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Fw: [law_justice_06] Fw: **BIDEN Introduces Justice Integrity Act

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  • nadya maldonado
    ... From: Diane Griffin Subject: [law_justice_06] Fw: **BIDEN Introduces Justice Integrity Act To: law_justice_06@yahoogroups.com,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 11, 2008
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      --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Diane Griffin <gharibuu@...> wrote:
      From: Diane Griffin <gharibuu@...>
      Subject: [law_justice_06] Fw: **BIDEN Introduces Justice Integrity Act
      To: law_justice_06@yahoogroups.com, law_justice_07@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 11:38 PM

      ************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ******

      "Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being."
      ...the poetic words of Kahlil Gibran
      --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Snoddy, Robert <SnoddyR@STAFF. ABANET.ORG> wrote:

      > From: Snoddy, Robert <SnoddyR@STAFF. ABANET.ORG>
      > Subject: **BIDEN Introduces Justice Integrity Act
      > To: CJSRACISM@MAIL. ABANET.ORG
      > Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 4:40 PM
      > FOR RELEASE:
      >
      > July 10, 2008
      >
      >
      >
      > CONTACT:
      >
      > Annie Tomasini / Danielle Borrin
      >
      > 202-224-5042
      >
      >
      >
      > BIDEN Introduces Justice Integrity Act
      >
      >
      >
      > Establishes Pilot Program to Study Racial Disparities in
      > the Criminal
      > Justice System
      >
      >
      >
      > Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
      > (D-DE), Chairman of
      > the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, along
      > with
      > Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)
      > and John F.
      > Kerry (D-MA), today introduced the Justice Integrity Act,
      > legislation
      > designed to increase public confidence in the justice
      > system and address
      > any unwarranted racial and ethnic disparities in the
      > criminal process.
      > The Justice Integrity Act will establish advisory groups in
      > ten federal
      > districts, under the supervision of the United States
      > Attorney General,
      > to study and determine the extent of racial and ethnic
      > disparity in the
      > various stages of the criminal justice system; make public
      > reports on
      > the results of their findings; and make specific
      > recommendations to help
      > to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and
      > unjustified racial and
      > ethnic disparities.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Nowhere is the guarantee of equal protection more
      > important than in our
      > criminal justice system," said Sen. Biden, former
      > Chairman of the Senate
      > Judiciary Committee. "The reality is that despite the
      > best efforts and
      > intentions of policymakers, racial and ethnic disparities
      > continue to
      > plague our justice system. We need to step up our efforts
      > in order to
      > root these disparities out."
      >
      >
      >
      > Studies, reports, and case law from the last several years
      > have
      > documented racial disparities during many of the stages of
      > the criminal
      > justice system-law enforcement contact with a suspect,
      > arrest, charging,
      > plea bargaining, jury selection, and sentencing. Nowhere
      > is this more
      > evident than in our prisons, according to data compiled by
      > the Justice
      > Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics
      > <http://www.ojp. usdoj.gov/ bjs/abstract/ piusp01.htm> .
      > Minorities now
      > make up more than two-thirds of persons convicted of
      > offenses in State
      > and Federal courts. At least 60 percent and, by some
      > estimates, nearly
      > three-quarters of prisoners in the United States are either
      > African
      > American or Hispanic. One of every three African American
      > men born today
      > can expect to go to prison in his lifetime. Disparities in
      > the criminal
      > justice process like these engender a crisis of public
      > trust in the
      > integrity of our criminal justice system and raise the
      > possibility that
      > we are failing to make good on the Constitutional promise
      > of equal
      > protection.
      >
      >
      >
      > "I came to the Senate 35 years ago because of the
      > civil rights movement
      > and because I wanted to help end injustices
      > everywhere," added Sen.
      > Biden. "America has come a long way in the fight for
      > civil rights, but
      > new and more subtle forms of prejudice still endure. For
      > Americans to
      > respect the rule of law, they must have faith that justice
      > is attainable
      > for everyone. The Justice Integrity Act will help us
      > continue to fulfill
      > the Constitution' s promise that every American will
      > enjoy the equal
      > protection of the laws."
      >
      >
      >
      > The Justice Integrity Act establishes a pilot program
      > within the Justice
      > Department to identify and eliminate unjustified
      > disparities in the
      > administration of justice. The program calls for:
      >
      >
      >
      > * Ten U.S. Attorneys, designated by the Attorney General,
      > are
      > directed to appoint and chair an advisory group, composed
      > of federal and
      > state prosecutors and defenders, private defense counsel,
      > federal and
      > state judges, correctional officers, victims' rights
      > representatives,
      > civil rights organizations, business representatives and
      > faith-based
      > organizations engaged in criminal justice work.
      >
      >
      >
      > * Each advisory group to systematically gather and examine
      > data
      > regarding the criminal process in its district and seek to
      > determine the
      > causes of any racial or ethnic disparity.
      >
      >
      >
      > * Produce a report on key findings and recommend a plan to
      > reduce
      > any unwarranted racial and ethnic disparities, and thereby
      > increase
      > public confidence in the criminal justice system.
      >
      >
      >
      > At the end of the pilot program, the Attorney General will
      > produce a
      > comprehensive report to Congress on the results in all ten
      > districts and
      > recommend best-practices going forward.
      >
      >
      >
      > Numerous law enforcement and civil rights organizations
      > have expressed
      > their support for Sen. Biden's legislation, including
      > the American Bar
      > Association, the National Criminal Justice Association, and
      > The
      > Sentencing Project.
      >
      >
      >
      > Thomas M. Susman, Director of the American Bar Association,
      > said:
      > "Growing racial disparities work to erode confidence
      > among minorities in
      > the fairness of the criminal justice system. All of us
      > have a stake in
      > the rule of law in our justice system, and we must
      > continually aspire to
      > achieve both the perception and reality that our criminal
      > justice system
      > is fair, unbiased and just. The ABA stands ready to work
      > with you
      > toward timely enactment of the Justice Integrity Act."
      >
      >
      >
      > Cabell C. Cropper, Executive Director of the National
      > Criminal Justice
      > Association, said: "NCJA members applaud your
      > commitment to analyzing
      > the root causes of disparity, regionally and nationally.
      > The Justice
      > Integrity Act will provide tools for gathering and
      > analyzing data and
      > exploring the root causes of inequity. Only by learning
      > what triggers
      > and enables the disparity can we, as a society, work to
      > reverse it. The
      > American judicial system is known as a beacon for countries
      > around the
      > world. We must look unflinchingly at weaknesses where they
      > exist and
      > work together at the federal, state and local levels to
      > ensure the
      > administration of justice is fair, ethical and
      > unbiased."
      >
      >
      >
      > ###
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Annie Tomasini
      >
      > Press Secretary for U.S. Sen. Joe Biden
      >
      > annie_tomasini@ biden.senate. gov
      >
      > Direct: 202.224.9565
      >
      > Cell: 302.757.1078


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