Richard J. Childress Memorial Lecture 2017: Human Rights in the American Criminal Justice System

Friday, October 13, 2017 -
9:00am to 4:15pm

John K. Pruellage Courtroom

Registration Begins at 8 a.m.
6.3 MO CLE Credits Available 

The 2017 Richard J. Childress Lecture and accompanying Symposium will take place on Friday, October 13, 2017.  This symposium will examine the role, rhetoric, and practices of the United States’ criminal justice system using international human rights norms as perspective.  The symposium will bring together practitioners and academics focused both domestically and internationally.  Our panelists will speak about how the modern criminal justice system in the United States – whether it is pretrial detention, treatment of gender violence or juvenile populations, or the continued use of the death penalty - conform to or violate international human rights standards, and what can be done to change that. We want our students to connect with members of the wider legal community advocating for the use of human rights standards, and look forward to the conversation.

The free event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in the Pruellage Courtroom of Scott Hall.

Sponsored by the Law Journal.


Friday, October 13

8:00am – 9am //Registration
9am – 10am //Keynote Address: The Death Penalty, Public Opinion, and Politics in the United States; Samuel R. Gross, Thomas and Mabel Long Professor of Law at The University of Michigan Law School
10:15-11:45am///Human Rights Issues in Domestic Criminal Law

· Wade H. McMullen, Managing Attorney, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

· Mae C. Quinn, Director, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center

· Jamila Jefferson-Jones, Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

· Gregory J. Kuykendall, Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program

11:45am – 1pm// Break 
1pm – 2:30pm //The Modern Reality of the United States as Capital Punishment Practitioner

· Jennifer Merrigan & Joseph Perkovich, Attorneys, Phillips Black

· John Bessler, Associate Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law

· Maya Foa, Director, Reprieve

2:30pm -4pm//Integrating Human Rights Work into Legal Practice

· Lauren E. Bartlett, Director of Legal Clinics and Assistant Professor of Law, Ohio Northern University Pettit School of Law

· Margaret B. Drew, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts School of Law

· Martha F. Davis, Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

· Juliana C. Repp, Attorney, Northwest Native American Law, PLLC

4pm// Final Reflections, Samuel R. Gross


Lauren E. Bartlett
Director of Legal Clinics and Assistant Professor of Law, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law

Lauren E. Bartlett is the Director of Legal Clinics and Assistant Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law.  Previously she served as the Research and Training Director at the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law, where she coordinated human rights advocacy programs on a variety of issues including human rights in the U.S., anti-torture, disability rights, and more. Ms. Bartlett has extensive human rights experience, including filing complaints with U.N. treaty bodies and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, organizing civil society consultations with the U.S. government in advance of human rights reviews, training and technical assistance to nonprofits  incorporating human rights law in U.S. advocacy and using international human rights mechanisms, drafting the first Human Rights in the U.S. handbook for Legal Aid Attorneys, providing live testimony to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing after Hurricane Katrina, and participating as a research assistant for a member of the United Nations Committee Against Torture.  Ms. Bartlett is a former legal aid attorney who worked at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services from 2008-2011 in the Foreclosure Prevention Unit. In 2007, Ms. Bartlett co-founded the Louisiana Justice Institute, a nonprofit civil rights legal advocacy organization, where she focused on protecting the rights of persons affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  She taught as an adjunct professor of law at both Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and at American University Washington College of Law. Before obtaining her law degree, Ms. Bartlett worked with non-profit organizations in California, Nepal, Ghana, Bangladesh and India, alongside advocates fighting for social and environmental justice.


