Thursday, April 7, 2011

Congratulations to the New Board!

Cornell NLG is proud to announce our 2011-2012 Executive Board:

Co-Presidents: Ashley McGovern & Mahats Miller
Vice President/Treasurer: Sergio Rudin
Academic Chair: Charlotte Davis
3L Reps: Chuck Guzak and Sarah Pruett

Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone for a great year--especially to Chuck Guzak, our outgoing President, who coordinated an overwhelmingly successful Week Against the Death Penalty!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Social Justice Lawyering with William Quigley













Social Justice Lawyering: Lessons in Working for Change

with William Quigley, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Director of the Law Clinic at Loyola Law School

When: Wednesday, March 16th at 4:30 pm
Where: Room G90
Reception to follow.

The student Guild chapter is sponsoring his talk, which will be on Social Justice Lawyering. Bill is an extraordinary lawyer who has dedicated his life to social justice issues, from his exemplary post-Katrina legal work to his work on voting rights, death penalty, civil liberties, constitutional rights and civil disobedience. He is the author of Ending Poverty As we Know It: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job At a Living Wage and Storms Still Raging: Katrina, New Orleans and Social Justice and has also been an active volunteer lawyer with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. He is currently the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and is the Director of the Law Clinic at Loyola University. Bill is the recipient of the Stanford Law School National Public Service Award in 2006; the NLG Ernie Goodman Award that same year; the SALT Teaching Award in 2004; and the Pope Paul VI National Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA in 2003. He is truly a lawyer in the best sense-- don’t miss this inspirational individual.


Co-sponsored by GPSAFC.
Open to the Graduate Community.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Anatomy of a Death Penalty Case - updated

This event will be at 12:30 in Room G85.


The Anatomy of a Death Penalty Case
with Professor Keir Weyble
Where: Room G85

When: 12:30 on Friday 3/4/2011

Presented as part of Cornell NLG's annual Week Against the Death Penalty

Professor Weyble is Director of Death Penalty Litigation and Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. He has represented prisoners in capital cases in the state and/or federal courts of Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, and has served as co-counsel for the prisoner in four habeas corpus cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Sponsored by NLG
Co-Sponsored by: Death Penalty Project, GPSAFC, and CLSA
Open to the Graduate Community

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Week Against the Death Penalty Events (updated)

Here is info for the last two events!
Don't forget to stop by our table in the Foyer to sign clemency petitions!





Lethal Injection: Emerging Issues
Lucy Larkins of Reprieve
Where: Saperston Student Lounge
When: 12:15 on Thursday 3/3/2011
Sponsored by NLG
Co-Sponsored by: Death Penalty Project, GPSAFC, and CLSA
Open to the Graduate Community


Lucy Larkins works for Reprieve, an international non-profit organization that provides direct services to defendants facing the death penalty in states with underfunded capital defense systems. Ms. Larkins will discuss the effect of the shortage of sodium thiopental, a key ingredient in lethal injection mixtures, on the death penalty in the United States and the defense of foreign nationals who are subject to the death penalty in the United States.


The Anatomy of a Death Penalty Case
Who: Professor Keir Weyble
When: 12:30 on Friday 3/4/11
Where: Room G85
Sponsored by NLG
Co-Sponsored by: Death Penalty Project, GPSAFC, and CLSA
Open to the Graduate Community



Professor Weyble is Director of the Death Penalty Project and Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. He has represented prisoners in capital cases in the state and/or federal courts of Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, and has served as co-counsel for the prisoner in four habeas corpus cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cornell NLG's Annual Week Against the Death Penalty

Cornell NLG is planning five events for our annual Week Against the Death Penalty.
Here is info for the first three! More info to follow...



We will also be tabling in the Foyer--where you can learn about the death penalty from an international perspective and also sign clemency petitions. Please stop by!






Film Screening: DEADLINE
Where: Saperston Student Lounge
When: 4:30 on Monday 2/28/2011


Sponsored by NLG
Co-Sponsored by: GPSAFC and CLSA
Open to the Graduate Community

Illinois, Fall 2002: Governor George Ryan faces shocking findings about flaws in his state’s capital punishment system that call his long-held beliefs into question. Suddenly, he must make one of the most difficult decisions of his life—to ignore this disturbing evidence, or to transform the entire Illinois capital punishment system. The stakes of this decision are the lives of over 170 people, and Ryan’s own political career. And he has only a few months to issue his final decision. Deadline, captures the ensuing dramatic series of events as they unfold.




