OJD Week In Review: September 18-22

To reduce the number of notifications hitting the inboxes of our subscribers, our office will be posting these weekly summaries of our activities and updates.  We hope that this new trend will be more convenient for everyone going forward!  This week we participated in a webinar, Professor LaToya Powell published a new entry about restitution in the On the Civil Side blog, and we’ve added a new page to our site!  Read on for more details.

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On Tuesday, N.C. Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry joined  Kirstin Cornnell, director of operations at the Delaware Center for Justice, and Christina Gilbert, senior staff attorney and policy counsel at the National Juvenile Defender Center, for the National Juvenile Justice Network’s Access to Counsel webinar.  During the one-hour webinar, the three presenters each spoke briefly about children’s rights to counsel and discussed efforts in the country to improve the juvenile justice system where needed.

On Wednesday, Professor LaToya Powell published a new entry on the UNC School of Government’s On the Civil Side blog, titled “Ordering Restitution In A Juvenile Delinquency Case”.  In her new post, Powell explains the requirements for a juvenile disposition order to require the payment of restitution.  You can read her full blog post here.

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Our office has also updated the site to include a new “Reports/References” page.  On this new page, we will be compiling statistical data/ reports and other reference materials for defenders, including the N.C. Department of Public Safety’s 2016 Juvenile Justice Annual Report.  This report touches briefly on Raise the Age, shares statistics on youth committed to youth development centers versus detention facilities, common mental health issues faced by juveniles, and the ratios of youth in the system based on gender, age, and ethnicity, among other things.  You can find the newest page located under the “Materials for Defenders” tab on the main page of this site.

And… that is the wrap-up for this week!  If you have any suggestions or questions about what we may have mentioned above or may not have mentioned, please contact us and let us know!

“Ordering Restitution In A Juvenile Delinquency Case” by Professor LaToya Powell

From the On the Civil Side blog, Professor LaToya Powell has added a new entry titled “Ordering Restitution In A Juvenile Delinquency Case”.  In her newest post, Professor Powell explains the requirements for a juvenile to pay restitution to a victim.  You can find the full article here.

Job Opportunity: NJDC Gault Fellowship

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Recent law school graduates (Class of 2017 or 2018) are invited to apply for a two-year juvenile defense fellowship at the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) in Washington, D.C. starting in September 2018.

The Gault Fellowship is in honor of the U.S. Supreme Court case In re Gault. The Gault decision extended to juveniles many of the same due process protections afforded adults accused of crimes, including the right to counsel.

NJDC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense. Through community building, training, and policy reform, we provide national leadership on juvenile defense issues with a focus on curbing the deprivation of young people’s rights in the court system. Our reach extends to urban, suburban, rural, and tribal areas, where we elevate the voices of youth, families, and defenders to create positive case outcomes and meaningful opportunities for children. We also work with broad coalitions to ensure that the reform of juvenile courts includes the protection of children’s rights–particularly the right to counsel.

Responsibilities: The Gault Fellows collaborate with NJDC staff to develop legal and policy initiatives around a broad range of juvenile defense issues. The Fellows perform extensive legal research and analysis for NJDC and assist with the provision of training and technical assistance to the juvenile defense community. The Fellows work closely with juvenile defense attorneys, public defender offices, law schools, legal clinics, and nonprofit law centers to improve access to counsel and the quality of representation for all children. The Fellows write reports, articles, issue briefs, and fact sheets to inform the field, and additionally review the content and citations of all materials developed by NJDC. The Fellows may also assist in long-term research and writing on a variety of high-level reform projects. Each Fellow is expected to proactively initiate projects to improve the provision of justice in the juvenile delinquency system.

Qualifications: Applicants must be recent law graduates (Class of 2017 or 2018) with excellent legal research, writing, and analytical skills, an ability to work independently, and superb attention to detail. Knowledge of juvenile delinquency law is helpful but not required; a demonstrated interest in juvenile rights, criminal law, civil rights, and racial and social justice is essential. Applicants should be hardworking, self-motivated, well-organized, possess a positive attitude and a sense of humor, and have the proven ability to work with a wide range of people. The Fellow will be expected to begin the fellowship in September 2018, ending in August 2020, must be able to commit to the full two years, and must have the capacity for occasional work-related travel.

Salary and Benefits: The Gault Fellow works for two years, and is provided a first year salary of $45,000, with the possibility of an increase in the second year, plus full health benefits.

