Thursday, May 3, 2012

Loyola Hosts the Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley delivered introductory remarks during the Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice held Friday, April 20 at the downtown L.A. campus of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Cooley assessed the effects of AB 109 during his talk. "The state of the criminal justice system? I think we're in deep trouble. I think we are in the worst potential state of the criminal justice system in my nearly four-decade career in the system. That's because of AB 109, which upset a perfectly good, effective, logical system that was the work of prosecutors, police officers, defenders, judges selecting individuals who truly deserved to be punished by way of incarceration." He continued, "No one thought this through. I'm predicting the greatest spike in the crime rate in our lifetimes, and it's starting already."

Fidler Institute panels included AB 109 and Realignment; Drones, GPS and High-Tech Surveillance: New Developments in Fourth Amendment Law; The Jail Crisis: Can Our Jails be Fixed?; and Pot Shops and the Future of Marijuana Prosecutions. Moderators included Loyola Professors Stan Goldman, Sam Pillsbury and Marcy Strauss. Henry T. Greely, Stanford Law School professor, delivered the keynote lunch address, "Brain Scans in Criminal Cases: Possible Uses, Important Questions." The Landers Memorial Lecture on Prosecutorial Ethics featured a discussion on "The Future of White Collar Prosecutions: Challenges for Both Sides of the Bar."

The day ended with the presentation of the Fidler Institute Awards by Professor Laurie Levenson and the Hon. Larry P. Fidler '74, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, the Loyola alumnus for whom the institute is named. Defense Counsel of the Year honors went to Janet Levine '80, partner, Crowell & Moring LLP. Prosecutor of the Year honors went to Patrick R. Dixon, assistant district attorney, Los Angeles County. Judge of the Year Award went to the Hon. Jacqueline A. Connor, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. And a special tribute commemorated the life of Nicholas DeWitt '79.

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