Agenda

All available panel recordings can be found on DEPC’s events playlist on YouTube.


Thursday, October 7

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Mandatory Minimums and Trial Penalties as Weapons in the Drug War

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Though mandatory minimum sentencing provisions are applicable in a variety of contexts, their use (and the trial penalties they often produce) are especially common in state and federal drug cases. In this panel, professors, advocates and impacted individuals discussed the problematic impact of mandatory minimums in drug prosecutions and explored viable avenues for reform.

Moderator:

Douglas A. Berman, Professor and Newton D. Baker-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law, Director, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University

Panelists:

Erik Luna, Amelia D. Lewis Professor of Constitutional and Criminal Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
Mary Price, General Counsel, FAMM
Weldon Angelos, Advocate, Music producer, The Weldon Project

12:15 – 12:30 p.m.
Break

12:30 – 2 p.m.
Inaugural 2021 Menard Family Lecture on Drug Policy and Criminal Justice

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EVENT

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Moderator:

Douglas A. Berman, Professor and Newton D. Baker-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law, Director, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University

Panelists:

Eric H. Holder, Jr., 82nd Attorney General of the United States
Piper Kerman, Social Justice Advocate and Author
The Honorable Maureen O’Connor, Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
The Honorable Algenon L. Marbley, Chief U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio

2 – 2:15 p.m.
Break

2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
The Biden Clemency Crisis

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Even with a bipartisan consensus in favor of mitigating harsh drug sentences, particularly in drug cases, over 15,000 clemency petitions are languishing in the federal system, a record number. This panel of experts, including one who was formerly incarcerated, discussed the gravity of the situation and its historic context.

Moderator:

Mark Osler, Professor and Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law, University of St. Thomas Law School

Panelists:

Rachel Barkow, Faculty Director, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, Vice Dean and Charles Seligson Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
Premal Dharia
, Executive Director, Institute to End Mass Incarceration, Harvard Law School
Jason Hernandez, Founder, Crack Open the Door

3:30 – 5 p.m.
Break

5 p.m.
Commuted film screening and discussion

Recording coming soon.

Join us for a viewing of an excerpt from Commuted and a moderated discussion with its director, Nialah Jefferson, and its main protagonist, Danielle Metz.

Moderator:

Jelani Jefferson-Exum, Dean and Philip J. McElroy Professor of Law, University of Detroit Mercy

Panelists:

Nailah Jefferson, film director
Danielle Metz
, student, community activist, advocate, and public speaker


Friday, October 8

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Sentencing Criteria as Crazymaker in Drug Cases

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Sentencing schemes typically use several criteria (weight, proximity to a school, etc) that have little to do with actual culpability in many cases. This group of experts discussed the problem, and looked to a better system.

Moderator:

Mark Osler, Professor and Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law, University of St. Thomas Law School

Panelists:

Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.), Senior Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School and Judge (Ret.), U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Oren M. Gur
, Director of Research, Policy Advisor, Director of District Attorney’s Transparency Analytics (DATA) Lab, Office of District Attorney Larry Krasner
Mona Lynch, Interim Dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Criminology, Law and Society and Law, School of Social Ecology, University of California Irvine

12:15 – 12:20 p.m.
Break

12:20 – 1:35 p.m.
Reimagining an Antiracist Approach to Drug Sentencing

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It is well known that drug law and policy in the United States has had profoundly inequitable consequences for communities of color.  This panel explored the racial disparities in drug arrests, prosecution, and sentencing outcomes.  However, rather than presenting the data that has become familiar to many, panelists presented their take on a reimagined approach to drug sentencing – one that fulfills the antiracist goals of racial equity.

Moderator:

Jelani Jefferson-Exum, Dean and Philip J. McElroy Professor of Law, University of Detroit Mercy

Panelists:

Jessica Eaglin, Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law
Sean Hill
, Assistant Professor of Law, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law
Addie Rolnick, Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

1:35 – 1:45 p.m.
Break

1:45 – 3 p.m.
What Other Alternatives? Thinking Beyond Drug Courts and Sentencing

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Drug courts are often presented as the only alternative to incarceration for people suffering from substance use disorder. But while drug courts present benefits, there are also drawbacks. The panel of experts discussed the advantages and disadvantages of alternative courts broadly and provided specific ideas on re-conceptualizing drug courts and creating other alternatives to sentencing.

Moderator:

Valena Beety, Professor of Law and Deputy Director of the Academy of Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Panelists:

Sherry Boston, District Attorney, DeKalb County, Georgia
Michael Collins, Strategic Policy and Planning Director, Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City
Kerwin Kaye, Associate Professor of Sociology, Wesleyan University
David Lucas, Clinical Advisor/Senior Program Manager, Center for Court Innovation
Kenneth Matthews, Team Leader, residential rehab facility operated by Prestera Center