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2019-20 Symposium: Issues in Federal Sentencing: Privilege, Disparity, and a Way Forward

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Keynote Address: Kemba Smith—author, advocate, formerly incarcerated person, and newly appointed member of the Virginia Parole Board.

5:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Brief Reception with all attendees of the Keynote Address

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

9:00 a.m. Welcome
Prof. Nora Demleitner, Madison Peace, Evelyn Clark

9:15 a.m.–10:30 a.m. Panel 1: An Introduction to Federal Sentencing Disparities

An introduction to sentencing disparities and how defendants from various socio-economic and class backgrounds (who often are prosecuted for different kinds of crimes) are treated differently as they move through the criminal-justice system.

Panelists: Erin Collins, Todd Haugh, Paul Hofer, Doug Passon
Moderator: Prof.Nora Demleitner

10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Panel 2: The Ripple Effects of Sentencing Disparities

A conversation about how sentencing disparities harm individuals, communities, and society at large. 

Panelists: Jelani Jefferson Exum, Benji McMurray, Mae Quinn, Matt Rowland
Moderator: Prof.Michal Buchhandler-Raphael

12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch break

1:00 p.m.–2:15 p.m. Panel 3:  Judicial Discretion, Individualization, and Dignity in the Courtroom 

An exploration of how the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines affect judicial decision making, attorneys’ advocacy on behalf of their clients, and offenders themselves. This panel discusses the practical application of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines in the field, the benefits and risks of a Guidelines–based system, and the need for individualism in the criminal justice system. 

Panelists: Judge Mark Bennett, Steven Chanenson, Tim Heaphy, Juval Scott
Moderator: Prof. Jon Shapiro 

2:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 p.m.­­­­–3:45 p.m. Panel 4: A Way Forward: Efforts for Reform

An assessment about what we can do in and out of the courtroom–through legislation such as the First Step Act and community efforts—to mitigate sentencing disparities and reform sentencing practices. 

Panelists: Kara Gotsch, Ames Grawert, John Pfaff, Vikrant Reddy, Kate Weisburd
Moderator: Prof. Brandon Hasbrouck

3:45 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

Sponsored by The Law School Office of the Dean, the Office of the Provost and the Institute for Honor, the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics, and the Francis Lewis Law Center.