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Professor Schumm, '98, Authors Criminal Defense Reform Report for ABA

01/18/2013

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, a report written by Professor Joel Schumm, '98, on behalf of two attorney groups calls for changes in what the report terms “the perpetual crisis in indigent defense.”

Titled “National Indigent Defense Reform: The Solution is Multifaceted,” the report was released on January 8, 2013, by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Recommendations on how to approach the problem come from a focus group made up of 18 experts, one of whom was Professor Norm Lefstein. The report concludes that criminal defense could be improved by reclassification – changing criminal statutes so that minor illegal acts become civil infractions dealt with by a fine; and diversion – in which low-level criminal charges are dismissed if the offender performs community service and meets other requirements.

An article written in the ABA Journal contains a link to a pdf of the report.

Professor Schumm is a magna cum laude graduate of the law school. He is a clinical professor of law, where he teaches in the Appellate Clinic, and is director of the Judicial Externship Program.


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