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The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance:  Mass Exoneration and Ethics

Thousands of dismissed convictions due to police misconduct, law enforcement lab scandals, discredited reports and faulty forensics have made national headlines in recent years. Yet how many other convictions tainted by systemic error or ethically compromised officials exist and go unexamined once the headlines fade?

The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance joins forces with leading criminal justice organizations to tackle this question and more as part of a daylong symposium entitled “Mass Exoneration and Ethics.” The event will bring together legal experts from around the nation—and across the ideological aisle—to discuss ways to investigate and consider large-scale reviews of cases affected by systemic errors or misconduct.

“Mass Exoneration and Ethics” is presented in partnership with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, the Exoneration Project, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Registry of Exonerations, Maryland Office of the Public Defender, City of Philadelphia Office of the District Attorney, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

The Symposium takes place on Monday, April 9, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Laurence E.
Hirsch ’71 classroom (Room 101) of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law (299 North Spring Mill Road, Villanova). This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 4 substantive and 2 ethics CLE credits.

Schedule of Events

9 a.m.: Welcome

Mark C. Alexander, Arthur J. Kania Dean, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Steven Chanenson, Director, The David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance and Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Eva Nagao, Managing Director, Exoneration Project

9:15 – 9:30 a.m.: Mass Exoneration, Past and Present

Samuel R. Gross, Founder, National Registry of Exonerations and Thomas and Mabel Long Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.: Uncovering Systemic Misconduct

Vanessa Antoun, Senior Resource Counsel, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Michael Mellon, Defender Association Philadelphia
Peter Neufeld, Co-Director, Innocence Project
David B. Owens, Staff Attorney and Lecturer in Law, Exoneration Project, University of Chicago

John Roberts, Executive Director, Fraud Investigations and Dispute Services, Ernst & Young and Former Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

Moderated by Carl Williams, Staff Attorney, ACLU Massachusetts

11 – 12:15 p.m.: Litigating Mass Exoneration

Brad Bridge, Assistant Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia

Debbie Katz Levi, Assistant Public Defender, Felony Trial Division District 1, Maryland Office of the Public Defender

Matthew Segal, Legal Director, ACLU Massachusetts

Joshua Tepfer, Lecturer in Law, Exoneration Project

Moderated by Barry Scheck, Co-Director, Innocence Project

12:15 – 1:30 p.m.: Lunch and Featured Speaker

Lawrence Krasner, District Attorney, City of Philadelphia

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Consequences of Corrupt Convictions

Mark Cichowicz, Appeals Division, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Byron Cotter, Director of Alternative Sentencing, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Sharon Dietrich, Litigation Director and Managing Attorney, Community Legal Services
Rick Jones, Executive Director, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and President, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Juan Rivera, Exoneree and Founder, JustIs 4 JustUs

Moderated by Kristine Bunch, Exoneree and Executive Director, JustIs 4 JustUs

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.: Media and Mass Exonerations

John Conroy, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center Senior Investigator, MacArthur Justice Center, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Mark Fazlollah, Reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Barbara Laker, Investigative Reporter, Philadelphia Daily News

Wendy Ruderman, Investigative Reporter, Philadelphia Daily News
Melissa Segura, Investigative Reporter, Buzzfeed News

Moderated by Maurice Possley, Senior Researcher, The National Registry of Exonerations

3:45 – 5 p.m.: Perspectives from Law Enforcement

Andre M. Davis, City Solicitor, City of Baltimore

Tracey Kavanagh, Assistant District Attorney, City of Philadelphia Office of the District Attorney

David LaBahn, President and CEO, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

Eric Sussman, First Assistant, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office

Moderated by Ronald Sullivan Jr., Director, Criminal Justice Institute, Harvard Law School