John Bessler
Associate Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law

Bessler has taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law since 2009, and he has also taught at the University of Minnesota Law School, the George Washington University Law School, the Georgetown University Law Center, and Rutgers School of Law-Camden. He clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Mason of the District of Minnesota, and practiced law for many years in the area of civil litigation as a partner at the Minneapolis law firm of Kelly & Berens, P.A. He has written seven books, five on the subject of capital punishment, one on the origins of American law, and one on the craft of writing. His undergraduate degree is in political science, and in addition to an M.F.A. in Writing, he has a master's degree in international human rights law. His law review articles have appeared in the American Criminal Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the Arkansas Law Review, and elsewhere, and his books have received numerous awards.   His recent book, The Birth of American Law: An Italian Philosopher and the American Revolution (Carolina Academic Press, 2014), was the recipient of the 2015 Scribes Book Award, an annual award given out since 1961 for "the best work of legal scholarship published during the previous year."  Bessler, a two-time Minnesota Book Award finalist, also currently teaches a capital punishment seminar as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.  He recently edited Justice Stephen Breyer's, Against the Death Penalty, a book which reprints, contextualizes and annotates Justice Stephen Breyer's recent dissent in Glossip v. Gross, 135 S. Ct. 2726 (2015).

Martha F. Davis
Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

Martha F. Davis is Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, where she is also faculty director for the law school human rights program and the NuLawLab.  In 2015-2016, Professor Davis held the Fulbright distinguished chair at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) in Lund, Sweden.  She remains an affiliated scholar with the RWI, serving as a Fulbright specialist with the Institute in 2017-2018.

Professor Davis has written widely on women’s rights and social justice issues, with scholarly articles in the Yale Law Journal, the North Carolina Law Review, Fordham Law Journal, NYU Review of Law & Social Change, and many others.  Her co-edited book, Global Urban Justice: The Rise of Human Rights Cities (Cambridge 2016), critically examines the potential that cities hold for global urban justice.  Her prizewinning book Brutal Need: Lawyers and the Welfare Rights Movement, 1960-1973, provides a detailed historical account welfare rights activism in the 1960s.  She is also the co-author of the textbook, Human Rights Advocacy in the United States (West 2014), soon to be issued in its second edition.

Prior to joining the Northeastern law faculty, Professor Davis was vice president and legal director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. As a women’s rights practitioner, she was counsel in several cases before the US Supreme Court, including Nguyen v. INS, a challenge to sex-based citizenship laws that Professor Davis argued before the Court. Professor Davis has testified before U.S. Congressional Committees and state legislatures, has appeared many times on national TV and radio, and is a frequent blogger and op-ed author on issues relating to economic and social rights and women’s rights.  With Professor Margaret Drew, she co-edits the Human Rights at Home blog


Margaret B. Drew
Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts School of Law

Prior to entering academia full-time in 2005, Professor Drew practiced law in Massachusetts for twenty-five years. She represented clients in the District, Probate and Family and Appellate Courts of Massachusetts. Professor Drew’s practice focused on family, probate and residential real estate. She handled numerous appeals in family law and probate matters.
Professor Drew is a member of several bar associations including the American Bar Association, having served with its Commission of Domestic and Sexual Violence since its founding. Professor Drew is a past chair of the Commission. from whom she recently received a 20/20 Vision Award for her work in implementing the Violence Against Women Act and mobilizing attorneys to represent survivors of domestic violence.  She is a member of the ABA AIDS Coordinating Committee. Professor Drew is a member and past chair of the amicus committee of the National Association of Women Lawyers. Professor Drew is a member of the state bars of Massachusetts, Alabama and Ohio and continues to represent survivors of intimate partner abuse.
Prior to coming to the University of Massachusetts School of Law, Professor Drew taught domestic violence clinics at the University of Alabama Law School, Northeastern University School of Law, and the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she was Director of Clinics and Experiential Learning. Professor Drew is co-founder and editor of Human Rights at Home Blog. 

Maya Foa
Director, Reprieve

Maya Foa, Reprieve Director, oversees Reprieve’s strategic initiatives to end extreme human rights abuses – the death penalty and abusive counter-terrorism practices.  In her work against execution by lethal injection in the US, Maya has codified the scientific case that the lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and helped defence attorneys argue this to save their clients from execution, scrupulously tracing the pharmaceutical supply chain to track how death rows are diverting medicines, and supported more than 30 manufacturers in cutting off this supply.  Her work against European complicity in executions has exposed the implications of European support for counter-narcotics programmes, shifting the debate about where some of the responsibility lies for executions for drug-related offences.  Maya has conducted extensive advocacy before the governments of Europe, the United States and regional and international bodies; has served as an expert advisor to the European Commission; and is a frequent voice in the media.   A graduate of Oxford University in French and Italian, Maya also holds an LLB, was a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow, won the 2015 SMK Women Demanding Justice award, and has been described by CBS news as “the woman behind a shortage of execution drugs”.

