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Loyola University Chicago

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Law Journal Conference

April 4, 2014

Loyola Law Journal: Conference Agenda

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About the Conference • The Loyola University Chicago Law Journal proudly announces “Sentence Structure: The Elements of Punishment,” to be held on April 4, 2014.

The fundamental theories underlying criminal sentencing in the United States include rehabilitation, retribution, uniformity, deterrence, and incapacitation. Although sentencing practices are theoretically grounded in these principles, there are a number of other factors that impact the way sentences are practically imposed. Our Conference will provide a forum for nationally recognized scholars, practitioners, and judges to discuss different elements that ultimately influence sentencing laws and practices. More specifically, our panelists will explore how economics, neuroscience, and prosecutorial discretion affect the imposition of criminal sentences. The Conference will begin with a keynote address from the Honorable Nancy Gertner, who will discuss the present and future states of sentencing law. The Conference will also feature several panels that will examine different influences on criminal sentencing and a lunchtime discussion of crime and punishment in Chicago, reflecting on the history of sentencing in Chicago and examining how various theories and practices impact our city today.

Conference Location • The Conference will be held in the Philip H. Corboy Law Center, Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, on the 10th floor of 25 E. Pearson St. on Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus.

About the Law Journal • The Loyola University Chicago Law Journal is the law school’s primary scholarly publication that is distributed throughout the nation’s law libraries, judges’ chambers, and other various legal organizations. Published continuously since 1970, the Law Journal is committed both to the examination and analysis of current legal issues and problems and to the development of the law. The Law Journal is edited and managed entirely by students and publishes the work of distinguished writers, including academics, practitioners, and judges. The Law Journal also publishes student-written Notes and Comments.

For more information, email Conference Editor, Madeleine Goldfarb, at mgoldfarb@luc.edu.

Speaker Biographies

Keynote Address

HON. Nancy Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College and Yale Law School where she was an editor on The Yale Law Journal. She received her MA in Political Science at Yale University. She has been an instructor at Yale Law School, teaching sentencing and comparative sentencing institutions, since 1998. President Clinton appointed her to the bench in 1994. In 2008 she received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, only the second woman to receive it (Justice Ginsburg was the first). She became a Leadership Council Member of the International Center for Research on Women the same year. In 2010 she received the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award. In 2011 she received the Massachusetts Bar Association's Hennessey award for judicial excellence, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brandeis University. In 2012 she received the Arabella Babb Mansfield award from the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the Leila J. Robinson Award of the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts. She has been profiled on a number of occasions in the Boston Globe, the ABA Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. She has written and spoken widely on various legal issues and has appeared as a keynote speaker, panelist or lecturer concerning civil rights, civil liberties, employment, criminal justice and procedural issues, throughout the US, Europe and Asia. Her autobiography, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, was released on April 26, 2011. Her book, The Law of Juries, co-authored with attorney Judith Mizner, was published in 1997 and updated in 2010. She has published articles, and chapters on sentencing, discrimination, and forensic evidence, women's rights, and the jury system. In September of 2011, Judge Gertner retired the federal bench and become part of the faculty of the Harvard Law School teaching a number of subjects including criminal law, criminal procedure, forensic science and sentencing, as well as continuing to teach and write about women’s issues around the world.


Panel 1: The Economics of Sentencing

David Abrams is a professor of law, business economics, and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is one of the leading young economists working in empirical law and economics. His work covers a range of topics, tied together by goal of understanding and measuring how individuals respond to incentives in various legal contexts. Criminal justice is one of his major areas of expertise, where Professor Abrams has investigated a variety of questions, including whether longer sentences deter crime, how defendant race impact judicial decisions, to what extent attorney skill affects case outcomes, and how much individuals value freedom. Professor Abrams received his AB from Harvard University, his MS from Stanford University, both in physics, and his PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Joshua Fischman joined the Northwestern University School of Law faculty in 2012 as associate professor of law. He was previously an associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and an assistant professor in the economics department at Tufts University. His areas of interest include law and economics, empirical methods, judicial decision making, and criminal sentencing. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as the Journal of Law and Economics, the Journal of Legal Studies, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, and the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization. He received his AB in mathematics, magna cum laude, from Princeton University, his JD from Yale Law School and his PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

JONATHAN MASUR is a deputy dean and professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School. His research and teaching interests include administrative law, behavioral law and economics, patent law, and criminal law. After graduating from law school, he clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for Chief Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School as a Bigelow Fellow and lecturer in law before joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 2007. He also served as the Herbert and Marjorie Fried Teaching Scholar from 2011 to 2013. Professor Masur received a BS in physics and an AB in political science from Stanford University in 1999 and his JD from Harvard Law School in 2003.

THOMAS ULEN holds a Swanlund Chair, one of the highest endowed titles on the University of Illinois College of Law, and is director of the College’s Program in Law and Economics. In addition, he is a research affiliate of the Environmental Council, a member of the Campus Honors faculty, and holds positions in the Department of Economics and the Institute for Government and Public Affairs. As a scholar, Professor Ulen examines a variety of issues related to economics, legal scholarship, and legal education. Professor Ulen received his BA from Dartmouth College, his MA from Oxford University, and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.


