Feature Story

ABA honors Coleman with criminal justice award

Professor James E. Coleman Jr. was honored with the Raeder-Taslitz Award from the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Criminal Justice Section in October. The award recognizes a law professor whose excellence in scholarship, teaching, or community service has made a significant contribution to promoting public understanding of criminal justice, justice and fairness in the criminal justice system, or best practices on the part of lawyers and judges.

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Center for Criminal Justice & Professional Responsibility

Brains on Trial with Alan Alda - logoThe Duke Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility is devoted to the promotion of justice in criminal cases and to teaching and training students, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and the general public to identify, remedy, and prevent the wrongful conviction of innocent people.

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  • Sara Sun Beale portrait
    Charles L. B. Lowndes Professor of Law

    Beale teaches first year criminal law and upper-class courses in criminal justice policy and federal criminal law. Her principal academic interests include the federal government's role in the criminal justice system, the laws defining federal crimes, and various issues of criminal procedure, including prosecutorial discretion. She also researches the factors that shape public attitudes regarding crime and how those attitudes ultimately translate into legislative changes in criminal laws and procedures.

  • Police Brutality and Race

    Sparked by the Michael Brown shooting in Missouri, there is a renewed public discussion on troubled interactions between minorities and police. This panel, comprised of experts from various disciplines, offers observations and suggestions. Panelists include: Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University; Dr. Karla Holloway, Professor of English, Law, and Women's Studies; Daryl Atkinson, attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), focusing on criminal justice reform; Melvin Tucker, criminal justice and litigation consultant for law enforcement cases. Duke Law Professor Trina Jones moderates the panel. Sponsored by the Black Law Students Association and the Center on Law, Race, and Politics.

  • Death Row Racism: The Racial Justice Act Before the N.C. Supreme Court

    The North Carolina Racial Justice Act (RJA) permitted inmates to challenge their death sentences by establishing race as a significant factor in their trial. The RJA was repealed in June 2013. In State v. Robinson, the first winning decision under the RJA, Marcus Robinson's death sentence was lowered to life imprisonment after Robinson proved racism in his trial 18 years prior. His case will be heard by the North Carolina Supreme Court on April 14. Jay Ferguson of Thomas, Ferguson & Mullins, LLP, counsel in Robinson, will discuss the case as it heads to the Supreme Court. Shelagh Kenney from the Center for Death Penalty Litigation will discuss racism in sentencing and the RJA. Professors Neil Vidmar and Jim Coleman will also join the panel; both are experts in this field and have worked extensively on Robinson. Sponsored by the American Constitution Society.

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