Samuel R. Gross
Thomas and Mabel Professor of Law, University of Michigan

Samuel R. Gross is the Thomas and Mabel Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan where he teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure and courses on false convictions and exonerations. He is co-founder and editor of the National Registry of Exonerations. Professor Gross has published many works on false convictions and exonerations, eyewitness identification, capital punishment, evidence law, pre-trial settlement and the selection of cases for trial, and racial profiling. He has litigated test cases on jury selection in capital trials, racial discrimination in the use of the death penalty and the constitutionality of executing defendants in the face of a substantial known risk of innocence.



Jamila Jefferson-Jones
Associate Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

Professor Jamila Jefferson-Jones teaches courses in Property, Real Estate Transactions and Professional Responsibility. Her scholarship reflects her intellectual interest in theories of property and ownership as well as in property and wealth attainment by communities and groups on the margins of society. Her recent work has three strands: (1) the interplay between and among sex, race, status and property; (2) the intersection of property and criminal justice theory; and (3) the regulation of the housing sector of the sharing economy.

Prior to entering academia, Professor Jefferson-Jones practiced law at firms in the District of Columbia and in her home town of New Orleans. Her areas of practice included business counsel, transactions, real estate and insurance matters, as well as civil and commercial litigation. She has also served as a staff attorney in the Orleans Public Defenders office.

Professor Jefferson-Jones is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. At Harvard Law School, she was an executive editor of the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and delivered the graduate English oration at the university’s 346th commencement.

Gregory J. Kuykendall
Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program

Greg Kuykendall, a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, is based in Tucson, Arizona, and licensed in Arizona, Texas and Colorado. He practices in state, federal and international courts representing people accused or convicted of capital murder. Since 2006, he has served as the director of the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program, acting as the Mexican Foreign Ministry’s chief lawyer related to Mexicans accused of capital crimes throughout the United States. He supervises the work of approximately 32 capital defense lawyers who assist in all phases of the defense of Mexicans in pretrial and postconviction cases. He has been in more than 1,000 capital cases, with a special emphasis on Atkins hearings and plea bargaining.  Greg graduated from Northwestern University Law School in 1988 after first receiving a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and Spanish from the University of Colorado.  

Wade H. McMullen
Managing Attorney, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Wade McMullen is the Managing Attorney at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, where he helped build and manage a case docket of high impact human rights cases, litigating before international tribunals with a focus on defending civic space and the rule of law, including cases before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Court as well as the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.  Mr. McMullen's work on arbitrary detention spans the globe has included high profile cases of Egyptian-American humanitarian Aya Hijazi, Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi, and Bronx teenager Pedro Hernandez. Mr. McMullen has also investigated the excessive use of force by police in the United States, organizing a hearing at the Inter-American Commission and briefing the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.  Since 2015 Mr. McMullen has also co-directed the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law. Previously, Mr. McMullen was the first Donald M. Wilson Fellow at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and prior to joining the organization he worked in Sierra Leone investigating abuses by the extractives industry, in India combating forced labor, and in Nicaragua promoting the right to health. Mr. McMullen received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where he was a researcher for the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions.