Lunchtime Discussion: Crime & Punishment in Chicago

Leigh Bienen is a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law and a criminal defense attorney whose areas of expertise include capital punishment, sex crimes, and rape reform legislation. She has taught law at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law. In 2008, Professor Bienen launched a website, The Life and Times of Florence Kelley in Chicago, 1890-1899, which is a repository for 35,000 legal and historical records and photographs. She is a member of the Illinois Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee and the Director of the Chicago Historical Homicide Project. Professor Bienen received her BA with honors from Cornell University, her MA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her JD from Rutgers School of Law, the State University of New Jersey.

Gino DiVito co-founded the Chicago law firm of Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC in 2001. Before that, he served as a judge for more than 20 years. For the last eight of those years, he was a justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. During that time, he served as the presiding justice of the First District’s second division, as a member of the court’s executive committee, and as the chairman of the court’s computer and information committee. Since his retirement from the judiciary in 1997, he has concentrated in trial and appellate advocacy in all types of cases, primarily focusing on commercial and complex civil litigation. Mr. DiVito currently serves as the chairman of the statutorily created Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council, after having been appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in December 2009. By virtue of that office, he coordinates with two other state entities created by the Illinois Crime Reduction Act of 2009: the Risks, Assets, and Needs Assessment Task Force and the Adult Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board. He studied philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and received his JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.


Panel 2: Neuroscience & the Law: The Brain on Trial

Deborah Denno is the Arthur A. McGivney professor of law at Fordham University School of Law. Prior to joining the Fordham faculty, she served as a law clerk to Judge Anthony Scirica of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and as an associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett. Professor Denno’s research has focused on topics relating to criminal law, criminal procedure, social sciences and the law, and the death penalty. She has also initiated cutting-edge examinations of criminal law defenses pertaining to biological and genetic links to crime, insanity, rape law, gender differences, consciousness, drug offenses, jury decision-making, and the impact of lead poisoning. Currently she is working on a book-length project analyzing the neuroscientific correlates of criminal intent and conduct. In 2007, the National Law Journal selected Professor Denno as one of its “Fifty Most Influential Women Lawyers in America.” Professor Denno received her BA from the University of Virginia, her MA from the University of Toronto, and both her JD and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

ADAM KOLBER is a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School. He writes and teaches in the areas of health law, bioethics, criminal law, and neurolaw and is affiliated with the Law School’s Center for Health, Science, and Public Policy and the Center for Law, Language & Cognition. In 2005, he created the Neuroethics & Law Blog and, in 2006, taught the first law school course devoted to law and neuroscience. He has also taught law and neuroscience topics to federal and state judges as part of a MacArthur Foundation grant. Professor Kolber began his academic career on the faculty of the University of San Diego School of Law. Before that, he clerked for the Honorable Chester J. Straub of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and practiced law with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York. He received his AB from Princeton University and his JD from Stanford Law School.  

Francis Shen joined the University of Minnesota Law School faculty as an associate professor in 2012. He also serves as Executive Director of Education and Outreach for the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience. In 2009 he joined the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, at the University of California Santa Barbara, as a post-doctoral research fellow. In 2010–11 he became associate director of the Project and a visiting scholar at Vanderbilt Law School. Professor Shen conducts empirical and interdisciplinary research at the intersection of law and the brain sciences. He is co-authoring the first law coursebook on law and neuroscience, and has explored the implications of cognitive neuroscience for criminal law, tort, and legislation in the United States. Additional research areas of focus are criminal law and crime policy, and education law and policy. Professor Shen completed his BA in economics and English at the University of Chicago in 2000, his JD at Harvard Law School in 2006, and his PhD in government and social policy at Harvard University and the Kennedy School of Government in 2008.


Panel 3: Prosecutorial Discretion in Sentencing

Bennett Gershman is one of the original faculty members at Pace University School of Law and has taught as a visiting professor at Cornell University Law School and Syracuse University College of Law. While in private practice he specialized in criminal defense litigation. A former prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for six years, he is the author of numerous articles as well as two books on prosecutorial and judicial ethics. He served for four years with the Special State Prosecutor investigating corruption in the judicial system. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on prosecutorial misconduct. He is active on several Bar Association committees, and is a frequent pro bono litigator. Professor Gershman received his BA from Princeton University and his JD from the New York University School of Law.

Sonja Starr joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty in fall 2009. Her research interests include prosecutorial conduct, sentencing law and policy, remedies for violations of criminal defendants' rights, and re-entry of ex-offenders. Her research methods include quantitative empirical assessment of the effects of criminal justice policies as well as analysis of legal theory and doctrine. Before coming to Michigan Law, Professor Starr taught at the University of Maryland School of Law and spent two years at Harvard Law School as a Climenko Fellow and lecturer on law. Professor Starr has clerked for Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen of the shared Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Professor Starr received her AB from Harvard University, summa cum laude, and her JD from Yale Law School.

Ronald Wright is the Needham Yancy Gulley professor of criminal law at the Wake Forest University School of Law. Professor Wright is one of the nation's top criminal justice scholars. He is the co-author of two casebooks in criminal procedure and sentencing; his empirical research concentrates on the work of criminal prosecutors. He is a board member of the Prosecution and Racial Justice Project of the Vera Institute of Justice, and has been an advisor or board member for Families Against Mandatory Minimum Sentences, North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., and the Winston-Salem Citizens' Police Review Board. Prior to joining the faculty, he was a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, prosecuting antitrust and other white-collar criminal cases. He received his AB from the College of William and Mary and his JD from Yale Law School.


Philip H. Corboy Law Center · 25 E. Pearson Street · Chicago, IL 60611 · 312.915.7120

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