Center on the Administration of Criminal Law

About the Center

The center's mission is to promote and defend good government practices in criminal matters. The center analyzes important issues of criminal law, particularly focusing on prosecutorial power and discretion. It pursues this mission in three main arenas: academia, the courts, and public policy debates. Through the center's academic component, the center researches criminal justice practices at all levels of government, produces scholarship on criminal justice issues, and hosts symposia and conferences to address significant topics in criminal law and procedure. The litigation component uses the center’s research and experience with criminal justice practices to inform courts in important criminal justice matters, particularly in cases in which exercises of prosecutorial discretion create significant legal issues. The public policy component applies the center’s criminal justice expertise to improve practices in the criminal justice system and enhance the public dialogue on criminal justice matters. The center is the first and only organization dedicated to defining good government practices in criminal prosecutions. No other organization is dedicated to improving prosecution practices through research, litigation, and the improvement of public policy.

What's New:

On July 27, 2015, the center filed an amicus brief petitioning the United States Supreme Court to grant certiorari to reject the Third Circuit's recognition of a "due diligence" rule—a rule that excuses the Government’s failure to disclose favorable evidence under Brady when the defendant could have obtained the evidence on his own by exercising due diligence. Such recognition of a "due diligence" exception to Brady undermines defendants' rights to due process, blurs an otherwise clear ethical obligation on the part of prosecutors to disclose exculpatory information, and serves to erode public confidence in our system of criminal justice. 

The Center also filed a second amicus brief the same week, on another critically important topic. In this brief, we argue that the United States Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review the Louisiana Supreme Court's refusal to give Miller v. Alabama, the seminal case which held that life without parole for juveniles was unconstitutional, retroactive effect. Our appearance as amicus curiae in this case is prompted by our belief that the Court has jurisdiction, pursuant to its Article III powers, to remedy the violation of an individual's Constitutional right against the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. 

NYU Law Launches Clemency Resource Center

“Factory of Justice”: Pop-up, pro-bono law office to submit petitions to major clemency initiative.

NEW YORK—July 14, 2015—NYU School of Law announced the launch of the Clemency Resource Center (CRC), a pop-up law office within the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law (CACL).

The CRC will exist for one year, with the sole purpose of preparing and submitting federal clemency petitions at no cost to prisoners. Beginning with a staff of seven attorneys, the CRC will work closely with Clemency Project 2014, an ongoing initiative designed to identify and find counsel for worthy clemency candidates, and will provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who likely would have received shorter sentences had they been sentenced today.

The CRC was co-founded by Rachel Barkow, Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy at NYU Law, and Mark Osler, who holds the Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of St. Thomas. Erin Collins, a former public defender and acting assistant professor at NYU Law, serves as executive director. Generously funded by Open Society Foundations, the CRC will begin work in August.

The CRC is unique in that it addresses an immediate short-term opportunity. President Obama has clearly signaled his intent to use the constitutional tool of clemency to address over-incarceration.

Clemency Project 2014 aims to identify all federal inmates who seek help and meet criteria released by the US Department of Justice. The project relies entirely on the help of pro bono attorneys to review and submit petitions. “Too many non-violent prisoners are serving unduly harsh prison terms based on repudiated laws and policies. That means we have quite a bit of work ahead,” said Cynthia Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014. “This is an all-hands-on-deck situation and we welcome the support of the Clemency Resource Center.”

“The CRC isn’t a clinic, or a conventional legal aid organization, or an advocacy group. It is a factory of justice,” said Osler, a former federal prosecutor.

CACL has worked on clemency cases and reform of the pardon process since 2013 as part of the Mercy Project, an initiative that pursues commutations for federal prisoners who are serving very long sentences for typically non-violent drug crimes.

“The Clemency Resource Center is the latest step in our efforts to improve criminal justice in the United States and to help correct past miscarriages of justice,” said Barkow, faculty director for CACL.

During its year of operation, the CRC will utilize the talents of CACL student fellows as well as of CACL executive director Deborah Gramiccioni, a former federal prosecutor in New Jersey and at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

 

The Center's 7th Annual Conference: Regulatory Offenses and Criminal Law

The Center will be hosting its annual conference, "Regulatory Offenses and Criminal Law" on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. The keynote speakers will be Leslie R. Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice and The Honorable Patti B. Saris, Chief United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts . Panel One will cover "When and How To Criminalize Regulatory Offenses." Panel Two will address "Investigating and Enforcing Regulatory Offenses." Panel Three will explore "Punishing Regulatory Offenses." 5 CLE Professional Practice Credits. To register,  please click here.

On November 24, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., the Center will host NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton for a Conversation on Urban Crime in Greenberg Lounge. The Commissioner will speak about the use of new technology in policing, focused deterrence programs, and new approaches to curbing crime and improving safety in New York City. To RSVP click here.