Application Procedure: Candidates should send a cover letter, resume, three references, and short (approx. 250 word) summary and analysis of the landmark juvenile rights case In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), with the subject line “2018-2020 Gault Fellowship Application – [Last Name]” to inquiries@njdc.info as a single .pdf file. Applications are due Monday, October 30. Final decisions are expected to be made by mid-December.

NJDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Opportunity: Staff Attorney for CDPL

The Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, North Carolina seeks a new staff attorney.

CDPL is a non-profit law firm and advocacy organization that works to provide the highest quality representation to people facing execution, and to end the death penalty in North Carolina. CDPL’s commitment to representing indigent and disadvantaged defendants just as vigorously as corporate lawyers defend their highest-paying clients, and training other capital attorneys across the state to do the same, has saved the lives of many who faced execution. In addition to representing individual clients, CDPL spearheads litigation and public education campaigns that address systemic injustices and cast light on the arbitrariness and unfairness of our state’s capital punishment system. Over the past decade, CDPL has been a leading force in stopping executions in North Carolina.

Our team of attorneys, mitigation investigators, paralegals, and public education specialists works to identify strategic opportunities to change public opinion and reduce the use of the death penalty. Our office also has a strong commitment to racial equity, and works both internally and externally to combat systemic racism. In addition to handling individual cases, attorneys are encouraged to participate in cross-disciplinary projects that further our goals of ending the death penalty and promoting racial equity.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Two to seven years of experience practicing law
  • Commitment to ending the death penalty and addressing systemic unfairness
  • Strong oral and written communications skills
  • Understanding of issues common in capital cases, such as mental illness, poverty, racism and substance abuse
  • Interest in advocacy and public education, in addition to direct representation of clients

Applicants should send a cover letter by October 2nd detailing interest, as well as a resume, the names of two professional references, and a writing sample of approximately 10 pages to Ms. Barrie Wallace at barrie@cdpl.org or to her attention at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, 123 West Main Street, Suite 700, Durham, N.C. 27701.  For additional information, please contact Barrie Wallace at barrie@cdpl.org.

CDPL is committed to diversity and racial equity and is an equal opportunity employer.

Upcoming Webinar & RTA Page Update

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If you haven’t already heard, the National Juvenile Justice Network is hosting a one-hour “Access to Counsel” webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 19, starting at 3 p.m.  Below is a brief description of what to expect from the webinar:

“Nearly every state falls far too short of its constitutional obligation to provide adequate access to counsel and effective lawyers for youth.  This failure helps to perpetuate the over-criminalization of youth, particularly youth of color.  In this webinar, we will explore the findings and recommendations in the National Juvenile Defender Center’s recent report, Access Denied: A National Snapshot of States’ Failure to Protect Children’s Right to Counsel.  You will also learn from case examples by NJJN members who have moved policy reform forward to improve access to counsel in their states.”

Presenters for this discussion include Kirstin Cornnell, director of operations at the Delaware Center for Justice, Christina Gilbert senior staff attorney and policy counsel at the National Juvenile Defender Center, and Eric Zogry, the N.C. juvenile defender.  To register for this event, please follow the link here.

RTAWe would also like to notify everyone that we have added one more piece of new info to our “Raise the Age” page.  Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) has recently released a one-page explainer on N.C.’s Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act.  We’ve provided a new link to this brief within our description for resources from CFYJ.

Additionally, CFYJ is currently promoting its 9th Annual Youth Justice Action Month for October, encouraging advocates/activists of youth justice from all over the U.S. to participate in developing campaigns, hosting events, and whatever else they feel compelled to do to in order to aid in reforming the juvenile justice system.  If you are interested in joining them, please visit here to sign up and see more information.

Meet Cody Davis – OJD’s 2017 Fall Intern

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Cody Davis will be joining the office this fall as our new intern.  Cody is a third-year law student at Campbell University School of Law.

While in law school, Cody also received his Master’s of Public Administration from North Carolina State University.  Prior to law school, Cody received his Bachelor’s from North Carolina State University where he studied political science with minors in criminology and philosophy.  Cody has previously worked at the Legislative Analysis Division of the North Carolina General Assembly where he had the opportunity to experience the passage of North Carolina’s Raise-the-Age provisions and compile some research on juvenile jurisdiction across the country.  Cody also had the opportunity to shadow a juvenile defense attorney while he was in college.  In the community, Cody is a volunteer judge for Capital Area Teen Court and serves as the Assistant Director for the Campbell Law School’s Pro Bono Council.

