From Bloodsworth to Today: Wrongful Convictions in Maryland

Laura Nirider of "Making a Murderer"

Laura Nirider of Making a Murderer will be the special guest at a fundraiser to follow the conference. Tickets are required for the evening event, which will run from 6-8 p.m.

TODAY (Sept. 29, 2016)

11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

John and Frances Angelos Law Center
University of Baltimore School of Law
1401 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Leaders of UB’s Innocence Project Clinic and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and other experts will discuss wrongful convictions in Maryland and mass incarceration in the United States.

The conference is free and open to the public.

Click here for the full conference program.

Afterwards, join us for a fundraiser to support the new Maryland Expert Fund!

At 6 p.m., head upstairs to the 12th floor of the Angelos Law Center for a fundraiser to benefit the Maryland Expert Fund, a new project of UB’s Innocence Project Clinic and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, which recently joined forces.

The event will feature special guest Laura Nirider of Making a Murderer.

Tickets are required for the fundraiser, which will run from 6-8 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets, which are $25 for students (please bring your student ID) and $50 for nonstudents.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

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Click on image to read new issue of Baltimore Law

baltimore-law-fall-2016-cover

The hard-copy version of the magazine will be available in early October.

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No ‘shrinking violets’: Denniston on independent justices

From left: Professor Garrett Epps, Lyle Denniston and Dean Ronald Weich.

From left: Professor Garrett Epps, visiting professor Lyle Denniston and Dean Ronald Weich

Reporter Steve Lash of The Daily Record wrote a first-person account of Monday’s Constitution Day lecture by visiting professor Lyle Denniston, who has covered the Supreme Court for multiple news outlets since 1958.

“I first met Lyle Denniston in 1989, my first year covering the U.S. Supreme Court — his 31st,” Lash began in “At UB Law, Lyle Denniston holds court.”

On Monday evening, after an introduction by Dean Ronald Weich, Denniston and Professor Garrett Epps discussed the Supreme Court and its relationship with U.S. politics. The lecture was titled “Is the Supreme Court a Political Institution? Yes, and No.”

Wrote Lash: “Yes, the court is political, Lyle says, but only to the extent it renders decisions with political consequences, such as in the areas of campaign finance, gerrymandering and that case which essentially decided a presidential election 16 years ago, Bush v. Gore. But Lyle says he disagrees with those who say the justices render their decisions based not on sound interpretation of the law but on which political party will benefit.

“He blames the media, in part, for fueling the perception of a ‘political court,’ citing news stories that make a point of mentioning the presidents who appointed the justices who wrote the majority and dissenting opinions, as if their decisions are a payment for their appointment.”

Denniston emphasized that the justices are well aware that the court is an independent branch of government.

“[The Supreme Court] is no shrinking violet,” he said. “[The justices] wake up in the morning being acutely aware of Article III.”

Article III of the Constitution established the judicial branch of the federal government.

Denniston is to present two more lectures in a fall series titled “Citizenship and Freedom: The Supreme Court and American Politics”:

Oct 20: “When the Politicians Pick the Voters”

Nov. 16: “Picking the Justices: A System in Disgrace”

The lectures are free and open to the public.

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Baltimore political legend Gene Raynor, LL.B. ’66, dies at 80

Gene Michael Raynor, LL.B. ’66, died Saturday (Sept. 17, 2016) at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. He was 80 years old.

Known as an old-fashioned political strategist, Raynor served as a city and state election administrator and was a key ally of former mayor and governor William Donald Schaefer, LL.B. ’42.

“It’s hard to imagine an election in Baltimore without Gene Raynor,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski told The Baltimore Sun.

“His annual New Year’s Day party was must-attend for any Baltimore politician, would-be politician or has-been politician,” Mikulski continued. “He knew how to organize and strategize, but never antagonized.”

“Gene was one of Baltimore’s all-time characters, lifted right out of a political novel,” former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. told The Sun. “Gene knew city politics better than anyone I ever met.”

Raynor was also the owner of the Waterfront Hotel, a Fells Point bar and restaurant that served as a gathering spot for his large circle of friends.

Read the Sun obituary by Jacques Kelly.

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Higginbotham: Trump victory would set blacks back 50 years

Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law Michael Higginbotham.

Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law F. Michael Higginbotham

Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law F. Michael Higginbotham contributed an op-ed to The Baltimore Sun today (Sept. 20, 2016), “What do blacks have to lose? Let me tell you.”

Wrote Higginbotham: “The African American community stands to lose much of the progress we have made in the last 50 years if Donald Trump wins the White House, while the serious problems that we still face will calcify or worsen.”

Higginbotham noted that Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, views African Americans as an undifferentiated group; in a recent speech Trump said that African Americans are “living in poverty.”

“In reality, of course, some of us are living in poverty, some are working our way up the economic ladder, some are comfortably middle class and others are enjoying economic prosperity,” Higginbotham said.

Higginbotham also pointed out that, early in his professional real estate career, Trump had to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of blacks and Latinos who sought to rent Trump-owned properties; testimony pointed to widespread, deliberate practices designed to keep out minority renters.

Moreover, Higginbotham continued, Trump has often referred to President Barack Obama as the “affirmative action” president, implying that Obama’s admission to Harvard Law School and his election as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review were not deserved.

Higginbotham also noted that Trump appointments to the Supreme Court would be devastating to civil rights advancements made over the last half century.

And, he said, Trump’s notion of “making America great again” implies a return to a time when blacks were “separated in neighborhoods, discriminated against in employment and lynched with impunity.”

Higginbotham is the author of Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America.

Learn more about Professor Higginbotham.

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Tonight: Lyle Denniston on the Supreme Court and U.S. politics

Lyle Denniston

Lyle Denniston

Longtime Supreme Court correspondent Lyle Denniston will give the first of three fall lectures at 5 p.m. today in the moot courtroom of the John and Frances Angelos Law Center (1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21201).

Denniston is visiting the University of Baltimore this academic year.

This evening’s talk, which marks Constitution Day, is titled “Is the Supreme Court a Political Institution? Yes, and No.”

To watch a live stream of the lecture, click here.

Mark your calendars for Denniston’s next two lectures in the “Citizenship and Freedom: The Supreme Court and American Politics” series:

Oct. 20: “When the Politicians Pick the Voters”

Nov. 16: “Picking the Justices: A System in Disgrace”

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Epps gives keynote at American Legal Fictions Colloquium

Professor Garrett Epps

Professor Garrett Epps

Professor Garrett Epps gave the keynote address Friday (Sept. 16, 2016) at the Savannah Law Review‘s American Legal Fictions Colloquium.

Epps’s talk, “Heaven and Earth Shall Pass Away: Law as the Supreme Fiction,” followed a daylong series of presentations, including a talk by Professor J. Amy Dillard titled “Terry Stops — The Myth of Reasonable Articulable Suspicion.”

Click here to see the event program.

Learn more about Professor Epps, the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2013). Epps is the Supreme Court correspondent for The Atlantic (see an archive of his columns) and before becoming a law professor was a reporter for The Washington Post, among other newspapers. At the University of Baltimore, Epps teaches constitutional law and creative writing for law students.

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