The NYU Stern Urbanization Project is hosting an event, How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment, on October 9, 2014 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the Kaufman Management Center. More information about this event here and you may RSVP here.

An article by Faculty Director Rachel E. Barkow and the Center's report, Establishing Conviction Integrity Programs in Prosecutors' Offices, were cited in an ABA opinion regarding the managerial and supervisory obligations of prosecutors.

On August 29, 2014, the Center and pro bono attorneys from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the case of Whitfield v. U.S.

Faculty Director Prof. Rachel E. Barkow’s upcoming article on clemency reform is featured in a New York Times editorial.

Executive Director Nancy Hoppock is interviewed on Bloomberg Law about prisoner emails and the attorney-client privilege. Listen to the Bloomberg Law: Cohen, Hoppock on Email Confidentiality podcast here.

On May 13, 2014, Faculty Director Professor Rachel Barkow delivered an address about the intersection between criminal law and administrative law at a workshop entitled, “Criminal Law and the Administrative StateDefining and Enforcing Regulatory Crimes,” sponsored by the Administrative Conference, together with the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice and Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Sections, the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society. See the event flyer here and the list of speakers here.

On December 2, 2013, the Moreland Commission, on which Executive Director Nancy Hoppock serves as a Commissioner, released its first report.

On October 30, 2013, Faculty Director Prof. Rachel Barkow testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary Task Force on over-criminalization. In her testimony, Barkow gave an overview of the problem of over-criminalization as it relates to regulatory crime. Read more here.

Adjunct Professor Andrew Weissmann, former general counsel to the FBI, joins the Center as a Senior Fellow.

The Center has launched The Mercy Project with the help of pro bono partners Jonathan Polkes, Esq. of Weil, Gotshal, Manges; Harlan Protass, Esq. of Claymen & Rosenberg, and David Patton, the Executive Director and Attorney-in-Charge of the Federal Defenders of New York. The mission of the Mercy Project is to pursue sentencing reductions or commutations for federal prisoners who have demonstrated remarkable rehabilitation, or who suffer from serious medical conditions. As such, we serve as both a “Second Look” center and a clemency center. Read more about it here.

People v. Dwight DeLee: The Center with co-counsel Lambda Legal filed an amicus brief with the New York Court of Appeals urging the court to reinstate the 2009 conviction of Dwight DeLee, who was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime in the 2008 shooting death in Syracuse of a transgender woman.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. announces release of the White Collar Task Force’s report proposing the modernization of New York’s criminal fraud statutes on September 24, 2013. The Center’s Executive Director, Nancy Hoppock, served as the Chair to the Task Force’s Anti-Corruption subcommittee.

Executive Director Nancy Hoppock blogs for Constitution Daily about DOJ’s new and improved policy on mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases and makes recommendations in her blog and in this Center newsletter.

The Center, with pro bono assistance from Paul D. Clement, Esq. and D. Zachary Hudson, Esq. of Bancroft, and with research support from Center Fellows Yotam Barkai '13 and Sam Zeitlin '14, submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission urging the FCC to take action to lower the rates charged for interstate inmate calling services. On August 9, 2013, the FCC approved new rules to curtail the skyrocketing charges and limit the rates for inmate interstate calls to 25 cents per minute.

The Center with pro bono partners at Latham and Watkins filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the case of Burt v. Titlow.

Faculty Director Rachel E. Barkow is confirmed and sworn in as a Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission.

Executive Director Nancy Hoppock is selected to serve as a Commissioner on New York's new anti-corruption Moreland Commission.

On June 17, 2013, the US Supreme Court sides with defendant-petitioner and Center as amicus in Alleyne v. United States and holds that any fact that increases the mandatory minimum sentence for an offense must be submitted and proven to a jury.

The Center's spring conference is featured in The Crime Report's article, "Science in the Courtroom." See our Events page for more about the Spring Conference.

The Center's faculty director, Prof. Rachel E. Barkow, wins 2012-13 Distinguished Teaching Award.

The National Law Journal highlighted the Center's Supreme Court amicus brief in Alleyne v. United States as brief of the week. In its brief, the Center argues that facts that trigger the application of a mandatory minimum sentence should be found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt rather than by a judge by the preponderance of the evidence.

On March 25, 2013, the Center, with pro bono assistance from Paul D. Clement, Esq. and D. Zachary Hudson, Esq. of Bancroft, and with research support from Center Fellows Yotam Barkai '13 and Sam Zeitlin '14, submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission urging the FCC to take action to lower the rates charged for interstate inmate calling services.

The National Law Journal highlighted the Center's Supreme Court amicus brief in Alleyne v. United States as brief of the week. In its brief, the Center argues that facts that trigger the application of a mandatory minimum sentence should be found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt rather than by a judge by the preponderance of the evidence.