Cody has always had an interest in juvenile delinquency issues, and that is what caused him to pursue a legal education.  Even before law school, Cody’s undergraduate coursework included the topic of juvenile delinquency; and in graduate school, one of Cody’s policy analysis research projects was a program evaluation of teen court programs.  Though Cody has lived in Raleigh for several years, he is originally from Archdale, N.C. and comes from a large, close family.

Also joining the office with Cody is his guide dog Bingo, an 8-year-old black lab.  Bingo is a graduate of Southeastern Guide Dogs; and her interests include eating, sleeping, and sniffing.

Historic Celebration Honoring N.C. Supreme Court’s African-American Justices

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(From top, left to right) Justices Morgan, Timmons-Goodson, Beasley, Wynn, Frye, and Butterfield were honored on Aug. 31st (*Picture originally from NCAOC)

On Aug. 31st, the Historic Celebration Honoring the African-American Justices of the Supreme Court of North Carolina was held at the Law and Justice Building in Raleigh.  During this celebration the Honorable Henry E. Frye, James A. Wynn, Jr., G.K. Butterfield, Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Cheri Lynn Beasley, and Michael Rivers Morgan were recognized for their service.  Many people came out in support of the event, and rooms were also provided at the N.C. History Museum and the Court of Appeals, while the event was also live-streamed on Facebook.

Wanda Bryant, senior associate judge of the N.C. Court of Appeals, presided over the event, opening the ceremony by acknowledging each judge in the order of their service and encouraging the audience to join her in giving the six honorees a standing ovation.  Following Bryant’s introduction, Rev. Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw, Jr., senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Raleigh, gave the invocation before Chief Justice Mark Martin approached the podium to welcome everyone.  Martin acknowledged the current justices, the history of the N.C. Supreme Court, and spoke briefly about the service of each of the honorees individually.  During his speech, Martin also thanked Wynn for administering his oath to office and cheerfully welcomed the retired Frye back to the court.

Calvin Murphy, emergency judge of the N.C. superior court and a former N.C. business court judge and former president of the N.C. State Bar, gave the occasion.  Murphy gave a more detailed history of the role of African-Americans in the N.C. judicial system, pointing out that the six African-American justices had all been appointed over the past 34 years, and two of only seven women to serve on the N.C. Supreme Court were African-American.

Kaye Webb, retired general counsel of North Carolina Central University and a former president of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, recognized the guests and Ken Lewis, former law clerk to Chief Justice Frye, introduced the African American justices before speakers came to the front to give remarks.

Introducing former Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., District Judge Herbert Richardson was the first speak.  “If the public is to have equal access to justice, they must have equal access to the bench,” Richardson said in a powerful speech.  “You cannot find justice if you cannot find your people.”

When Hunt took the stage, he discussed how change is necessary to achieve greatness.  “When we don’t rock the boat, we stop moving forward,” Hunt said in the closing of his speech.  “Keep rocking the boat until N.C. is all that it could be, all that it would be, all that it should be.”

On behalf of the infirm former Governor Michael F. Easley, his son, Michael F. Easley, Jr., spoke after Hunt, echoing the need for representation of all people in the justice system.  “It is only by diversity that the court is held in the esteem that it is.” Easley said.  In his own closing, Easley borrowed a quote from Civil Rights champion Martin Luther King, Jr., which was paraphrased from Minister Theodore Parker’s 19th-century sermon, saying, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  He then thanked the honorees for bending the metaphorical arc.

Former Governor Beverly Eaves Perdue followed Easley, opening her speech by recounting her first embarrassing experience in front of judges to the audience’s amusement.  Perdue said that while she once thought that the fight for equality of race and sex, among other things, had been already won, the same issues persist today, but it is important that North Carolinians above all others maintain a spirit of optimism.

Governor Roy Cooper, who was unable to join the presentation in person, gave his speech via video presentation, thanking the justices for their service and for being an inspiration to others.

Following the governors’ speeches, Attorney General Joshua Stein, State Senator Daniel T. Blue, Jr., and Justices Butterfield, Timmons-Goodson, and Frye all took to the podium, echoing the importance of diversity, legacy, and positivity and the history of the N.C. Supreme Court.

In closing, Rev. Dr. Maurice A. Harden, pastor of Rush Metropolitan AME Zion Church in Raleigh, gave the benediction and all attendees were invited to a reception hosted at the governor’s office.