Robina Institute Annual Conference

Paying for the Past: The Consequences of Criminal Convictions

White concrete wall

Date and Time

Past Event
- CDT

Location

Mondale Hall, Room 25

Thank you for joining the Robina Institute on Friday, October 7, 2016, for our 2016 annual conference, "Paying for the Past: The Consequences of Criminal Convictions." View a recording of the conference's welcome and introductory remarks below. 

This conference explored the consequences of criminal convictions for defendants, both within the criminal justice system (sentencing; prison impacts) and once the sentence has expired. Experts examined the many ways that a criminal conviction results in additional punishment for repeat offenders and triggers various civil disabilities long after the sentence has been served. 

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

5.25 standard CLE credits were approved by the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education office. Event Code: 227885.

Agenda

9:30 a.m.
Welcome

Dean Garry Jenkins, University of Minnesota Law School

9:35 a.m.
Introduction

Professor Richard Frase, Robina Institute Faculty Director, University of Minnesota Law School

9:45 a.m.
Prior Convictions at Sentencing

Speakers:
Professor Julian Roberts, Co-Director, Criminal History Project, Oxford
Dr. Rhys Hester, Robina Institute Fellow, University of Minnesota Law School

This session examined the ways that prior convictions affect sentencing across the U.S. All jurisdictions impose harsher sentences to reflect an offender’s prior crimes, but there is great diversity in the way that prior convictions are counted and the impact they have on an offender’s sentence. This interactive presentation explored this diversity and highlighted ways in which criminal history enhancements have a range of adverse outcomes, including increasing racial disproportionality in prison populations.

11:00 a.m.
Break
11:15 a.m.
Panel Response to Prior Convictions at Sentencing

Moderator: Professor Richard Frase, University of Minnesota Law School

Panelists:
Michelle Hall, Executive Director, North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission
Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Dean Mazzone, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Bureau, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office; Member, Massachusetts Sentencing Commission
Mary Moriarty, Chief Public Defender, Hennepin County, Minnesota

12:15 p.m.
Lunch
1:15 p.m.
Felony Disenfranchisement

Speaker: Professor Chris Uggen, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota

A half‐dozen defendants sat in the courtroom, all described as “model probationers” living and working in Minneapolis. But they were facing a new felony and the atmosphere was tense. Their crime? Illegal voting. They did not sell their votes or stuff the ballot box, they simply arrived at their polling place and cast ballots like many of us will do next month. Their new felony charges arose because in 30 U.S. states it is illegal to vote while serving a probation sentence in the community. Conference attendees voted in this interactive talk, which surveyed and previewed data from Uggen's new national disenfranchisement report with the Sentencing Project. Participants engaged with the origins, scope, political impact, and public opinion on the practice in Minnesota, the United States, and other nations.

2:30 p.m.
Break
2:45 p.m.
The Use and Abuse of Criminal Records

Moderator: Kelly Lyn Mitchell, Executive Director, Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, University of Minnesota Law School

Speaker: Professor Jim Jacobs, New York University School of Law

For over sixty million Americans, possessing a criminal record overshadows everything else about their public identity. A rap sheet, or even a court appearance or background report that reveals a run-in with the law, can have fateful consequences for a person’s interactions with just about everyone else. In his new book, The Eternal Criminal Record, Professor Jacobs makes transparent a pervasive system of police databases and identity screening that has become a routine feature of American life. The United States is unique in making criminal information easy to obtain by employers, landlords, neighbors, even cyberstalkers. Its nationally integrated rap-sheet system is second-to-none as an effective law enforcement tool, but it has also facilitated the transfer of ever more sensitive information into the public domain. While there are good reasons for a person’s criminal past to be public knowledge, records of arrests that fail to result in convictions are of questionable benefit. Simply by placing someone under arrest, a police officer has the power to tag a person with a legal history that effectively incriminates him or her for life.

4:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Professor Richard Frase, Robina Institute Faculty Director, University of Minnesota Law School

4:15 p.m.
Reception

Recording

Speakers & Moderators

Dean Garry Jenkins
Garry Jenkins
Dean, University of Minnesota Law School
Julian Roberts
Co-Director, Criminal History Enhancements Project (2014-2018)
Kelly Lyn Mitchell
Executive Director, Robina Institute; Lecturer in Law, University of Minnesota Law
Dean Mazzone
Dean Mazzone
Deputy Chief of the Criminal Bureau, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office; Member, Massachusetts Sentencing Commission
Michelle Hall
Michelle Hall
Executive Director, North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission
Kevin Lindsey
Kevin Lindsey
Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Mary Moriarty
Mary Moriarty
Chief Public Defender, Hennepin County, Minnesota
Christopher Uggen
Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight Professor of Sociology and Law
Professor James Jacobs
Professor Jim Jacobs
New York University School of Law

Contact

If you have additional questions, please email us at [email protected] or call 612-626-6600.