Ray Krone, Death Row Exoneree
Where: Saperston Student Lounge
When: 3:30 on Tuesday 3/1/2011


Sponsored by NLG
Co-Sponsored by: Death Penalty Project, GPSAFC, and CLSA
Open to the Graduate Community

Ray Krone was convicted of the murder and kidnapping of a thirty-six year old female bartender who was found nude and stabbed to death in Phoenix, Arizona in 1991. At trial, the prosecution relied upon bite mark evidence, but Mr. Krone maintained his innocence. He was sentenced to death and a consecutive 21 year term of imprisonment. After ten years in prison, he was exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence which pointed to another individual as the perpetrator. He is the 100th former death row inmate freed because of innocence since the reinstatement of capital punishment in the United States in 1976.





A Career Against the Death Penalty: Naomi Terr '01
Where: Saperston Student Lounge
When: 12:15 on Wednesday 3/2/2011


Sponsored by NLG
Co-Sponsored by: Public Service Office, GPSAFC, and CLSA
Open to the Graduate Community


Naomi E. Terr received a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993 and is a licensed Master Social Worker. She received a law degree from Cornell Law School in 2001. Ms. Terr has devoted her legal practice exclusively to death penalty defense. A major focus of her work is developing mitigation evidence in capital cases. She has worked extensively in cases with defendants who show evidence of mental retardation. She is also a program attorney with the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program, a program funded by the Foreign Ministry of Mexico to assist Mexican nationals facing the death penalty in the United States. She is licensed to practice law in Texas and admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Monday, January 31, 2011

NLG Meeting: Feb 3, 5pm

Join NLG for our next meeting, which will be on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 5pm in Room 290!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

RebLaw 2011

Who's excited for RebLaw? Panels include (among many more):

New Frontiers in Fair Housing Litigation
The Transgender Rights Movement and the Law
Revitalizing the Labor Movement: What is the Lawyer's Role?
Balancing Law Enforcement and Privacy Rights: The Past and Future of Police Stop-and-Frisks


Register by this coming Tuesday!

Here is some info from the website:

Registration now open for RebLaw 2011:
February 18-20
Who: Proud-to-Be-Rebels
What: The Seventeenth Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference. The RebLaw Conference is an annual, student-run conference that brings together practitioners, law students, and community advocates from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change.
Where: Yale Law School, New Haven, CT.
When: Friday, February 18–Sunday, February 20, 2011
Cost: Standard registration is $30. Registration is free for members of the Yale, UConn, New Haven, and Quinnipiac communities.

Register here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

SOCIAL JUSTICE LAWYERING CANCELLED

Mr. Quigley won't be able to make it this Wednesday to give his talk on Social Justice Lawyering.  We hope to reschedule, but nothing has been decided yet.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Social Justice Lawyering: A Talk by Bill Quigley

Bill Quigley is the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Janet Mary Riley Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law

The talk with be on October 20th at 4:30 in G90.
A reception will follow.

This event is co-sponsored by GPSAFC and is open to the community.

Mr. Quigley is an extraordinary lawyer who has dedicated his life to social justice issues, from his exemplary post-Katrina legal work to his work on voting rights, death penalty, civil liberties, constitutional rights and civil disobedience. He is the author of Ending Poverty As We Know It: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job at a Living Wage and Storms Still Raging: Katrina, New Orleans and Social Justice and has also been an active volunteer lawyer with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. He is currently the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and is the Director of the Law Clinic at Loyola University. Bill is the recipient of the Stanford Law School National Public Service Award in 2006; the NLG Ernie Goodman Award that same year; the SALT Teaching Award in 2004; and the Pope Paul VI National Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA in 2003.

Mr. Quigley is truly a lawyer in the best sense-- don’t miss this inspirational individual.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Election Results

Please welcome our new 1L Representatives:

Sergio Rudin
Mahats Miller
Brianna Serrano

And our Events Committee members:

Meghan Bowman
Cheryl Blake
Andrew Cashmore
Ashley McGovern

Thanks to everyone who came out to the meeting. It's gonna be a great year!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Great Juan Cole Post Decoding Hasbara About Hamas, Gaza, and the So-Called Withdrawal

"Gazans have no state. What the Israelis deign to call the ‘Hamas regime’ is no such thing because it lacks sovereignty, over its borders, air, sea, imports and exports. (The idea that Israel is ‘at war’ with its own occupied territory is laughable.) The Israeli ‘withdrawal’ of 2005 simply removed a few thousand colonists and withdrew troops, usually, to the borders. But it did not allow the creation of a sovereign state. Gazans are excluded from a third of their own farmland by Israeli restrictions on where people can live. That so many Gazans are unemployed, that their industries have collapsed, that they are food insecure, and that malnutrition is causing stunting in 10% of children– all these outrages derive from their lack of a sovereign state to look out for their interests."

