Boston in a school desegregation case.
Judge Gertner was appointed to the federal court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1994. On the bench, she has questioned criminal sentencing guidelines and basic tenets of jury deliberations. In 2002, the American Bar Association honored Judge Gertner as a "Human Rights Hero," and in 2008 she joined U.S. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as only the second woman ever to receive the Thurgood Marshall Award of the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities in acknowledgement of her work in advancing human rights and civil liberties. She has been a visiting professor at Harvard and an instructor at Boston University and Boston College Law School.
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law offers a comprehensive curriculum in criminal law, including numerous courses in the field and externships in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s office and in other criminal law settings. Students who wish to focus on criminal law may earn a certificate in the Criminal Law Concentration, which helps prepare students to represent or prosecute individuals, corporations and institutions accused of criminal activities, including crimes against persons, property and society. The Criminal Justice Forum brings together criminal justice scholars, criminologists, criminal law practitioners, psychologists and sociologists to discuss contemporary issues in criminal law practice and teaching.
For more information, please visit www.law.csuohio.edu or call 216.687.6886.
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