Jennifer Merrigan
Principal Attorney, Phillips Black

Ms. Merrigan has been a capital defense attorney since graduating from law school in 2004. Her training and background are in capital mitigation, and she has been appointed and has consulted in state and federal habeas corpus, pre-authorization, and trial cases as a mitigation specialist and as counsel. She is the former staff attorney and Acting Director of the Death Penalty Litigation Clinic, a non-profit law firm in Kansas City, Missouri. She is an adjunct professor at Saint Louis University Law School and teaches the death penalty clinic. She has presented at national conferences on mitigation, clemency, and mental health litigation in capital cases. She helped research and develop the Supplementary Guidelines for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Death Penalty Cases, 36 Hofstra L. Rev. 677 (Spring 2008). She received the 2010 Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer’s “Atticus Finch Award” for her advocacy and the 2011 Missouri State Fair Blue Ribbon for her fruit pie.

Joseph J. Perkovich
Principal Attorney, Phillips Black

Mr. Perkovich has concentrated his practice on capital post-conviction litigation in state and federal courts. He trained and previously practiced at global firms in New York, where his work also concerned complex commercial litigation, white collar defense and investigations, and business crisis management. He co-founded and teaches the death penalty clinic at the Saint Louis University School of Law and is also a founder of the Capital Sentencing Institute, an independent research organization. Perkovich was a visiting research fellow of the British Institute of International & Comparative Law in 2011. Since 2008, he has contributed annually to a leading federal civil practice treatise. Prior to practicing in New York, he led research at the behest of the European Commission on telecommunications regulation and directed programming for a community-based organization in rural North Carolina dedicated to combating poverty and racial inequality.

Mae C. Quinn
Director, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center

Mae C. Quinn, Director, has been a public interest lawyer and litigator for approximately 20 years. Most recently she was a professor at Washington University School of Law where she founded and directed the Juvenile Law and Justice Clinic where Quinn's clinic provided zealous defense representation to youthful clients in Missouri's courts while shedding light on system deficiencies and engaging in criminal and juvenile justice reform efforts.  Quinn's writing has been cited by advocates and academics alike. It calls attention to legal issues facing vulnerable populations in Missouri, and the disproportionate impact of problematic policing and prosecution practices on communities of color. She has been published in top law journals. Her advocacy efforts have been highlighted by national and international press outlets including the Washington Post, Huffington Post, St. Louis American, and public radio and television here and abroad. Quinn has trained lawyers and law students across the country, including as an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown University. She also served as a New York City appellate defender, a trial attorney with Bronx Defenders, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein, United States District Court, EDNY.

Juliana C. Repp
Nez Perce Tribe
Northwest Native American Law, PLLC

Juliana C. Repp, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe, practices law through her firm, Northwest Native American Law, PLLC, in Spokane, Washington, in the areas of tribal enrollment, family law (including Indian Child Welfare Act cases), human rights and civil rights.  Ms. Repp recently served as Interim Chief Judge of the Nez Perce Tribal Court for nearly two years while maintaining her law practice. She also serves as Special Counsel for the Colville Tribes’ Enrollment Department.  She is a member of the Kalispel Tribal Gaming Board and has served in this capacity for nearly sixteen years.  Ms. Repp is a member of the Legal Team for the Water Protector Legal Collective and continues to serve as a volunteer on the Water Protector Legal Collective working on civil cases. To this date, she has made four trips to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, volunteering on behalf of the front-line Water Protectors at the No Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) resistance camp at Oceti Sakowin within the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and within the legal office in Mandan, North Dakota. She is a founding member and was the founding Chair of the Spokane County Bar Association Indian Law Section in 2009-2010.   In January 2010, and again in December 2012, Ms. Repp was appointed by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to serve as a member of the federal judicial selection committee for vacancies within the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.  Prior to her engaging in the private practice of law, Ms. Repp was employed as a staff attorney for Columbia Legal Services for over five years.  She also served as a member of the Governing Council for the Northwest Indian Bar Association for over six years and served two terms as Trustee for the Indian Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association.  She received her Bachelor’s degree cum laude from Gonzaga University and her juris doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law in December 1995.  She is admitted to practice law in Idaho and Washington; the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington; the United States District Court for the District of Idaho; United States Court of Federal Claims; and also within the Coeur d’ Alene, Colville, Kalispel, Nez Perce, Spokane, Yakama and Standing Rock, Tribal Courts. 


Susie Lee