Media Advisory: Constitution Project to Participate in DOJ Symposium on Indigent Defense

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Matthew Allee, (202) 580-6922 or mallee@constitutionproject.org

Media Advisory: Constitution Project to Participate in DOJ Symposium on Indigent Defense

WASHINGTON - Constitution Project President Virginia Sloan and several members of
the Project's National Right to Counsel Committee will participate in
the Department of Justice's upcoming national symposium on indigent
defense. Taking place this Thursday and Friday, and titled "Looking
Back, Looking Forward, 2000-2010," the program is the first federal
agency-sponsored examination of the indigent defense crisis facing our
nation in a decade.

This past June, in a speech before the American Council
of Chief Defenders, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that
the Department of Justice would renew its commitment to improving the indigent
defense system and that the guiding principle would be "that justice shall be
done." The Attorney General also applauded the Constitution Project's National
Right to Counsel Committee report, Justice Denied: America's Continuing
Neglect of our Constitutional Right to
Counsel
, saying, "The Constitution
Project has done excellent work in describing the state of indigent defense in
its report, Justice Denied. As
the report pointed out, many jurisdictions have made great progress in their
public defense systems in recent years, but wholesale improvements remain
elusive."

WHAT:

Constitution Project President and National Right to
Counsel Committee members participating in the Department of Justice's national
symposium on indigent defense, "Looking Back, Looking Forward,
2000-2010"

WHO:

Virginia
Sloan
, President of the Constitution Project

Rhoda
Billings
, Professor Emeritus at Wake Forest
Law School, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and
Co-Chair of the National Right to Counsel Committee

Tony
Fabelo
, Director of Research for the Justice Center of the
Council of State Governments, and former Executive Director of the Texas
Criminal Justice Policy Center

Norman
Fletcher
, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of
Georgia

Monroe
Freedman
, Professor of Law and former Dean at Hofstra
University School of Law

Norman
Lefstein
, Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at the Indiana University School of Law

Charles J. Ogletree,
Jr.
, Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston
Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law
School

WHEN:

Thursday through Friday, February 18-19,
2010

WHERE:

Mayflower
Hotel, Washington, DC

In early 2009, the Constitution Project's National Right
to Counsel Committee released Justice
Denied: America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to
Counsel
, the most comprehensive report on indigent defense in 30
years. The report makes 22 recommendations for much-needed reforms to indigent
defense systems nationwide. The National Right to Counsel Committee is a
bipartisan committee of independent experts representing all segments of
America's justice
system.  

To see a copy of "Justice Denied" and other materials,
please visit:

http://www.tcpjusticedenied.org/

###

The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at http://constitutionproject.org/.

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