Criminal Justice

Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Kami Chavis inside the Worrell Professional Center

Associate Provost Kami Chavis to speak at Congressional Black Caucus Annual Policy Conference on Sept. 22

Associate Provost and Professor Kami Chavis, director of the Criminal Justice Program, will speak on a panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Policy Conference on Friday, Sept. 22.  The event starts at 9 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

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Innocence and Justice Clinic, Criminal Justice Program co-sponsor ‘Re-Thinking Drug Policy’ symposium on Monday, Oct. 2

The Innocence and Justice Clinic and the Criminal Justice Program are co-sponsoring a symposium, “Re-Thinking Drug Policy: Seeking Solutions Based on Law, Science and Public Health,” with the Rethinking Community Program, the Office of the Provost, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Center for Community Engagement Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Center for Research on Substance Use and Addiction and Clinical and Translational Science Institute from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in the Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education, 475 Vine St., 5th Floor Tiered Classroom, in downtown Winston-Salem.

The event, which is also sponsored by Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform (CCJR), is free and open to the public. It will be held in conjunction with “International Wrongful Conviction Day.”

Three hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits (one hour of substance abuse, two hours of general) have been approved by the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) for a fee. 

 

After four decades, policy analysts across the political spectrum have come to recognize that the War on Drugs is both ineffective and counterproductive. The “tough on crime” policies have led to massive increases in incarceration and have served to nurture, rather than dismantle, drug cartels. The use of mandatory minimums aimed at targeting traffickers, has instead led to essentially criminalizing addiction, throwing low level addicts into prison and only exacerbating mental health conditions. The utter failure of the War on Drugs is showcased in the current public health epidemic presented by the opioid crisis. Across the country, opioid abuse and overdose related deaths are rapidly rising to unprecedented rates. This symposium will provide context for the history of what led to this current state, consider solutions that incorporate not only the medical and scientific concerns related to addiction and over prescription, but also the criminal justice responses that have bloated our prisons and devastated families and communities across the country.

The event will be streamed live online, as well as available in two video sessions for viewing later.  Using Google Chrome is recommended.

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White House Domestic Policy Council invites Professor Ron Wright to join Roundtable on Criminal Justice

Professor Ronald Wright participated in a “Roundtable on Criminal Justice” hosted by the White House Domestic Policy Council in conjunction with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Institute for Innovation in Prosecution on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016.

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I. Beverly Lake (BA ’55, JD ’60) authors article on the death penalty in The Huffington Post

I. Beverly Lake (BA ’55, JD ’60) authored the following article, “Why Protecting the Innocent From a Death Sentence Isn’t Enough,” originally published in The Huffington Post on May 18, 2016.

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Wake Forest Law featured in The Huffington Post for assisting ex-con with presidential pardon application

Wake Forest Law School was featured in the following article, “Ex-Con Asks Obama for Pardon,” originally published in The Huffington Post on May 16, 2016.

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Photo of Wake Forest Law School Professor Kami Chavis

Professor Kami Chavis Simmons quoted in NJ.com on how prejudicial cops can affect investigations

Professor Kami Chavis Simmons was quoted in the following article, “How will cop’s racial slurs affect ‘nanny-cam’ case? Experts weigh in,” originally published on Nj.com on May 1, 2016.

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Professor Kami Chavis Simmons tells Christian Science Monitor the Tamir Rice settlement won’t spur reform

Professor Kami Chavis Simmons was quoted in the following article, “After $6 million Tamir Rice settlement, questions of justice linger,” published originally by The Christian Science Monitor on April 25. This story also ran in Yahoo! News.
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Professor Kami Chavis Simmons to participate in panel event at Stanford Law School

Professor Kami Chavis Simmons will be panelist at the Stanford Journal of Criminal Law and Policy’s Third Annual Symposium, “Cutting Edge Issues in Criminal Justice,” on Friday, April 22.

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Photo of Wake Forest Law Professor Ron Wright

Professor Ronald Wright featured in national media regarding prosecutorial election upsets

Professor Ronald Wright was quoted in the following story, “Should Hard-line Prosecutors Be Nervous?” originally published on March 16, 2016 on The Marshall Project. Wright discusses the fact that incumbent Cook County, Illinois, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and incumbent Cuyahoga County, Ohio, county prosecutor Timothy McGinty both lost their re-election bids, which is extremely rare. Wright’s research on this topic was also featured in articles on VoxSlate, Ebony and Washington Monthly.

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Wake Forest University to hold event on Kalvin Michael Smith conviction

Kalvin Michael Smith has served 18 years in prison for a crime he says he was nowhere near and knew nothing about. At 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, Stephen Boyd of the Wake Forest University department of religion and the Rev. Kelly P. Carpenter of Green Street United Methodist Church will be co-telling Smith’s story, prior to a student-led rally at Winston-Salem State University on Thursday, Feb. 18.

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