The rest of the post is here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israel's Attack on the Aid Flotilla Bound for Gaza

[I'll probably be posting updates to this---as things go on. For a much more comprehensive article from a much better and much more qualified writer, see Glenn Greenwald's here.]

What happened on May 31, 2010 was absolutely terrible. While this event was far from the first atrocity committed by the Israeli government against the Palestinians and their supporters, it is perhaps the most significant since the egregious "Gaza War" [read: massacre/stranglehold] in 2008. My condolences to all who lost love ones yesterday. Hopefully they will not have died in vain.

The accounts given by the IDF, AIPAC, etc. generally indicate that the Israeli soldiers used live fire only after being fired upon by what it calls "terrorists" (note that the IHH is on neither US nor European lists of terrorist organizations---they are a humanitarian group). Based on the videos they themselves posted, this order of events doesn't seem possible. First, if the passengers really fired first, isn't it odd that not even the IDF video (loading slow, but accessible from the link) released was able to document it? Isn't it also strange that AIPAC claims that only metal rods and pipes were used against the elite Israeli forces? Of course, they also claimed that the use of metal rods and knives left them with no choice but to retaliate with lethal force. All of the passengers claim that the Israeli soldiers began firing shortly after boarding.

Although reports do show that passengers eventually fired upon the soldiers using guns they took away from the soldiers, such action definitely doesn't constitute "firing first", and the fact that no Israeli soldier died further indicates that the passengers had no interest in anything other than self-defense and preservation of their humanitarian cause.

Is it a good thing that humanitarian activists are arming themselves with pipes and knives because of fear that Israel will attack and attempt to kill them? Absolutely not. Is it understandable? Yes. Is there any reason to think it will change? Absolutely not. Israel has vowed to use more force in the future--they're basically telling the activists to arm themselves more heavily if they have any hopes that the food and supplies they plan to transport will ever reach the people who need them.

There are those out there who argue that "the situation is complex" or that "there are too many competing narratives for us to have any idea what really happened". Those people would have the rest of us feel sad for "everyone involved"---even the poor, heavily armed, elite Israeli commando unit whose illegal actions deliberately provoked a non-lethal response so they could make an example out of the crew by massacring them. The worst part is that Israel vows to use more force next time a ship traveling in international waters violating no international laws tries to bring food and humanitarian and building supplies to Gaza.

In light of the aforementioned hasbara that's floating all over the place, three legal points:

1. Israeli soldiers invaded the flotilla in international waters, breaking international law (UN Convention on Law of the Seas, Art. 3), and, in killing civilians, committed a war crime (the only countries who disagree about this are the United States and Israel, but the UN Conv. is clear). The counter-claim that the soldiers responded to some sort of imminent threat should be dismissed immediately---such disproportionate force is not justified when dealing with civilians using non-lethal force--especially when the soldiers illegally boarded their ship.

2. Israel has no right to control Gaza’s sea as its own territorial waters and to stop aid convoys arriving that way. In doing so, it proves that it is still in occupation of the enclave and its 1.5 million inhabitants. And if it is occupying Gaza, then under international law (Geneva Convention IV, arts. 55, 59-60), Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Strip’s inhabitants, and should thus be ensuring that they are adequately supplied with food, water, energy, supplies, etc. Of course, their blockade would also violate those same international laws--a nation cannot blockade a nation under its occupation.

3. Israel approved the boarding of these aid ships by an elite unit of commandos. They were armed with automatic weapons to pacify the civilians onboard, but not with crowd dispersal equipment in case of resistance. Whatever the circumstances of the confrontation, Israel must be held legally responsible for sending in soldiers and recklessly endangering the lives of all the civilians onboard, including a baby.


The only positive things to come out of this incident are Egypt's removal of its blockade on Gaza and Turkey's (a NATO member) strong condemnation of Israel's actions as a violation of international law, pulling of its ambassador from Israel, and its cancellation of further cooperative military exercises with Israel.

However, these slightly positive results came at far too high a price.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kagan Will Move the Court to the Right

Here's immediate past-president of the National Lawyers Guild Marjorie Cohn's excellent article in CounterPunch on how Obama's cowardice in nominating Elena Kagan to fill Justice Stevens's spot on the Supreme Court will shift the Court even further to the right.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Elections Results!

We had our elections for our new board yesterday and the results are fantastic!

