Last spring, the Criminal Justice Policy Program developed an initiative to provide representation to incarcerated people petitioning President Obama for clemency. Twenty-six Harvard Law students volunteered to work with a team of pro bono attorneys to represent clemency petitioners, in what has become the largest law student-based clemency initiative in the country.
Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) have released Confronting Criminal Justice Debt: A Comprehensive Project for Reform, a collaborative project that focuses on the financial costs of the criminal justice system.
Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program has received a generous grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to support the program’s work to advance reform of unfair policies that allow for imposing fees and fines in the criminal justice system.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, founding Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and Tim McCormack, Visiting Professor of Law at HLS and Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law to the Prosecutor of the ICC, recently discussed challenges that lie ahead for the organization, the first permanent court established to deal with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Larry Schwartztol, executive director of Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Program of Study, Research and Advocacy, recently spoke with the Harvard Gazette about the HLS program, his role in it, and a conference sponsored by the new initiative on how the media helps shape the criminal justice narrative.
In January 2010, Martha Minow, then the new dean of Harvard Law School, taught a seminar examining the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Bolstering that effort was her co-teacher, Alex Whiting, who later that year would begin a three-year tenure at the ICC, managing first investigations and then prosecutions for the office. The other co-teacher was the ICC’s first chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
A study on capital punishment co-authored by Harvard Law School Professor Carol Steiker ’86 and her brother Jordan Steiker ’88 a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, was influential in Connecticut’s recent decision to abolish the death penalty in that state.
Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, HLS Professor Alex Whiting and Syracuse University College of Law Assistant Professor Cora True-Frost have published a volume of essays that examine the role and the legacy of the first prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo.
And discussions have continued into the new year about the policy and procedures of police, prosecutors and the community at large.
At a time when policing, prosecutorial discretion, the death penalty, and criminal justice as a whole are under tremendous scrutiny in the United States, a new initiative at Harvard Law School seeks to analyze problems within the U.S. criminal justice system and look for solutions.