Criminal Law

Crim. Law Journal Winter 2019, Vol. 19, Issue 1

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Welcome, Dear Reader, to the Winter Edition of the Criminal Law Journal!

Thank you for renewing your membership with the Criminal Law Section of the California Lawyers Association; we appreciate your support! The CLA remains busy as we transition into 2019. If you have a couple of minutes, check out this video: www.youtube.com/watchv=NV_2qs54was

This issue features two articles; one short, one lengthy. The short article is by former Chair Timothy Warriner, entitled "Abraham Lincoln Super Lawyer". It is a short but compelling review of our 16th President’s philosophy on being a lawyer. Lest you think that those of us engaged in high-tech, super-complex litigation have nothing to learn from a lawyer who practiced over 150 years ago, think again. Honest Abe’s views on practicing law and what the role of lawyers should be are every bit as meaningful and applicable to the 21st century.

The lengthy article is a timely discussion on "conviction integrity units". University of San Francisco School of Law graduate James P. Cooper IV was awarded an honorable mention in our writing competition last year for this in-depth examination of conviction integrity units, which are created by prosecutorial offices to review any colorable claim of innocence or questionable conviction. This article explains how the rising presence of wrongful convictions inspired the creation of these units, and goes on to examine units in Dallas County, Harris County, and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. This is an important piece of scholarship and something that hits home for all of us involved in the criminal justice system.

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