President: Chuck Guzak
Vice-President: Sarah Pruett
Treasurer: Randa Adra
2L Rep: Ann Eisenberg
3L Rep: Joanna Chen
3L Rep: Laura Sedlak

Congrats to the new officers!

Monday, April 12, 2010

National Lawyers Guild Calls for Value Shift in Supreme Court Nomination

Check out this call for a progressive nominee to the Supreme Court from the national office of the NLG:

"With President Obama poised to select his second Supreme Court nominee, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) advocates for a return to justices worthy of the title—ones who will put the interests of the downtrodden above those of transnational corporations, who will not compromise on the rights of women to reproductive justice, who will stand for true racial justice rather than the “blind justice” that preserves the status quo of white privilege, and who will protect the people against a government that cloaks itself in secrecy and invades the most private aspects of their lives.

In replacing Justice John Paul Stevens, whomever President Obama nominates will be reviled by many as a radical, socialist, activist judge. Stevens, a conscientious and principled jurist, has been labeled “left” only because, as he himself asserts, the Court has, over the last two generations, moved so far to the right. In that time, due in significant part to a number of Supreme Court decisions, economic inequality has increased dramatically. Most recently, the Court expanded the rights of corporations, which have no attributes of living, breathing, sentient beings, the right to freedom of speech. In addition, school integration – and thus the opportunity for poor African-Americans and other people of color to attend better schools – has come to a grinding halt. And the Chamber of Commerce’s priorities dominate the decisions of the Supreme Court and routinely deprive workers of their rights.

The NLG will not be satisfied with the nomination of a centrist, mainstream justice who will do little or nothing to reverse the routine elevation of corporate interests over individual rights. For example, potential nominees such as Elena Kagan, who calls for indefinite detention of terrorist suspects without trial and defines terrorism to include protected speech, are unacceptable.

President Obama will not nominate the kind of justice the times call for without a unified demand from the people. NLG President David Gespass said, “The right-wing demagogues cannot go unchallenged in defining the debate. There will be at least one voice saying a centrist is not good enough and that a moderate is no liberal. Our views will prevail because we speak for the interests of the people of the United States and the world.”

The National Lawyers Guild was founded in 1937 and is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state. "


http://nlg.org/news/index.php?entry=entry100412-142516

Sunday, April 11, 2010

NLG ELECTIONS THIS THURSDAY, APRIL 15!

Hey everyone,

Come join us for NLG Elections this Thursday at 4:00 PM in the Saperston Student Lounge. We will be filling the positions listed below. Hope to see you there!

President
Vice President
Treasurer
3L Reps
2L Reps

Best,

NLG E-Board.

Friday, April 2, 2010



Modern American Slave Trade -
Human Trafficking in the US and Abroad


A discussion with Laura Murphy, Free the Slaves representative.


Friday, April 2nd at 12:20 in Saperston Student Lounge
Lunch will be served


Co-Sponsored by: NLG, SALSA, CLSA and GPSAFC
Open to the Graduate Community


There are 27 million people who are enslaved in the world today. 14-17,000 people are trafficking into the US each year to be made slaves. This talk will address the growing numbers of vulnerable people in the US and abroad, the means by which this illicit trade is affected, and the work we can do to abolish slavery once again. Free the Slaves is a non-profit organization that supports on-the-ground projects that help to free enslaved people and to rehabilitate them once liberated. Laura Murphy is a professor of English at Ithaca College and the regional point person for Free the Slaves.


Here's the website if you want more information.
http://www.freetheslaves.net/Page.aspx?pid=183

Thursday, February 25, 2010

No recusal where the judge in a death penalty case is sleeping with the prosecutor?

"Charles Dean Hood was sentenced to death in 1990 by a Texas judge who
had been sleeping with the prosecutor in his case. It took Mr. Hood
almost 20 years to establish that fact.
But he finally managed to force the two officials to testify about their rumored affair in the fall of 2008. They admitted it.

Texas’s highest court for criminal matters, its Court of Criminal
Appeals, considered all of this and concluded that Mr. Hood should be
executed anyway."

The full article is here.

For a more entertaining article on the same topic, see the AboveTheLaw article here.

Sign a Petition to Stop the Execution of Troy Davis!!

"Troy Davis has been scheduled for execution three times without ever having a hearing on evidence that he may be innocent. On August 17, the US Supreme Court finally granted him that hearing. While this is welcome news, we must continue to let Georgia authorities know that we support full justice for Troy Davis. Sign the petition today!"

Go here to sign the Amnesty International petition to stop the execution of Troy Davis!

Death Penalty Week starts next week!